Dating is hard for a Chinese girl. Not only because it’s difficult to find Mr. Right, but also because the window for you to date is short.

Before college, parents and teachers forbid you to date lest it distract from your studies. Right after college, if you’re still single, parents and relatives start to become anxious. God forbid you turn 25 and are still single, and get labelled a “leftover woman.” At that point, finding a so-called “perfect husband” suddenly becomes the top priority not only for you, but the whole extended family. Seriously.

You will find yourself overwhelmed by blind dates set up by your parents, your third auntie, your fourth uncle. Even your grandma’s random friend, who hasn’t talked to her for years, will worry about you and provide all kinds of dating tips.

Pleeeaaase, just give us a break!

 

A woman in Shandong province browses local singles (China Daily)

Swamped with blind dates, we realize that we don’t actually know what kind of person we want. Some of us have decided to turn a blind eye to the whole process and just carry on, while others have started to ask questions: What is a healthy relationship? How to love? Where can we learn this?

Our parents are not good examples. They either never show their emotions or use arguments to express their frustration rather than having a calm discussion. Our peers are having the same problems, so there is no way to count on them either.

Maybe turn to TV and film? It sounds ridiculous, but it works. Friends and the Sex and the City became the relationship textbook for many of us.

So we grow up and teach ourselves how to navigate relationships. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, the relationship works out, but other times we hit the wall badly.

Today we invite Jia Hailan, a single girl in Beijing, to chat with us. The three of us shared our dating experiences and discussed how we’ve learned to love, and the impact our families have had on our relationships.

Previous episodes of the Wǒ Men podcast can be found here, and you can find Wǒ Men on iTunes here.

Have thoughts or feedback to share? Want to join the discussion? Write to Yajun and Jingjing at womenpodcast@outlook.com.

Soundcloud embed (if you’re in China, turn your VPN on):