Our society is inundated with messages telling us we need to be a couple. All media tell us where to find the right partner. Messages bombard us daily telling us to find our perfect partner.
But an increasing number of people choose not to. Chinese magazine New Weekly reports that 30 percent of young people of marriageable age in Beijing and Shanghai stay single. Also, it appears that those who are married are no happier.
About 2.5 million couples divorced in 2009, a rise of 8.8 percent over the previous year. While many people choose to live alone, others have no partners with whom to tie the knot. Some 80 percent of China's 100 million young farmer-turned workers remain unmarried.
The reasons for deferring marriage for one partner affect the other. Young men won't contemplate establishing a family until they secure a stable job in a society threatened with high unemployment. Young women, aside from work concerns, want to stay independent, savoring the rising social status that their mothers never experienced. And many men and women of marital age now see homes and children as a burden, rather than the source of happiness, as the high costs of education and housing in this country raise doubts about creating a family.
It is a pity that the present young generation finds little time and energy to engage in romance amid the hectic competition in the job market, or chooses to seek gratification in solitary exercises, such as computer games and Internet surfing rather than going out to meet the future spouse.
Happiness isn't a destination - it's an attitude.