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Blind Dates In Parks Attended By Chinese Parents On Behalf Of Their Offspring

A park in China recently has been no longer the sole place for locals to entertain themselves but also the blind date hotspot where aged parents get together to find potential sons/daughters-in-law through a list of ‘application forms’ of youngsters submitted by the parents.

It would not be odd to see the notes with personal data of young singles on hanging between the trees in the parks of many Chinese cities. The brief details include each person’s age, height, occupation, salary and property ownership, etc. along with requirements of an ideal life partner.

At weekend some grey-haired parents labour into a park and clip their children’s profiles on the strings tied between trees before starting to browse the rest of résumés and noting down contenders.

Once the favourites are short-listed, the parents will conduct a conversation with those seniors representing the datable juniors. If good feelings come off between two parties, the parents then will talk their children into arranging a first date.

However, most searches and matches happening in the parks have gone to no avail. One man came to the park blind dates for 3 years but failed in finding a suitor for his daughter.

In today’s modern China, dating and marriage are a social topic which gives rise to heated discussion as urban young people tend to delay dating and marrying, which vexes their parents.

To keep their footing in big cities, Chinese young people prioritise their work and career, but romantic relationship becomes secondary. Huge pressure and stress from work and society lead them to a late marriage or staying single, which defies the lifestyle of their parents.

Moreover, the tilted balance of proportion between unmarried women and men in the cities may be another trigger for the females struggling to match up. Certainly there is no denying that some girls are picky and miss out opportunities. Seeing their daughters’ single lives prolong, the elders are on pins and needles.

Feeling desperate to help their children pair up, the parents scratched their heads and launched the hilarious nation-wide event in which they volunteered for blind dates on behalf of their offspring.

However the disparity in ideology between two generations doomed the event to failure. As an indicator of love and responsibility, Chinese parents don’t think their involvement without the children’s consent is wrong, whereas some young people cringe at their personal details being displayed in parks, just like goods for sale on market shelves. And also, some people who respect freedom detest their parents twisting their arm to marry and start a family sooner.

A generation gap perhaps also causes a blip in the choices made by the parents in the blind dates. As veterans in marriage, the parents often first consider a family background, education and financial status, etc. but their children usually look for a heart-throbbing feeling.

Certainly, for some young people who are busy beavers, have a marriage phobia or trust their elderly’s judgements, they agree with their parents on being the deputies to go blind dates.

Today, blind dating on behalf of children is not just a relapse of Chinese traditional bondage marriage. Even though they still intervene the children’ love life and make dating more business-like, modern parents have stopped being feudalistic but try to respect the children, as happened to the father who attended blind dates for 3 years, trying to find a person who his daughter likes, not just himself.

To prevent the ridiculous event from happening, young people need to understand parents, create good communication with them, bridge the gap and help the parents accept their thoughts, expand social networking and actively look for their life partners. And as parents, they need to stop intervening but encourage their children to have positive outlooks on relationship and marriage, free them and let them pursue their own happy life.

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