On the outside, Wang Yue looks like a man who has it all: he drives a smart BMW car, he wears sharp Armani suits and he carries designer Gucci bags.
Yet, there is one thing he cannot have - the woman he loves. The 26-year-old was forced by his wealthy family to split from his girlfriend of four years "because we`re not a good match", or in other words, because she came from a poor background.
With the demand for prenuptial agreements rising nationwide, and not just among the rich, many fuerdai - the Chinese term for children born to powerful families - are starting to feel the pressure.
According to the reports, China`s first generation of self-made millionaires are particularly concerned about their children dating people raised in the countryside.
Wang, whose father owns several hotels and holiday resorts and whose mother is a real estate investor, said his parents were "visibly disgusted" when they met his ex, Xiao Mo.
"She is just an ordinary girl from a small town in Sichuan province," he said, his eyes lighting up as explained how they met while studying at Wuhan University in Hubei province. "We saw each other at a party of a mutual friend. It was love at first sight," he said, smiling.
His parents did not share his enthusiasm. "I never expected such an intense reaction," said Wang, recalling the time he took Xiao to meet his parents in the summer of 2007. "When they heard about her background, they were so disappointed. They warned me that the relationship would never work out."
In 2009, after years of fighting, Wang decided to break up with Xiao, who by then had moved back to Sichuan. The final straw had been when his parents threatened to sever financial ties with the couple if they married.
For money or love?
Faced with the prospect of their child marrying someone "unsuitable", wealthy parents usually resort to one of two options: engineer a breakup or demand a prenuptial agreement.
With inheritances worth billions of yuan at stake, "prenups" are designed to prevent fuerdai from falling prey to gold-diggers.
In fact, judging by a three-month study to measure the attitudes of almost 1,000 students in Guangdong province, they have good reason to be cautious.
Roughly 60 percent of females polled by researchers with the Women`s Federation of Guangzhou admitted they want to marry a fuerdai who stands to inherit a large sum of money from his parents. More than half of male respondents shared the same sentiment.
Finding the one
Rich parents are increasingly playing matchmaker for their offspring, with varying success.
However even for well-matched fuerdai couples, their parents insist prenuptial agreements are still vital to prevent conflicts in the event of a divorce.
According to data provided by a Shanghai law firm, almost 90 percent of the divorce disputes it handles between people without prenups are over the division of property.
"Scientifically speaking," said Zhang at the Shanghai Psychological Society, "shared attitudes and values, as well as similar upbringings and education backgrounds, can potentially provide the foundations for a solid married life."
“However, although a parent`s desire to find a good match (for their child) is wise, it`s not essential,” he added.
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