Dating in China

When thinking about complicated social dynamics and meeting people, few countries compare to China. In terms of population, only India matches China’s amassed population while in terms of dating complexity only Japan is seemingly more convoluted. Dating in China is an evolving case study, in this article will take a look at the current state of things.

It’s hard to turn on the news and not hear a story that relates to China. Usually it is political in nature, we rarely hear much about Chinese culture. Interestingly, dating culture in China has undergone significant changes in recent years, particularly among younger generations who are increasingly influenced by Western norms and values. Though places like Hong Kong and Macau, have historically been Westernized, this trend has only recently escalated in Mainland China. Despite this shift, however, it is important to maintain an understanding that traditional values and customs continue to play an important role in dating and romantic relationships in China.

When thinking about the Chinese people who are actively dating, it is important to keep a few things in mind. There are many Chinese whose life experiences are limited to life within China. This usually entails extensive study and/or work as well as close relations with ones parents. On the other hand, many young Chinese have started to gain experience living abroad. These different life experiences lead to unique approaches to dating, particularly in following a more traditional route or by taking a more global approach to dating, even using dating apps.

In terms of the traditional values of Chinese dating culture, one of the most notable aspects is the importance of family and community. In contrast to individualistic Western cultures, family and community approval are often key factors in determining whether a relationship is considered acceptable. As a result, many Chinese singles will seek the approval of their parents or relatives before entering into a serious relationship.

Another important aspect of dating culture in China is the concept of “face” or “mianzi”. This refers to the importance of maintaining social harmony and avoiding embarrassment or loss of face. As a result, many Chinese singles may be more reserved or cautious in their approach to dating, as they seek to avoid potential conflict or negative social consequences. This takes an interesting form in the virtual world as it can often be witnessed in user behavior.

In terms of gender roles, traditional values still play a significant role in shaping dating norms and expectations in China. While gender roles are becoming more flexible, many Chinese men still expect women to be feminine, nurturing, and respectful, while women may expect men to be strong, protective, and financially stable.

In recent years, online dating has become increasingly popular in China, particularly among younger generations who are more open to using technology to meet potential partners. Since many international apps do not have access to the Chinese market, there are plenty of products made in China by Chinese companies. Popular dating apps and websites in China include Tantan, Momo, and Baihe, among many more.

Overall, dating culture in China is complex and multifaceted, reflecting a blend of traditional and modern values and norms. While some aspects of dating culture have changed in recent years, many traditional values and customs still play an important role in shaping relationships and expectations.

11 Interesting Facts about Dating in China

  1. In China, it is common for couples to wear matching outfits or accessories, such as shoes or watches, as a sign of their commitment to each other.
  2. Traditional Chinese matchmakers, known as “yuehui“, still exist and are sometimes used by older generations to help arrange marriages.
  3. Similarly, Matchmaking events, or “marriage markets,” are a unique feature of Chinese dating culture. These events are typically held in public parks and allow parents to matchmake their single adult children by showcasing their credentials. Parents will often adorn an umbrella with pictures and notes about their single child with the hope of convincing someone to meet them.
  4. In China, a woman who is unmarried in her late twenties or early thirties is often referred to as a “leftover woman” or “shengnu”, and may face social stigma for being single.
  5. At the same time, in recent years, “bare branches” or “guanggunmen, are those who are unable to find partners due to a gender imbalance in China, have become a growing social issue.
  6. Public displays of affection, such as extensive kissing or hugging, are generally not common in China and may be viewed as inappropriate or disrespectful. Hand holding and other light gestures are common though.
  7. In some parts of China, it is customary for the groom’s family to pay a significant sum of money, known as a “bride price”, to the bride’s family as a sign of respect and commitment.
  8. Chinese couples often celebrate their anniversaries on the 100th day and 1st, 2nd, and 5th years of their relationship, in addition to the more traditional yearly anniversaries.
  9. In China, it is common for parents to play a significant role in their children’s relationships, often accompanying them on dates and offering advice and guidance.
  10. Many Chinese couples will choose to get married on auspicious dates, determined by factors such as the lunar calendar and the couple’s astrological signs.
  11. Chinese couples may choose to wear traditional Chinese wedding attire, which often features intricate embroidery and symbolic colors such as red, symbolizing good luck and happiness.

Most Romantic Holidays in China

Valentine’s Day is not traditionally celebrated in China, there are several other days throughout the year that are associated with love and romance. These are in addition to an romantic days that a couple might share, such as their anniversary.

Chinese romantic holidays
Chinese couple standing outdoors with red paper fan and blooming peach branches after celebrating spring festival
  1. Qixi Festival: Also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, Qixi Festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. It celebrates the legendary love story between the weaver girl and the cowherd, who are said to only be able to meet once a year on this day.
  2. Double Seventh Festival: This festival, also known as the Magpie Festival, is another celebration of love that falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. It is similar to Qixi Festival and is associated with the same legend.
  3. Lantern Festival: The 15th day of the first lunar month is known as the Lantern Festival, and is a time when couples often celebrate their love and relationships by releasing lanterns together.
  4. Alibaba’s Single’s Day is an annual shopping festival in China that takes place on November 11th. It is the largest online shopping event in the world, with billions of dollars in sales made within 24 hours. The event is marketed towards single individuals, hence the name “Single’s Day”.
  5. Chinese New Year: While not specifically a romantic holiday, Chinese New Year is a time when many families gather together, and it is common for couples to exchange gifts and spend time together during the holiday.

Typical First Date in China

The typical first date in China can vary greatly depending on the individuals, their life experiences and their preferences, but there are some general expectations and cultural norms that are worth noting.

Traditionally, Chinese people tend to be more reserved and less direct in their communication than people from Western cultures. This can make it more difficult to determine if someone is interested in you romantically, or if they are simply being friendly.

In terms of actual date activities, common options might include going to a movie, having a meal together, or going for a walk in a public park or other scenic location. In more traditional circumstances, it is not uncommon for friends or even family members to join the couple on the first date, especially if they are introduced by mutual acquaintances or family members.

Dating at night

In terms of dating etiquette, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is important to show respect for your date and their cultural traditions. This might mean dressing appropriately for the occasion, bringing a small gift or token of appreciation, or avoiding sensitive topics like politics or religion.

Additionally, it is important to be polite and courteous throughout the date. This might mean opening doors for your date, paying for the meal or activity, and being attentive and engaged in conversation. It is also important to be patient and understanding if there are any cultural misunderstandings or communication barriers.

Finally, it is important to take things slowly and not rush into anything too quickly. Chinese culture tends to place a greater emphasis on long-term relationships and commitment, so it is important to be respectful of your date’s feelings and desires.

Is China gay friendly?

China does not have a strong tradition of acceptance or recognition of LGBTQ+ individuals, and in recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of discrimination and harassment against the LGBTQ+ community. However, there has also been a growing movement of acceptance and tolerance in many parts of the country, particularly among younger generations and in larger urban areas.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in China in 1997, and in 2001 it was removed from the official list of mental disorders. However, same-sex marriage is not recognized in China, and there are no laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations.

That being said, there are a growing number of organizations and advocacy groups working to promote LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance in China, and there have been some positive steps taken in recent years, such as the lifting of a ban on depictions of homosexuality in media.

Overall, while China is not currently known for being particularly LGBTQ+ friendly, there are signs of progress and a growing movement towards greater acceptance and inclusion. Stay up to date with the latest news regarding the LGTBQ community in China with the ILGA.

Social cues and traditional gender roles in China

As with many aspects of Chinese culture, social cues and gender roles in dating can be influenced by traditional values and expectations, as well as more modern attitudes and behaviors.

Traditionally, there has been a greater emphasis on male dominance and female subservience in Chinese dating and relationships, with men expected to be the primary breadwinners and decision-makers, and women expected to take on more domestic roles and defer to their male partners.

However, in recent years there has been a growing shift towards more gender equality and a greater recognition of women’s rights and agency in relationships. This has been driven in part by China’s economic development and urbanization, which has led to greater educational and employment opportunities for women.

In terms of social cues, Chinese dating culture tends to place a greater emphasis on building trust and establishing a strong emotional connection before physical intimacy. This means that couples may take longer to become physically intimate than in some other cultures, and there may be less emphasis on casual dating and hookups. This however, is highly subjective to the individual. Some Chinese may be more open to casual relationships than others.

There are also certain expectations around gift-giving and other forms of social etiquette in Chinese dating culture. For example, it is considered polite to bring a small gift for your date, such as flowers or chocolates, and to be attentive and considerate throughout the date.

Finally, it is important to be aware of the cultural significance of certain behaviors and gestures in Chinese dating culture.

Best Places to Meet Singles in China

There are many places to meet singles in China, depending on your interests and preferences. Here are some of the most popular types of places to meet singles in China:

  1. Bars and clubs: Like in many other countries, bars and clubs are popular places to meet singles in China. Larger cities like Beijing and Shanghai have a vibrant nightlife scene, with many options for bars and clubs catering to different tastes.
  2. Online dating apps and websites: Online dating has become increasingly popular in China, particularly among younger generations. Some of the most popular dating apps in China include Tantan, Momo, and Blued.
  3. Social events and activities: Attending social events and activities, such as parties, cultural events, and sports clubs, can be a great way to meet new people and potentially connect with singles who share your interests.
  4. Professional networking meetups: Professional networking meetups are becoming increasingly popular in China, particularly in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. Many companies and organizations in China hold their own networking events and conferences, which can be effective for making new connections. Further, these meetups provide opportunities for professionals to expand their networks, make new connections, and learn about job opportunities.
  5. Work and school: Finally, work and school can also be great places to meet singles in China. Many people meet their partners through work or school connections, and there is a strong emphasis on education and career advancement in Chinese culture, making these environments particularly conducive to forming relationships.

Staying Safe while Dating in China

Dating in China can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it is important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety. Here are some tips for staying safe while dating in China:

  1. Use reputable dating apps and websites: When using online dating apps and websites, it is important to use reputable platforms that have good security and privacy features.
  2. Meet in public places: When meeting someone for the first time, it is important to choose a public place, such as a coffee shop or restaurant, and to avoid meeting in secluded or private locations.
  3. Let someone know your plans: It is a good idea to let a friend or family member know your plans, including the time and location of your date, and to check in with them periodically throughout the date.
  4. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or uncomfortable during the date, it is important to trust your instincts and take steps to ensure your safety, such as leaving the location or contacting a friend or family member for assistance.
  5. Be cautious with personal information: It is important to be cautious with sharing personal information, such as your home address or financial details, and to avoid sharing sensitive information until you have established trust with your date.
  6. Practice safe sex: If engaging in sexual activity, it is important to practice safe sex to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections.

By following these tips, you can help ensure your safety while dating in China and enjoy a fun and positive dating experience.

Are dating apps popular in China? Which are the top and what is the current state of the online dating industry in China?

China is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets for online dating, with a rapidly expanding user base and a thriving industry of dating apps and websites. The country’s large population, high internet penetration rates, and changing cultural attitudes toward dating and relationships have contributed to the growth of the online dating market in China.

The online dating industry in China is highly competitive, with a wide range of apps and websites catering to different demographics and interests. Interestingly enough, many popular international dating apps such as Badoo, Bumble or Tinder are not that popular in China. Further, because Google does not operate in China, western dating apps do not usually have a presence on any non-Apple devices.

The Chinese online dating market is dominated by a few major players, but there are also many smaller apps and niche dating sites that cater to specific interests, communities, or sexual orientations.

Dating apps in China

One of the unique features of the online dating industry in China is the prevalence of social networking features, which allow users to connect with friends and other users in their social networks. This has helped to create a more social and community-oriented approach to online dating, which has been a key factor in the success of many of the country’s top dating apps.

As we mentioned, there are many different apps and websites but these are some of the top dating apps and websites used in China:

  1. Tantan: Tantan is one of the most popular dating apps in China, with a user base of over 100 million people. The app is similar to Tinder, allowing users to swipe left or right on potential matches and chat with those who have also expressed interest.
  2. Momo: Momo is a social networking app that also includes a dating component. It has a large user base of over 100 million people and offers features such as live streaming and group chats.
  3. Jiayuan: Jiayuan is one of the oldest and most established dating sites in China, with a user base of over 100 million people. It is known for its emphasis on serious relationships and has a strong reputation for authenticity and security.
  4. Baihe: Baihe is another popular dating site in China, with a user base of over 85 million people. It offers a range of features such as personality matching and video chat.
  5. Blued: Blued is a dating app that caters specifically to the LGBT community in China, with a user base of over 40 million people. It is known for its emphasis on social networking and community building, as well as its commitment to creating a safe and inclusive platform for all users.