The single most important issue

Updated: 2016-02-01 07:27

By Raymond Zhou(China Daily)

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Eventually you'll have to show them the real person. You cannot put it off year after year. Hence the cottage industry of temps who act as your date. The temp can use the experience as a springboard to an acting career, but they could turn out to be scam artists.

In my hometown, a take-home date automatically gets cash gifts from older relatives. So, it's not a ruse to be taken lightly.

It is truly a virtue to be thoughtful and consider your parents' situation. The smaller the town they reside in, the more peer pressure they face, which they pass on to you. So, one solution is to move them in with you-to the bigger city where you work, where they can witness first hand that you are happy with your status, and your friends and neighbors do not stick their noses into your business.

And don't avoid the sit-down talk where you can explain to them how you feel. It may help them a little in understanding the young generation. Late marriage or singlehood can be perfectly valid options for some, and there are many examples in the big city.

In a word, expose them to your circle and lifestyle rather than wade into their jungle of human entanglements.

But that would imply the unfilial choice of avoiding the hometown journey.

The most pathetic parental act of nudging grown-up children down the aisle is surrogate dating. Some Chinese parks have corners devoted to the elderly who hold up plaques of personal ads for their children. They are under the illusion that their kids are too busy to date even though the youngsters could be capable of finding a dozen dates just by pressing a button on their smartphones.

If there is a social segment which needs such help, it's not the busy white-collar worker, but stay-at-home singles who insist on living in a virtual reality cocoon. But then one should reach out only when one is asked to.

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