Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 190–215

Dyadic Relationship Values in Chinese Online Daters: Love American Style?

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12119-014-9255-0

Cite this article as:
Lange, R., Houran, J. & Li, S. Sexuality & Culture (2015) 19: 190. doi:10.1007/s12119-014-9255-0


Documented differences exist between Eastern and Western attitudes and beliefs about romantic relationships, but some authorities argue that dyadic relationship values are becoming increasingly Westernized. Accordingly, we surveyed current beliefs structures in a large sample (n = 11,300) of male and female subscribers to a major matchmaking site in China, drawing on Sternberg’s classic Triangular Theory of Love (passion, intimacy, and commitment). Consistent with previous findings, dyadic relationship values conformed to a unidimensional Rasch model, although the relative importance of these values varied by age and sex. As predicted, themes related to the component of commitment, and to some extent intimacy, were consistently rated as more salient than themes associated with passion. Unexpectedly, values reflecting passion tended to be rated as more salient than themes related to family/status. Men across all age brackets rated passion and ambition as more salient than the women did, whereas both sexes agreed on the relative importance of financial security. Over all, the results substantiated specific cultural differences reported in the literature but also revealed trends suggesting that contemporary Chinese society is moving closer to love “American style.”


Compatibility Romantic relationships Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love Rasch scaling Cross-cultural differences 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Statistics and ComputationLusofona University of Humanities and TechnologiesLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Integrated Knowledge SystemsChathamUSA
  3. 3.Shenzhen Zhenai Information Technology Co., LtdShenzhenChina

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