CP (couple) fans or shippers are interesting human beings with unconventional fandom practices. This is a translation of a funny article on Douban detailing common beliefs and behaviors in shipping culture.
- Your CP interacts, it is a hint. When there is no CP’s interaction, they try to avoid suspicions about their “relationship.” (In Chinese CP culture, a hint is termed “sugar”)
- Frequent interactions suggest a stable relationship. A complete lack of interaction implies “a kingdom can’t have two kings.” (The two are too successful as individuals, so it’s hard for an event operator to invite them both together.)
- Pandering to each other is an act of pampering. Fighting against each other is flirting by teasing.
- If your CP collaborates in a project, it’s real love. Otherwise, it’s a secret love.
- Your CP shares a similarity because they’re connected at a deep level. If they have opposite ideas on an issue, that’s differences complementing each other.
- Coincidence is destiny; matter of course is true love.
- Being single is being secretly in love, and dating someone else is covering up the “real relationship.”
- Even if the two in fact don’t have that kind of relationship, many years later, there will still be people who believe that they “used to be in love.”
- Solo stans don’t scold because “everyone has already accepted that our CP is real.” They do scold because “they’re furious because they know our CP is real.” In summary, “solo stans prevent two people who are truly in love from being with each other. “
Eye contact: “The way A looks at B is not similar to that when A looks at other people.”/ “A’s eyes sparkle with love.”/ “This possessive look.”/ “This is exactly how ones look at their boyfriends/ girlfriends/ husbands/ wives!”
Timing: Using a series of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division operations to conclude that “A deliberately chose to post on Weibo at this time to secretly confess his/ her love.”
Same clothes: If those are not couple outfits, then they probably were together last night.
Same city: They overcome all obstacles to be in the same city just to meet each other.
Implication: A thinks of B every time A mentions xxx (something closely relates to B).
Emoji: Each emoji on A’s Weibo post is meaningful. They can imply A’s various emotions toward B such as shy, jealous, lovey-dovey, and so on.
Big fans: xx is their biggest CP fan – “xx ships harder than we do.”/ “xx how can you ship that obvious!” (xx usually refers to someone/ an organization significant or famous. For instance, CCTV mentions A and B together, CP fans may say that CCTV ships A and B because it knows something between them.)
Covering up: When a hint is rediscovered after being covered up or destroyed, it shows that “A is trying to keep their love in the dark.”/ “Everyone has implied already. Our CP is indeed real. Please don’t be too bold, be careful.”
Double standards: Say no more!
Collaboration rumors: “A accepts this film/ variety/ endorsement because of B.”/ “A can have this resource because it’s recommended by B.”/ “They want to collaborate, but their teams think otherwise. They’re miserable, so we have to support their beautiful love.”
- For a long time: “You have to control yourself in front of the camera!”/ “Looking at your wife/ husband.”
- For a short time: “Ah ah ah, so shy, did his/ her heart just skip a beat?”
- Face to face: “Look at him/her! What are you hiding! You are being too obvious! kswl kswl!!!” (kswl is short for “嗑死我了” /ke si wo le/ – a popular Chinese internet slang in CP fandoms. It’s a fangirling term which can be interpreted as “they’re too sweet, I’m dead.”)
Correspondence: “C and D were like this before, and so are A and B. Because C and D are real, it’s clear that A and B are real as well!”
Personal experience: “All CPs I shipped before have already made their relationships public, so this CP must be real as well!”/ “None of the CPs I shipped before has become real. This is the first time I have shipped such a real CP. I’m panicking!”
The first time: “A has never done this before. B must be the reason for this. Ah, I’m crying. They are so real!”
Ideal type: “A’s and B’s ideal types are exactly the same. If this isn’t real, then what is?”/ “A’s and B’s ideal types are exactly the opposite of each other. It’s too obvious, isn’t it?”
Ex-boy/girlfriend: “B’s ex-boy/girlfriend is exactly similar to A. This is probably B’s favorite type. How could they not fall in love?”/ “B’s ex-boy/girlfriend is completely different from A. It seems like B is serious this time.”
Couple’s faces matching (long-time couples have grown similar features as they’ve been together): Using photoshopped or special-angled images “Oh my god, the more I look the more they become similar to each other! It’s scary!”
NSFW: “How can A not be hard? If he’s not hard, he’s not a man!”/ “Oh my God, that look in the eyes, B must feel it.”/ “A is going to be so done tonight”.
Special person: “Why did A react so differently to B and C even though they say/ do the same thing? It shows that B is special to A!”
Similarity: “Do you think that A’s and B’s dressing styles/ speaking styles/ attitudes are becoming more and more similar? It seems that people who are in love will influence each other.”
- At the same time: “Gosh, they must be together now!”
- One after another: “Gosh, they discussed and picked who would be online first!”
- Completely different: “Hahaha, this couple is interesting! They purposely decide that one is online every morning and one is every afternoon. They think no one notices that, don’t they?”
Communicating through different times and places: “A said/ wrote this sentence on year xxxx, day xx, and B now also said the same/ corresponding/ similar words! My fellows, he/ she said yes!”
Same place different times: “A was here on year xxxx, day xx, and now B is also here! Is it… OMG, walking the same path A walked before? They’re so real! I’m dead!”
Missing: “Why did A suddenly laugh? A certainly thought of B!”/ “Why did A look so lonely when he/ she was alone? A missed B for sure.”
Mood: “A is in a good mood today, he/ she must have had a video call with B last night.”/ “Why does A seem to be in bad mood today? Did he/ she quarrel with B?”
Reaction: “A just overreacted. It’s too obvious!”/ “A could have not reacted at all. He/ she must be shy/ concealing inner thoughts.”
- There is an interaction: “Can’t help but show affection.”
- There is no interaction: “The couple talks privately at home.”
- Well cooperated: “Such an old couple (who knows each other well)!”/ “One is in charge of the outside while the other takes care of the inside the home. Perfect CP!” (This implies that one is responsible for earning money to support the family, while the other is taking care of all family issues and doing housework.)
- Poorly cooperated: “Hahaha, their acting is too fake, don’t pretend it!”/ “Their ways of thinking are completely different. I got it, they are totally complementary to each other.”
- Praise each other: “Look at his/ her proud face! I know that your partner is good, you don’t have to show it.”
- Criticize each other: “Will he/ she dare to say such things if they don’t have a good relationship? They understand each other so well huhuhu!!!”
- Neutral: “Don’t you dare to say that it’s not true? He/ she still pretended to be serious, but he/ she couldn’t hold his/ her smile at the corner of the mouth kswl!”
Distance: “It’s outside and they have almost zero distance. I’m afraid the distance will be a negative number when they’re in private.”/ “人人人人 (everyone) 从 (CP)”/ “Oh my god, they are the only ones who try to keep the distance to avoid suspicion. Everyone knows they are real, okay?”
- Same-sex CP: “How come a straight man/ woman treat someone from the same sex that way?”
- Opposite-sex CP: “After digging his/ her history, all I want to say is that he/ she has never been so intimate and natural with other opposite sex. He/ she must be in love!”
Atmosphere: “As long as they stand together, other people can’t get in between.”/ “Don’t you think the atmosphere between them is quite strange? It’s like the atmosphere between lovers, not ordinary friends!”
Actively creating CP hints for promotion purposes:
- Same-sex CP: “Ah ah ah ah, did they just want to come out? They are brothers, don’t overthink!!”
- Opposite-sex CP: “God, I’m so flustered. Do they want to make their relationship public? Don’t do stupid things when your career is on the rise. Solo stans will be crazy about this!”
- No CP hint: “As we all know, hints with promotional purposes are all fake. They are real love!”