Increased financial capabilities have not only changed the women of China’s role as daughters, but also their roles as wives and members of their society. Alongside these changes, Chinese women’s marriage standards have also shifted.
It was bound to happen sooner or later – men’s marriage expectations from women have also finally caught up to China’s changing economic climate. Indeed, more men nowadays are not only okay with their wives also earning a lot of money for the family; they actually expect it. However, the majority of Chinese men still prefer that their wives not earn more money than they do.
With the cost of living in the country continuing its upward trend, two-income families – that is, households wherein both the husband and wife are breadwinners – have become the ideal.
Chinese women’s increased earning potential has naturally made them set higher income requirements from their future partners. But even this trend has also started to change, as a growing number of women are becoming more realistic with their expectations, being aware, themselves, of the financial challenges of starting a family nowadays.
While there are still many Chinese women who choose their mate based on how much he earns and if he owns or can afford to buy a house (mostly because these women’s incomes are not high enough to give them security), there are also a lot of working women who are more concerned about their partner having a stable job that can help make the family income more secure, rather than how much his income is.
According to the 2012-13 Annual Report on Social Mentality in China, published earlier this year by the Social Sciences Academic Press: (Source: http://english.people.com.cn/90782/8082385.html)
• Forty-four percent of the women that responded to the survey said their husbands should earn more than they do; this number is more or less consistent with the current marriage standards of Chinese women. •
In comparison, the number of men who said they expect their wife to earn as much as they do increased between 2005 and 2010, from 18.3 percent to 25.7 percent. •
In recent years, the acceptable age gap between husband and wife has also narrowed. The average age difference that was acceptable to women in 2005 was between 4.14 and 12.58 years; this narrowed down to between 1.1 and 8.47 years in 2010. •
A report released earlier this year by online dating site, Jiayuan.com, revealed that 98 percent of Chinese women said they would not require their husband to give them their salary; 39 percent said they do not want to become housewives after getting married.
It can only be for their good that more modern Chinese women are now changing their attitudes when it comes to mate selection. Having more realistic expectations coupled with romantic desires and increased self-awareness certainly make them better equipped to handle a modern wife’s obligations; perhaps more importantly, they are also much better suited now to be the other half in a cross-cultural marriage.
For foreign men who are actively engaged in the Chinese dating scene and are hoping to marry the Chinese woman of their dreams someday, the changing relationship and marriage trends among Chinese women signal greater chances of success for a cross-cultural marriage. With so many other difficulties that cross-cultural couples have to face, being able to check off the list the financial aspects can definitely make married and family life much, much easier.
Foreign men dreaming of having a Chinese wife can learn more about dating and marrying Chinese women, and about the issues, both past and present, that continue to mold them, on the blogs, magazine and forum of ChinaLoveMatch.net (the home of trusted Chinese dating), where international men and Chinese women share their life experiences and bare their souls to give you the real goods on love, cross-cultural relationships, and all things Chinese.