It’s tough being a single guy in China. Not only do you have to compete in an imbalanced society where males outnumber females 118 to 100, but you are expected to own property, be handsome and have a good temper to boot.
But that’s not the toughest part. That would be going on xiangqin (相亲 “xiāngqīn”), something that is similar to the Western notion of “dating”, except you’re under pressure by your family to quickly find the partner of your dreams to start a family. Given the tremendous responsibility involved, some Chinese eschew their xiangqin duties even though they represent a massive break from traditional times when most marriages were arranged.
So what’s a single guy in China to do these days? Thousands are enrolling in a school to learn how to properly date a girl. Business is booming for schools like the one profiled in the report. Here, single men are taught the proper etiquette and skills that will help transform them from bumbling bachelors into happily married men.
With courses like “Love Diagnosis”, “How to Find a Boy/Girlfriend”, “How to Find a Wife/Husband”, “Love Retrieval”, and “How to Build Your Appearance”, tuition costs anywhere from several hundred yuan to RMB 20,000. One of the courses that runs for seven days costs RMB 7,000.
Instructors at the unnamed school have lots of advice when dealing with Chinese women. A teacher named Fan Chen explained to students that getting a girlfriend is not about chasing after them, but providing a personal framework and manner to which they will be attracted on their own accord. Another teacher known as “Wander” said, “Unrelenting efforts towards a girl for which you give her medicine when she is sick and food when she is hungry will only ever award you by getting into her ‘friendzone’.”
How to use social media
One of the lessons deals with the importance of how your portrait is seen on social media, two things that serve as the first impression for a woman.
See Also: China Cracking Down on Dating Websites
For this reason, teachers at the school emphasize that your social media circle should be made to look very busy, and that particular attention should be paid to your portrait. To help give the impression of having high value, Students at the school should use a photograph of themselves with a classy background featuring a 5-star hotel or a yacht.students at the school should use a photograph of themselves with a classy background featuring a 5-star hotel or a yacht.
As explained by an instructor, “A women’s intuition is much stronger than a man’s when it comes to social interaction. Her judgement of you will come from these few details.”
The “hot water” trick
The school doesn’t divulge many details of its curriculum, but the report does explain one way of impressing a Chinese girl from an anecdote given by a teacher.
Called the “hot water” trick, the idea is to walk into an upscale nightclub or bar and immediately ask for two cups of hot water the moment you walk in. Later, after finding a girl to speak with, the waiter will come with your hot water. This will impress the new girl you just met because she will have seen you walk in and receive hot water without asking This will impress the new girl you just met because she will have seen you walk in and receive hot water without asking, making it appear like you a regular customer at the club. Upon leaving, you should take the waiter aside for a few private words, again making it look like you are on good terms with the wait staff at the establishment.
It may be that the entire course at the dating school is full of little techniques like this one, making dating a breeze. However, as Wander explains, his students have their own personal reasons for coming to the dating school, and it’s not necessarily for dating:
90 percent of the men who come here don’t do it in order to meet more women. Instead, they are here to give themselves another skill. They want to learn a secret technique, but not to use it in order to hurt someone else, but to protect themselves.
Wander knows the type of student that comes to his school:
They don’t like themselves. The vast majority of them are inarticulate, and don’t know what they want. Whatever you tell them will be answered with a “sure sure sure” and many nods. They feel very inferior.
And Wander knows he has his work cut out for him:
Some of our students dress poorly. They don’t have any original thoughts, no prior experience with girls. Upon reaching the age of 30, they are still muddleheaded, and still haven’t yet gotten serious over their own career. This is the average man of China.
That’s a stinging indictment, but it’s clear that these men need to make a change. As the teachers at the school directly tell the students:
Chinese girls like men with money and looks, but here you are holding a stack of cash and photographing yourself holding onto a steering wheel. Will they like you? Of course not!
As the report says, a Chinese man born during the 90s has a 1 in 6 chance of remaining single his entire life, a rate that falls to 1 in 7 for Chinese men born during the 00s.