Ever since ancient times, there has been a popular saying in China that the three most delightful moments in one's life come with success in the imperial examination, marriage and the birth of a son.
From the Qin (221 BC – 206 BC) to Qing (1644 – 1911) Dynasties, the feudal system dominated over two thousands years.
In China, women are allowed to marry at 20, and men at 22. About 8.3 million couples were married in China in 2003, only a 3 percent increase from the year before.
The average age for marriage in 2001 was 24 for men and 23 for women.
There is an actual shortage of single women in China, because so many Chinese families opt to only have boys under China's "One Child-One Family" policy.
Over the last thirty years the birthrate for boys has far exceeded the birthrate of girls and so Chinese girls are really in demand by lonely Chinese guys.
In feudal society, a marriage would be decided not by a young couple's love, but by their parents' desires.
Only after a matchmaker's introduction and when parents considered the two family conditions were similar and could be matched, would the marriage procedures go forward.
The great thing about Chinese dating is that there is so much diversity among Chinese singles.
During this period, the importance of getting married was far more than that a person found his better half.
For the male side, it determined the prosperity and even the future fame of their family; while for the female side, it meant that parents lost the chance of seeing their daughter for a long time.
These days, families have reasserted their control but individuals getting married probably have more say in marriage matters than they ever had before.
According to a Chinese legend, couples destined to marry have invisible red strings, connecting them, tied around their ankles when they are young children.