East vs West
Chinese Female In Sydney

Cultural Differences: East vs. West Dating Culture

In Australia, Sydney, I used the WeChat People Nearby function to promote the Mad Chaos business.  One Chinese woman who accepted the invitation came onto messenger to say hello.

I asked, “Do you want to be friends?”

She replied, “Friends is a waste of time.  I need money.”

I thought, “This is a traditional Chinese girl.”

Who Abets Traditional Chinese Materialistic Values In Australia

A materialistic culture is commonplace in China.

In Chinese dating culture, men are expected to pay all the bills, chaperone their date around, buy her small gifts, and woo the girl he admires for weeks to months before they become an official couple.

This Chinese woman in Australia knows that if boys in China like her beauty, she can have 20-40 suitors online on WeChat all giving her red envelope money (红包) to sustain her lifestyle, and she will never have to say yes to one boy.

In Australia, such a materialistic dating culture does not exist.

In Australia, men do not reward beauty with material gain.  Australia only has men like me.  So, all her money has dried up.

Western Male Dating Practices

Australian men would not treat a woman like Chinese men would.  We neither pamper our women, nor give them little gifts.

Partners in Australia are independent.  We are both adults, and that is how we treat each other.

In Australia, when a man asks a woman, “Would you like to have drinks?”  This line “drinks” literally means drinks.

In Western culture, the “drinks” line means, “I am going to pay for the drinks, and assess you to see whether you are a suitable candidate to kiss on the second date.”

An Australian man is sizing a woman up to see whether she can talk, can hold a conversation, and assesses whether she has any red flags in her behavior.  The man pays.

If the first date goes well, an Australian man will take you on a second date.  A second date could be dinner, or movies.  The man will pay.

In Western male minds, we think, “We are on the second date.  The rapport is good.  We need to build up to the kiss.”

Western Female Dating Practices

An Australian woman too would move quickly in the dating process.  An Australian woman will not think, “I need to get some material gain out of this guy from every date.”

An Australian woman thinks just like an Australian man, “I am going to assess this man.  He seems nice.  He is not a psycho.  I will have a second date with him.”

Then, on the second date, an Australian woman thinks, “He has taken me to the movies.  He is nice.  I have asked him questions about his family and friends.  He has answered those questions.  Now I am starting to develop some feelings for him.  Maybe I will let him hold my hand.”

Flirtation is very common in Western society.  Finding a flirtatious way to hold hands gives the Australian guy the signal, “You like me?  I like you too.  I feel comfortable around you now.  I will hold your hand.  I will let you kiss me.”

Then the Australian male kisses the Australian woman.  She is mature enough to kiss him back.

That is the common way in which relationships in Australia begin.

Chinese Female Dating Practices


In China, all women practice modesty and conservatism (保守).

If you adopted the Australian dating culture in China, and tried to kiss a Chinese girl on the second date, she would recoil and refuse you.

In Chinese dating culture, women need lots of time.  Time is not required for any specific reason.  It is just that in Chinese culture, women traditionally need to allocate a certain amount of weeks to months to become familiar with you before they say yes.

Emotions are second to conventions in China.  If a woman is too quick, she is judged to be loose (色女).  She would not let you hold her hand.  She would act frigid, but really women are not frigid in China.  They are just protecting themselves, until they are satisfied they have satisfied the requirements of tradition.

Chinese women for the most part are not impulsive.  A Chinese woman could like a handsome Chinese hunk, like a popstar for example, but would not act on impulse.  She would allow him to see her and date her for weeks, because that is culturally how you do it in China.

Chinese Male Dating Practices

Finally, once the requirements of tradition have been satisfied, the Chinese man will make a move.

He will ask the woman if she wants to date.

She will say yes.

That is when they kiss.

However, the dating process takes weeks to months before a kiss occurs.

Chinese men have become accustomed to Eastern dating practices.  Chinese men know if they go in too strong and try smooch on a girl, the girl will label him a playboy (色狼).  Playboy is the word that gets bandied around China.

If you are trying to kiss a Chinese girl after a few dates, you are deemed a playboy (色狼).

However, in Australia, kissing is what mature people do.  Australians are not there to put labels on people.  Australians are just there to size the person up.

“Is the person a psycho?  No.  Let’s kiss then.”

Then after kissing, that is when all the decision-making happens.

The Australian Dating Process

The Australian dating process looks like this:

  1. You meet
  2. You have two dates
  3. You kiss
  4. You have sex
  5. You enter a relationship
  6. You have arguments and fights in the relationship

In China, the dating process is how you learn about your prospective partner.  In Australia, relationship squabbles are how you learn about your partner.

You don’t learn about your prospective partner by holding them off, because rejection to an Australian male could spell the end of a relationship.

In Australia, the woman knows there are many, many single women available to a man.  China is the opposite.  Many men are single, and all the good women are taken.

The Chinese Dating Process

The Chinese dating process looks like this:

  1. You meet
  2. You date for months until the requirements of tradition are satisfied
  3. You have squabbles
  4. The man confesses he likes the woman
  5. The woman accepts or refuses his advances
  6. You enter a relationship
  7. You hold hands
  8. You kiss
  9. You have sex

No Friends-First Policy In Australian Relationships

In China, a relationship begins as a friendship, and develops.

In Australian dating culture, there is no “friendship-first” courtship.

After a few dates, if a woman gives an Australian man the impression that she just wants to be friends, that Australian man will take that as an indication that she is not interested in him, and he will just move onto the next woman.

Australian relationships are very black and white.

This is why Australian women have adapted to expedite relationships.

The Art Of Mystery In Chinese Dating

Chinese women conversely like to be mysterious.  This ambiguity (暧昧) would frustrate an Australian man.

Australian men try to establish whether a woman likes him.  If a woman is not upfront with her interest, an Australian man will mostly probably walk away to chase another girl.

That is the dating culture in Australia.

Openness is also culturally important in Australian dating culture.

In Australia, past relationships are openly discussed.  We are kind of proud of them.

An Australian man will ask, “How many boyfriends did you have?”

It is not considered taboo for example to hear a woman say, “I had ten relationships and my longest relationship was six months.”

In China however, you can only reveal one or two ex boyfriends, and hide all the other ex boyfriends. The aim of the game is to look innocent in China.  Even if you moonlighted as a prostitute in China, you have to be demure and say, “I only had one boyfriend before you.”

Impulsive Australian Dating Culture

Australian females have to be quick, and impulsive in order to enter a relationship with a man.  There is no time to think.

If she thinks and second-guesses the man, the man will take that as a snub, and will walk away.

There is no obligation in Australia for a man to date the same girl for an extended period of weeks or months, with the hope that maybe she will become your girlfriend.  In Australia, there is nothing that says she can’t become your girlfriend straight away.

So, an Australian male will just assume she is playing around and dating a lot of men.  She is not genuinely interested in you, and we will just dump that woman.



Final Words

In Australia, if you ask for money from a man when you are dating, you will get dumped.

If you string a man along with the “friendship” label in Australia, but you still have coffees and dinners with them, you will get dumped.

If you are secretive when you talk about yourself or your history, you will get dumped.

In China, friendship-first relationships, good treatment, material rewards, and keeping affairs modestly private is the traditional way to secure a long-term boyfriend.

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Author: 钨宝

The author of Diary Of A Mad Chaos from 1996 to 2018, The Lost Years book, Wubao In China (猎艳奇缘) book series, and Foreigner (华人) an exploration of race relations in Australia. Fluent in Chinese Mandarin, Macedonian, and English, the author currently resides in China, Guangzhou where he continues to make comparative analysis of the cultural differences between Eastern and Western societies.

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