China is known to be diverse and exotic in many ways, but it’s not just all about food, language and scenery. What is also different and makes our lives more exciting here in China are the cultural differences in dating! Dating in China is different, but to what extent? Of course, no matter what cultural background, an ideal relationship should be based on your feelings for one another, but it can still get a bit tricky when you’re somewhere else. Here’s my take – Get ready to find out what makes dating in China different from the West!
First, how do you approach Asians? Is it socially acceptable for girls to ask guys out? No big deal in the West, some guys might even be attracted to that type of girl. But in China guys definitely prefer to chase a girl instead of being the chased as this is the traditional way and makes the girl appear shy and cute. It’s the thought that counts, right?
So once you got a date with an Asian, what now? No big deal for a Western girl. There is not much you could do wrong since most Asian guys would pretty keen for a chance to date a Western girl, to the point where it’s often even considered linked to an issue of “national pride”. Let’s be honest, we’re talking about guys, so they’re not as picky as girls. Chinese girls also appreciate Western guys very much, as they are considered as quite attractive. For a Chinese girl though, her friends and family influence who she dates, so if you manage to win their approval, you’re good to go.
Want to bring something to the date? In Western countries flowers and chocolates are still a big deal, especially on special occasions such as St. Valentines. For sure there is no girl that wouldn’t be touched by those presents, but they are not usual in China and might be interpreted as pretentious.
So once on the date: Who is supposed to pay? In both cultures it’s usually the men. As we all know, it changed in the West during the last century to the point where bill sharing, colloquially known as “going Dutch”, is acceptable. In China though, a place famous for preserving its old tradition, women often expect their boyfriend to pay for the dinner dates.
Once in a relationship, the question of commitment is very important. Dating has a practical reason in China and Chinese girls are known for being pushy for marriage because in their home culture once they hit 30, they’re “near their due date” (the sheng nv 生女 phenomenon has been widely documented in China). One should keep in mind that age is an important factor considering commitment.
Of course, these tips are more general guidelines than hard-core facts. Cultural habits are changing and assimilation is often observed between Western and Chinese customs, but just keep them in mind and go get yourself a nice date – Chinese style. Who knows, maybe it’ll spark!