24-hour helpline for relationship advice

A 24-HOUR helpline was launched at the weekend to help ensure that the course of true love runs that bit smoother for city residents.

The service, which organizers say will be staffed by 300 psychology experts and volunteers, is aimed at young people unsure what they want from a relationship, or simply baffled by the dating game.

The free helpline, a joint project by the Shanghai Women’s Federation, Shanghai East China Normal University and the Shanghai Matchmaking Association, was unveiled at the city’s largest matchmaking event.

Cui Like, a psychology expert with Shanghai Huada Institute of Applied Psychology, affiliated to the East China Normal University, said feelings of insecurity create barriers in the search for love.

The psychologist was hopeful that the counselling hotline could help tackle this.

The sixth Shanghai Love and Marriage Fair, held at the Expo Park, attracted about 25,000 singles aged under 40.

Special sections for women teachers and nurses and men working for IT companies and as public servants attracted much attention.

However, dating agencies there also drew complaints.

Online store owner Mark Lu had doubts about agencies.

“I don’t trust them. I can spend several hundred yuan buying a meal for a girl, which is money better spent,” he said.

The hotline numbers are 64319532, 64336358, though the service is only in Chinese.

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