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She was furious after reading a recent column telling Hong Kong women to stop dreaming of finding their perfect Prince Charming and “get real.” “How dare this guy write that ‘the only reason why an average woman over the age of 30 is still not married is because nobody wants to marry her’? I glared at the beautiful 31-year-old media executive who is a rising star in her company—and, obviously, single. A recent report revealed that last year there were over 1 million women aged 15 or above who had never been married, versus 962,700 men who hadn’t tied the knot—so technically, at least, 37,300 women are destined to remain single, and this doesn’t even factor in whether any of the 962,700 men are gay. “It’s Kong men who should get real and stop blaming us women.” Women have long been the victims in an ongoing battle of the sexes in Hong Kong over the past three decades.In general, a relationship between a Hong Kong local and a foreigner rests on the same principles of respect, care for another’s feelings and open discussion as any other kind of relationship.With cross-cultural dating, though, it may be important to clarify things from time to time – to make clear that you don’t find pouting very interesting, or that you have the right to know what the future holds. Of course, there is no shortage of sincere marriages between local women and foreign men (and the other way around, though this seems to be a very small minority of cross-cultural couples).He or she will not be expected to observe all the family niceties and can blunder along saying the wrong thing to a future mother-in-law without being held responsible.
In terms of Western men and local women – the most common combination – the classic problem is of men here for the short-term with no intention of committing, and women who may not realise or believe this.
Hong Kong, of course, has long had a large marriage pool of foreigners complicating the issue.
These range from the boisterous banker boys to long-term foreign residents, to less privileged foreign domestic helpers.
This leads to two types of people having the most problems finding a partner: highly accomplished and educated women (well-paid professionals with graduate degrees), and men who are short of both money and education.
For the large numbers of middle-class men striving to save money and get ahead in the face of fierce competition at work, the fact that they’ll be expected to shell out for everything, pay a dowry and possibly provide a flat and a car before getting married is a huge burden. A newcomer venturing onto the dating scene here won’t find anything particularly strange to behold.
That’s traditional in Chinese society – what’s new is that, as in other parts of East Asia which have become far more prosperous in the last few decades, the financial independence of women has led to deep changes below the surface.