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  • 05.01.2019
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6 Rules to Follow When Dating a Traditional Chinese

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As much as how ideal Chinese men are, stereotypes and misconceptions are still lingering around the minds of the people that stop them from even considering the thought of dating Asian men. At an early age, kids are brought up with traditional values to stay close to their parents, value their approval, and take care of them when they get old. Maybe not now, but probably soon. But of course, it would depend on the situation. Depending on the household they grew up in, Chinese men are responsible in many ways. Either in the financial aspect, household chores, or family. In the financial aspects, most Chinese men handle money pretty well.

Since culture and gender relations are generally resistant to rapid change in society, centuries old traditional gender role attitudes should be found to continue to persist among significant numbers of Chinese youth.

To the extent that traditional values about dating and relationships impact the decision-making process, they may also be imbedded in the types of personal qualities that singles are looking for in their potential mates.

If traditional values continue to exert an influence on thinking and behavior despite changes in the social context, then males and females will gravitate toward different criteria. Also, comparative research on partner preferences finds that preferences fall into three broad or seemingly universal categories: physical, practical, and personal.

The extent to which these three categories are gendered is not addressed in the literature. However, we expect to find them operating in our study population and to be gendered. Patterns in partner preferences which have been found across societies should be present among Chinese youth, namely, concern about physical appearance, economic prospects, and kind or compassionate personality of future potential spouses.

In addition to the above broad hypotheses, we also expect older students and those who are religious to be slightly more conservative. Students who perform well academically might use that strength as a bargaining chip.

Men could use it as an asset to be sold on the dating and marriage market while women could use it as a signifier of them possessing egalitarian values and seeking like-minded mates. It should be noted that in the USA, students who exhibit high levels of dating behavior in high school are less likely to be academic high achievers.

Data for this study were collected during the summer of at a large public university in Shanghai, China. A random sample of students were approached and asked to participate in a survey concerning dating and romantic relationships. After tabulation of the responses, 17 cases were eliminated due to incomplete responses, resulting in a sample of students females and males.

The students ranged in age from 18 to 22 and were all currently enrolled at the university. All of the students in the sample were single and never married. Among females, Participants were also queried concerning their willingness to either kiss or have sex on a first date. Together, these items provide a broad range of assessment concerning dating and intimate relationships.

Respondents were also asked about a variety of family and individual characteristics. In terms of their parents, participants were asked about the educational attainment of their mothers and fathers. Individual characteristics were also examined within the survey.

Respondents were asked to provide their age and sex but were also asked a variety of other questions related to their own traits. In regard to attitudes, respondents were asked about their beliefs concerning gender roles within the family context. The statements used in creating an index of gender attitudes included the following: 1 it is much better for everyone if the man earns the main living and the woman takes care of the home and family, 2 both husbands and wives should contribute to family income, 3 a husband should spend just as many hours doing housework as his wife, and 4 the spouse who earns the most money should have the most say in family decisions.

A measure of school performance was also included, with respondents describing their overall grade performance. Given the complex nature of dating and dating relationships, multiple measures were utilized in these analyses. Respondents were asked if, in terms of dating partners, they would be willing to date someone from 1 a different religion, 2 a different race or ethnicity, and 3 a different country.

Participants were asked how many of their close friends were currently dating or in a romantic relationship. Participants were subsequently asked about the specific characteristics which they are looking for in a partner. Of the particular traits which were queried, some were used to create indexed measures of a broader set of characteristics. Together, these three measures provide a broader assessment of qualities which the respondents might desire in a potential partner.

As shown, an overwhelming majority of both young women and men would prefer to date more frequently. Given the age of participants in the sample, this is to be expected. In terms of dating behaviors, however, significant differences are shown between the two sexes. Respondents were queried about their willingness to kiss on a first date. Here, significantly more men, as compared to women, stated that they would be willing to kiss on a first date.

This finding would appear to suggest the more traditional Chinese cultural expectations pertaining to dating are still influencing dating attitudes and behaviors among contemporary young adults. Although young Chinese men are shown to be significantly more willing to have sex on a first date, as compared to young women, almost two thirds of the women and more than a third of the men stated that they would not do so.

As shown, the parents of both young women and men were reported to have a relatively high level of educational attainment, with the typical parent having at least some college. Both young women and men reported that their parents had relatively high marital quality. Assuming that these responses are reliable, it would suggest that most young Chinese adults have had positive role models concerning spousal roles and relationships.

This finding is somewhat intriguing, as given the patriarchal nature of Chinese culture, one might anticipate parents being more cautious and involved in the dating behaviors of their sons, as compared to daughters.

Men in the sample were shown to be slightly older than the women In regard to religiosity, most respondents reported participating in religious activities only a few times each year. Self-esteem levels reported by the respondents were moderately high, with no significant differences shown between women and men. Neither sex appeared to be overly anxious to become parents, as their relative responses to the query concerning pro-natalist attitudes was somewhat low.

This is not entirely unanticipated, as one would tend to believe that college students do not place parenthood high among their priorities at their age.

It is worth noting that young men do espouse significantly more conservative attitudes concerning gender and gender roles within the family, in particular. Again, given the more patriarchal nature of Chinese culture, this is to be expected. In terms of dating, young men reported having had longer relationships in the past, as compared to young women.

Approximately half of the friends of both women and men were reported to be currently dating. Hence, there is a potential for considerable peer pressure, in regard to dating behaviors. In regard to potential dating partners, young Chinese women and men appear to be only marginally willing to consider partners from outside their own social groups i.

This may be a reflection of the lack of diversity within China and certainly as compared to countries with more diverse populations. In terms of specific partner characteristics, young women expressed a significantly higher preference for pragmatic qualities, as compared to men 4. Females expressed a significantly higher preference for a male partner who is well educated, wealthy, successful, and ambitious.

While not statistically significant, women also expressed a slightly higher preference for caring qualities. In regard to appearance, while men expressed a slightly higher preference for appearance qualities, as compared to women, the difference was not significantly different, overall. Overall, these desired characteristics seem to support previously noted gender stereotypes, with women expressing a stronger preference for more pragmatic qualities in a partner, while men, to a lesser extent, express a stronger preference for physical appearance.

We will now examine how these various factors affect dating and intimate relationships characteristics. The models are presented separately for each sex, for each characteristic, so as to allow for a more direct comparison of the effects of familial and individual traits. Previous analyses not shown were performed to ascertain the need for separate models for each sex. The strength of this association may imply that Chinese women not only desire more pragmatic qualities in a spouse but perhaps also view dating itself in more pragmatic manner.

Hence, women who place a greater premium upon physical appearance may actually be less likely to want to date more often. It is quite possible that men who espouse more pro-natalist attitudes i.

It is possible that higher parental educational attainment may also be linked with more progressive attitudes and expectations about dating, on the part of parents.

A Look at Chinese Culture and Dating

Within the context of Chinese culture, both of these are likely to be considered progressive and contrary to traditional standards of behavior for young women. Clearly, the impact of parental characteristics varies, depending upon whether they involve sons or daughters. This may possibly suggest that young men with a more traditional set of attitudes wish to have both ways—to date outside of their own social groups—yet maintain a more traditional i.

Along the same vein, having friends who are also dating may provide the social support and reinforcement which make having sex on a first date seem more acceptable to young Chinese women. Having higher self-esteem, then, may provide women with the confidence or security to not have sex on a first date, whereas lower levels of self-esteem may bring about the opposite. The stronger desire to have children, likewise, may lead young women to be more selective in their dating behaviors or perhaps they may be more likely to associate sex with a more stable and lasting relationship such as marriage.

Among males, the overall robustness of the regression model is not as strong. Again, this may be related to the patriarchal roles found within broader Chinese culture, such that young men with more traditional gender attitudes may believe that they should assume a stronger role in the decision-making behaviors involved in dating and dating relationships.

The implications of these findings will now be addressed. This study was initiated to provide an exploration of dating and mate selection traits among young adults in contemporary China. The sample used for these analyses is a relatively small and select one and does not necessarily provide for making broad generalizations to the larger population of young adults in China.

However, the findings shown herein do offer fresh insight into both the nature of dating experiences and some of the pertinent gender differences which exist. Overall, both young Chinese women and men expressed a desire to date more frequently, suggesting that the more progressive notions of love and romance may be taking hold within Chinese culture.

Specifically, only the minority of both females and males expressed a willingness to have sex on a first date. This pattern is certainly more consistent with traditional expectations concerning what is appropriate behavior for young adults in intimate relationships. As expected, significantly more males than females expressed the willingness to have sex on a first date, yet even among males, more expressed opposition, rather than a willingness to do so. This would again seem to support the existence of long-standing expectations concerning dating.

Unlike more westernized beliefs concerning dating, sex and sexual behavior still appear to be outwardly undesired by young Chinese adults of either sex. This conclusion is further supported by the unwillingness of both females and males to kiss on a first date.

Once again, more males expressed a willingness to do so, yet substantially more males were clearly opposed to this. While these data are intended to provide an exploratory examination of dating attitudes and behaviors, these findings do suggest that both traditional and more progressive elements are concurrently present in the dating traits of contemporary Chinese young adults.

Gender differences were also noted in regard to the desired partner characteristics, as expressed by females and males. In keeping with long-standing gender stereotypes, females did express a greater preference for more pragmatic qualities in a male partner i. This supports previous research which has noted such gender-based distinctions. Chinese men, on the hand, only partially conformed to the gender stereotypes for males.

Hence, while it would appear that a double standard does exist in regard to desired partner attributes, the more stereotyped expectations are found among women and less so among men. The multivariate models yielded several rather intriguing findings.

In particular, it was shown that Chinese women have a greater desire to date more frequently when they have more pragmatic desires in a prospective partner.

Chinese men, on the other hand, have a greater desire to date more frequently when they desire a partner with more caring qualities. On the surface, these two patterns offer some substantiation of the traditional gender-typed beliefs that men are seeking love and romance from dating and from eventual marriagewhile women are perhaps regarding dating as a pathway to marriage and the subsequent security e.

Obviously, additional study is necessary in order to more accurately discern and understand these patterns. These findings do lend support to exchange theory, as each sex does appear to be approaching dating and intimate relationships with somewhat different perceptions and goals. The potential for more progressive and westernized traits can also be seen within the models concerning kissing and having sex on a first date.

Among females, the regression models revealed that a willingness to date without parental approval which would be directly counter to traditional cultural expectations was shown to be associated with a greater willingness to both kiss and have sex on a first date. Essentially, breaking away from parental control is associated with greater sexual expression among young Chinese women.

This would certainly be consistent with a tendency toward greater individualism, as suggested previously. Once, again, this suggests a strong peer influence, perhaps part of a broader new youth subculture, which is generally considered to be antithetical to parental and familial influence. Finally, women with pro-natalist attitudes i. If the maternal role can be considered to be a more traditional role for women, it would appear that young Chinese women are giving significant priority to the later role of motherhood, as opposed to indulging in more immediate sexual behaviors in the context of dating.

Overall, these findings suggest that contemporary Chinese youth are perhaps forging a path somewhere between the expectations of traditional Chinese culture and the more progressive expectations of an ever-changing modern society. These results do not suggest that a polarized set of expectations are present; instead, it would appear that Chinese youth have found a balance between the two and appear to be content with the combination.

As stated previously, while researchers have directed considerable efforts toward better understanding the nature and dynamics of dating and mate selection among young adults, most of these efforts have involved Western samples.

Hence, much of the theory and conceptual knowledge may not necessarily apply to non-Western samples. In particular, the appropriateness of applying of such existing theories and concepts to Asian cultures has been called into question Ho et al.

The rapid economic and social change which is occurring in urban centers of China, such as Shanghai, will eventually be evident within the rest of the population, especially as the residential distribution shifts from a rural to an urban majority.

Researchers should attempt to address how these ever-shifting social, economic, and political changes will affect not only the dating experiences among the young adult population but also familial structures and behaviors in the longer term.

Amato, P. Research on divorce: Continuing trends and new developments. Journal of Marriage and Family — Aresu, A. Sexuality education in modern and contemporary China: Interrupted debates across the last century. International Journal of Educational Development — Bloodworth, D.

The Chinese looking glass. New York: Dell Publishing Co. Braithwaite, S. Delevi, and F. Romantic relationship and the physical and mental health of college students. Personal Relationships 1— Bryant, C. An intergenerational model of romantic relationship development. In Stability and change in relationshipsed.

Vangelisti, H.

Reis, and M. Fitzpatrick, 57— New York: Cambridge University Press. Buss, D. The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating. New York: Basic Books. Abbot, A. Angleitner, and A. International preferences in selecting mates. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 5— Chang, S. Perceptions of commitment change during mate selection: The case of Taiwanese newlywed. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 24 1 : 55— Chen, Z. Guo, X. Yang, X. Li, Q.

Duan, J. Zhang, and X. Emotional and behavioral effects of romantic relationships in Chinese adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence — Chia, R. Allred, and P. Attitudes toward women in Taiwan and China. Psychology of Women Quarterly — Chui, C. Social psychology of culture. New York: Psychology Press. Cook, S.

Chinese dating values

Development and Change — Croll, E. London: Routledge. Cui, M. The differential effects of parental divorce and marital conflict on young adult romantic relationships. Personal Relationships — Denyer, S.

China lifts one-child policy amid worries over graying population. The Washington Post, October Dion, K. Romantic love: Individual and cultural perspectives. In The psychology of loveed. Sternberg and M. Barnes, — New Haven: Yale University Press. Ellingson, S. Laumann, A. Paik, and J. The theory of sex markets. In The sexual organization of the cityed. Laumann, S. Hence, much of the theory and conceptual knowledge may not necessarily apply to non-Western samples.

In particular, the appropriateness of applying of such existing theories and concepts to Asian cultures has been called into question Ho et al.

The rapid economic and social change which is occurring in urban centers of China, such as Shanghai, will eventually be evident within the rest of the population, especially as the residential distribution shifts from a rural to an urban majority.

Researchers should attempt to address how these ever-shifting social, economic, and political changes will affect not only the dating experiences among the young adult population but also familial structures and behaviors in the longer term. Skip to main content Skip to sections.

Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Dating attitudes and expectations among young Chinese adults: an examination of gender differences. Open Access. First Online: 24 June This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Dating and relationships From a generational perspective, dating and romantic relationships in China are regarded differently, as adolescents and young adults may have more progressive beliefs, as compared to their parents.

Hypothesis 1 The dating behavior of students should not be strongly influenced by parents who continue to hold a traditional perspective. Hypothesis 2 Peers and the adolescent subculture, as opposed to parents, should exert a significant influence on the dating behavior of Chinese youth.

Hypothesis 3 Since culture and gender relations are generally resistant to rapid change in society, centuries old traditional gender role attitudes should be found to continue to persist among significant numbers of Chinese youth.

Hypothesis 4 Patterns in partner preferences which have been found across societies should be present among Chinese youth, namely, concern about physical appearance, economic prospects, and kind or compassionate personality of future potential spouses. As shown, an overwhelming majority of both young women and men would prefer to date more frequently.

Given the age of participants in the sample, this is to be expected. In terms of dating behaviors, however, significant differences are shown between the two sexes. Respondents were queried about their willingness to kiss on a first date.

Here, significantly more men, as compared to women, stated that they would be willing to kiss on a first date. This finding would appear to suggest the more traditional Chinese cultural expectations pertaining to dating are still influencing dating attitudes and behaviors among contemporary young adults.

Although young Chinese men are shown to be significantly more willing to have sex on a first date, as compared to young women, almost two thirds of the women and more than a third of the men stated that they would not do so.

Table 1 Mean levels of dating and marriage characteristics among young Chinese adults, by sex. Females Males Want to date more 3. As shown, the parents of both young women and men were reported to have a relatively high level of educational attainment, with the typical parent having at least some college. Both young women and men reported that their parents had relatively high marital quality. Assuming that these responses are reliable, it would suggest that most young Chinese adults have had positive role models concerning spousal roles and relationships.

This finding is somewhat intriguing, as given the patriarchal nature of Chinese culture, one might anticipate parents being more cautious and involved in the dating behaviors of their sons, as compared to daughters. Table 2 Mean levels of family and individual characteristics among young Chinese adults, by sex. Females Males Highest parental education 4.

Chinese dating shows are changing traditional views on love and marriage

In terms of specific partner characteristics, young women expressed a significantly higher preference for pragmatic qualities, as compared to men 4. Females expressed a significantly higher preference for a male partner who is well educated, wealthy, successful, and ambitious.

While not statistically significant, women also expressed a slightly higher preference for caring qualities. In regard to appearance, while men expressed a slightly higher preference for appearance qualities, as compared to women, the difference was not significantly different, overall.

Overall, these desired characteristics seem to support previously noted gender stereotypes, with women expressing a stronger preference for more pragmatic qualities in a partner, while men, to a lesser extent, express a stronger preference for physical appearance.

We will now examine how these various factors affect dating and intimate relationships characteristics. Table 3 Mean levels of desired partner characteristics among young Chinese adults, by sex. Females Males Pragmatic 4. The models are presented separately for each sex, for each characteristic, so as to allow for a more direct comparison of the effects of familial and individual traits.

Previous analyses not shown were performed to ascertain the need for separate models for each sex. The strength of this association may imply that Chinese women not only desire more pragmatic qualities in a spouse but perhaps also view dating itself in more pragmatic manner. Hence, women who place a greater premium upon physical appearance may actually be less likely to want to date more often.

Table 4 Ordinary least square regression models of dating characteristics among young Chinese adults, by sex. Amato, P. Research on divorce: Continuing trends and new developments. Journal of Marriage and Family — CrossRef Google Scholar. Aresu, A. Sexuality education in modern and contemporary China: Interrupted debates across the last century. International Journal of Educational Development — Bloodworth, D.

The Chinese looking glass.

New York: Dell Publishing Co. Google Scholar. Braithwaite, S. Delevi, and F. Romantic relationship and the physical and mental health of college students. Personal Relationships 1— Bryant, C. An intergenerational model of romantic relationship development. In Stability and change in relationshipsed.

Vangelisti, H. Reis, and M. Fitzpatrick, 57— New York: Cambridge University Press. Buss, D. The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating. New York: Basic Books. Abbot, A. Angleitner, and A.

Traditional Date in China

International preferences in selecting mates. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 5— Chang, S. Perceptions of commitment change during mate selection: The case of Taiwanese newlywed. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 24 1 : 55— Chen, Z. Guo, X. Yang, X. Li, Q. Duan, J. Zhang, and X. Emotional and behavioral effects of romantic relationships in Chinese adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence — Chia, R.

Allred, and P.

The influence of individualist values and the changing cultural norms the dating attitudes and expectations of Chinese women and men. Find out these inside tips on what to expect when dating a Chinese some values that. Dating a traditional Chinese, or even someone who may not be traditional A relationship grows stronger when we see the value of the other person in our life.

Attitudes toward women in Taiwan and China. Psychology of Women Quarterly — Chui, C. Social psychology of culture. New York: Psychology Press. Cook, S. Development and Change — Croll, E. London: Routledge. Cui, M. The differential effects of parental divorce and marital conflict on young adult romantic relationships.

Personal Relationships — Denyer, S. China lifts one-child policy amid worries over graying population. The Washington Post, October Dion, K.

Romantic love: Individual and cultural perspectives. In The psychology of loveed. Sternberg and M. Barnes, — New Haven: Yale University Press. Ellingson, S. Laumann, A. Paik, and J. The theory of sex markets. In The sexual organization of the cityed. Laumann, S. Ellingson, J. Mahay, A. Paik, and Y. Youm, 3— Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Feng, W. Age at marriage and the first birth interval: The emerging change in sexual behavior among young couples in China.

Population and Development Review 22 2 : — Gittings, J. The changing face of China: From Mao to market. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Guilmoto, C. Skewed sex ratios at birth and future marriage squeeze in China and India, Demography 49 1 : 77— Guthrie, D. China and globalization: The social, economic and political transformation of Chinese society. New York: Routledge. Han, J. Chinese characters. Beijing: China Intercontinental Press.

Hatfield, E. Love and sex: Cross-cultural perspectives. Ho, D. Filial piety and its psychological consequences. In Chinese psychologyed. Bond, — Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

Ho, M.

Romantic Relationship Intimate Relationship Chinese Woman Chinese .. To the extent that traditional values about dating and relationships. So we've gotten a few questions lately about dating in China. on where in China she is from) her parents still value marital stability above all. Here are some insights on what to expect when dating a Chinese man: Who doesn't want to be with a man that values family? A Chinese.

Chen, M. Bond, C. Hui, and M. Linking adult attachment styles to relationship satisfaction in Hong Kong and the United States: The mediating role of personal and structural commitment. Journal of Happiness Studies — Hsu, F. Americans and Chinese: Passage to difference.

Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii. Hu, Y.

Family and gender values in China: Generational, geographic, and gender differences. Journal of Family Issues 37 9 : — Hynie, M. Lalonde, and N. Parent-child value transmission among Chinese immigrants to North America: The case of traditional mate preferences.

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 12 2 : — Jankowiak, W. The decline of the chauvinistic model of Chinese masculinity.

Dating in China - Dating anywhere, you are bound to find some cultural So maybe they'd be more cool with it, but Western values are much. Today, dating shows are an important ingredient in China's cultural diet, with popular shows like If You Are the One and One Out of a Hundred. Chinese dating is just as confusing, and wonderful, as any other type of dating. For Westerners, a willingness to learn about Chinese culture can make an American Men · Indian Dating Traditions and Websites · Chinese Family Values.

Chinese Sociological Review 46 4 : 3— Ji, Y. The revelation of life. Taiwan: Beiyue Wneyi Chubanshe. Still, there are some attitudes about dating that are common among the Chinese. An important one is the involvement of family.

In the United States, we're used to the idea that we make our own choices about whom we date and whom we marry. But in traditional Chinese families, the parents may expect to have a say. Issues that often emerge include:. You're bound to get into trouble if you assume that for all Chinese, dating is the same. You'll meet people who were born in the United States and have never lived in China, but who still follow traditional Chinese culture. You'll also find people who moved here as adults but are completely comfortable with American-style dating.

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