Discover China’s Timeless Arts of Romance and Pursuit


The Ancient Art of Romance

The practice of pursuing romantic interests has existed in China for centuries. Contrary to popular belief, “dating tactics” are not foreign imports but have deep cultural roots. Examining classical literature reveals a long tradition of scholars charming potential partners through clever prose and poetry.

A Brief History

Ming and Qing dynasty fiction frequently featured scholars romancing ladies, especially “mundane tales” depicting everyday life. Plays from the earlier Yuan dynasty like “Up on the City Wall” were quite risqué too! The poem “Who Smiles Waiting by the Wall?” from this era remains a well-known romantic verse.

The Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi was a true master of romance. His ballad “Song of the Lute” reads like an ancient dating diary! Even earlier texts provide insights. “Heaven’s Will for the Way,” unearthed from a Western Han tomb, alludes to intimate matters. Bamboo slips from Prince Ai of Han’s library show he pored over a certain “medical text”—though its passages leave much to the imagination.

A Night for Lovers

Traditionally, the Lantern Festival was China’s Valentine’s Day. With nightly curfews lifted, townsfolk enjoyed lighting displays. Girls dressed up hoping to be noticed, and bold gents struck up conversations. Before the rigid morality of later dynasties, relationships were less constrained.

The renowned poem “Ballad of the Peach Blossom Fan” evokes the lively festival atmosphere. Yet its narrator reflects alone, recalling the fleeting nature of bonds. Two great poets, Su Shi and Bai Juyi, both notched up romantic feats. Su favoured short-lived flings through aggressive charm, while Bai specialized in emotional intimacy.

Solutions from the Sages

When today’s declining birth rates arise, it’s worth remembering how past leaders addressed this. The “Records of the States” tells how King Goujian outlawed marriages conflicting with age. Later, the Book of Han imposed taxes on unmarried women aged 15-30, recognizing the demographic value of families. Modern policies may likewise incentivize commitment through welfare and tax breaks.

Keep Dating Fun and Frugal

Our parents often began married life with just the basics. Now some think relationships require money upfront. But brothers should meet ladies freely, enjoy affordable dates, then focus together on goals like children. A balanced attitude keeps romance rewarding without pressure or expense.

With practice and an open heart, the art of love needs no expensive tricks. It flourishes through honest fun, felt connections, and shared dreams – as poets of old well knew.


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