Dating in China - Tips for Your First Close Encounter

Dating in China - Tips for Your First Close Encounter
Jul 30, 2018 By Degen Hill ,

So, you’re in China and you’ve decided to give dating a shot. If you’re getting ready for a first date with a Chinese person, there are some things that are handy to know, ranging from what to expect (and not expect) before the date, on the date and, of course, afterwards. Dating in China can be a great experience, so dive in and enjoy.


Disclaimer: I’m an American male and this article only reflects my experience of first dates with Chinese women. As with anything in this country, it’s almost impossible to sum up the situation in just one article. Things to keep in mind: 1) this article will be based on stereotypes & personal experiences and 2) as there are over a billion people in China, no first date experience will be the same. Take everything I say with a grain of salt and please don’t troll me too much!

Before the date

Expect to talk on WeChat
Before you even arrange your first date, you’ll most likely have extensively groomed your intended target on WeChat. Expect them to ask your height (for some reason Chinese girls need to know) and what you do for work (as is pretty universally common).

If you met on Tinder you can expect your date to be relatively open-minded. The logic is as follows: if they use Tinder, they must have a VPN, and if they have a VPN, it’s either because they studied abroad, love traveling or are into websites that otherwise aren’t accessible in China. Plus, they’re on Tinder, so they’re obviously eager to meet someone.

Regardless, you’ll eventually move from Tinder to WeChat, so expect to indulge in some chit-chat before asking them out.

The plan
If you’re a guy, expect to figure out the details of the date yourself. Stereotype alert: Chinese girls will expect the man to make the plan.

Activities can vary when dating in China. Dinner and drinks is a classic go-to, as is a movie or a walk in the park. However, there are several more unusual date ideas you can take advantage of in China. Visit a museum, take a traditional tea class, go hiking or get squiffy at a bar that specialises in baijiu cocktails.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but taking your Chinese date to a cool foreign restaurant they’ve never tried before is also a good move. It’s still dinner and drinks, but the unfamiliar setting will make it all the more memorable for your Chinese date.

On the Date

General expectations
What to expect on the date depends on several factors. How old your date is, what’s their job and how you meet, for a start. If you got their WeChat after making out on Halloween, you can expect things to go forward fairly quickly. If this is a first date after only recently connecting on a an app, expect to go through the motions of a typical first date - asking questions, feigning interest, laughing, making jokes - you know the routine.  

Unless it’s a blind date, however, remember that if you’re sitting together at a dinner table, it’s because both of you want to be there. Perhaps they think you’re funny and/or hot. Whatever the reason, a date is a mutually agreeable situation.

This is easy to forget though sometimes, as you might find yourself carrying the conversation, at least in the beginning. Personal experience: some Chinese girls are shy to be out with a foreigner while others are self-conscious about their English. You might find they’re not as talkative as they were on WeChat at first.

In general, don’t expect Chinese people to be like the stereotypes you’ve heard. Sure, Chinese people behave and think differently in some ways to foreigners, but at the end of the day, people are people. Yes, cultural differences might be a factor, but in my experience of dating in China, I’ve never had any issues with Chinese girls solely based on them being Chinese. It’s usually because we have different interests.

Eating/drinking habits
Don’t expect your Chinese date to drink alcohol solely based on the quantity of baijiu you’ve seen consumed by elderly Chinese men at a chuanr restaurant. I’ve been on a lot of dates where the girl simply chooses not to drink for personal reasons. It could be because she doesn’t feel safe around you yet or simply that she doesn’t like to drink.

In addition, don’t expect a Chinese girl to finish all of her food. Too often I’ve seen girls eat half a burrito and call it quits. Maybe they’re trying to be restrained or maybe they just didn’t like the food. Don’t expect them to take it to go either. No-one wants to carry around a doggy bag on a date.

For the most part I think Chinese girls are pretty open to splitting the tab, but very rarely will they offer. When I suggest, “Hey, want to go Dutch (Chinese - AA zhi)?” they generally will, but if you don’t bring it up, neither will they. Do Chinese men offer to pay the bill on a date? You’d have to ask someone else.

Another popular payment option is “Okay, you pay for this one, and I got the next one.” However, depending on your how your first date goes, don’t expect that strategy to always pay off.

Sometimes you just won't agree with your date, no matter how attractive they are. It’s okay if you don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, and it’s okay to discuss these differences, but don’t push your culture or perspectives onto someone else. Chinese people all have unique ideas about the world, different life experiences and differing values.

Try to keep your conversation interesting and relevant. Travel stories are cool to tell, but if your date has never been abroad, for whatever reason, maybe talk about something they can relate to.

After the date

“So, my place?”
This goes without saying, but don’t expect to get lucky after your first date. Statistically, there’s a 50/50 chance it will happen, but no matter who you’re on a date with, don’t push it. Some Chinese people still live with their parents and need to be home by a certain time, despite being 20+ years old. As the classic saying goes, “It’s not you, it’s my curfew”.

Dating in China can be a fun experience, but if I can leave you with one piece of advice, it would be this: Not every first date with a Chinese person will go well, and that’s okay. If you and your Chinese date don’t click and there just isn’t that chemistry you were hoping for, it’s most likely a personal thing and not so much related to culture.

Go out there and give it another shot. There are 1.3 billion Chinese people; may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Keywords: dating in China


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Chinese in general takes turn to pay for the meal. If the relationship is still maintained as friends, by taking turn to pay is one of the option.

Oct 11, 2020 09:20 Report Abuse



A friend of mine who downloaded tinder told me this app is more like a blind match. He doesn't really trust this app.

Oct 10, 2020 09:54 Report Abuse



This goes without saying, but don’t expect to get lucky after your first date. Statistically, there’s a 50/50 chance it will happen, but no matter who you’re on a date with, don’t push it. Some Chinese people still live with their parents and need to be home by a certain time, despite being 20+ years old. As the classic saying goes, “It’s not you, it’s my curfew”.

Apr 20, 2020 03:51 Report Abuse



Depending on your age and preferences, you may not need to date at all, they will hunt you down, so many women at or about 30 with solid finances and education that can't find a mate because the family will not let her marry down in social class and status, so many women divorced from forced marriages to men that have no game, so many professional doctors, female, that will never marry, it's a gold mine if you look in the right places.

Aug 02, 2018 09:40 Report Abuse



Your First Date Experience was good. You overlook many things and noticed behaviors deeply which is very good thing. Best of luck for the next date. Haha.

Aug 02, 2018 04:50 Report Abuse



Nice article, but it's really only applicable to those living in a first or maybe second tier cities. If you're working in the lower tier cities you'll be hard pressed to find girls who can anything in English other than "Hello" and "Sorry." And forget about finding foreign restaurants or cocktail bars, haha,

Jul 31, 2018 08:05 Report Abuse