Dating in Taiwan

Taiwan is a bustling East Asian nation with a rich history. Dating culture in Taiwan is a reflection of this history, taking influences from it’s colorful past. For example, most people are familiar with its cultural connections that Taiwan has to China, particularly in their use of the Chinese language, but not everyone knows about other cultural influences that Taiwan has. Taiwan’s native peoples, referred to as aboriginese, consist of 16 tribes. Historically, these tribes do not speak Mandarin nor Taiwanese, though that has changed in recent years. Further, Taiwan was also colonized by Japan for nearly 50 years. As we consider how singles live and what it is like to date in Taiwan, let’s keep these things in context.

In the past, a form of arranged marriages were common, as couples often relied on matchmakers and familial connections to help them find suitable partners. However, today, young people have significantly more freedom to choose their partners, and dating is a popular way to meet new people.

Of the most important cultural values in Taiwanese dating culture is xiao or filial piety, which is a philosophy stemming from its religious influences of Confucianism, Chinese Buddhism, and Daoist thought. Thus, respect for elders is highly valued, and many young people seek their parents’ approval before entering into a serious relationship. Additionally, Taiwan is a patriarchal society, and gender roles are still deeply ingrained in the culture. Men are expected to be the providers, while women are expected to be the caretakers of the home. Since there is a strong devotion to ones family and Taiwanese people often have close-knit families and friends it isn’t uncommon for a couple to go on a group date with their friends or family members. Particularly, group dating with friends is quite a common practice in Taiwan. This is similar to the tradition in Japan.

Taiwanese people tend to be more reserved and traditional than their Western counterparts. PDA (public displays of affection) are not common, and couples are more likely to express their affection through small gestures, such as holding hands or giving gifts. Additionally, it is common for couples to take things slow and get to know each other well before committing to a serious relationship.

Finally, technology has played a big role in changing the dating landscape in Taiwan. Like many other countries, online dating has become increasingly popular, particularly among young people. The use of dating apps is growing in the country. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Line are also commonly used for dating purposes. That being said, it is likely that many Taiwanese people still prefer to meet potential partners through mutual friends or family connections.

Dating culture within Taiwanese people

As we discussed in the previous section, Taiwan’s history influences its dating culture in various ways. One interesting and unique way is the historical interaction between individuals from Taiwan’s aboriginal tribes and ethnic Chinese people in Taiwan. In pop culture, there is a singer called ABAO who comes from one of these tribes. She even sings a song about falling in love with an ethnic Chinese boy and questioning the fate of their relationship. This song subliminally shows the emphasis that Taiwanese people would put on the concept of acceptance, both from peers, community and of course, their own family.

ABAO – sings a “tjakudain Wu Nai” to describe a sad love story

Do Taiwanese people date foreigners?

By its nature, Taiwan is a diverse and multicultural society, with many foreigners living and working in the country, so it is not uncommon for locals to have interactions with people from different backgrounds. While there may be some cultural differences and challenges in navigating those differences, it is not uncommon for Taiwanese people to date and enter into relationships with people from other countries. So yes, Taiwanese people do date foreigners. However, like in any other country, there may be some individuals who hold more traditional views and may be hesitant to date foreigners.

Interesting facts about dating in Taiwan

  1. Ghost Month Effect: In Taiwan, there’s a belief that Ghost Month (the seventh lunar month of the year) is an inauspicious time for starting a new relationship. This is because during this time, it’s believed that ghosts roam freely on earth and may cause bad luck or misfortune to those who begin new relationships.
  2. Love Motels: Love motels are a common feature of Taiwanese dating culture. This is in part because many young Taiwanese live with their families and they do not have privacy. These motels are designed for couples who want to have a private space for intimate activities without having to worry about being disturbed. Many of them offer different themes, such as Hello Kitty or Japanese-style rooms.
  3. Zodiac Sign Compatibility: In Taiwan, some people believe that zodiac sign compatibility plays a role in successful relationships. They may consult astrologers or use online resources to determine if they are compatible with a potential partner based on their zodiac signs.
  4. Friend-Pairing”: “Friend-pairing” is a popular method of dating in Taiwan. It involves two friends setting up their single friends with each other. The idea is that the two friends know each other well and can vouch for the character and compatibility of their single friends.
  5. Arranged Marriages: While arranged marriages are not as common in Taiwan as they once were, they are still practiced in some traditional families. In these cases, families will typically look for partners who share the same background, education level, and social status.
  6. Love Confession: In Taiwan, it’s not common for people to confess their love directly. Instead, they may drop hints or use subtle gestures to express their feelings more subtly. This can be confusing for foreigners who are used to more direct expressions of love and affection.
  7. Public Displays of Affection: Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon in Taiwan. Generally, couples are expected to be discreet and not engage in any overt displays of affection, such as kissing or more affectionate gestures are uncommon.

Most Romantic Day in Taiwan

In Taiwan, Valentine’s Day is also a popular day for romantic gestures, but the most important day for couples is actually the Qixi Festival, also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. The festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, which usually falls in August. On this day, couples exchange gifts, chocolates, and flowers as a symbol of their love and commitment to each other. There are also traditional activities such as writing love letters, releasing sky lanterns, and visiting temples to pray for good fortune and blessings on the relationship.

Typical First Date in Taiwan

The setup of a first date in Taiwan depends on many factors, especially how the two met. If they met through online dating, then a first date might be more oriented towards coffee, drinks or a walk in the market. However, if they were introduced through friends or family, then it might be more formal.

In Taiwan, a typical first date can be quite formal. In some cases, the person who initiates the date picks the location and pays for everything.

The location of the date is usually a public place such as a coffee shop, restaurant, or karaoke bar. It’s common for the couple to meet in the evening, usually after work or on weekends. In Taiwan, punctuality is important. It’s considered impolite to be late, so arriving on time is important.

Night markets are a great place to meet new people or go on a date

During the date, the couple will get to know each other by talking about their backgrounds, interests, and goals. Personal questions may not be asked in the first date as it may be perceived as too intimate. Depending on the couple, physical contact may also be minimal, with a simple handshake or a bow as a greeting.

Taiwanese dating culture places a lot of importance on manners and etiquette. Showing respect for your date is highly valued, and small gestures such as holding the door open or offering to pay for the meal can be considered as signs of good manners.

After the date, it’s common for the couple to exchange messages or make plans for a second date if they feel a connection. However, it’s also acceptable to wait a few days before contacting each other to avoid appearing too eager.

Is Taiwan gay friendly?

Taiwan is considered one of the most gay-friendly countries in Asia, with a relatively open and accepting attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community. In 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. However, while there are legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, there are still societal and cultural stigmas attached to being openly gay in Taiwan. Despite this, the gay community in Taiwan is vibrant and active, with many bars, clubs, and events catering to the LGBTQ+ population.

Social cues and gender roles in Taiwan

In Taiwan, social cues and gender roles in dating are heavily influenced by traditional Chinese values and Confucianism. There is a strong emphasis on politeness and respect, particularly towards elders and those in positions of authority.

Men are often expected to take the lead in initiating and planning dates, while women are expected to be more passive and demure. Displays of affection in public are generally discouraged, and couples are expected to maintain a certain level of decorum and modesty.

Gender roles in Taiwanese society have been shifting in recent years, particularly among younger generations. Women are increasingly pursuing careers and becoming more financially independent, which has led to more egalitarian relationships.

Woman buys food at stall

However, traditional gender norms still play a significant role in dating and relationships, particularly in more conservative areas of the country. In these situations, men are often expected to be the primary breadwinners, while women are expected to focus on domestic duties and raising children.

Overall, dating in Taiwan can be complex and influenced by a mix of traditional values and modern attitudes. It’s important to be respectful of cultural norms and expectations while also being open-minded and flexible.

Best places to visit in Taiwan for singles

  1. Night markets: Taiwan is famous for its night markets, where you can find all sorts of delicious street food, drinks, games, and more. It’s a great place to go with friends or to meet new people.
  2. Hiking: Taiwan has many beautiful mountains and hiking trails that are accessible year-round. Join a hiking group or go on your own and enjoy the scenery and fresh air.
  3. Hot springs: Taiwan is also known for its hot springs, which can be a relaxing way to spend an afternoon or evening. Some hot springs even have private rooms for couples or groups.
  4. Karaoke: Karaoke is a popular activity in Taiwan, and you can find karaoke bars all over the country. Sing your heart out with friends or meet new people while enjoying some drinks and music.
  5. Cycling: Taiwan has many well-maintained cycling paths, particularly along its scenic coastline. Rent a bike and explore the island at your own pace.
  6. Museums and galleries: Taiwan has a thriving art scene, with many museums and galleries showcasing the work of local and international artists. Check out the National Palace Museum, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, or any number of smaller galleries.
  7. Language exchange events: Many language exchange events take place in Taiwan, where locals and foreigners can meet and practice each other’s languages. It’s a great way to make new friends and learn about different cultures.
  8. Festivals and events: Taiwan has many festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Lantern Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and Taipei International Book Exhibition. Join in the festivities and meet new people while enjoying Taiwan’s rich culture.

Top dating apps in Taiwan

  1. Paktor: This is one of the most popular dating apps in Taiwan. It matches users based on their interests, preferences, and location.
  2. Tinder: Tinder is a widely used dating app in Taiwan that matches users based on their location and interests.
  3. Badoo: Badoo is a dating-focused social network that allows users to chat, make new friends, and find potential partners based on their location.
  4. iPair: iPair is a Taiwanese dating app that allows users to connect with people nearby. It includes features like chat, photo sharing, and voice messages.
  5. Skout: Skout is a global dating app that is popular in Taiwan. It allows users to discover new people nearby and connect with them through chat or video call.
  6. Mingle2: Mingle2 is a dating app that allows users to connect with other singles in Taiwan. It includes features like chat, photo sharing, and matching algorithm.
  7. OkCupid: OkCupid is a dating app that matches users based on their interests and personality. It is popular among young adults in Taiwan.
  8. Couplr: Couplr is a Taiwanese dating app that matches users based on their location and interests. It includes features like chat, photo sharing, and date ideas.