Seemingly, contemporary Chinese college students may be adopting a perspective of dating and intimate relationships which focuses less on paths toward marriage and more on immediate pleasure and gratification (Yang ).
In China, marriage and family life continues to be a central element within Chinese culture, with adolescents and young adults typically assuming that they will eventually find a partner.
What is lacking, however, is a broader understanding of how contemporary Chinese youth view dating and intimate relationships.
Women, in particular, appear to be more focused on pragmatic qualities in prospective partners.
The influence of individualist values and the changing cultural norms pertaining to dating and familial roles are discussed.
While dating and sexual activity among Chinese college students have been previously noted by researchers (e.g., Xu ), comparatively less is known about the attitudes and expectations of youth concerning these behaviors.
In regard to premarital sex, for example, some studies have reported that 86 % of respondents approve of it (see Tang and Zuo ).From a generational perspective, dating and romantic relationships in China are regarded differently, as adolescents and young adults may have more progressive beliefs, as compared to their parents.Researchers have noted that Chinese parents tend to oppose adolescent dating (Chen et al.Dating and romantic relationships are a normal, yet essential, part of life during the adolescent and early adult years.Beyond the basic desires which most individuals experience during this time, researchers have noted the relative significance of dating, not only for individuals but also for societies.The Chinese character for “xiao” can visually be interpreted as a child with an old man on his back (Han ).