TV show matchmaker sees first divorce case
SHANGHAI: The city's most popular TV dating programme has seen its first divorce case.
"They were game partners in the programme, and at the end expressed their mutual admiration by exchanging gifts, then started dating," said Li Hongguang, a judge at the court.
"Six months later they got married."
However, the passion faded quickly as the couple got to know one another.
Yuan Yuan, the wife, filed for divorce last September, claiming their different personalities were leading to more and more disputes.
"Xiao Li never really cherished our marriage," she complained.
"I have tried to repair our relationship, but in vain," said Xiao Li.
The pair were among the 200 or so couples who have gotten together through the programme, which has enjoyed a high rating in the city in the past five years. Earlier this year, another couple who were also matched by the programme filed a lawsuit for property division after they broke up just before the planned wedding.
More than 4,000 young men and women, aged between 22 and 35, have taken part in the programme, said its producer Pan Qiuhua.
The programme should not be blamed, said Zhou Meizhen, a lecturer from the Shanghai Women Cadres' School. "People are treating marriage like fast food today."
"More and more young people decide to marry and divorce without further consideration."
"The divorce has nothing to do with how they met," the expert claimed.
Last year, the Shanghai Municipal Civil Administration recorded 27,376 divorces, 30 per cent more than in 2003. "About 30 per cent of divorced couples got married in the year they met," said Tang Jian'an, a divorce lawyer.
"They did not spend enough time to get to know each other before marriage and so tended to be easily disappointed after it."
Shu Xin, a consultant with the Shanghai Weiqing Business Consulting Ltd, the city's first divorce consultation business, said society is becoming more tolerant of divorce.
"Parents have less control over their kids' marriage. People won't bad-mouth divorced people any more.
"And young people just make a decision by following their feelings.
"The country's new marriage law makes it easier to marry and divorce," Shu said.