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Modern dating practices

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The basics are the same—people are people everywhere—but there are still a few differences regarding culture and social cues to note.Because of China’s rigorous college entrance examination, dating is rarely tolerated among high school students. That doesn’t mean that Chinese teens don’t have high school crushes or even relationships (mostly secret ones).

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This is a big part of why dating is often taken so seriously.Chinese couples also sometimes refer to each other as “husband” (老公) and “wife” (老婆) even when they’re not actually married—another indicator of the serious implications dating in China.Of course, these are all just generalizations, and they don’t apply to all Chinese people.For example, although many men get married without a house and a car, Chinese women will often say that they’re looking for these things because that’s the sort of person who probably has a stable career and will be able to provide for her and their future children in the long-term. As one contestant on China’s most popular dating show put it, "I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on a bicycle." Every parent is different, of course, but in general Chinese parents expect to be more involved in their children’s relationships.It’s not uncommon for parents and grandparents to set their children up on blind dates with suitable matches they’ve found.In general, sex before marriage in China is less common and considered more serious than it is in many Western cultures.

Attitudes toward sex are changing, especially in more cosmopolitan cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but in general, many Chinese women see sex as a sign that a relationship is headed towards marriage.

More so than Westerners, many Chinese view dating as a pragmatic affair.

It’s not always about finding love so much as it is about finding a potential marriage partner who fits with one’s own ideals.

Meanwhile four in ten said that they think it is outdated for a man to help a woman put on her coat or pull out a chair for her, while 45 per cent said it was old-fashioned to insist on her ordering first in a restaurant.

As you may expect, dating is a little bit different in China than it is in most Western countries.

While traditional acts of courtesy like helping a woman put on her coat or pulling out a chair for her are now mostly seen as outdated, women hoped gestures of ‘modern chivalry’ would have replaced them.