China Elevator Stories

“After We’re Married, I Still Want To See Her As My Girlfriend”

A couple in Qujing tells me about their view on marriage.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


In September 2013, I accompany one of my friends from Kunming to Qujing, a city two hours from Kunming. In the evening, we meet up with friends at a bar. One is a young couple, and the woman is two months pregnant. They look like they are very much in love.

I ask them how they met.

He says: “I was in 9th grade and she was in 12th grade. The first time I saw her, I knew that she was special. I fell in love with her right away.”
She tells me: “I was hesitant. After all, I was 3 years older than him – he was 15 and I was 18, and we were both still at school.”
He goes on: “I chased her for two years. Then we got together. We’ve been together for six years now. We’ll get married next month. After we’re married, I still want to see her as my girlfriend rather than my wife. Your whole attitude changes when you see someone as your wife and not as your girlfriend. Her attitude might change too. I’d still like to treat her as someone special to me, like you’d treat a girlfriend.”

Do you agree that you’d treat a girlfriend differently from a wife?