The ABC of Shanghai Girls – A Lesson in Loneliness

This investigation like all research started with an idea gathered from anecdotes heard from many young women around Shanghai who were, good looking, successful, had money and were confident. However they all had one thing in common – they were not in a relationship of any kind. The hypothesis for this paper was simple: were girls here in Shanghai alone because the men wanted to find sub-dominant women who they did not feel threatened by in term of social status? The results clearly show that in fact men sought out woman of a lower social status to have a relationship with and so leaving the vast majority of successful girls alone and unfulfilled.


In order to substantiate the hypothesis a model of relationship symbiosis was devised in order to test women and men’s attitudes to the model and if they agreed with the proposal. This model was a simple correlation of social status to symbiosis between couples. In China many men seek a lower status woman as a way of feeling in control of the relationship through money, status, family and intelligence. Therefore they tend to seek and relate to women one step below them on the social scale. Women on the other hand are looking for a man for, security, status, home-making and propagation i.e. one step at least up from their social status.

If a woman earns more income than the man, has a higher social status or property then he feels he will lose face in front of his family, work colleagues and friends. They will feel he cannot provide for her or show a higher level of achievement. They also cannot cope with a woman of more intelligence, often leading to arguments that they cannot win against a better educated opponent. China is a highly judgemental society were social comparison not only thrives here but positively rules peoples lives in trying to live up to and match social expectations of others.

Brown (1986) suggested that social equity theory shows Çeşme Escort that people in general look for rewards, exchanges and most of all the amount of investment in a relationship. This is the situation where couples add up what they invest in a relationship such as, who does what tasks, who is the more caring, loving, sensitive, who takes care of things, financially, family or domestic. In this situation couples are looking for a reward over the cost of the relationship in the form of profit. Thibaut and Kelley (1959) went further than Brown to suggest that couples also compare themselves to others in relationships to see how they measure up and so decide if you would be better off in a different relationship somewhere else. In China this is certainly the way things appear to the outsider looking inward at the society and its credo. Although both of the above theories seem to suggest people as basically selfish, in that they are only interested in their immediate rewards, there are those who make sacrifices in the hope of future rewards, such as the daughter who looks after her aging parents in the thought that when they are gone she can have her own life. This is as Eric Berne (1960’s T.A.) would say an After-Script, that a person will wait for happiness in the future by a sacrifice today. The alternative as Berne sees it is the Until-Script in which until you do something you cannot be happy. For example until you have a successful career you cannot spend time being in a loving relationship.