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March 7, 2012

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Poll of single women shows age 29 is key to 'left-over' feeling

SINGLE women at the age of 29 in Shanghai tend to believe themselves as "leftovers," according to a recent survey carried out by the country's biggest matchmaking website.

Near 2,000 single women in the city took part in the survey, 35 percent of whom felt they were "leftovers." Near 60 percent of the self-proclaimed "leftovers" are 29 years old. About 30 percent of them find the title insulting, but most don't make any effort to get married, said, the survey's organizing website.

Single interviewees said that from the age of 26, they started to feel different about their single status, and the concern reached a peak when they were approaching their 30s.

Meanwhile, single women who have passed the marriage age - for example, women born during the 1960s - care less about their marital status, and they don't consider themselves "leftovers."

The survey showed that about 78 percent of the "leftovers" feel an urgency to find a husband or boyfriend, but only 18 percent are willing to take action. About 41 percent said they still "believe in love," but don't have much motivation to pursue a relationship. Almost 20 percent said they are not confident in finding an ideal and stable relationship at all.

"I have blind dated I don't know how many men," said 30-year-old Lily Zhang, a white-collar worker. "But with none of them did I expect to develop a relationship."

Zhang said almost every man she blind dated talked about marriage and property during their first meeting, making her feel uncomfortable.

"I don't know whether they still care about emotions or feelings," she said.

"Leftovers" said they don't like family reunions because their parents and relatives might push them hard into marriage. Nearly 60 percent said that when families get together, people ask them whether they have a girlfriend or boyfriend.

The website said that although society tends to focus on female "leftovers," who usually have high incomes and educational backgrounds, male "leftovers" need more concern, especially in the near future.

"The present gender proportion of newborns in the country shows up to the year 2020, one out of five men may not be able to find a wife," said Gong Haiyan, founder of the website.


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