I’ve actually had some first hand experience with this sort of thing. Or, more correctly, in relation to a colleague of mine. About three years or more ago I was interested in one of our kindergarten teachers (Taiwanese), and she was definitely interested, also. For a few months I was considering whether or not to make a move, because she seemed (and this feeling has since been confirmed) to be a very traditional sort of woman. At the end of the day I decided to go with my gut and not make a move, but as we worked together I remained cordial and friendly with small talk before and after classes. Just because I had decided not to pursue things didn’t mean I didn’t still find her attractive or interesting.
Eventually I met my wife, we dated and got married. As these things go in Taiwan, it was obviously no secret at work. A few weeks after I got married I noticed that a young Taiwanese man started coming by after work to pick her up. There didn’t seem to be any romance between them, as they behaved more like family towards each other. Not exactly cold, but more businesslike. With my curiosity getting the better of me I asked one of the other teachers if it was her brother that was picking her up. She related that actually it was her new (first) boyfriend. It turns out that she had seen me getting married and realised that I wasn’t “taking things slowly” and developing a friendship… So, she (and her mother) had gone to see a matchmaker. I thought this was strange and asked why would she do that? She’s pretty, educated, intelligent and has a good sense of humour. Reason was that she had decided that it was too hard to impossible to find a guy that is truly interested in getting married and settling down. Nearing 30 she had decided she wanted to get married, have children and didn’t feel like messing around in relationships that may or may not lead to that at some point. In short, she knew what she wanted and wasn’t willing to risk two or three years dating someone who may eventually not marry her. Ergo, the matchmaker.
After they got married she went back to her normal routine of driving herself home, eventually got pregnant and had a beautiful little girl. Can’t say I’ve seen any evidence of romance, but she seems to be very happy and has gotten what she was looking for. Her husband was looking for a a traditional Taiwanese girl that wanted to settle down and have a family, so both seem pleased by the outcome. Having seen and spoken to the chap on a few occassions he seemed like a very polite decent sort of bloke.
I’ve also noticed that one of the other ladies has decided to go the same route and also has a dashing young bloke picking her up after work everday…
From our western point of view this seems very strange. Where’s the romance? The love? The ups and downs and the not knowing? Does he/she love me? Will he ever propose? None of the Austen-ish angst we cherish. The hunt and the capture. But it seems to work for them. They want to get married without cocking around and go somewhere to find someone who wants exactly the same thing. Voila!
Different strokes and all that.