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On a day for love, it is a matter of dates
By admin on 2014-12-02

Tan Huimin has been looking forward to her Valentine's rendezvous tonight with her single friends who also do not have a date.

The 26-year-old designer will join them for dinner at a hotpot restaurant and belt out karaoke numbers later.

"Valentine's Day is also for people who are not in committed relationships," said Tan, admitting she would feel lonely if she were forced to spend the day alone.

A pair of dogs made of flowers are shown in a flower shop in Shanghai February 13, 2006. 2006 is the year of dog in the Chinese lunar calendar. [Xinhua]

Media professional Fang Ling thinks along the same lines he will celebrate the day by going skiing with three friends.

"It is about spending the day with people you love yourself, your friends and family," the 25-year-old said. "I will buy a bouquet of flowers for my friend."

But not all are as sanguine or organized: some grow stressful as the day approaches.

"I feel uneasy about Valentine's Day. I try to ignore it," said Wang Jing, an IT engineer.

"Seeing other couples buying presents and going to movies only rubs it in that I am still single," the 28-year-old said, adding that of all Western festivities, Valentine's Day has the strongest influence in China.

Geng Jianxin, a counsellor at Zhihuiguo Counselling Agency in Beijing, said: "In today's rapidly-changing society, more young professionals remain single as a result of busy work schedules, economic pressures or incompatibility.

"Single people in their 30s feel frustrated or disappointed with their love life or lack of it."

Talking to close friends or relatives, going out and being busy will help get through the day, Geng advised.

"Hanging out with someone will make you feel that there are people who care about you," he added.

But there are people who don't want the day to go by without finding someone special and online seems the route they are taking.

Yahoo China's personals site, an online dating service, has seen visits from 500,000 to 600,000 people every day, according to the portal.

And on the website of Sina, one of the country's top Chinese-language portals, questions like "Are you feeling lonely on Valentine's Day?" or "Do you want to join single people's Valentine's parties?" have been popping up with greater frequency.

Fei Zhongli, 28, posted an advertisement on the Sina website, planning a party for 16 singles this evening and attracted 60 bookings till yesterday.

"The party is to make singles feel better and give them a chance to find a mate," said the software engineer, adding that most of the respondents were postgraduates.

Some try a lot; others just strike it lucky.

Lu Zhenchao, 25, who met his girlfriend by accident a couple of weeks after last Valentine's Day, will celebrate with her this year.

"I don't think we need a particular day to demonstrate our love," said Lu.

"But when Valentine's Day comes around, you feel it's time to let her know that you love her."

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