Differences in western & eastern dating

Written by dan taylor
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Differences in western & eastern dating
The Japanese approach dating in a way that is similar to Western cultures, but they still have their own unique customs. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Romantic relationships are a fundamental part of human civilisation, so beliefs about dating are often fundamental aspects of a culture. Every culture has its own attributes and belief systems, and dating customs tend to differ with each one. If you are planning to cross those cultural boundaries, understand that there are fundamental differences between dating in Western and Eastern cultures, although it varies by country.

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India is a diverse country where several cultures and religions intersect, so dating habits can vary. Whereas Western women are often free to date whoever they please, women and girls in India often don't have the opportunity to date, as their parents usually arrange the marriages. In recent decades, Western society has come to accept the fact that women will have sex before marriage and date more than one person. However, in India, monogamy is very important, as is virginity before marriage.


The Chinese are from an ancient culture, one that even today is still very traditional. Unlike in the West, sex outside of marriage is a taboo, and premarital sex is a shame to the entire family. Thus, if you are dating a Chinese girl, seeking to have relations with her might be seen as offensive. In fact, the Chinese consider it unseemly to even discuss sex, unlike in the West where people have no problem talking about it.

Middle East

In most of the Middle East, dating is forbidden, period. While in the West men and women are free to associate with each other in any way they choose, in countries like Iran dating is actually against the law, and women may not even walk down the street with a man who is not her husband or relative. The parents may keep teenagers separate until they are old enough to marry, and then introduce them to each other for a courtship.

Japan and Korea

Japan and Korea are more westernised than most Eastern nations, and thus their rules about dating are a little more relaxed. However, they do approach dating in a fundamentally different way, as society expects teenagers to study and get through college first rather than date and go to parties. After that, men are expected to ask the women on dates and pay for their meals.

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