Confessions of a Modern Chinese Girl : Chinese Culture and Marriage

Left over women in China

Left over women through Chinese culture eyes

 

The following post was sent to us by a lovely Chinese girl who lives in  Shanghai. She is in her late 20s, enjoys a successful career with an international brand company, has traveled the world and is perhaps typical of the “modern Chinese girl” :

Chinese culture is a very traditional culture. Sometimes, I don’t like this culture very much, but as a Chinese, I can’t fight against the entire society and the general law.

I’m probably what you would call a super “sheng nu”, or “leftover woman”. I am almost 30. But I honestly really don’t like this name. I think it’s not fair – why people never call men “sheng nan” or “leftover men”?In China this is only applied to single women.

You can see some examples for this situation in Shanghai. In Shanghai, every weekend lots of mothers go to People’s Square to look for a match for their daughter. In SH, there are millions single and professional women who do not have a boyfriend. Parents’ only hopes is to see their daughter marry and build a family. My parents are the same.

I believe 50% or more of the Chinese people would want to find a rich man for their daughters. University students usually say “I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on the back seat of a bicycle”. This is also a very hot topic on the Chinese net right now, as people discuss the social implications of this phenomenon.

But not all Chinese women are like that, it depends on what kind of family the girl grew up in. For example, in my family my parents are very 老实,本分, have a good heart and are quite liberal. My sisters have all found boyfriends and husbands themselves with out my parents ever pushing or forcing them. When my sisters wanted to get married they just informed my parents. There was no need for ” blind dates” with parents’ help.

Same goes for me. My parents never asked me to find a rich man to get married. They always encouraged me to find a honest, kind, and nice man, so that we would be able to build a family together. Many years ago, when I had my first boyfriend in university, they didn’t approve so much. They argued that i should study hard, and I didn’t listen. After 5 years, when I told them that I broke up with my boyfriend my mother was very sad. She said that he was a good man and that I should have married him. I felt as though she blamed me for not being a a responsible girl and that I have wasted five years on the wrong man. When she asked me why I dumped him, I didn’t know how to respond so I just found an excuse and I said it was because he had no house because I thought this will convince her to give up. But instead she said: “House is not that important, you two can make money together, can get married and live in a rented house , then buy a house together when you have enough money”.

Of course the reason we broke up was not about the house, but i was very surprised that my mother didn’t care about that so much. My parents never thought i should find a man just for his house and car. I do realize that I am very lucky to grow up in this kind of family. I have never listened to my parents, and they have always respected my decisions. I don’t care if my husband is rich or poor, i don’t care much for the concept of money even though I am definitely not a rich girl. I am self-respecting and independent.All my friends are jealous of me because I can always do as I wish, my parents won’t stop me.

Things are even tougher in Shanghai. In Shanghai, a house is very expensive, and so it’s harder for guys to find a house. Another problem is that society gives women a lot of pressure, and women are becoming more independent and much stronger, taking responsibilities for themselves and depending less on men. Men are also becoming more selfish and can not always be trusted. They lie to their wives, they cheat. There are so many liars in China. Most of male friends I know – colleagues, friends, business partners, they always tell me stories about how they lied and cheated on their wives. Like when they say they go out to meet customers but in fact they go to meet friends, or to a KTV to order girls, or to clubs to try to pick up girls. Everytime I listen to these, I wonder – Will my future boyfriend lie to me? Most think there’s no need to tell women everything as to avoid hurt, so might as well just lie to them.So this is why in Shanghai, there are so many single women who can’t find a trusted good man, and their parents worry about that a lot. For “Sheng nu” it is especially not easy to find a boyfriend. Men don’t want to 30 years old women. They would prefer a 25 years or younger girl. For me, its very hard to find a husband if I am over 30 or over 32, so I expect it will be harder and harder for me in the future.

She would love to hear your opinions on her dilemma and thoughts.

13 comments to Confessions of a Modern Chinese Girl : Chinese Culture and Marriage

  • Boats

    I don’t know when this was posted but I can’t believe that no one has commented yet, considering all the other posts on the other discussions.

    Anyway, I would just like to tell you that you are perfect as you are. You are obviously confident and hard working and any man would be lucky to be with you. Sometimes 25 year old girls lack some maturity that I am sure you have. So don’t be disheartened.
    I would love to have a 30 year old Chinese wife. :-)

  • gus

    Ihave read you re,letter,im sadden by it all,in our western culture,you would still considered,to be a yong woman.sounds like you need to find a genuine guy.

  • Jack Rivard

    There is a nice patient handsome hard working guy working for me, he is 27 years old but very serious, he has a good job, maybe he is a bit boring (quiet), but he wants to get married so if you are interested just contact me.

  • Russell Campbell

    The mistrust of male fidelity in China and Vietnam seems to go back centuries. I guess you just need to keep looking and be selective. Might I suggest going to libraries, museums and other cultural venues. You will tend to find men at these places who tend to be more on the romantic/cerebral side of life and tend to believe more in being faithful to just one woman. As a so called westerner, being 30 in the modern age and having a career is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. You go girl, as we say and keep the faith.

  • Vincent

    I think it is kind of sad that you feel desperate at 30. I have been to China and understand it, but it is not the way it would be in the US. I am 51 and have dated women in China in their 30’s and found them delightful and full of life. They are much more thoughtful and I would venture, deeper than American women.

  • John Dionne

    I think you are not looking in the right places there are men who are faithful and would love to have a woman that they can trust. Being a team means so much in a relationship, the sex only bonds an already strong relationship. Look for a Christian man, he will know how to take care of his wife and put her needs above his.

  • John Dionne

    Oh by the way, at 30 or even 35, you have a lot to offer and are still young and in the prime of your life

  • antonio paino

    your are fantastic, kreep you head up and hold strong in what you believe. you will nener be sorry., trust me you are not loosing the train, there are many space in world for people like you, even china. I have chinese a friend that thinks likr you , keep it up and stick around with people who respect you opinion and keep in mind that ,life is full surprise , . I man that thinks that a woman should get marry around 25 or she is too older at 30 , or 35 or even 40. , he has limited mind and has nothing to offer you except , unhappines and a lots of problems.
    a universal friend Tony

  • antonio paino

    your are fantastic, kreep you head up and hold strong in what you
    believe. you will nener be sorry., trust me you are not loosing the
    train, there are many space in world for people like you, even china.
    I have chinese a friend that thinks like you , keep it up and stick
    around with people who respect you opinion and keep in mind that ,life
    is full surprise , . I man that thinks that a woman should get marry
    around 25 or she is too older at 30 , or 35 or even 40. , he has
    limited mind and has nothing to offer you except , unhappines and a
    lots of problems.
    a universal friend Tony

  • slack

    It would seem that everyone in China is aware of the tradition of males engaging in recreational sex, even after marriage. So, the question arises, ” Why do women fuss about marital fidelity?”
    Half a century ago , an American female cartoonist did a book entitled, “All Men are Dogs,” showing numerous occasions of men busting moves on her sweet little body.

    Are young Chinese women incapable of dealing with the world as it is. Does she believe she can change human nature with the power of her voice?
    Such stupidity is un-befitting of her ancient culture.

  • Move to America. Good men are in abundance and late 20’s is still considered young. Why not. We all live into our nineties.

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