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These days, though, priorities have shifted."Suddenly, in the last 10 or 15 years, there's been an explosion in China of talking about love," Chen says, "Everyone wants true love, but people don't know how to get it."For Wu Di, this cultural shift presented a business opportunity.A family and relationship counselor in Shanghai and the author of , Wu launched a three-month "dating camp" two years ago and charged 4000 RMB (about $650) per student.Together with her partner Bob Liu, a salsa instructor, she offered dance courses, workshops and salons to teach singles how to date and fall in love.A new report by the Ministry of Civil Affairs shows that the number of divorces in China jumped 8 percent last year, and, for the first time in 10 years, the increase of the divorce rate has outpaced the growth of the marriage rate.In Beijing and Shanghai, almost 40 percent of couples now divorce, a figure approaching those in Western countries.Meanwhile, people are getting married later in life.As a result, more members of China's "post-80 generation," referring to those born in the 1980s, are opting for love and attraction -- rather than practical considerations -- in finding a partner., says Chinese culture emphasizes honor, duty, and responsibility in relationships -- not love.When she was younger, Ji's requirements for a spouse were focused on practical matters, like income, family background, height, and education. "My parents told me to get married first, and that love can be nurtured later," says Ji.
A lot of Chinese women -- and their parents -- even consider a house and car as prerequisites for potential boyfriends.
But these financially driven relationships do not always end happily.
As a single, educated Chinese woman approaching 30, Nancy Ji felt tremendous stress from her parents to get married.
So at 28, she hastily tied the knot with a boyfriend. They nagged me about being single every day, and it was very annoying.
My boyfriend appeared at the right time, and he had the right economic profile," Ji says. But it didn't take long for the marriage to fall apart, and three years later Ji filed for divorce.
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Part of the problem, she realized, was how she went about finding a partner.