Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

The Marriage Market

on February 10, 2014

Hello again, friends!

Valentine’s Day is just four days away. This particular holiday can easily set a single woman into a marriage mode of thinking. I was introduced to something this past week that I found interesting and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

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While on my way to an art exhibit, I stumbled across the local “Marriage Market.”  I had never seen one and didn’t know what it was, so  I asked my friend, with whom I was spending time. She explained that the Marriage Market is where parents bring pictures of and information on their unmarried child to be matched with whoever picks them. A modern, yet not-so-modern, form of the arranged marriage.

In Western countries, arrange marriages are primarily a thing of the past, yet in the East it appears to continue. Every weekend, parents gather on a certain street to present the attributes of their available children. According to an article written by Gillian Bolsover, one advertisement read: Female, born 1981, 1.62 meters tall, bachelor’s degree, project director at a foreign company, monthly salary above RMB 10,000, looking for someone born between 1974 and 1982, bachelor’s degree or above with a sense of responsibility for the family.”

The children often don’t approve of their parents looking for spouses for them in this manner but marriage and the continuation of family is so important to parents that they participate in what seems an attempt at arranged marriages. I would like to suggest this may not differ much from online dating.

It’s almost like “online dating coming to life.”

According to some of the parents interviewed by Bolsover, the success rate is quite low but the practice remains active and busy. They believe that if they find one person interested and the relationship works out, it will all be worth it.

There seems to be many reasons for this particular practice. Children often study abroad, then, upon their return, they are either too old to marry according to the culture or they now have different interests. Cultures collide and a third culture is created.


So, what are your thoughts on this? Have your parents ever taken an active role in finding you a mate? How would you feel if they did? What’s your opinion on online dating?

Would love to hear from you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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4 responses to “The Marriage Market

  1. Carole Brown says:

    No, but my mother particpated in her own role of trying to keep my from marrying my husband because of her own reasons. As much as I loved her, I’m so thankful I didn’t listen to her. Now after many, many years, we’re still married and in love. Easy. Ha. If only. I’m afraid I’m too independent to ever allow my parents to choose–suggest a thought, maybe.

    Great post!

  2. aleaseb says:

    I love online dating! I live in an environment where there are not that many appropriate dating prospects, so online dating is how I have been able to expand my dating pool. I force myself to do it, even when I don’t feel like. And the result is that I meet men! I go out. I get to keep hope and anticipation and the excitement of new lipstick and perfume in my life. 🙂

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