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"FIND YOURSELF". A Younger Man Falling in Love with an Older Woman Drama

Asian culture is still ridiculously traditional about romantic relationships. Even in the 21st century where gender equality advocates are lobbying for equal treatment, there are still some biases among conservatives in Asia, frowning on age gaps in romance, and mocking older women who fall in love with younger men.

In the drama, the audience's views on age-gap offer no different. Some are still hostile. Others cringed on the theme. As though someone has committed a heinous crime. That's how the viewers react when they watch this type of concept. 

This behavior, which is sexism in nature, tends Asian culture to lag behind the global gender evolution. 

So when can we whisk it off from our culture? When can we finally step out of the box and see the world in a more progressive perspective?

FIND YOURSELF

It is for this reason that we're reviewing back the hit rom-com C-Drama, "Find Yourself", aired in 2020 and follows a narrative that centers on a romance, still viewed as a "taboo" in the Asian culture. 

A relatively older woman falls in love with a younger man and vice versa. And the pressure the relationship treads. It's one of the rarest Asian dramas in recent years that navigates this type of concept, which is still frowned upon in the Asian region.

To make it very realistic, the drama starred two actors who have a 12-year-age gap in real life. 

Victoria Song (known in China as Song Qian) was born on February 2, 1987, and Song Weilong was born on March 25, 1999. But in the story, they portrayed lovers who have a 10-year age gap. 

Song Weilong and Victoria Song in Find Yourself

The Synopsis

He Fanxing (Victoria Song), 32, is a career-oriented woman, director of a design company, but still has no experience in romance. She has been relentlessly pursued by a younger company intern, Yuan Song (Song Weilong), 22.

Fanxing later agrees to form a relationship, but with a condition. Due to their huge age gap, and possible social pressure from her colleagues and family, Fanxing asks Yuan Song to keep their romance a secret. He agrees.

Soon, problems creeps in. The maturity level and social status slowly take a toll in their secret relationship. Misunderstanding and oh, some level of jealousy begin to interrupt their hot romance, until Fanxing turns to Ye Luming (Wang Yaoqing), a CEO of an advertising agency, for advice. 

Luming is more mature and accomplished. The budding closeness between Luming and Fanxing causes Yuan Song to develop insecurities. Petty quarrels become frequent.

To take hold of his position in Fanxing's life, Yuan Song attempts to reveal their relationship in a social event, but Fanxing stops him. 

She realizes she is not ready to dive into the social mockery of taunting and criticism about falling in love with a younger man. Afraid she will disappoint her family and friends, she breaks up with Yuan Song.

As she navigates her life into confusion and figuring out what really matters to her, the company she works with threatens by an acquisition from a rival design company called AIJIA, which plunges her into a mid-life crisis. 

To worsen her already maddening situation, Fanxing discovers her beloved younger brother, He Canyang (Zhang Yujian) falls in love with Cai Minmin (Ester Yu), the niece of Ye Luming. 

Canyang is relatively older than Minmin, which pleases their parents, praising the relationship more acceptable. This gives Fanxing more reason to ponder her love for Yuan Song.

To resolve the pressure, she starts a relationship with Ye Luming. 

Unlike her secret relationship with Yuan Song, her love affair with Luming is an open book to her parents and friends, who viewed it as "compatible" and "right".

Later, Fanxing's father is diagnosed with the early-stage of dementia which makes her even more eager to settle down and have children of her own for the sake of her parents. 

Despite her avowals of love for Yuan Song, Fanxing forces herself to choose Luming as a future husband to please her parents and avoid social criticism about age gap.

Still assessing her decision, Fanxing and Luming attend a birthday party of the daughter of Steven, the CEO of AIJIA, and unexpectedly meet Yuan Song. It reveals later that Yuan Song is actually the son of Steven!

Eventually, Fanxing plunges into emotional dilemma. Luming realizes she could never learn to love him back. They eventually broke up.

After the breakup, Fanxing becomes clearer with what she wants in life and relationship, who she really wants to be with, and to whom she can only be truly happy. She realizes it is only with Yuan Song where she can find happiness and can truly be herself.

But it sounds like too late lol!

As she finally realizes everything, Yuan Song has gone to Suzhou with another girl to attend an architectural conference. Fanxing rushes to follow him. And eventually reconcile right there, braving the situation of revealing their relationship in public.

As their relationship finds a groove and stability, Yuan Song decides to study abroad and Fanxing quits her job and opens a flower shop, maintaining a strong bond with Yuan Song, and finally finding her happily-ever-after life.

Our Thoughts About This Drama

Of course we love this theme about an older woman falling in love with a younger man and vice versa. Find Yourself is a graphic retelling of events about the social pressure in romance having age difference issues.

You see, society is still hostile about age gap. 

When a woman is older than a man expect some mockery and criticism and all those ugly labels thrown at her by the society, but not if a guys is older than a girl, the situation is viewed as normal and right and not disgusting. The mindset of 1930s!

It reflects our century-old mindset of patrilineality where men are often viewed as superior and strong, therefore should be the older in the relationship. 

Such a medieval concept of a relationship that's still absorbed by sexists in the current days.

It's with this type of culture that Fanxing becomes hesitant to reveal her romance with Yuan Song, afraid of the criticism, taunting, mockery, and possible insult, their romance will generate, which makes her decide to step back and abandon her true love.

Fanxing also personifies a typical child in the Asian culture - an obedient daughter who is eager to please her conservative parents, a daughter who does not want to disappoint her family and friends with the choices and decisions she makes in life.

But while undergoing some personal contemplation, figuring out where her life is heading, what is best for her, and to whom she can truly be happy, she finally realizes that social pressure is not a piece of cake to happily gorge if you want to live a life you deserve. 

So she has to decide and make sound judgment to be fair with herself.

Find Yourself is truly a drama that helps us realize what might happen if we do not live according to our will and personal desires. If we continue to live our lives based on the expectations of our parents, colleagues, and the society as a whole, what kind of life awaits us in the end?

It debunks fear about taking unconventional decisions in life. That age is truly just a number. What really matters most in the relationship is the mutual understanding between two persons, how they treat each other with respect, loyalty and faith. And not based on the concept and mindset of others and the society. 

What really matters most in this life is our own fulfillment and joy and living in a moment. 

What life awaits us if we continue to please others and the society? If we are afraid to take the risks and do the unconventional because others might judge us? Others might laugh at us? Yes, we often allow fears to rule our lives.

In the end, we have the right to choose the kind of life and happiness we deserve without yielding to pressures. That, at the end of the day, it's us who will endure personal battles and the consequences of our actions. So we might as well take a bold leap and do what makes us happy! 

Life is a choice. And so with love. 😄

Song Weilong and Victoria Song in Find Yourself

So get rid of those society pressures. And live a life based on how you want to live and not based on how the society wants you to be.

Happiness is really a personal choice and not a group decision or a family decision. It comes from deep within and not from the outside forces. It does not even depends whether a man is older than a woman or vice versa. It's a personal choice based on one's ideals what matters most.

It's good to watch Fanxing finally finding her own groove in life, choosing the person she truly loves and figuring out what matters most to her, and where she can truly be fulfilled. 

When she quit her job and open a flower shop, it gives us lessons of pondering our own calling too, our own vocation of carving a career path without fears of failures, of what might happen to us if we follow a non-traditional concept of developing a career.

It might be a hard decision at the moment (you know, quitting your corporate job) but the reward of fulfillment later is immeasurable, something that cannot be compensated by any amount.

Find Yourself shreds the taboo and social pressures of falling in love unconventionally and finding moments to be truly fulfilled. It's also a narrative of figuring out what's best for us without succumbing to people's expectations.

It's a happily-ever-after sort of thing. But is it what we want in a rom-com drama? It's an interesting series to delve into about understanding the cultural concept of age-gap in the relationship. 

It's a refreshing modern drama to watch. Far different from the usual plot of a rich man falling in love with an ordinary girl, or a son of the company's CEO hooking up with a rival company owner's daughter.

The fact that Song Weilong is handsome and hot. And Song Qian looks youthful and pretty, you wouldn't think much of the age difference between their characters. 

It's a good story and unique because the age-gap relationship where a woman is older than a man is a rare narrative in an Asian drama. 

Asian culture is still tentative about this concept of falling in love. So Find Yourself is a brave series to tackle this type of social dilemma. 

Can't find complete episodes of this drama in YouTube with English subtitles, but if you are a NetFlix subscriber, you can stream it now, click HERE

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