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Because of China’s rigorous college entrance examination, dating is rarely tolerated among high school students. That doesn’t mean that Chinese teens don’t have high school crushes or even relationships (mostly secret ones).But in general, Chinese students leave high school with a lot less romantic experience than their American counterparts.By Gaoli “Chamomile” Moua, Staff Writer and Copy Editor Although globalization has carried Western ideas of dating further East, dating is still not to be taken lightly in traditional Asian cultures.Asian-American parents are aware of prevalent “dinner and a movie” dates, but would rather have their children stick to traditional Asian dating practices.As you may expect, dating is a little bit different in China than it is in most Western countries.The basics are the same—people are people everywhere—but there are still a few differences regarding culture and social cues to note.The ultimate goal of most relationships in China is marriage.Young Chinese adults are often under a lot of pressure from the elders in their family to find a good husband or wife and get married relatively early.
Chinese couples also sometimes refer to each other as “husband” (老公) and “wife” (老婆) even when they’re not actually married—another indicator of the serious implications dating in China.
“I remember my parents making remarks when my cousin was resting her head on her husband’s shoulder,” Guo said.
“[My parents] think that they shouldn’t do that in public.” Being seen in public together is often enough for a man and woman to be recognized as a couple.
Of course, these are all just generalizations, and they don’t apply to all Chinese people.
More than tradition, society, or culture, dating in China is governed by what the specific individuals in the relationship think and feel, and it’s not too hard to find Chinese couples that don’t fit all or even any of the general observations above.