updated 26 Mar 2010, 22:29
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Fri, Mar 26, 2010
China Daily
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Is true love unaffordable in Beijing?
by Meng Jing

Spring Festival may be the worst holiday for one of my friends, all because she has a "lousy" boyfriend. Every time she goes home, her parents nag her, trying to talk her out of the relationship.

I think her boyfriend is not "lousy" at all. He is sweet, reliable, good-looking and the most important thing is they are in love and they've been together for four years.

But clearly, my friend's relatives have a different evaluation standard. Compared with my friend, who is an elite university postgraduate, her boyfriend only graduates from a common university. Though he has a job in Beijing, his salary each month is not enough to afford to buy one-sixth of a sq m in the city. What is worse, his parents are both laid-off workers who definitely cannot offer any financial help when the couple ties the knot in the future.

Though I don't agree with my friend's parents, I totally understand their good intention. Surviving in an expensive city like Beijing demands more than love.

People need to fight for their chance to land a job in the city due to the fierce competition. Then, they have to work for longer hours to build up their career. Many find that, approaching their 30s, all of their savings cannot afford the down-payment on a small apartment, let along be enough to start their own family.

No parents want their children to suffer from hardship. Obviously, a shortcut is to marry into a relatively wealthy family and live happily ever after. But is it OK to compromise our true feelings for an easy life?

I read an article urging all women to stop looking for Mr Right and settling for Mr Good Enough. The writer believes that most women cannot define what they want and what they need. For her, a recent divorcee, marriage can be less like a relationship and more like a partnership.

I cannot say I'm a romantic person but I believe I'm optimistic. Just like the other single working ladies in this city, I am looking for that special passion, the chemistry. Maybe, we will end up working hard for a better life but at least we need to find someone we love to work hard with.

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