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Married singles: new choice for urban couples
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"We are married, but we live like singles." an expanding group of so-called "married singles" have shown a way out for busy young white-collar couples in modern China.

"We have different friends and different schedules." Mrs. Zhang, who works for a privately-owned company in Zhengzhou in central China's Henan Province described her marriage as "the same with life as a single woman except living together with a man you call husband."

Having been married for three years, the stylish wife still goes to parties and social get-togethers in sexy dresses, and makes male friends.

"Sometimes my husband would call me before finishing his work to see if I have time for a dinner together." Mrs. Zhang told reporter from China News Service.

Mr. Kong, department manager of a travel agency in Zhengzhou, even lives in different places with his wife. They only meet each other on weekends and holidays.

They seldom quarrel during the "prime time" that they spend together. In fact, many "married singles" consider their unique way of life good for enduring their marriages, which call for independence and self-realization in a close relationship.

Most of the novel couples were born in the 1980s, thus nicknamed the post-80 generation. Grown up mostly as the only child in their families, they are sometimes criticized as self-centered and against traditional values.

Their choice of being married singles, as some sociologists have pointed out, is also forced by the fierce competition in modern "life on the fast lane". Often the white-collars have to give up family time for their career ambitions.

(CRI March 13, 2008)

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