If you have not seen SK-II: Marriage Market Takeover, stop and watch the video below.

All the feels. I know.

In China, women are getting labeled as “leftovers” if they are not married after 27. By no means, I am labeling myself that. It is offensive, sexist, and overall cruel. Women get enough pressure. We do not need this shameful label.

The Chinese Communist Party is urging women to marry to undo the gender imbalance caused by the One-Child Policy. Ummm, I’m pretty sure that’s their mess that they need to clean up. The pressuring of women is NOT the solution.

In Beijing Park, around 60 parents would meet and share their children’s information in attempts to find a “suitable” partner for their child.

“Out of duty, she (Zhang Lin) reluctantly accompanied her mother to the market twice a week, standing silently beside her for more than an hour at a time.”

“I felt I couldn’t refuse, but doing it made me feel everything bad you could possibly feel; humiliated, depressed, furious. I felt like such a loser, standing there to sell myself.”

Source: China’s “Leftover” Women (Aljazeera)

Even though my parents and I live in NYC, this sentiment doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

This morning, I shared some news with my parents. On paper, it should be something they are proud of and excited for me. In reality, they are disappointed again.

It is the opposite of what they want for me. They want me to settle down, get married, and give them grandchildren. There hasn’t been one day that goes by without them nagging me about this. I get compared left and right with this daughter who is married and that daughter with kids. Why can’t I do that?

It’s not just my parents. My godmother, aunts, and uncles have tried to set me up several times. I’d get random texts from these boys. I have to awkwardly apologize that I am not interested.

“Maybe I am being selfish,” this young woman says, before she breaks into tear. Credit to SK-ll

I end up feeling guilty. It inflicts self-doubt. Should I be settling down? Maybe, I should be settling down. I mean, I am not getting any younger. I resonate with the woman above of being selfish. Maybe, I am, too, being selfish.

I turned 27 years old this month, which doesn’t help my case either.

Photo Credit SK-II

It’s hard to navigate love and travel. Ideally, my parents want me to settle down with a nice Chinese boy who has a house, a car, and a stable 9-5 job. Before anyone attack this view, I know my parents want what they think is best for me. It is out of love and I don’t question it.

I am in a constant battle trying to find a balance between what they want and what I want. I can choose to follow my dreams and ignore my parents. But, I also respect them too much for giving me their support and love in their own ways. At the end of the day, I know they want me to have a stable life.

I just need them to back off a little with my love life.

How do you guys deal with your family’s expectation and your own?

You can read more of Haisu’s stories at haisuqu.com.