"Break-up fee" a new trend in Chinese dating

"Break-up fee" a new trend in Chinese dating
Published : 17 May 2018, 12:11:34
bbarta desk
Print AA-A+
Earlier this month, police in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou responded to a call after bar staff reported finding a suspicious suitcase. 
 
It contained two million yuan in cash ($314,204; £233,323) - an extraordinary amount of money, maybe even life-changing.
 
They managed to track down the owner, who according to the local police, had arranged to meet with his ex-girlfriend in the bar.
 
The money? It was a "break-up fee" a new trend in Chinese dating.
 
The price of true love?
Everyone knows that dating can be expensive; forking out a bit of cash to buy drinks or meals in the early stages of a relationship, or buying gifts and holidays later on.
 
No longer content to just have the awkward meeting to hand each others' stuff back, break-up fees have emerged in recent years in China as a sort of compensation at the end of a long-term relationship.
 
While not legally binding, it's a bit like one party giving their former partner a divorce settlement.
 
It's the person that ends the relationship that pays the fee. They decide, based on the amount of time, effort and money they have invested in the relationship, how much money they should give to their former partner.
 
Some people look pragmatically at the amount of money their partner had spent on them while they were dating, whereas others set a levy based on how severe they think the emotional damage of the break-up will be.
 
Break-up fees are more commonly paid by men - out of guilt or in order to offset their partner's upset. However, increasingly some women see it as acceptable to pay a fee, given that it is traditionally the man who will pay for meals and gifts in a Chinese relationship.
 
Some reports suggest they're an urban phenomenon spurred on by increasing consumerism.
 
But others see them as a possible hangover from earlier times - when Chinese women were more financially dependent on men. Chinese attitudes towards dating have traditionally been pragmatic and geared towards marriage. So the fee is meant to prevent embittered parties from suffering emotional damage, and to help them start a clean slate with their former partner.
 
Reports suggest that the fee can specifically helps older women who feel they have lost opportunities that they might have had in their youth to either prioritise their career or meet "the one".
 
Cases of break-up fees which make it into the media range from the seemingly harmless, to those involving complicated court proceedings.
 
Some have been met with droll humour, such as a case in April where a woman sent her former partner an inventory of every single restaurant and hotel they had visited. She had painstakingly researched how much her partner had spent on her, and wanted to reimburse him what she thought she owed.
 
In January, a case in the eastern city of Ningbo involved a man demanding compensation from his girlfriend after she dumped him for going bald.
 
Other cases have been more serious. In November 2014, a man in southwest Sichuan province demanded compensation from his girlfriend after finding out that she had other partners.
 
They were both married but had been seeing each other for five years and he had often given her money to buy clothes. After the woman refused to pay the man a "break-up tax" multiple times, he went to her home and threw acid at her family.
 
He was arrested on suspected manslaughter, but argued that his behaviour could have been avoided if the couple had parted as equals.-BBC
 
bbarta/IF

Editor : Bani Yasmin Hasi

46 Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue

Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215

Phone: 02-8144960, Mobile: 01192151115

Email: [email protected], [email protected]

© 2018 all rights reserved to www.bbarta24.net Developed By: Orangebd.com