Chinese dating rules

Written by zoe van-de-velde
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Chinese dating rules
Chinese customs are very different than those of Westerners. (Chinese dancers image by Clarence Alford from Fotolia.com)

Western culture permits a very free and easy attitude to dating. Couples make their own choices, and parents' wishes are often ignored. Chinese dating customs are very different. There is far more restraint shown by the couple. The families' wishes are at the heart of any decisions that are made, and courtship is a much more delicate process.

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Honour and Respect

Chinese families tend to be more traditional in their expectations of how "dating" should be carried out. The most important criteria for a man wanting to date a Chinese woman is to show the utmost respect, courtesy and honour for her and her family.

Chinese dating rules
In China, family is very important (grossesse 26 image by Nathalie P from Fotolia.com)

Getting to Know The Family

According to Asian Dating Zone, Chinese suitors know that they are not just dating a Chinese woman, but her entire family, as well. Family is very important to Chinese people; children are respectful of their parents' wishes. Therefore, if the family does not like a suitor, he will struggle in courting the woman. He must make a good first impression on the family, and continue to gain their trust and respect by always showing respect to all members of the woman's family.

Chinese dating rules
Respect the family, and they will respect you (maman et moi 8 image by Nathalie P from Fotolia.com)

Sexual Intimacy

Sex before marriage is still frowned upon in Chinese culture. It is a free choice between the couple how far they wish to go, but pregnancy out of wedlock is seen as a disgrace to the whole family. Some families may actually disown a child who become pregnant or fathers a child outside of wedlock. In fact, in China, it is illegal to actually give birth to an illegitimate child, meaning that the law requires an unmarried pregnant woman to have an abortion. Co-habitation is also frowned upon, as it shows a lack of sexual restraint.

Chinese dating rules
Pregnancy before marriage is frowned upon (grossesse 32 image by Nathalie P from Fotolia.com)

Role of the Man

Chinese women expect men to take the initiative in courtship, as they are socialised to be submissive in relationships. It is also expected that a man should be faithful, even at the "just dating" stage. Promiscuity is considered immoral.

Chinese dating rules
Woman are expected to be more submissive in Chinese society. (woman at rest in lake district,focus on woman image by Adrian fortune from Fotolia.com)

Stages of Dating

Chinese dating has many stages. At the beginning, there should be "friendly" dates in public places with friends; at this point there should not be any displays of affection. Couples in the second stage of dating may go out together without friends, but only very discreetly. This stage could last years, depending upon the woman and her wishes. The third stage is when the couple goes public with their relationship. It is important to discuss with the woman's parents the decision to formalise the relationship. At this point, the man should remember to take a small gift to the woman's family on every visit. Finally, after completing all other stages, the man may ask for the woman's hand in marriage.

Chinese dating rules
Patience is the key to Chinese dating. (Leisure Couple image by huaxiadragon from Fotolia.com)

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