Copyright The Economic Observer (China)
“Free as a bird!” 28 year old Lu Yuan (é™†è‹‘) exclaimed as she closed the door and left her family home.
During the Spring Festival period, Lu Yuan left Guangzhou, where she works, for Hebei, her home province. As soon as she arrived, her mother began arranging blind dates for her. Shortly after meeting the men, her mother anxiously asked “any hope?”
“I was almost nagged to death!” said Lu Yuan.
The men who met her mother’s criteria have steady jobs and own their own homes. Introduced through family, they are familiar with her work and her person.
Two years ago, Lu Yuan parted ways with her boyfriend. She has been looking for a partner to start a family with ever since, but has had little luck.
Her single friends started marrying off one by one. When she began her job, Lu Yuan and four other single women of marriageable age formed a group that called themselves the “Five Nuns.” They got together to swap stories and discuss how to accomplish “the great task” of finding an “economically suitable man.” A year later, the “Five Nuns” had become three.
Her 26 year-old colleague Xiao Zhou succeeded in “love,” and is planning to get married.
“They’re a weird couple. They decided to move in together after discussing their life plans, and they only decided to get married because they lived together without any problems.”
Xiao Zhou’s goal was simple, a safe life. Her partner is a little older, and has a house in the commercial district of Guangzhou. He is a mid-level manager for a state-owned enterprise.
In truth, Lu Yuan knows of countless “miraculous” lightning marriages.
“Some of them married public servants they met on the internet, others married employees of state-owned enterprises that had been introduced by friends. There are others that are so anxious to re-marry, that only 3-months after divorcing, they quickly tie-the-knot again” says Lu Yuan.
Lu Yuan also has strict standards for filtering prospective boyfriends.
“If you want to talk about marriage, you have to meet certain criteria. Or else there’s no point.”
Love is the Least Reliable Thing in the World
When Lu Yuan was in college, one of her professors once told the class that “Love is the least reliable thing in the world”
The phrase has stayed with Lu Yuan for many years.