Marriage in China is Home, Car, Money?


Home. Car. Money. I first heard these words strung together — fangzi, chezi, piaozi — around 1am in July 2007, while loitering on the stairs outside a Holiday karaoke bar in Hangzhou with my Chinese husband and his friends.

The friend who spoke these words, a guy named Jiang, sighed almost immediately afterwards, before forcing up a grin to hide the frustration he felt about it. “That’s married life in China,” he shrugged.

I had just married John — for the second time, if you consider our ceremony at the Shanghai Marriage Registration Bureau a sort of wedding — and suddenly Jiang’s words seemed to be the fluorescent lights in the reception hall after hours, making an otherwise beautiful thing look cheap and ugly.

By July 2007, it’s not as if John and I hadn’t wrestled with these issues before. We faced “Money” all the time — hadn’t we survived summer 2006, when some months I never knew when the checks from my new business would come in, and wondered what bills to pay and what to leave aside? Hadn’t we just managed to scrounge the cash together for plane tickets? When it came to “Car,” we were just grateful that our secondhand 1991 Toyota station wagon — teeter-tottering with every bump on its barely-there shocks — still ran after some 170,000-plus miles. And as for “Home,” we felt lucky to manage the rent on our place — owning just wasn’t in the cards for us yet.

Jiang’s face was etched with worry — perhaps from the loans he’ll spend most of his life paying off, or perhaps the child on the way that he seemed ambivalent about fathering. I knew Jiang once loved his wife. I saw them once together, hands locked and smiles on cue. Now, though, love seemed to take a second place to home-car-money.

I never believed our marriage could be distilled into these three material things — something that has become the new engagement ring in China. I knew many Chinese women expected the home, car and good salary before saying “I do.” But was I crazy to believe that love mattered more?

I smiled at John, as he put his arm around me and pulled me to his side. My body fluttered with warmth all over, as if we were sitting next to the West Lake all over again, and he was just on the verge of kissing me.

Crazy? Never.

What do you think? Is marriage in China really just about home, car, money?

56 Replies to “Marriage in China is Home, Car, Money?”

  1. Thank you for writing such a good passage. It depends on personality, i think there are some women in China who do not have strong requirement of home, car and money. But however you never know what will happen , only need to do is fight for yourself and keep it going.

  2. This sad situation is natural in China because of its fast development, huge differences in incomes and life quality – some people living in sewage and others turning into billionaires.
    Hard times…

  3. Sometimes I feel like everyone is throwing this home-car-money to my face. Why is that? Because me and my boyfriend have none. Chinese people seem to think that it’s their obligation to tell me that I made a wrong choise with my boyfriend. Even his aunt was surprised that I don’t need home-car-money to love him. I hope that people would be more like you Jocelyn, marrying for love. Understanding that it’s love when my boyfriend want’s to lift me up (like when husband carries his bride over the threshold for the first time) almost everyday just to make sure that he is strong enough to take care of me if I happen to get sick and can’t walk myself. Isn’t that something? 😉

  4. Home-car-money sometimes makes sense but not always . People should change the concept. At least in such a competitive environment, there are many men In china who can not afford the high price apartment.if they really buy a apartment, he need to work so hard for paying for the loan of apartment. If the women are too realistic about this, thing will happen to a reverse direction. At least, the women in today’s time, they should understand that man and woman both have the responsibility to share something. It seems that some women do not want to take the responsibility in China, especially come to buy a house. A fresh graduate who work for 3 years and gain 5000 Rmb a month, how can he buy a apartment which cost 12,000 a month? I think some Chinese women should think about whether this is fair to the man. In one society, man and woman take the responsibility and share the responsibility but why can’t a family do it? Could it be, that a family is not one part of the society?!

  5. My husband and I are happy together with the simplest things. I grew up with NOTHING. I’ve lived in the streets. I’ve been through a lot. I am glad I did because it made me appreciate the smallest things.

    My husband tries to give me the life he feels like I deserve. I told him lying right next to him at night is good enough for me.

  6. Unfortunately Money, Home, Car is whats needed for life regardless of whether your married or not. The car is the least important but definitely money and home. Although there is the saying money can’t buy happiness. but unfortunately without it, it can bring sadness.

    Of course love is important. but unfortunately other things are also required to hold it all together.

  7. Simple supply and demand. China has a huge bachelor surplus; women can be more choosy as a result. The correct response by the men is arbitration. Find brides in countries where they (men) are at an advantage in terms of gender balance. Eastern Europe has a surplus of women relative to men because of past wars and men expatriating to find work.

    NYT has an article on this:

    Over time though, I see conditions improving naturally. A rising RMB will lower the cost of imports, allowing factory workers to buy cars. The high currency will also allow them to buy real estate in other countries easier. Instituting a property tax system similar to the US will discourage rampant speculation in empty real estate. Finally, liberalizing capital flows will allow investment money to find its way into things other than housing.

  8. I think it’s great that you married for love and found ways to overcome your financial difficulties with John. If it works for both of you, then it works. While I do agree that marriage should not be totally materialistic but there are people who totally ignore the financial part of marriage and ended up having a difficult relationship or divorcing. I think everyone should just get into some sort of class to go over some basics of marriage so they would truly understand what they are heading into and how to manage it.

  9. Agreed with Richard. But as the expected “social and economic value” of baby girl increase due to the relative scarcity, if one child policy persist, one should see parents shift preference to baby girls. In long run, this male/female ratio will fluctuate, starting to mimic a business cycle…

  10. @Richard,
    Chinese men have already started looking for wives from countries like Vietnam & North Korea, so it definitely is happening. The question is how fast the pace’s going to be ? There are even Chinese men marrying Russian women, those living along the border areas.
    There are things money can’t buy. A woman can marry a rich man. But the question is “what if someday, due to some unexpected event, the man is broke”. So is the woman going to file for a divorce so that she can find another rich man ?

  11. Thank you for writing such an insightful post. While not all men or women look for these material things, a lot depends on the society and its acceptance of this as a norm. In India, for example, you have the dowry system that is forbidden by law but the social norms and pressures are so strong that a bride who comes without a dowry is judged harshly by the society. Believe it or not, I have had to hear ‘bride burning’ cases wherein the guy’s family burned a bride so that he could marry another and get dowry. This is happening because the social system encourages and stands by dowry. Though not all Indian families endorse this but money and inheritance is a major cause of contention and dispute in India among Indian families.

  12. I don’t care what people or the world says on home,car and money but I will always pick HEALTH,FAMILIES AND FRIENDS first. It doesn’t matter if I live in the U.S or China. Without health, family and friends what kind of life will be like if you have a home, car and money ? You can take it with you when you die. I understand if you have home,car,money, your life is much better. You sleep better, you eat better, blah blah blah. Eating good food doesn’t mean it’s healthy! I see millionaires that I know personally who are miserable now because they have health isssues. Most Chinese women make more money than Chinese men in China right now. Why men always have this heavy wieght on our back? I believe that a woman and a man should focus on how to build a relationship and a loving marriage and not based everything on home, car and money. Seriously, if a person has intention on those three items, I don’t think the love is that real. As a couple, you can work hard as a team and save money, don’t eat out that often, and buy your home. The maintenance costs for owning a home are high, also. Car value depreciates in value once you buy it and having money, does that make you a happy person? My wife and I didn’t have a home or nice a nice car or lot of money in the bank accts when we got married. To tell you people the truth, we work extremely hard in our fields to be where we are today. We understand and appreciate everything that we have today and we’ve earned them!! nothing is given to us. We have a home and rental properties but those things don’t mean much to us. If we lost those items , we can get them back as long as we have more flexible time,good health and families, friends then we are extremely happy. We’ve learned a great lesson on life is not to be on a “rat race” . You’ll chasing all those materialistic things and you’re losing time for your families. Do you know who will win when you have a home and a car? The answer is the government! You have to pay high property taxes and car tags ( high taxes on foreign cars) etc. When you die, gov’t will find ways to get your blood and sweat , hard earned wealth. Women in America are running their own businesses like nobody’s business man!!! Women dictate strong men on how to work and women drive 18 wheelers and forklifts like toys. I’m saying that women ( chinese women or any women) should look beyond home, car and money and concentrate on obtaining those items with your men . That’s soo attractive then a woman only hunt for a man who has those items already. I love how chinese women think in china :).
    Love you long time hahahaha. I love it!!


  13. if the north korea government allow its women to marry foreign men,i think most of the north korea women would be married with chinese men !but it is a pity !

  14. if the north korea government allows its women to marry foreign men,i think most of the north korea women would be married with chinese men !but it is a pity !

  15. I think it is a Darwinian thing for a girl to want a car, home and money. That said, it doesn’t mean that a couple cannot have a happy married life together so long as they have enough to eat, a place to stay and jobs. In china, maybe because of the very rapid rate of development and changes coming thick and fast, it is quite natural and understandable that everyone wants a share of the wealth created and wants it fast. This is further compounded by the fact, as Richard pointed out, that China has this male-female ratio imbalance in favour of the female because of China’s one child policy. But things will eventually balance out, and the day might soon come when Chineses girls will not put too much emphasis on car, home and money as reality catches up.

  16. My metaphor is that every tea pot will have its own lid to fit it. I don’t think majority of Chinese women are only looking for those three things. Well, we don’t have to live in the inner city where the real estate price is so high. We can live outside the city. I can guarantee you that money doesn’t buy happiness. Money can only make life better. Women are getting more educated and women really don’t want men to take care of them. Don’t worry,1.3 billions Chinese men will figure out where to search for their mates.

  17. @sam,
    Filing for a divorce and getting another man would be surprising to see. Like it or not, women’s marital premium is dependent on her physical beauty, which declines with age. Women are more likely to be choosy when they’re young and more desperate as time goes on, as the shen nu phenomenon attests.

    More like to happen is for the woman to manage the household’s money “conservatively” by speculating in real estate so that they won’t end up destitute. We’re seeing that happen now. Pin down a wealthy guy (or at least someone with good potential), have him hand over his paycheck every week, and invest that money in houses or precious metals. That’s the handbook for materialistic ladies.

    I recognize that cross-cultural marriages are occurring at the border zones, and even some as mail order brides. The problem is that it’s not substantial enough to dent the 23 million estimated surplus bachelors growing up today. Chinese men must work harder to find substitutes. Why continue to compete in a market that’s stacked against you?

    Thinking about this a bit further, it makes me wonder why wealthier countries have evolved beyond being materialistic. Note that this attitude is just not limited to China, but also affects other newly advancing countries with middle income and high exposure to foreign (wealthy) influences. It could be because in China, it’s far easier to find someone who’s got a good personality (or at least someone who can be “trained”) than it is to find someone wealthy. In comparison, in developed countries, probably any guy you run into will be able to earn a middle class wage, so then you instinctively screen by secondary concerns like attractiveness, personality, and chemistry.

  18. If I were those 23 Millions bachelors, I rather be single since the first line comes out of a woman mouth is “do you have a home, a car and money ?” Next option for those bachelors is to seduce those lonely,wealthy, divorced or married cougars then because most Chinese men can’t leave the country to get a bride. Man, pushing a man to the edge is wrong. option 1 is to be gay. option 2 is be a gigolo ( talks only and foot massages ,no sexual activities 🙂 lol ), option 3 is to let wealthy divorced /married Chinese woman to find you. I heard option 3 is happening right now in China. Guys ,can you help me find out if option 3 is true?

  19. It’s a pretty well known fact that the vast majority of Chinese girls are known for being ‘practical’ – in other words, they want a guy who has money, a car, and an apartment. It’s quite common, just as it is anywhere in the world, for a girl aiming to marry the richest guy she will find – not for love, but for security and status for herself, her parents/family, and their future child.

    While it would be easy to point the finger and accuse these young women for being so materialistic, it is understandable as the poverty in China is so overwhelming, people are desperate to get out of a poor background because again, like the rest of the world, in China, money = power & respect. It can even buy you ‘love’.

    My Chinese boyfriend works a 45 hour week and only gets paid around $700. To a westerner it sounds alarmingly little, but here in China it can get one by. It makes me kind of sad to see how much emphasis is placed on money here, even when it comes to something I thought was above all that – love. My partner often feels pressured because he is a migrant worker, not rich by any means, and can’t speak English very well. But struggling through life at each other’s side is what bonds us closer together. That’s one thing Chinese guys often notice if they find a foreign girlfriend – we don’t tend to demand all that much financially, because we are encouraged to be self sufficient, ambitious, and talking non-stop about money is bad manners, I believe.

    Rich guys here are few and far between and yes it’s great to be able to buy nice things – but trust me, you can’t take it with you. And I swear I’d take my strong, handsome, kind and funny boyfriend over some balding, abusive, rich wimp in a Mercedes ANY DAY!

  20. OMG valentina! You are the type of women that Chinese men hunger for!
    Eating vegetable is good enough for me. I don’t want expensive, luxury food.Good company and healthy food.hmmm what a combination. Valentina,women
    Like you are almost extinct like dinosaur. We need more women like you out there.

  21. @Richard,
    it may surprising to you LOL but it did happen in real life. A friend of mine who was very rich at one time got married to this woman who later filed for a divorce after he went broke due to some bad investments in his business. What’s really surprising was that he used to surrender a lot of his earnings/paycheck to his wife, who he would later discover was actually siphoning his wealth elsewhere. I m not saying that all women are alike, nor are most women alike. My point is, if a man thinks he knows a lot about his spouse, he could be in for a SURPRISE, a REAL SURPRISE.

  22. Oh, it makes me just want to cry when I hear people in China talk about home, car, and money. I feel that people here are becoming more and more superficial and it is so sad. And the mentality of all my students (I teach in China) is for girls: they want nothing to do with a man that can’t give them home, car, and money. And for boys: the only thing going through their heads at any given time of day or hour is home, car, money and how to get it, no matter what the cost or who they have to cheat. Never mind love, never mind right or wrong, never mind what kind of person you turn out to be, as long as you have home, car and money you’ve got it made.
    It just seems to me just a kind of propaganda that the new, rich China has diffused into the air; worse, I think than the actual propaganda because people are actually deeply affected by this kind of thinking (I wish they would get as deeply affected by the signs everywhere telling people to act more “wenming” (civilized)).
    Anyway, Jocelyn, I share your sentiments, it’s like “the fluorescent lights in the reception hall after hours, making an otherwise beautiful thing look cheap and ugly.”

  23. I have one point to make here is that when you have the ability to buy a S600 Mercede this yr. The next yr, you don’t feel like you want this car anymore and this car feels like a Honda. When you buy a 2000 sq ft home , it’s just a home but you want a bigger home. Once you have that home, you want to compare with friends that have bigger homes and you want a home like your friends. You push your husband to buy this 6500 sq ft McMansion and now you’re over your head for sure! Big sq ft equals more electricity and more gas to heat up the home and not including the huge price tag on property taxes and maintenance costs. Majority of Chinese women love to compare things with other Chinese women like purses( LV,Gucci ,..), cars , family lifestyle, jobs ( your husband’s salary), homes,kid’s education, etc. In my opinion, you can give me all those materialistic things and I’m not fulfilled or satisfied at all. Once you have all those things, they’re like any other things. It’s in your head man. My close friend is currently living in a $1.6M USD 7000 sq ft home . He was influenced by his Chinese gf to buy this home. Make the story short. His gf left him and now the home is under foreclosure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I educated him on life and you shouldn’t buy a HUGE home like this when you only have 2 people living in the home. At this moment April 27,2011, he is 110% educated now and he has saved up lots of money for his retirement and future . Now he just wants a 1700 to 2000 sq home. He used to drive a Porche and BMW but now he sold all expensive cars and drive a Honda. I told him that “you are not a f..king millionaire .what the f..k you get into man. It’s not a 3 yrs payments of $8k USD monthly, it’s for 30 YRS. You work days and nights for this home. What about vacations, enjoyments like fishing, hunting and spending time with your families.” It’s good if you can pay off everything with cash but you have to finance everything and that’s a problem when you get laid off or get sick. When I first met my wife 11 yrs ago, she told me that ” it’s okay ,baby that we don’t have home , car and not much money, we can obtain those together ” Man when I heard that it was like winning a LOTTERY!!!!! It was like celebrating with fireworks , sparks fly everywhere *boom,boom,boom* sounded sooo attractive in my ears!!! I was soo turned on by that. THank you , Baby!!

  24. Warning uber cynical post…. but I’m an uber cynic!

    As Julia Roberts said in the film Pretty woman…
    Vivian: What else? You going to leave some money by the bed when you pass through town?
    Edward: Vivian, it really wouldn’t be like that.
    Vivian: How would it be?
    Edward: Well, for one thing, it would get you off the streets.
    Vivian: That’s just geography.

    I predict China will become much like Hong Kong and Western nations. In Hong Kong the men simply don’t want the uber materialistic women there and they stay bachelors for life or look farther afield. In western nations the divorce rate is phenominal and divorces DO occur when husbands lose their jobs. Tbh I know the feeling of being treated like a meal ticket. When my accountancy career was going well (before I became disillusioned and decided to be happy instead). I was eyed up on the streets of HK AND China like a prime cut of a juicy steak to a starved animal. People would talk to me in my face thinking I don’t understand Chinese. Like oh he’s an accountant he must have a lot of money he’d make a good catch….. urk….

    Appaulling offers were made to me by women whom my dad would set up dates for (I hate him for this). Where they would say something along the lines of:

    I don’t mind you playing out with other women (sex), but as long as you provide me and our child with a good home and provide me with a good standard of living I simply don’t care.

    Strangely since becoming more of a bum who is considerably happier in my life I am viewed with much distain. But I can live with that, I’d rather be looked down on and be happy than be the indentured servant of somebody who neither respects or loves you and treats you like a meal ticket……and I can die somewhat more content.

    Told you I was cynical.

  25. @ Bruce: Thanks 🙂

    But guys, here’s a fact for you directly taken from JT Tran’s Website:

    Due to China’s 1 child policy, in 10 years, there will be at least 24 MILLION single Chinese men with literally NO HOPE of getting a woman IN China, because of the male-favoured gender imbalance. This is also likely to affect the rest of Asia in a similar way.
    There will be more single Asian men than there has ever been in the history of the world. So of course, add to that the number of eligible single guys who can’t find a girl because they are NOT rich – and hello, you have a LOT of sexual frustration and gender imbalance. So of course they will have to start looking further afield for suitable wives/girlfriends.

    And already, to my great pleasure, this is already taking place 😀
    So forget your fancy cars and ‘pure Han blood’ : you Chinese men and women will HAVE to become more open minded when it comes to dating, because we will be faced with a real global population crisis. Is this the reality you guys wanted?! 🙂

  26. You will have 24 million monks! Hehehe hahaha lol:) . Seriously, why worry something when we don’t know the future. Who cares! Big deal. Why should we have to think for those people. They are adults.

  27. Chinese people have a saying” every 10 yrs, the Feng shui turns again” that means
    You can be broke or rich every 10 yrs. I believe it. I know a doctor just lost $10 M USD. Bad investment in real estate. I know a few other people that had nothing but now each person worths $ 20M to $90M USD. I HONESTLY BELIEVE that with every successful man there is an amazing ,supportive woman behind him. You just release his full potentials in his career. Don’t take my words for it. You can prove me wrong. I really don’t like or appreciate women who emphasize on home, car, money so much. We are in the middle of 2011 and I still hear this nonsense.Do not think that you will have no headaches when you have everything. Humans are born w/ problems like money, families etc. I rather live in a quiet countryside and sipping my green tea with my wife than living in the inner city w/ that kind of city lifestyle and people comparing, envious of home,car,and money. It’s extremely deadly to compare with others because you can never win. You think you have $10M but others have $100M or $1B. I guess you guys get the idea but some will argue w/you on this subject. This is endless.

    Knowledge is power,


  28. After reading this, I’m glad that there are still people like Jocelyn who marry for the right reasons. Now this “home, car, money” thing isn’t just a Chinese view. Many cultures have this same view to one extent to another.

    What bothers me (and I’m an ABC btw, as Jocelyn knows) is what others like Valentina and Jackie is observing or has observed first hand in China: that this is a predominant thought process in Chinese people’s minds and don’t seem to mind blurting it out as if it’s the norm. To have a social, economic and cultural situation that apparently manifests the views of the majority of the Chinese population to this level and way of thinking is sad. And for those Chinese guys and gals who keep harping on this premise is tiring, embarrasing, and sickening to see how it’s defining themselves. At least other cultures know how to be a little more discrete in these kinds of views.

    Everybody knows that having a home, car(s) and money is nice and to be quite honest, a big part of what can hold a family together. If you don’t, then what’s wrong with the idea of (both) working for it? But the most important thing in a relationship, above all else, should be LOVE.

  29. I don’t think it is just for China that this happens. I think- and it stuns me a wee bit to actually say this- but when it comes to some things I find Chinese people so frank and straightforward about these things and the way they see marriage is one of those topics that still stun me a little. But I beleive it is very similar in many different countries. People expect that once you get married, you get a home together, then cars, and then save for your retirement.

    From what I have seen and heard, that is still the tradition, but a slowly changing tradition. It is good to see couples on the street who have married because their hearts were in the relationship and not just empty pockets wanting to be filled with security, avoiding loneliness or because it furthered one’s status.

    As I said, and as many have said before me… China airs this knowledge as common knowledge. It is good to see that people are choosing of late to get married because their hearts are speaking.

    Lovely post!!!!

  30. Yes, that’s true about LOVE!!! My wife and I work our ass off and we are loving it. She rather goes to work with me than staying home to be a housewife and eating bons bons *OMG so yummy* I have a question for you guys . Do you want a wife who will work together with ya or a wife just stays home ,spends money foolishly and controls you , talks back at you ? I know one Shanghai lady who doesn’t work ( does not want to work at all) and treats her husband like a servant, controls all finances, screams and nags constantly. Even Buddha has anger issue if you have this kind of woman. If I were a single , rich Chinese man, I will never ever marry a woman who is not a team player. She has to pass my 3 yrs stress test. I want to know if she is conservative with money ( most Millionaire are conservatives) and if she and her family have any agenda regarding wealth . I want to know how she behaves in front of strangers and my friends on money and wealth ( Most wealthy people act like your avg Joe) . Another test is to see if she can withstand hardship ( even Millionaires have no cash values. They could have lots of assets). Lastly, I want a woman with good personality.

  31. It is a fair point that this kind of viewpoint is not uniquely Chinese. After all, Chinese these days are just chasing the same kind of “American dream” that Americans have been chasing for years (although we didn’t necessarily have to have such things before marriage)…I guess China getting into the rat race maybe is so sad because it’s an indicator that the whole world is becoming more superficial, caring more about money and material things than traditional values, family, etc.
    It is also a relief that some Chinese do not buy into this thinking, like my husband. He did buy a house before we were married, because he worked in the States for 6 years and saved every penny he earned, but we both agree that buying a car would be the most ridiculous waste of money there could be in China. I mean, the traffic at the intersection by my house? I can walk past it 5 times quicker than if I had a car.
    So, as a teacher, I at least try to address these issues with my students. Whether it does any good or not I don’t know, I mean I know by now that I can’t change China, but, hopefully I do some good for somebody.

  32. Before Jocelyn wrote this article, I have eaten dinner with people that have tons of money , shopping centers and assets. They don’t show that they have wealth at all. They’re down to earth. They don’t look at money that big of a deal . Their wives act the same way like their husbands. At least I admire their wives for keeping the wealth and not acting like they’re all that. I know a couple that divorced last yr because their 5 to 7 properties go under foreclosure. The wife wanted a millionaire lifestyle with huge dimond rings, etc so finally debts caught up with their spendings. Another guy I know , married a beautiful Chinese woman. He filed for divorce last yr because she spent money like water. LV name brand from head to toe. She doesn’t cook , clean or wash her clothes ( clothes were everywhere). Maybe pretty girls don’t have brains and just stay pretty? who knows! Of course , men want beautiful wives and very smart wives but that combination is hard to find or impossible . If I were that guy I kick her to the curb a long time already. Doesn’t matter how beautiful she is !! All I’m saying is please understand how hard it is to make a DOLLAR! Help your husbands to keep the wealth and make more money for your families. If you make $10 dollars , at least save $4 dollars. If you’re spending $10 or $11 , you will have a very rough life ahead. When the opportunity calls you, you must have money to start a business or buy your dream home. Real estate is all about location, location, location. You can have a junk condo and still worths a lot. Seriously, I don’t think I can live in the inner city. Less trees , people walking like ants ( freaks me out), lots of concrete ( less grass), hot ( less trees and grass). For example, you have a caring ,loving Chinese bf who will build a family with you or maybe a business dynasty with you and another rich Chinese guy who wants to court you but he is not caring and ugly, bald headed. Which one will you pick? This question is for the ladies…

  33. ‘Thinking about this a bit further, it makes me wonder why wealthier countries have evolved beyond being materialistic’ I guess maybe in those countries (especially in Western Europe) they have a good welfare system which even the poorest are guaranteed to have a house provided for them so they don’t need to worry much financially. But there are other reasons too. Western women have less of this mindset is also probably because of the feminism thus women are taught to be more independent and self reliant. However it’s pretty much a universal thing for women to marry up no matter which culture, only that in China this has been amplified by the current situation of the country.

  34. I think it is a false choice, to be either materialistic (home, car, money) or non-materialistic (principles, values, friends, being a team player, etc.). Having a good life requires both.

    However, in my opinion, wealth is only good if you use it to support the things that you actually value and support your life. If you are using it to “keep up with the Joneses” or make other envious, this is a great misuse of material wealth and will only lead to unhappiness rather than happiness.

  35. Jocelyn is totally right on this.

    I cannot help but agree.

    On one hand, I can understand your husband’s friend’s despair of the ‘materialistic thinking’ issue… and every normal couple struggles with money, once.

    I think you are giving the right advice that every couple would face similar issue and yes, Chinese women have such emphasis on some of those things, but as a couple, the burden is shared and there is no point feeling frustrated if something like home-car-money has not arrived yet… The Eiffel tower was not built in one day and having those things don’t happen overnight…

    Maybe if people focused more on living a good life, doing good deeds and then being careful and wise about money, just maybe, the issue of not yet having money will not be prevalent , as couples start hoping that money will come at some point but in the meantime, why not just be happy?

    Your husband and you give the right example.

  36. It is not just in mainland China. The first generation of Chinese immigrants here in the US also demand car, house and good salary as a marriage proposal. Also, a number of American born Chinese who are so calculated that they want a man who has bigger car, house and salary than them.

  37. Sorry, just found this.

    I think it’s that it’s ultimately because China’s economic boom has left women behind relative to men. They have fewer economic opportunities than men do, and their opportunities decrease with age because of pervasive sexism, ageism, and “lookism.”. Western women have legal recourse; Chinese women, for the most part, don’t. Moreover, they’ve been repeatedly told by the media that this is their way to get ahead economically, and this may be due to concerns about how the sex ratio imbalance may lead to instability.

    In short, marrying for money is really the most rational option they have for long-term economic security in a country where the government provides no safety net. Thinking about it in terms of romance or the total b.s. called “evolutionary psychology” really misses a lot of key issues — particularly from their POV.

    (Besides, how is this any different from the West 150+ years ago?)

  38. Please pay off our homes ASAP! You guys will thank me years later for doing so. If you want freedom and stress free , knock out that loan! Depending where you live, even you pay off your home, you still have to pay 1.25% of your house value! Unless you’re 62 , a veteran or disabled person for SOME states. Other states you have no discount even though youre 62 or older. Don’t listen to financial experts on tv or radio on keeping the mortgage! Pay it OFF if you can! I’m expecting commenst from you guys in a few yrs.

  39. UPDATE on house, car and money :

    A friend just came back from China said that when he was in China dating those Chinese women, they always wanted to be with men who had money. Those Chinese women that he dated finally married other well off Chinese men ;however, they were all divorced. Their ex’s didn’t make money later on due to bad business decision so those women left them. I could go into more details but I have to work now 🙁

  40. Years and years ago, I told my wife that “you’re going to marry a poor man. There are lots of well off men out there that you can marry anytime!”. Lots of women I knew who married well off men were not happy due to family problems and financial mistakes! There is someone for everybody . Don’t assume that she is always looking for car, house and money. I think you just have to find understanding and hardworking women when you live in China.

  41. I am a man want to marry after making a good friendship with any lady or girl. and not before marry or not have child. 01765444678 is my cell no or [email protected] is my mail id. I leave it who are interested about it. Thanks and mest regards. Ashik Dhaka Bangladesh.

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