In August 2013 I start going to the gym. When I have my first training, my trainer, a guy probably not much older than me, asks me:
“Are you married?”
He’s fast to go on: “In your culture that question would probably be inappropriate for me to ask, wouldn’t it?”
I: “Well, depending on the situation I guess it could imply more than just normal interest in a person. To answer your question, I am married.”
He: “Did you marry only recently?”
I: “I did, I got married only 2 months ago.”
He: “In China, we ask this question so we know if someone has a lot of pressure or not. Before marriage, you’ll have a lot of pressure. Now that you’re married, I assume that you don’t have a lot of pressure.”
I don’t quite understand this strain of thought, but we change the subject and I don’t ask what he means by that.
Later that evening, I ask my husband if it is true that pressure before marriage is supposed to be more than after marriage.
Y: “It is, for women. There’s a lot of pressure on women to find a good husband. Once they’ve found a good husband, the pressure is taken off them. For guys, it’s the other way around. At least in China.”
I: “But isn’t the pressure before marriage huge for guys too? Aren’t most Chinese guys supposed to buy a car and an apartment before they get married? And what about the pressure of getting kids? Wouldn’t that be more after having gotten married?”
Y: “Maybe. But buying a house is not the problem per se, paying back the mortgage is what will make your life hard.”
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.