China's 'Puppy Love' and 'Singleton' Phenomenon on Spotlight

May 15, 2017
By XinhuaEditor: Penny Huang

In the Middle and Long-term Youth Development Plan (2016-25), published by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council in April, youth is defined as people from 14 to 35 years old.

The plan advocates including marriage education into the higher education curriculum to help youths form a healthy and rational view of marriage. Marriage counseling and services for older, single youth are also supported as key priorities. In addition, authorities plan to take multiple steps to regulate social networks on making friends and matchmaking service markets to protect young people's security.

To respond to the state's highlighting of these issues, a large number of reports in recent years have covered the status of Chinese youth as regards their marriage, single status and puppy love.

"Singleton" Issues

With a fast-paced lifestyle, work stresses and the increasing floating population proportion, the younger generation has more trouble finding a partner.

When it comes to reasons for young people's single status, findings showed a narrow social circle to be the main reason, accounting for 77 percent, followed by difficulties in getting along with the opposite sex (56 percent) and working overtime (53 percent).

Aside from these, a large number of young people tended to fall in love with people who have to meet certain criteria in their mind and their standards are usually high.

More precisely, despite details of desirable characteristics varying between men and women when finding an ideal partner, nearly 90 percent of those surveyed held personality and morality as key factors valued by those surveyed.

The top priority that men considered before rushing into a relationship was appearance while the top preference for women is capability.

When meeting their ideal partner, over half of the respondents said they would try to chase him or her actively and 26 percent said they would express or show their message of love implicitly. When asked what if they didn't meet their desirable partner, 77 percent chose to "keep waiting for the perfect one".

Marriage

Encouragingly, for young people who have married, the situation seems relatively optimistic.

More than half of couples surveyed (56.1 percent) met their partner directly by themselves and about 40 percent met each other through friends or relatives.

According to a recent report, among the total married young population, over 98 percent of young couples said they were happy with married life with mutual respect and good relationships.

Puppy Love

As an increasing number of Chinese children in their early teens and younger are in relationships, China's "puppy love" phenomenon has been in the spotlight in recent years, much to concern of their parents and other adults.

About 25 percent of students have experienced romantic love before 18 years old and according to China Youth Daily, the main reasons for the phenomenon are "physical development at an earlier age" (65.7 percent), "curiosity on gender awareness" (64.1 percent) and "the influence of social culture" (41 percent).

Confronted with the worrisome situation, to prevent the disproval leading to rebellion, a majority of parents surveyed preferred to take sensible measures to echo their children's sentiments and provide effective guidance.

(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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