This, then, may lead young adults within collectivistic cultures to emphasize the pragmatic functions of dating and eventual marriage, while having less concern with notions of “love” and “romance” (Hsu ).
The post-Mao Chinese government has steadily encouraged economic modernization and the development of economic practices based upon free market principles similar to those found in Westernized countries.
The initiation and maintenance of intimate, romantic relationships have been linked with improved physical and emotional well-being, stronger perceptions of community attachment, and better developmental outcomes for the individuals (e.g., Amato ).
During adolescence and the early adult years, dating enhances identity formation for individuals and provides socialization experiences which are necessary to forming and maintaining intimate and interpersonal relationships in life (Chen et al. Although researchers have directed their efforts toward a better understanding of the dynamics of dating and partner selection, focusing upon the influence of such elements as the family environment (e.g., parental divorce, parental marital quality, parent-child relationships), peer relationships, and community factors (Bryant and Conger ), the majority of studies focusing upon dating and romantic relationships have utilized samples of Western youth.
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.
It has a written language that has been in use for the longest continuous period of time in the world, and it has the oldest written history (Han ).Researchers have noted this shortcoming and have called for greater empirical examination of partner selection in contemporary urban China (Xu et al. The present study will seek to address these calls for empirical study by using a sample of Chinese college students to examine the nature of attitudes and expectations concerning dating among young adults in contemporary China.The analyses which follow will attempt to more accurately discern the nature of such attitudes and expectations, as well as differences which may exist between females and males.), perhaps due to their more traditional perspectives.While there is no clear definition of what is an appropriate age for individuals to begin dating, those who begin dating at early ages will typically have to cope with the opposition of parents (Wu ).Hence, individual choice within dating relationships and mate selection processes is more likely to occur within individualistic cultures.