Romance in Beijing, ah the sweet, sultry lull of the call of love. In China’s capital you’ll find some of the country’s most beautiful women, hailing from provinces all over the vast land. The beautiful ladies from the north-west, the pale beauties of Tibet, the spicy gals of Sichuan and the lovers of fun from Guandong and Hong Kong. And of course, the bold and the stunning from Shanghai migrate to the capital as well. Regardless of your tastes, you’ll find a woman to catch the eye in Beijing, a diverse capital that attracts visitors, tourists and expats from around the globe.
What is romance like in China? What customs are you expected to follow or ignore? Are flowers what you bring on a first date? Don’t worry hungry young man, we’re here to feed you seeds of knowledge to help you win the heart of your love in Beijing.
For a first date, you’re expected to pick the girl up at her home or dorm. Don’t ask to come inside, as that is presumptuous and could be misunderstood. Instead, give a small gift (usually chocolate or something small and dainty, like a hair clip or small purse). Dinner is usually expected, and that means shelling out a few RMB for a decent restaurant. You’ll find some tasty spots to dine in Sanlitun, and this is also the place to “see and be seen” which your girl will like. Drinks afterward is not expected, though if you decide to drink a smaller, hutong bar is more intimate and romantic, and shows cultural sensitivity. Steer clear of party bars like Salud and linger in hidden gems like 12sqm Bar & Cafe, or Mao Mao Chong.
Your second date you should bring flowers. The man is expected to pay for dinner again, and drinks. But if she offers to pay it’s smart to take her up on that so you don’t build a relationship of dependency.
It won’t be long until she asks you to meet her family. This is tricky. The family is usually only involved if marriage is an option. Make sure you don’t have your signals crossed. And don’t meet the parents unless you are quite serious about the girl. This will hurt her reputation with her family down the line should you break up.