Mike Cairnduff from Hello Teacher!

Updated November 17, 2018
Mike Cairnduff

Finding a partner in China.

You’ve been teaching in China for a while. Although you’re having the time of your life, you’d like to share the experience with someone special. Sounds familiar?

The good news is you’re not alone. China is home to more than 1.3 billion people, many of whom are single and ready to mingle!

Whether you’re into locals or fellow foreigners, our cheeky guide below may help you find a partner in China.

Expand your network of friends

Ok, so this is an age-old way of finding love. But it works!

The more people you know, the bigger your social network grows and the greater the chance that you’ll meet some interesting, new people.

In China, where personal relationships mean everything, having an expansive social network is going to benefit you tremendously.

How do you make friends in China? Fortunately, you’ll have something that’s in high demand – you’re a native English speaker.

Everyone will want to practise their English with you. That means you’re going to meet a lot of people in a relatively short space of time.

Friendships will naturally grow out of this, and potentially romance. Just don’t confuse the two!

Get active on social media apps

Forget about Facebook Messenger or Snapchat – in China you need to be on WeChat.

Known by locals as Weixin, meaning ‘micro letter’, WeChat has more than 650 million active users. This makes it one of the world’s biggest online messaging apps.

Its ‘shake’ feature, which provides random matching services based on real-time interaction, has proved to be a real hit.

You can find a partner in China by using dating apps

Use dating apps to find someone special in China.

Fast-growing app Momo also features real-time location-based matching. It claims to have 180 million users worldwide.

Tantan, on the other hand, is the Chinese version of Tinder. Simply click on the heart-shaped button to express your interest in someone. If they like you back, you have a match.

Then there’s Qing Chi Fan. What’s different about this app is it’s built around food.

Alongside your photo, state the kind of food or restaurant you’re into and whether you’ll foot the bill. Then sit back and wait for people to get in touch with you.

For gay guys, Blued is the way to go. It’s China’s answer to Grindr. See which guys are in your local area and follow your favourites.

No luck finding someone on an app? That’s ok. Use it as a learning exercise – you’ve probably picked up a few Chinese characters along the way.

Skill up

Learning some new skills is always a good thing for your personal and professional development. But there can be extra benefits, like finding a partner.

Learning in groups effectively forces you to chat with other people around you. As you’re learning the same thing, you’ve already got something in common, making it easier to keep the conversation flowing.

If you fancy someone, don’t hit on them straight away – they could be taken! You’ll need to give it some time before you can weed out the singles from the non-singles.

One of the great things about living and working in China is that practically everything is cheaper than back home.

Take advantage of this and learn how to play a popular sport like badminton or table tennis, get your ‘brush on’ at calligraphy classes, or even try mastering the ancient art of kung fu.

Don’t let your lack of Mandarin skills get in the way of getting out and about.

The expat communities in China's biggest cities are quite vibrant and there are always activities going on. If you're in Shanghai, check Shanghaiist, while in Beijing there's The Beijinger.

Apply to be a contestant on a TV dating show

If you present well and have an interesting personality, then why not show it to the world?

The high-rating dating show ‘If You Are The One’ could be your calling card.

Known in China as Fei Cheng Wu Rao (literally ‘if not sincere then don’t disturb’), the show has been running since 2010. It’s filmed in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, in the east of the country.

A funny clip from TV show 'If You Are The One'.

There have been a number of Westerners appear on the show – the only catch is you must have excellent Mandarin skills.

Although it’s a long shot, getting on the show will give you lots of exposure. Everyone will know you’re on the market!

Even if you’re unsuccessful on the show (many contestants struggle to get a date), you’re bound to be contacted by hundreds, if not thousands, of people afterwards.

That’s because at the end of each show, each losing contestant’s email address is displayed on the screen. Brace yourself for an influx of emails from love-sick home viewers!

Final words

Finding a partner in China is not necessarily easy and it may take time.

A host of reasons including cultural differences, the language barrier, and how long you intend on sticking around, may cause some potential partners to run for the hills.

However, if you stay positive and keep trying, you’re bound to find someone with an open heart and open mind.

Like they say, love will find a way.

What do you think of our guide on how to find a partner in China? What’s your experience been like? Please comment below.


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