Romance has rarely played a prominent role in most Chinese relationships and marriages; Chinese traditions place a higher value on practical considerations. Nowadays, while romance has taken a more significant place in young relationships, the modern realities that China’s singles and couples have to face still leave them with little choice but to be favor practicality over romance.
Many fresh graduates, for example, often find themselves facing the very real possibility of returning to their hometown and ending their relationship if they fail to find a job in the same city as their love. Those who manage to do so soon realize that the demands of their job leave them with no time to sustain their relationship. High cost of living and inadequate salaries also make keeping the romance alive impossible.
For singles, Chinese dating is both a challenge and an obligation. Their lack of experience, their filial obligations, their career, and their own basic needs only make the pressure to find a good partner as soon as possible more difficult to bear. Their desire for romance, and even love, are continue to be outweighed by realities and traditions.
Owning a house before marriage is still a requirement that most Chinese women expect their future husband to meet. Given the skyrocketing prices of real estate in China’s most urbanized regions, this marriage requirement has more to do with ensuring the family’s future, rather than a woman’s greed or materialistic tendencies. Once again, romance takes a back seat as traditional marriage customs and current economic conditions influence one’s dating and relationship options and decisions.
Even working and financially stable Chinese women often cannot afford to choose romantic love over practical love. Aside from the demands of their career and their career goals, their age makes Chinese dating and finding love, romance, and a good partner extremely difficult.
When they made the choice to establish a stable career and to become financially secure instead of jumping into marriage soon after graduating from college/university, they knew that when they are finally ready to get married, their optimal marriageable years will already be behind them and that most Chinese men their age or older will either already be married or prefer younger women.
A foreign man with serious intentions of finding a Chinese wife and, perhaps, even making a new life in China has to understand how most Chinese women view dating, relationships, and marriage. Undoubtedly, today’s women of China do not just care about practical considerations, but also nurture romantic notions. The environment they are in, however, effectively discourages any romantic hopes they may have as it encourages them to be more realistic about their dating, relationship, and marriage prospects.
This does not mean that love and romance cannot fit into the Chinese relationship equation. Chinese women, and foreign men who seek them out, simply have to be patient and ready to make huge changes in their life and beliefs, as well as to make difficult compromises and even sacrifices.
From a practical point of view, being in a relationship with a foreign man is actually more ideal for a Chinese woman, whether or not she’s a driven career woman or one who wants to devote all her time as a wife. Realistically speaking, many foreign men do have better economic status and can provide a better future for his family.
From a romantic point of view, a relationship/marriage with a foreign man means that a Chinese woman can realize the romantic notions which were actually influenced by her exposure to western culture. Compared to Chinese men, foreign men are more romantically inclined and have the benefit of valuable dating and relationship experiences.
Practical Chinese love does not have to be completely unromantic. There are many, small ways to create and sustain romance in a relationship while also remaining realistic. The Chinese are simply not always equipped with adequate and proper dating and relationship experiences and the social skills to help them navigate the path toward a happy, love-filled, romantic and secure marriage life.
But those Chinese wives who are seeking a more loving and caring relationship than is the Chinese custom will almost always make great students in learning the art of romance if their Western husband has the patience to slowly bring out the best in them. These lucky men will find themselves with the best wife a man could hope for, a romantic loving Chinese wife.
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