“So You Have Sex Before Holding Hands?!” Zoe Tay, Guo Liang Shocked By What Zhang Zetong & Juin Teh Say About How Young People Date
In the most recent episode of The Zoe and Liang Show, hosts Zoe Tay, 55, and Guo Liang, 54, were joined by Star Search alums Zhang Zetong, 30, and Juin Teh, 32, to discuss if young people these days would rather date than be in official relationships.
Guo Liang first brought up the topic of the 'kiss buddies' trend emerging in China.
In case you don't know, 'kiss buddies' are a pair of friends who only kiss each other without getting romantically involved.
“I’ve heard of friends with benefits but I’ve never heard of this,” said Zetong.
“I don’t understand why it sounds like a downgrade [from friends with benefits]?” added Juin.
The stars then shared if they could accept the idea of kiss buddies.
Zoe said she wouldn’t be able to accept the idea, but also joked that if she were to be given a choice to choose if her son had a kiss buddy or friend with benefit, she “would rather let him have a kiss buddy” as “boys don’t really lose out [in these situations]”.
Zetong, on the other hand, felt that it's okay for someone to have either kiss buddies or friends with benefits.
As their conversation progressed, the group seemed split into two camps: the younger stars Juin and Zetong attempting to explain the concept of modern-day dating and situationships to the veterans Zoe and Guo Liang.
'Attempt' being the operative word here.
“There’s a concept we call ‘dating’. It's [two people] who aren’t tied to each other by a relationship, but are going on dates. And we can do plenty of things during the dating period,” explained Juin.
“Actually we already have a specific term to describe people who are dating in English, and it’s called a ‘situationship’. It’s the stage that comes before a relationship. And the couple can do everything that they want to do or think of doing in an actual relationship, but they aren’t officially a couple yet,” added Zetong.
Zoe was shocked to hear that people who are dating would simply refer to each other as friends.
“It’s so weird leh,” she said, bewildered.
To make things even more confusing for Zoe and Guo Liang, Juin also explained how people may “date several people at once”, in order to “try different experiences with different people” before choosing a partner.
“That gave me a shock, they also date several people at one time?” laughed Guo Liang.
“It’s like a husband with many wives or a wife with many husbands,” Zoe chimed in.
Guo Liang then sought to understand the idea of young people dating around.
“Most relationships start with people getting to know each other, then holding hands, and then kissing and hugging before getting together to do other things,” started Zetong.
Guo Liang interjected and asked: “So you guys have sex before holding hands?!"
“A lot of young people these days usually switch the order, they [may] have sex first before getting to know each other. Then they decide if they want to be in a relationship,” continued Zetong.
Guo Liang thought the current way of dating is similar to the “western way”, in which “people can separate their bodies from their feelings”.
“Maybe it’s because we get to know people a lot quicker these days. So we actually have a lot of choices and some people might feel that it gives them the option of trying out more things, and they will only know what they really want after trying. If I only get to know one person and get married to them, how would I know if they are the one I want to be with for life?” said Juin.
“Back in our time, we couldn't try. It was based on the principle of morals. But it might also be lacking in some way, right?” Guo Liang asked.
Juin then explained that people used to tolerate it if they “tried it out with someone [unsuitable]”. However, people these days wouldn’t do that, as they rather try things out and be sure of someone before moving to the next stage of their relationship.
“How can you possibly finish trying it out with everyone?” questioned Guo Liang, before adding that it is “unhealthy” for young people to have the mindset of waiting to meet someone they really love.
“So what’s the cut-off?” he asked.
Zoe also wanted to know the “age cut-off” for people to finally settle down and decide they don’t want to date around anymore.
“The concept is still the same as how you guys used to date. You might go on a few dates or get to know a few people, then you know what you want to look for in a partner. It doesn’t require you to be at a certain age or certain point in your relationship, as long as they’re suitable, they can be together,” answered Zetong.
Juin also added: “I don’t think there’s as much pressure to get married at a certain age now. So I don’t feel like I need to meet “the one” at a specific age. I can continuously try to meet different people before finding someone I want to settle down with, without being held back by my age."
“Rebecca [Lim], no wonder you got married so late,” commented Zoe.
Juin then asked Guo Liang and Zoe if they ever regretted getting married before having the chance to date around.
“I think for our time, it’s not a matter of the number of times we were able to try it out [with others]. The problem that we have is whether we are progressing at the same speed [as our partner],” said Guo Liang.
He continued: “Do young people these days feel rushed for time? We would go through a relationship, and due to several reasons, we would break up before getting into another relationship. I don’t think it sounds unreasonable. The only thing I’m 'envious' of is that you guys get to date several people at once. But how do you deal with jealousy?”
Zetong explained that young people are all aware of how dating works, and there is a common understanding when it comes to it.
“Then what happens when you want to break up with the person you are dating?” asked Zoe.
“You don’t need to break up,” said Juin to a very, very shocked looking Zoe.
“They were never together in the first place. For example it’s like you meet someone every week, but you can just call them and say you’re busy, right?” added Guo Liang, who was gradually able to better grasp the concept of dating.
Zoe reasoned that the current dating scene is the way it is now because women “have more rights” and “are more highly educated”. All that, with the addition of "western ideals" allow for casual dating to be the norm.
“But for people from our time… as I was listening to you guys, I was so shocked,” she said.
The young stars also wanted to find out if Zoe would date around just like them if she is from “more current times”.
“I haven’t got the chance to fully comprehend the idea. Since I was young, I had to follow the traditional rules at home. When I changed boyfriends, my dad would call me a ‘black barrel', which is a term used to describe a loose woman. I couldn’t do that. I had to be very serious once I got to know a guy, and from there [I get into a relationship]. We weren’t like you guys, we don’t [date] casually. I’m really shocked today,” said Zoe.
Watch the group discuss more about modern day dating on The Zoe and Liang Show on meWATCH, or catch it below.