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Chinese Dating Versus American Dating by Achelle Vinzon
On a dating site like ChinaLoveMatch.net, where people from very different cultures are coming together in hopes of finding a life mate or spouse, it’s important for both sides to seriously consider how the other person’s culture differs from their own when it comes to the dating process. Understanding the differences can save a lot of misunderstanding, wasted time and effort and hurt feelings and disappointment. Take the differences between American dating and Chinese dating for example.
 
At the end of the day, we all want the same thing – love.  To the luckiest of us, love just happens; but for most, it is an elusive goal, a difficult destination, or an unfulfilled dream.  Whatever our cultural background is, the pursuit of love is part of human nature.  As modern society evolved, so did our “mating” practices.  Dating is actually a very modern invention – an American invention, in fact.  And most of the rest of the world has adopted this modern “mating” practice not only to seek out a mate to satisfy the very human need to reproduce, but also to seek out love. 
 
An American date will likely end up here pretty quickly.There used to be a time when dating in America was guided by religion and/or society’s ethical standards and mores.  Nowadays, modern American dating is greatly influenced by pop culture which, in turn, influences most Americans’ attitudes toward the practice of selecting a mate.  This is especially true of the younger generation, specifically the teens; the “older” generation (those in their late 20s and their 30s), has a more pragmatic attitude toward dating, which they often view as both an effective means of selecting a mate and an essential learning experience. 
 
Dating in America starts very early, usually around high school or the early teenage years.  Americans, nowadays, approach this social practice very casually.  They view dating as a way to test the waters, so to speak, to get to know a person better and to find out if they are compatible before deciding to get involved with them in a more committed relationship.  While dating is a means to find a mate, marriage is rarely an immediate goal. 
 
Americans rely on their personal judgment when choosing who to date; parents do not really get involved in their children’s dating life, unless the children are still very young (still, not in all cases) or the parents are extremely strict or religious. 
 
Dating typically means “going out” for coffee, to lunch/dinner, and/or to watch a movie.  It is understood that there is no expectation of exclusivity yet, much less marriage.  One can date more than one person at the same time for fun or while he/she is still looking for that special connection with another. 
 
Having a more serious commitment, or being exclusive, is usually agreed upon by both parties after talking about it.  For some, engaging in sexual relations implies they are ready for a committed relationship, but this is not always true in all instances.  Others can engage in casual sexual relationships without any intention of making a long-term commitment.  In fact, sexual promiscuity is a prominent component of modern American dating practices.   
 
A Chinese date is expected to end up here!Even in modern China, dating is still so starkly different from how Americans practice it.  It can be said that modern dating practices in China are more like the dating practices in the U.S. back in the earliest decades of the 1900s. 
 
One of the most glaring differences between Chinese and American dating is the fact that the Chinese date with the intention to marry.  Nowadays, many Chinese men and women are free to choose who to date.  There are still many cases, however, wherein parents still get involved in their children’s selection of a mate; this goes back to the traditional attitude of dating immediately leading to marriage.
 
For this reason, dating in China is, more often than not, a serious step toward finding a suitable life partner.  Having sexual relations before marriage is now common, but this almost always implies that both parties are committing not only to an exclusive relationship, but to marry each other.  That is why in China, most people do not date more than one or two people, and marriage often follows soon after.  Most Chinese do not see the “American logic” of dating several people first before choosing a serious partner, essentially before choosing a life mate.      
 
While dating practices in America and China differ from each other in a lot of ways, the search for love has recently become a common denominator between the two cultures.  Americans may have a more laid-back attitude toward dating, but this attitude does not preclude the desire to find love and to have love in a relationship.  On the other side of the globe, many Chinese still view dating and relationships as a fulfillment of their obligation to their family and society, but a growing number of Chinese, especially the women, are now choosing to also search for love when searching for a mate.     


From: Original         Author: Achelle Vinzon         Time: 5/11/2013 5:12:41 PM

 
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#2013-05-15 04:38:00 by madmac @madmac
Reply Very interesting article.

As a Canadian I feel Canadian people tend to differ a bit from Americans in this social event, but still similar outlooks and dating rituals in both countries. I see alot more kids choosing to go "steady" with one person rather than dating alot of people more and more. The social stigma of being called a "slut" or a "player" is not something kids want to be stuck with. I am not saying all kids are choosing to go steady but an increasing majority. Of course we will always have the wild ones in every generation. What I see in my own age group 40-55 is alot more women then men doing the party scene, drugs, drink, sex with more than one partner..basically exactly the kind of women that western men are trying to get away from. In my own life I have chosen to date only one woman at a time not "play the field". I choose this as I want to be serious in my search and stay true to my beliefs and feelings. I do believe that kids are not getting married near as young as previous generations, education, careers etc first then possible marriage.

In contrast to Chinese views on marriage, I feel that most westerners marry for love first, not get married then hopefully fall in love with your partner.

I very much appreciate your blog, this topic is essential discussion for both Chinese women and western men. We can learn alot about each other in this subject.

MM

#2013-05-21 18:42:00 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons
Reply @madmac thank you for the feedback. It is interesting that love is universal but how it is sought is different for everyone. At the same time, when real love is found, the differences do not matter as much. I do believe there is no nobler quest than the search for real love. Or maybe that's just the romantic in me.
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