It could possibly be the most “awkward” blind date ever.
Wang has been stuck in the apartment of a man she just met for at least four days
She was stranded when a COVID lockdown was introduced in Zhengzhou while on a blind date
Arranged blind dates are common in China, where parents feel obligated to help their unmarried children find a partner
On Sunday, when an immediate shutdown was announced in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a woman known as Ms. Wang was run over in the apartment of a man she had just met.
When she was “getting quite old”, Mrs Wang’s parents had arranged 10 blind dates for her, she said in a vlog on the Chinese social media platform WeChat.
She had flown from Guangzhou to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, ahead of the lunar new year for the intensive week of blind dating.
This particular date, number five, “wanted to show off his cooking skills, and we decided to have dinner with him,” Wang said.
“It was fine when I arrived. So after dinner, when I was just about to leave, the Zhengzhou COVID situation suddenly worsened.
Wang was stuck in the man’s house for several days and it was “not ideal,” local media reported her.
“Living in the apartment with someone you barely knew made me feel so awkward and embarrassed,” she said.
“He talks very little, like a wooden man, but I also think it’s good. I’m quite able to live well.”
Wang, whose exact age is unknown but who was reportedly born in the 1990s, added that her date worked every day and took care of her by cooking and cleaning.
And she said that even though his cooking skills were just so-so, she gave him a thumbs up for his efforts.
It is unclear whether Ms. Wang will remain in her blind date’s apartment, but some parts of Henan province are still under lockdown.
According to state media, Zhengzhou has reported more than 100 COVID-19 cases in the past week.
China’s tough zero COVID policy
China continues to take a zero-tolerance approach to COVID with millions of residents confined to their homes under severe blockades imposed in recent weeks.
Residents of the city of Xi’an, which has been locked up since December 23, have been forced to trade for food and necessities.
The closure originally allowed people to leave their homes every other day to buy basic goods, but it has since been tightened with rules that vary in each district, depending on the severity of the outbreak.
This month, Yuzhou, a city of 1.1 million, was locked down after the discovery of only three asymptomatic COVID cases.
The closure of Anyang, home to 5.5 million people, on Monday raised the number limited to their homes in China to about 20 million people.
Anyang was closed after only two cases of the Omicron variant were reported.
A culture of arranged blind dates
Parents arranging blind dates for their unmarried children are not uncommon in China.
Some will even prepare a type of dating resume with their child’s credentials that they may have on hand to pass on to other parents.
Dr. Pan Wang, an associate professor of Chinese and Asian studies at UNSW, said these days in China that an increasing number of young adults of “marital age” are still unmarried.
“Many of the single adults are the 1980s and 1990s generation born under the one-child policy of 1979,” she said.
“The one-child policy led to a skewed gender relationship in the marriage market.”
There are currently about 17.52 million more men between the ages of 20 and 40 than women, which is 108.9 men for every 100 women, according to recent data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics.
Dr. Wang said many of these men and women are “pushed out” of the local marriage market because of where they live or because they have chosen to focus on their education and careers.
These unmarried adults, known as “shengnan” (bereaved men) and “shengnv” (bereaved women) have become a concern for both their families and communities.
“Parents usually do good research for the dates / partners they want their children to attend, ie their family background, level of education, employment.”
Some young adults are happy to meet their potential dates arranged by their parents, while others devise their own strategies to avoid being forced into marriage.
“They post on social media and are looking to rent a date that they can take to their family reunion during the New Year’s holiday,” said Dr. Wang.
“This has now become a trendy practice among young adults, either with the aim of avoiding being arranged a blind date by parents during [lunar] New Year’s Festival or for other purposes. “
Wang will continue to fight for love
Wang’s vlog updates from lockdown have gone viral in China, with social media users reacting to the bizarre story of “Love Created by God”.
“COVID will be a ‘matchmaker,’” said one Weibo user.
“Married because of God’s action,” commented another.
Wang thanked her followers on social media for their concern that she is finding a successful partner, and said she remains optimistic.
“I want to do my best and fight for things,” she said.
“Lastly, I hope the epidemic is over soon, and then all the single sisters will get married soon.”
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