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Educated, single, looking for love, signs that the times are changing

China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-09 07:23

A young couple poses at "Love Tunnel" in Jiangning district, Nanjing, Jiangsu province, Aug 9, 2016. [Photo/IC]

A survey of those born after 1990 by dating network Qingchunyouyue and the sociology department of Shenzhen University found that most of them living in the first-tier cities were still single. Southern Metropolis Daily comments:

The majority of them said that they would like to get married but they were too busy at work and their social circles were small so they did not meet potential partners. More than half of the men surveyed were willing to use dating networks such as Qingchunyouyue to get introductions, while 62 percent of the women preferred recommendations through relatives or friends.

The reason so many of these highly educated post-1990s adults are still single has something to do with our education model. The exam-oriented education model focuses more on learning knowledge, and ignores cultivating young people's social skills. It means as young adults they are not very adept at communicating with the opposite sex and lack confidence in social interactions. This lack of social interaction with the opposite sex means many young adults have unrealistic notions about love and unrealistic expectations of who their future spouse might be. For instance, the higher the education the more emphasis placed on like-for-like status.

Meanwhile, some specific professions have become major obstacle to communication with the opposite sex, which is a very modern social phenomenon. For instance, men working in the IT industry are stereotyped as being nerdy.

And there are always media reports about conflicts between the young people and their parents because of different attitudes to marriage, with children preferring to get married and have children later than their parents did. Some are even choosing not to get married or have children.

However, the survey offers some optimism that elder generations are adopting a more accommodating attitude. Parents of the post-1990 generation are usually more open and tolerant of their children's choices compared with the parents of the post-1980 generation. The post-1990 generations face less pressure from their parents to get married and have children than the post-1980 generation did. This is because the average education background of the parents of the post-1990 generation is higher than that of the previous generation, which means their relationships with their children are usually more equal than traditional authoritative parent-child relationship.

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