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'Love apartment' dating idea

MORE than 400 people have signed up for a new match-making activity that offers young singles the chance to move into an apartment with others who are looking for love, a local match-making Website said yesterday.

Single women and men can rent a room in a "love apartment" for at least a week, where they will mingle with other singles, under the supervision of a life coach, according to the Website (

The apartments and villas are in Xujiahui area and Zhangjiang High-tech Park.

It is thought that giving young singles a longer period to get to know each other will produce more good matches than sending them on dates.

The registration is open to all and anyone wishing to rent a room will be given a background and identity check. About 400 people, mainly white-collar workers aged 25 to 35, have already signed up since the service was launched about a month ago, the Website said. The first to try out the service will move into the "love apartments" in the middle of next month.

There will be at least eight people in each, four men and four women, said the Website's Marketing Manager Liu Yan. Each apartment and villa will have a life coach on hand to help the singles break the ice.


Rooms in the apartments cost from 300 yuan (US$44) to 800 yuan per week, or 500 yuan to 1500 yuan when rented by the month.

"The usual way singles get to know each other have obvious shortcomings like lack of time and communication," Liu told Shanghai Daily. "So we came up with an idea of co-renting, hoping this would increase the communication between background-matched singles.

"We know people may be a little sensitive about co-renting with members of the opposite sex, but we are confident about the results," she said.

Some young people, however, had very different opinions. Shanghai Daily asked 20 people aged from 20 to 25 if they would be willing to give co-renting a try. Only four said they would. Those who said no said they didn't trust the hosting Website or the people taking part. They also said co-renting with strangers would give them no privacy.

Sociologists said the activity was not worth taking seriously as a way for singles to find partners. Yu Hai, a sociology professor at the School of Social Strategy and Public Policy at Fudan University, said the idea was "ridiculous," and won't be as effective as the organizers expect.

"They just throw two strangers together without any basis to their relationship," Yu said. "I think it is a commercial promotion more than a true way to match young people up."


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