I took this snapshot of a couple walking together in Qingdao.  It’s pretty common to see couples wearing matching t-shirts.  Clothing companies even make his and her shirts, and sometimes you even see a young married couple and their baby wearing matching shirts.  There are a lot of things that I can change about the way I think…but I’m sorry, this is just tacky.

What’s even more interesting to me is the way in which young Chinese couples behave.  In comparison, dating in America is pretty casual.  Perhaps it’s our independence, but people in America rarely end up staying with their first partner for the long haul, and it isn’t unheard of for people to marry for the first time in their forties (maybe even their fifties).  In China, all young people are under pressure by their parents to be married and have a kid on the way by about age 25.  On top of that, most of the kids I know didn’t start dating until college, or perhaps very late in high school, and kids from some of the more traditional families plan to marry their first partner.

This puts a whole lot of pressure on finding LOVE, and as a result relationships are often saturated in gushy, fuzzy, pink, heart covered romance.  The students aren’t allowed in rooms of the opposite sex, and so at night, in (semi)dark corner of my campus, you can find a love-soaked Chinese couple stuck each other like a couple of wet leaves.  And they’re everywhere.  There’s usually about two or three within a twenty foot radius of my front door from 8:00 at night to 11:00.  It is, to say the least, uncomfortable.  This of course only applies to the younger generations, and the older generations like to blame the influence of American movies.