Celebrating singularity on 11/11 (2)

08:28, November 11, 2009      

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Singles on the rise

Today, singlehood is no longer taboo, especially in big cities, and many people do not equate being single to loneliness and solitude.

Liu Xiang, China's famed 110-meter hurdler, and He Jiong, a well-known television anchor, led a poll of the top 10 guanggun (diamond bachelors) in China for this year, according to polls on several websites dedicated to single people.

"Single is simple; double is trouble," Zhang Haiyan, a 28-year-old single Beijing woman, told the Global Times. "Being single means more independence, freedom and unrestricted planning of my own life."
She just wishes her parents would stop pressuring her to settle down with someone.

Indeed, Chinese parents are increasingly concerned for their single children's future. In Beijing, parents gather at parks every weekend where matchmaking fairs are held, exchanging photos and resumes of their grown-up children in hopes of finding them a good match.

Due to a gender imbalance, an estimated 30 million Chinese men will find it difficult to find a wife by 2020, a 2007 report by the State Population and Family Planning Commission said.

However, dating consultants and experts suggest that the increase in young singles is actually a more complex social issue.

"It's not only because of gender imbalances and but also increased mobility of the Chinese society and changing social values," Wang Yuesheng, director of the Population and Social Development Office at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times yesterday.

Gong Haiyan, CEO of Jiayuan.com, one of China's best-known dating websites, told the Global Times that young people are now more practical in picking their mates.

There are also increasingly more well-educated ladies who have respectable jobs and good salaries, but they find it difficult to find Mr. Right.

Whether their future husband can afford to buy an apartment in the city is always a top concern for single women looking for a husband, Gong said.

A 32-year-old graduate of Peking University and middle-level manager at an IT company told the Global Times that she would rather remain single than marry without love.

"Love and marriage are the union of flesh and soul," said the woman, surnamed Zhang. "I will not rush into marriage simply because most of my friends get married."

Source: Global Times
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