As the Lunar New Year approaches, more Chinese men and women are bracing themselves for questions about their unmarried status from nagging parents.
That's because the expanding gap between the male and female population has led to an increasing number of singles.
The gender ratio on the Chinese mainland was 105 men to 100 women at the end of 2016, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics on Jan 20.
The proportion of singles in the total population has nearly doubled from 7.8 percent in 2004 to 14.9 percent in 2014.
If you are one of them, we suggest having a look at what Chinese men and women look for in their partners in terms of region.
More than half of Chinese men and women tend to choose a spouse from the same province, according to consultant firm Dataway.
Geographically, women from Southwest China's Sichuan province are the most sought-after marriage partners.
Sichuan women are considered beautiful because they have fair skin thanks to the area's warm and humid climate, said a youth.com report.
On the flip side, men from Guangdong province, Beijing and Shanghai municipalities are the most favorable male partners, according to dating website Jiayuan.
Beijing males are famous for their enthusiasm, sense of humor, and loyalty to friends, while their Shanghai counterparts are gentle, respectful to females and always put family first, the report stated.
As for men from Guangdong province, they are smart, adventurous and practical, and have a sound financial position. All these characteristics contribute to a long-lasting marriage, Zhang Jiarui, a relationship expert, said.
In comparison, those from relatively remote and underdeveloped areas, such as Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Guizhou province and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, are less attractive to the opposite sex.
In traditional Chinese culture, marriage is largely decided by one's parents. Today, the opinions of parents remain important in people's choices of life partners.
According to a survey published by dating website Baihe, 85 percent of single respondents said what they wanted from their spouses matched with their parents' wishes, and nearly one third of respondents said the their relationship had failed due to objections from their parents.
The survey shows that parents' opinions have the largest impact on people from Northeast China, with nearly 40 percent of women from Jilin province and 18 percent of men from Heilongjiang province obeying their parents if there's a clash over marriage issues.
In comparison, young people in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality are the most independent of their parents in choosing marriage partners.
A good relationship is based on mutual respect – that is the common view shared by over 60 percent of couples, according to Dataway.
Meanwhile, 16.7 percent of marriages were deemed to be dominated by the wife, compared to 6.6 percent of partnerships dominated by the husband.
Henan is the only province where more wives than husbands said that they "were scared of their spouses", which in Chinese culture means that they are obedient in the relationship.
Another trait in Chinese marriages is that the relationship between wives and mother-in-laws is difficult to handle. More than 60 percent of women refused to live with their mother-in-laws, according to a survey by Jiayuan.
The survey also shows that while 80 percent of women said they enjoyed the favor of their partner's mother at the beginning of the relationship, only 60 percent said they got along well once married.
On the other hand, males seem to find it a piece of cake to get along with their mother-in-laws, with only 3.7 percent of men admitting that their mother-in-law did not like them.