Difference between modern and traditional dating
It’s not always about finding love so much as it is about finding a potential marriage partner who fits with one’s own ideals.
For example, although many men get married without a house and a car, Chinese women will often say that they’re looking for these things because that’s the sort of person who probably has a stable career and will be able to provide for her and their future children in the long-term. As one contestant on China’s most popular dating show put it, "I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on a bicycle." Every parent is different, of course, but in general Chinese parents expect to be more involved in their children’s relationships.
Traditional: Inherently democratic, decentralized power kin-based.
Foreign policy is trade, raiding, negotiation, or retaliation.
If their child’s significant other doesn’t meet with the parents’ approval, continuing the relationship will be very difficult.
Of course, these are all just generalizations, and they don’t apply to all Chinese people.
More than tradition, society, or culture, dating in China is governed by what the specific individuals in the relationship think and feel, and it’s not too hard to find Chinese couples that don’t fit all or even any of the general observations above.
This is a big part of why dating is often taken so seriously.
Chinese young people often feel like they don’t have the time to “play the field” that their Western counterparts are afforded by society.