Each year, November 11 has become an unofficial holiday known as China's Singles' Day when singles are encouraged to make an extra effort to find a partner. Worried parents of unmarried children often arrange dates for their offspring on this day as well as others. Before the day approaches, thousands of college students and young workers post messages describing their plans for this day. In Arabic numerals, the day looks like "1111", that is, "like four single people standing together", and there was speculation that it originated in the late 1990s when college students celebrated being single with "a little self-mockery" but a differing explanation dates it back to events in the Roman Empire. For many, Singles' Day offers people a way to "demonstrate their stance on love and marriage.
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The prospect of love often entails anxiety, sometimes with a fear of commitment  and a fear of intimacy for persons of both sexes. One woman said "being really intimate with someone in a committed sense is kind of threatening" and described love as "the most terrifying thing." In her Psychology Today column, research scientist, columnist, and author Debby Herbenick compared it to a roller coaster:
You can even say we're living through a worldwide Introvert Revolution. Just look at the success of self-proclaimed introvert Susan Cain's wildly popular book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Her book has sold millions of copies worldwide, a TEDtalk she gave on the topic has been viewed over 19,294,447 times and counting, and she reportedly gets paid five-figures for a single appearance.
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John Gottman is a hot-shit psychologist and researcher who has spent over 30 years analyzing married couples and looking for keys to why they stick together and why they break up. Chances are, if you’ve read any relationship advice article before, you’ve either directly or indirectly been exposed to his work. When it comes to, “Why do people stick together?“ he dominates the field.
A new format of Internet "QQ" chat rooms is gaining ground against so-called "traditional dating agencies" in Changsha (Hunan Province); the QQ rooms have 20,000 members, and service is much less expensive than dating agencies which can charge 100 to 200 yuan ($13 to $26 USD) per introduction. Internet dating, with computer-assisted matchmaking, is becoming more prevalent; one site supposedly has 23 million registered users. Speed dating has come to Shanghai and other cities. Worldwide online matchmakers have explored entering the Chinese market via partnerships or acquisitions.
By waiting and waiting and waiting to commit to someone, our capacity for love shrinks and withers. This doesn't mean that women or men should marry the first reasonable person to come along, or someone with whom they are not in love. But we should, at a much earlier age than we do now, take a serious attitude toward dating and begin preparing ourselves to settle down. For it's in the act of taking up the roles we've been taught to avoid or postpone––wife, husband, mother, father––that we build our identities, expand our lives, and achieve the fullness of character we desire.