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Playing the waiting game

By Zhang Yu | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-11 07:45

Understanding and patience

Like Zhang, Christie is not keen on becoming a divorce statistic, so he is biding his time. However, even though he is of marriageable age, his mother supports his decision to wait.

"I grew up in a single-parent home, so having a whole family where both parents love each other is extremely important to me," he said, adding that he wouldn't want his children to grow up in the situation he did.

His mother, who said she wants to see him married with children, occasionally asks him about his prospects.

"She trusts me, and knows that it will happen in good time. We agreed that I'd rather wait for a good family than rush into a mediocre one," he said.

"But now I'm in China, so my mom might have been tempted to chuckle a little if I had told her I was kind of being pressured by 'Chinese parents'," he said, adding that the situation has never arisen in any relationship he has had in China.

Looking for dates

Li Youdong is a clinical psychologist at the First Hospital of Hebei Medical University. Her 22-year-old daughter is studying for a doctorate in economics, but she won't obtain it until 2020, by which time she will be 26.

Li is concerned that it will be too late for her daughter to find a suitable match after she graduates. "I have started asking colleagues and friends to introduce her to a potential boyfriend," she said. "By then she may only be able to marry a leftover man, rather than an excellent one."

Li is also concerned that if her daughter doesn't marry before she is 28, she could miss the optimum time to have a baby. "It's for her own good," she said.

Different standards

Experts say Li's concerns are not entirely without foundation.

"The best years for a woman to give birth are from 25 to 29," said Qiao Jie, head of the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Chinese Medical Association, in an interview with China Central Television.

As a psychologist, Li said she understands that young people and their parents have different standards for life partners, and the younger generation has little sense of time in this matter.

"Children should communicate with their parents to reduce their anxieties, and parents should give their children enough freedom and time to choose their perfect life partner," she said.

 Playing the waiting game

Senior residents assess candidates for blind dates with their children at a matchmaking fair in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province.Zhang Yu / China Daily


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