China Youth Daily conducted a survey last week to learn about single people's views on marriage and look into the current marriage situation of China's younger generation.
Love and marriage among older single people has always been one of the major issues drawing great attention from the public, according to the authors, who surveyed 1,962 respondents across the county for the report, in association with polling website Wenjuan.com.
Zhang Yun (pseudonym), a graduate student majoring in journalism at Renmin University of China, is currently single and wishes to get married around 28.
"By then I would have had a comparatively solid economic foundation and psychologically I would have become more mature and responsible for my choice after dating for several years. But it would be no good for fertility to start a family at a late age," Zhang explained.
Zhang believes it is better for women to give birth before the age of 35 so as to be energetic enough to care for their kids.
Zhang Xiaoxiao (pseudonym), a college senior in Ningbo, east China's Zhejing province, hopes to get married when she is 27.
"I think girls need to be married by 30 and boys by 35. Such an age is more advantageous to their children," said the young woman.
As for the age of marriage, 58.3 percent of respondents said it is appropriate to marry between 25 and 29. Some 30.2 percent said the appropriate age is between 30 and 34, and 5.4 percent of them wanted to marry before 25.
In addition, 3.5 percent said there shouldn't be a specific age for getting married，believing that age is no issue at all so long as they find the right person..
Zhang said, "Someone I know got married in college at an early age." It was by no means easy to meet the right person, and once she did she would consider getting married, Zhang added.
The survey showed that 40.4 percent of young people agreed with the statement that "people should aim to get married early", as opposed to those who disagreed (25.4 percent), and 34.2 percent said they were unsure.
The proportion of men who approved early marriage (44.7 percent) was significantly higher than that of women (36.7 percent).
According to relationship expert Lingzi from Zhejiang Mental Health Promotion Association, many young people are in no hurry to get married. There are three factors that contribute to the situation: economic pressure, changing views and high divorce rates.
Marriage Based on Love
The top three factors most likely to lead respondents to get married were: meeting the right person they wanted to be together with for life (51.8 percent); being in love (48.4 percent); and wanting babies (40.7 percent).
The expert said the best age for marriage from a professional perspective is when someone is both physically and mentally ready.
Zhang Yun believes that marriage is actually a choice, and everyone should be responsible for their choice.
"Once you choose to get married, you should be serious about the relationship. In particular, the balance between family and work on both sides requires mutual consultation and compromise," said Zhang Yun.
In term of the attitudes to marriage, some 45.7 percent of young people value the basis of love, without which they would not choose to get married; 40.4 percent are eager for marriage and want to have their own family.
Some 33.1 percent of the young people surveyed said although they were not confident about marriage, they would still get married, while 26.4 percent believed that marriage had little to do with love.
Another 4.6 percent said they were celibate and did not want to marry at all.
Lingzi believes that some young people marry late because they cannot handle their relationship with their partners or would resort to breaking up if any problem arises in their dating.
"At present, there is no education system that can truly help young people to learn to manage their love life. We need to raise attention to love and marriage education," said Lingzi.
"Many of the problems arising in dating and marriage can be avoided or effectively resolved if young people have enhanced their ability in this regard," Lingzi added.
(Source: Youth.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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