剩女還是盛女?現代人的戀愛問題 – leftover sister in law and dating problems in Asia

I recently realized my husband and my sister in law are best example of dating problems in Asia. But let’s go back to the beginning.

Every now and then Sing will get a call or text from Momzilla with ‘family gossips’. The three of us are15094929_570548206468974_1752234281536090784_n like a CCTV or Big Brother of the Chan family. We know everything about everyone. And yes, I got involved in that as well – family that gossips together stays together. 

The newest family gossips was that my sister in law and her boyfriend split up. It kinda sucks because in my head I was planning her wedding – should we do it in Hong Kong or in Shanghai? Will she have two dresses? Will that be a Chinese banquet or maybe she will ask her Western older sister to help out with a Western style wedding?
I even knew what dress I will wear. Their break up screw up my plans, now I need to keep on dieting to stay in shape (round is also a shape). If they got married, that would be it. No more family occasions that I need to attend, can finally be a lazy person I always been.

Not this time.

I kinda understand why the boyfriend broke up with her – he had that last bit of sanity telling him ‘Get the f*ck out, you’re going to be stuck with Momzilla.main-qimg-21c64e582f4a35801bf93afbb05ff41b-c Use an example of that gwai mui. GO, GO, GO‘.
I’m actually happy that my experience helped other people. Sacrificing myself for greater good.

But to be honest, I’m here now, joking with you and hoping my little sister in law really thinks ‘It’s all better now’, yet I know that’s just the beginning of new problems.

Sister in law and me are both at the same age. We were born exactly month apart in 1991. Next year, I will be married with Sing for 5 years and she will be 26 and not married. I don’t know which one is more alarming to the rest of the family – 5 year being married and ‘no accident’ or an ‘expiring daughter’. I can only imagine outside grandma has a little red an loud alert going on when I have my period or when sister in law gets one month older.

I think dating in Asia is really hard, for both men and women.drawing-dating-advice-asian-father-w500
First of all non of them are encouraged to date when being teens. I’m in the middle – I want my child to date, but not like some of those 12 year old kids kissing at the gas station. Made me gag. But 16 or 17 going for a dessert after school? Sounds fine.

Not in most of the Asian households I know. Work hard, focus on school, get good grades, get to good university, graduate as top student. And at the you pick up your diploma you will hear ‘So when you’re getting married’? Sing was never really pressured into marriage as he’s so handsome, smart and perfect that, according to Momzilla and WahWah no girl would ever resist him hence no problem with him getting married and fertilizing an egg. 
When my sister in law started to date her ex boyfriend he was judged from day one. How old is he, what is he doing for living, can he afford to take care of both of them in case something happens. Who is his family, are both parents alive, living together or split. I’m surprised the family did not give him a questioner and a tax form to fill in. So even if everything goes well according to ‘Dating life cycle’ there’s still no guarantee that’s it.

Like it or not, family can split a couple. It doesn’t matter if it’s East or West, they have the power. In Asia, however, they have even more influence on the couple. There’y7j5wg6s no official reason why sister in law and her ex split up, but I think it’s all the pressure he had from the grandma and the rest of the family. You would think at least Sing would be on his side, as I believed there was a secret ‘Penis Society’ but even he was judging the boyfriend.

The one who should be on his side betrayed him. Sing himself struggled with getting a girlfriend, was seen as ATM, had problems with getting common topics and was socially awkward (despite what his parents think of his Highness) yet he said he wish his sister had a different partner. No bro code when it comes to family members, huh?

To make matters worse, even if everything worked out fine between two people and their families, there’s still a problem of space and privacy. Try to make Momzilla knock the doors before entering the room. We learnt it the hard way.
We read so many post on forums, written by people slightly younger than us and complaining they can’t even get slightly more intimate with their significant other as there’s no privacy at home, nowhere to go besides a hotel…

Society, family, environment – being born in Hong Kong or China already defaults your dating game to the difficult settings. drawing-society-to-single-women-w500
Now my beautiful, smart and kind sister in law will be treated as a woman of worse category in the eyes of some part of society.
First guys will complain about princesses, but then won’t turn their heads to girls older than 27. Same the other way, girls will complain about guys being asses, but will reject the kind ones ‘because they are too nice’. It’s silly, don’t make everything so complicated! Let’s all of us who are now struggling, give a chance to someone they thought they would never date. Who knows if that’s your soulmate?!

Also, finishing my post, I wish to say we should stop using term ‘leftover women’ in a negative way. It’s supposed to be shown as someone was unwanted, but who doesn’t like leftovers?! Tell me, if you wouldn’t be happy to see that you still have a slice of pizza from last night. It’s still good and you will love it!

What is your opinion on this topic? Who do you think have it worse – guys or girls? Do you think it’s the same in Western culture? Let us know, we would like to read your take on this!

15 thoughts on “剩女還是盛女?現代人的戀愛問題 – leftover sister in law and dating problems in Asia

  1. Thanks for the post! I once heard a Chinese friend of mine describe a Chinese woman’s dating life as a Christmas cake: everyone wants it on the 25th, but the further away you get from Christmas (26…27…etc) the less people want that cake. Pretty harsh, but still made me smile.


  2. I feel sad about the whole leftover situation. I know it from some of my friends who have experienced it as well.
    But guys don’t have it easier either, especially the guys in Asia. Asian women can still get an older white boyfriend or husband if society marks them as leftover. But for asian men, it seems to be always a little bit harder


  3. This topic is really something I never will understand in Chinese society. Well my wife appearently fullfiilled all of MIL’s wishes so there was never anything to complain but my wife’s sister (actually cousin) is another matter entirely. For years she is number one gossip topic in the family as she will turn 29 next year and guess what: is single!! How terrible!!! But then again it is kinda of her own fault. One boy she broke up with as he didn’t pay all her friends the coffee when going out so that was already a crime in her eyes, another guy appearently was a pimp, another was not tall enough, another didnt speal well enough English so he could not help her with University stuff and and and… The only thing keeping her sane from the insane gossip family is the fact that she lives now for 6 years already in Japan but those gosssp tentacles of the family can even that far


  4. This is just so messed up. I mean, people change the most between the ages of 25-30. If you marry before 30 you’d better hope you and your spouse change the same amount. Hopefully China catches up with western culture and later marriages soon.

    Those women aren’t leftover — they’re smart. If I’d married the guy I dated when I was 26, I’d be miserable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think things are bad for both men and women here. Both get pressured to marry. Men get more pressure to work hard and earn money, and women are pressured to have kids. Men complain that women only care about money and material things in a man. Women complain men only care about youth and beauty in a woman.

    BTW according to Chinese standards I’m super expired, my womb must be a mummy already.


  6. in my eyes, everyone is a leftover from someone else. it is practically almost impossible these days to have a successful relationship the first time around. which is not a bad thing, because we learn from failed relationships, and that’s how we become a better person, and know better what we need and what we should look for. as for food, i love leftovers. they just seem to taste so much better. there’s more depth to the taste because it had time to sit and absorbed all the flavours slowly. and just like in life, the more mature we become from life experiences, the more attractive we become. no?


  7. The way to deal with this crap, I think, is to shock them! I have always said I would not marry a guy who is a virgin, and I was quite clear I wasn’t! I mean, really! I also said I wouldn’t marry a guy who can’t cry; that would make him emotionally unavailable. Have always said, and I preach this to my children too, is that I am the only one responsible for my own happiness and will never rely on someone else to do it for me. The same of course applies to the other bloke! I cannot tolerate emotional blackmail as my mum was quite good at that! As I got older, I got bolder and would openly challenge her. Guess what, she backed down as she was unable to give a satisfactory reason! I was dating this medical specialist for years and I think everyone thought how lucky I was to bag me a doctor!! Well, there is more to life than being a doctor’s wife. I broke it off and I think the whole family was stunned into silence! It was really funny! No one, especially mother dear, dared to ask why. Looking back it was the best decision and am so glad I did it.
    With regards to knocking on the door before entering, just go ahead and shock the old girl! That would stun her! Or better still, ask her for suggestions! 😂 Rest assured, she will start knocking!

    Another thing old Asian ladies like to do is to say their life is so horrible and they are just here waiting to die. So, I said to my mum, listen, you are not the only one waiting, we all are! You are not special! ( They hate hearing that). Think about it, you are born, you live, then you die! And the boss upstairs has total control over when you die, so don’t worry about it, promise you, it will happen! She never brought up the issue again.


  8. This is such an important and interesting phenomenon happening in Asia that I don’t feel is being talked about enough. My cousins in Thailand are far past their expiration dates and I fear they will continue to live out their lives unmarried and never having had been on a date.

    It’s the old-fashioned values that haven’t caught up with modern living and times.

    I mean, it’s crazy how much families ‘protect’ their daughters (and sons)! I think there should be a balance, but I understand that societies and ‘norms’ play a massive part in this as well. I can’t imagine not having any hope of marrying simply because I’m considered ‘too old’.

    When I’m asked by my students or colleagues how many boyfriends I’ve had, I have to admit that I don’t share the number! I know I’d be viewed as a slut!!! But in the West, my dating history is well within the norm! maybe even on the lower side, you know?

    Something else that you mentioned reminded me of the lack of maturity, not only experience, when it comes to dating. My Khmer teenage and early 20s students can act very sexually immature in the classroom. Their boyishness, for example is rather telling of the lack of knowlege and confidence that many Westerners would find frightening. But again, there has got to be a balance, right?

    I think this also attributes to the cheating culture in Thailand and Cambodia. (When folks are married, it is considered normal to cheat or have another ‘girl’ on the side.) Gah!


  9. Hopefully our SIL will just forge along and lead her own life. It would help she has her own apartment/place to live.
    there probably is still the stigma of being single forever in North America vs. not having ever had love relationship at all. I do hope for anyone to experience love for a sustained period of time ..it’s part of being human. You don’t have to be married..and it works if both partners aren’t married, don’t have children.


  10. It does really sound like finding “love” as a Chinese woman is tough. I have a friend, who’s a gorgeous independent woman, and is a doctor. That kind of woman gets a whole lot of respect in Canada. Unfortunately she is under constant pressure to find a husband by her family, and not just any nice guy either. The nice, hard working hair dresser gets rejected by her mom, and she gets rejected by a lot of the local boys parents because she doesn’t own property in the area she lives in. It makes finding love seem like an impossible task when there are so many expectations piled on it.


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