Friday, 25 February 2011

Hong Kong's Lonely Hearts

The fact is that there are many more women than men in Hong Kong. In 2009 there were 907 men for every 1,000 women in the city. However, the numbers include hundreds of thousands of domestic workers, most of whom are women.

Nevertheless, the tales of finding a mate are discouraging on both sides.

A 40-year-old Hong Konger I met recently told me he didn't have much luck with women, partly because of his shyness. Though he was educated in Canada and the United States, has a stable job and comes from a good family, he doesn't have the guts to be aggressive and get the girl he likes. In the end he wasted many years on two relationships that went no where, a fact his father constantly reminds him of.

And even though he's Christian, he says it's still hard to meet women at church, which I found hard to believe. "They're so materialistic," he said explaining that there was a girl he liked for three years and never asked her out. His brother-in-law knew the girl's mother and introduced him to the mother. She said, "I know you like my daughter very much and if you intend to marry her, then you need to buy a flat in North Point for her."

He was taken aback by this as his family lives in a less expensive area and the talk scared him away from even thinking about asking the girl out on a date.

Another 26-year-old woman I met last night confirmed this materialistic attitude. These Hong Kong girls nicknamed 港女 (gang nu or gong nui) will go on a first date with a guy and immediately interrogate them, asking what kind of job they have, if they have already bought a flat and if they have a car. And if the potential suitors don't have the right answers, there isn't a second date.

These materialistic women have turned many local men off, so much so that they'd rather marry a mainland Chinese girl instead and we all know there is a shortage of the female sex in China already.

But where does this leave the Hong Kong women? A girlfriend of mine in her early 30s thinks these materialistic girls do exist, but there are only a small number of them, thus perpetuating the stereotype. However she did admit that if she was seeing someone, she too would wonder what the guy's profession was and how financially sound he was as she herself didn't want to marry down, but at least to her equal standing.

So where is she going to find that kind of guy? She admits not knowing where to look, and the right guy is not to be found in nightclubs or bars.

The young woman I met last night said there are some women who take professional education courses specifically in the hopes of finding Mr Right -- and some are successful. "They know that the guy is hardworking and willing to improve himself so prospects are good," she stated.

But other than that no one seemed to have a good solution to the problem, except to just continue with one's routine and try not to think about it too much.

After all, my girlfriend says, it's better to make yourself happy as a single person than be miserable wondering why you don't have a boyfriend.

It's definitely Hong Kong's version of Sex in the City. Wonder what Carrie would say about that.

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