10 Things Western Women Should Know About Dating Taiwanese Guys

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For many people, an inevitable part of moving to a new country for immersion language learning entails dating the locals.

If you are (one of the relatively few) western women living in Taiwan, and you fancy dating the local men, there are a few helpful things to know.

While it’s impossible to account for all the variation and differences among Taiwanese men, there are persistent cultural trends, attitudes and expectations that are good to be aware of.

I’ve complied this list based on my observations, conversations, and personal experiences. This information is not in any way a definitive truth about all Taiwanese men.

Additionally, I’m referring specifically to men about 25 years or older. Teenage / college love and romance in Taiwan tends to follow a difference set of unwritten rules and expectations.

  • Taiwanese guys are notoriously shy. This is partly due to cultural modesty, saving face, respect, and a culture of the gentlemanly treatment of women. Taiwanese guys will not show interest like American guys by checking you out and hitting on you.
  • Taiwanese guys generally take things slow. This is not always true, however, and some Taiwanese guys try to be more assertive and “western” when dating western women. This usually plays out in a clumsy, awkward move that is ill-timed and premature.
  • Taiwanese men are typically attracted to charming, intelligent, and demure women. Cheeky, rebellious, or sexually flamboyant women are more likely favored by western men and not so much by their Taiwanese counterparts.
  • It may be hard to tell if a Taiwanese guy wants to date you, or just be your friend. This may be because he is still determining that himself, or he doesn’t want you to feel pressured, or he wants to avoid losing face (and your friendship) if you outright reject him.
  • If a Taiwanese guy is interested in you, he will text you frequently, give you small gifts, and invite you to spend time alone together. Additionally, he may offer to pay for activities and meals you share together.
  • Taiwanese men may express their care and appreciation for you by giving you “helpful” advice. To some western women this may seem pushy, irritating, and overstepping. He may insist you buy a fan for your apartment to save money by running your air conditioner less. Or he may assert you should change cell phone companies to get a better deal. He wants to feel like your hero, rescuing you and saving the day.
  • Holding hands and kissing is a significant step in the relationship. If a Taiwanese guy holds your hand, he probably considers you his girlfriend. As one guy I know put it, “When I hold her hand, it means I am giving her my heart.”
  • Taiwanese guys tend to, on average, have fewer girlfriends and sexual partners than their western counterparts. Taiwanese guys, in general, are more interested in a lasting, committed sexual relationship than a notches in their bedposts, one night stands or causal sexual affairs.
  • Taiwanese guys tend to view dating as a long term mate selection process. Most guys aren’t looking for a causal fling or seasonal romance. They are most likely thinking about your future together.
  • Family is important to Taiwanese guys, and they will often consider the wishes of their parents when choosing a partner. This impacts who they date as well, since dating is frequently a road that leads to marriage.

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109 Comments

  1. Hey, for some reason, my comment appeared under a ‘different user’ profile. That’s not my profile picture, and I can’t amend it or remove it. Please could you erase that comment, I really don’t know how that picture got there, or why I don’t have control of editing/removing. Sorry about that!

  2. I live in Taiwan and I can tell you that whoever wrote this must live in a cave b/c 88% of what was written is the exact opposite of the truth. Or maybe this was written 2 decades ago.???

    • I am the author, and although technically I don’t live in a cave, my tiny Taipei apartment is about the size of a cave! Thanks for sharing your perspective. It’s always good to get feedback!

  3. Why Taiwanese guys behave the way they do is in large part the result of cultural influence. By that, I mean the influence of Confucianism which is at the core of Chinese philosophy for 2000 years..

  4. “Taiwanese men are typically attracted to charming, intelligent, and demure women. Cheeky, rebellious, or sexually flamboyant women are more likely favored by western men” and the picture next to it – priceless. btw to me, taiwanese guys treat western girls as easy chicks and only want to have sex, so i totally disagree. Thats why I dont like them at all. But maybe thats me who have bad experience

  5. Sorry some of you have not-so-good experiences, but I actually think these descriptions are generally true. Of course everyone is different. I assume most western guys have opposite behaviors as listed in the article, such as “Taiwanese guys tend to view dating as a long term mate selection process.” – don’t western men (25 and above) want to have long term relations? is “dating” just a game or for fun rather than looking for a girl who you want to stay together for long term or life?

    I was wondering if the western girls would like to date Taiwanese guys considering those very different characteristics…..

    • I think western guys also want long term relationships, and most end up getting married as well. But western guys, in my opinion, are more apt to date women regardless of her compatibility as a future wife, whereas I think Taiwanese guys factor this more seriously into dating.

  6. I think some of these might be true, but the brutal truth is, there are many many Taiwanese “players” in this modern society now.

  7. Mostly are true except for point 8. It really varies in this generation. And just saying, there are significant differences between Taiwanese guys and Taiwanese guys who like and dare to date westerners.

  8. I totally disagree these:
    ““When I hold her hand, it means I am giving her my heart.” ”
    “.. take things slow”
    “long lasting relationship…”……
    Actually, I don’t think your opinion of Taiwanese guys r correct. These opinion are too narrow and prejudiced.
    How many sample did you get? Hahhaha~

    1. I believe most of guys in the whole world definitely would like to have seasonal romances. Hahahaha~~ I think, maybe you got wrong guys!!
    And I have no ideas where did you make friends in Taiwan. It seemed you met few Taiwanese and you enlarge your opinions.
    Maybe I should show my friends to you!

    2. Sometimes little gifts just show our kindness and warmth, don’t think too much.

    3. “…take things slow…”. Actually, I don’t met turtle Taiwanese guys but my foreigner friends move like snails….

    4. Taiwanese more like to help others than other countries. I think they just want to give you some information/advice because you are a foreigner. They afraid that you miss some (good) information.

    5. Language barrier is also one of the reasons to tell why they r shy.
    Taiwanese just lack of opportunities to speak English, but our reading/writing/listening are at intermediate level.

  9. um..there are differences between Local Taiwanese and the Taiwanese who lived in western country for a long time… I think this artical refers to the Taiwanese in Taiwan.

  10. No, I don’t really think so with one of these (others are quite true). I’m rebellious and cheeky and there have been Taiwanese guys who are interested in me (I’m taken, which makes it easier to tell). I find the others to be generally correct – with exceptions of course – but #3 in my experience is just dead wrong. It’s also kind of sexist.

    And I can see why anyone would find “insisting you do this or that” to be annoying. If I weren’t off the market I’d date Taiwanese guys (expat men in Taiwan don’t generally float my boat). He may think he’s “being your hero” but no, that’s just kind of controlling and irritating. I’m on the irritated girlfriend’s side in that.

    • In fact, the Taiwanese guys I’ve known, some get on better with quieter women, but plenty find an outgoing, talkative, rebellious, “cheeky” woman who doesn’t act stereotypically female to be refreshing. Just like everywhere else in the world. I’ve had Taiwanese guy friends tell me this, too. One of my friends dated a Taiwanese guy (still good friends) who said quite plainly “you don’t act like a girly-girl, you’re not quiet…that’s what I like!”.

  11. To be honest. This is not a proper point of view.
    In my opinion, how does the blogger thinks Taiwanese men are unique?
    Any definition about Taiwanese male? Are they different from people who comes from Hong Kong or Mainland China?

    Here is what I’m saying.
    1 ) The type of Taiwanese male above are typical. I don’t know how many there are, but many of them are. Maybe 60%.

    2 ) A pick-up guide for westerner girls?
    This guide teaches you how to start a date or relationship with a local Taiwanese male. It’s all about it.

    3 ) Nice try, bad conclusion.
    It’s fresh when you guess a different culture which is far away from your place and even crossing the Ocean. But it’s too simple to get more detail because we don’t know why those guys look so shy and not charming.

    4 ) Unclear way, hard driving.
    Sweetty, had better learn how to drive. The iceberg is closing to you.

    Finally, it is a surprise article (I’m not surprise though). Hope you keep writing and share some interesting stuff (no drug thx).
    Oh, I’m a journalist who focus on erotic-relationship (not famous than E-today). And I will write a new critical about your article.
    Best wishes, Ji-ho sword.

    • Thanks for your interest and comments on my article. To address some of your points…

      #1
      I only write about Taiwanese men because I’m living in Taiwan and have experiences and observations of Taiwanese guys in particular. I have never been to mainland China or Hong Kong so I can’t really comment on those men, if they are the same or different.

      #2
      My post wasn’t intended to be a pick up guide, just some useful cultural information. So many western women living in Taiwan express frustration about the dating situation here. I think it’s helpful to understand things from a cultural point of view. I’m simply sharing my personal perspective.

      I’m not sure what you mean with #3, because I live in Taiwan, so it is not “far away” or “crossing the ocean.” I actually live here.

      #4
      I have no idea what you mean to say with the driving and iceberg bit.

      Thanks for your well wishes. I look forward to reading your criticisms of my article. Would you be so kind as to email me a link when you publish it? My email is info@languageboat.com. Thanks, and wish you the best!

  12. Hi, I’m a 33 Taiwanese male, after reading this interesting article, I think many Taiwanese guys are too “dependent” on their relationship, even me. this reason sometimes makes us feel insecure during a relationship, which is a part I think we need to work on.

    • Frank, thanks for sharing. I am so interested in what you mean by “dependent” and how that creates a sense of insecurity for Taiwanese guys. I’d love to chat with you more about this. If you are more comfortable you could email me, info@languageboat.com. I would like to know how that impacts your relationships. Thanks for your openness and willingness to share something so personal. Very brave!

  13. well, I guess “dependent” means “care too much” about what they give and take in a relationship. and the balance between. They just can’t relax and enjoy the relationship. And so as Taiwaness girls.

  14. I have to say most of those points are a load of crap. Even though guys here in Taiwan are often shy beta males with no idea how to interact with females in a fun, natural way, they are dying to improve themselves. I teach taiwanese guys to build confidence and approach girls in the day time and they all CHANGE! They become more fun, confidence, social, high value men. They are no longer the stereotypical beta males you write about. Inside every nerdy taiwanese guy is an alpha dying to break out and seduce women, or at least one lucky woman.

    • Thanks for sharing your point of view. I am NOT advocating for Taiwanese guys to change. Unless of course that is what THEY want. I am pointing out some cultural trends I have noticed with Taiwanese guys that western women might find helpful when dating Taiwanese men. I think that if you are a western woman and you want to date men in Taiwan, it is important to understand the dating culture here. Just because Taiwanese guys aren’t like western guys doesn’t mean they are nerdy or betas (in my opinion)… Taiwanese guys have many appealing qualities. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing your insights and being part of the conversation on this topic!

  15. I say thats bollocks. You just can’t generalise an entire race with your own stereotypical point of view from such poor experience of understanding. Just because some Taiwanese guys may behave the way it seems to you doesn’t mean all the asian men(or Taiwanese men)on this planet share the same quality. They’re not Aliens that should be treated with cultural cautions to approach. Open your eyes and see the world clearer.

    • Not sure why your replies are typical negative and offensive. The posts are generally very neutral and many of them are quite true. I read most of the posts and many of them were discussing very positive aspects of Taiwan or Asian culture. I rarely read articles from western women in an effort to look into the dating issues between western women and Taiwanese men, so I think these series of articles would be invaluable in understanding the different perspectives of dating in both cultures. Quite interesting. Can we just read it with a relaxed mind and do not discourage her? I think positive discussion is better rather than negative words.

      Have a wonderful day.

      • I do apologize for my aggressiveness. But the fact that this article might give a stereotypical image to all Taiwanese men or Asian men in general( since they can’t really be told differences )whom the next time any foreigner should happen to approach before they even open their mouth and demonstrate their own personalities. They are not all the same. Cheers and you have a wonderful and productive day too.

    • Taiwanese live in the very seclude society. We need foreign input to point out our short comings so we can continue better our own society. Hiding from our own problems never make thing better.

    • I believe it says clearly in the TITLE of this article that the author is talking about “Taiwanese”, not the entire Asia.

      There is no need for you to criticize this article. It would be better to be more open-minded to it.

      • *And of course, there will always be cultural gaps between two different cultures. Why are you opposing to this non-biased discussion on cultures?

        You, Mr. Han Solo, seems more culturally biased to me.

      • Now, let me polish your lens a little but more thoroughly, Emma. Never generalize an entire group of people. Putting on a list of elements to define what a Taiwanese man is is not only dim witted but also immature and at some level could be considered racism if any particular racial gestures is concerned. I should talk to your kindergarten teacher. Good luck on your marriage.

      • The sad part is some Taiwanese blokes even accept the fact that they are being labeled of something that ain’t even true and are proud of it, making it a date me bible as if it’s trying to say ” oh hey beware ! I’m a Taiwanese man ! And these are the rules you should abide if you want me !”, sharing it on Facebook where I spotted it. Nobody should be generalized and given a stereotypical image just because some people of his same nationality or race have done something so particular that could deemed common or typical, and therefore should lose their precious personality. Think about it. And I do apologize for all those extreme opinions. I wish you a beautiful memory of Taiwan because my girlfriend and I had some really fantastic ones here. Cheers.

  16. @ blogger..Just passing through and just clicked on your profile to get a better glance.. hope you didn’t get charged for the luggage being “over weight” ?.. and after reading a little bit of your article.. seems you have a vast knowledge on Taiwanese culture and with love and relationship in general..anyways..looking forward to seeing you write an article on ” “Why Taiwanese girls aren’t good kissers”… haha.. please don’t shoot me.

    • Ha! My luggage *was* overweight but as luck would have it, they failed to charge me! 🙂 I might have to open a discussion about what makes a good kisser… I’m wondering if there would be a difference culturally speaking, as to what people think is “good.”

  17. I’m a Taiwanese girl who happen to have a Taiwanese fiancé.
    I just want to say that I can’t agree with you more!

    Those behaviors of Taiwanese guys stem from Confucianism: modest, humble, not being pressing, family-oriented, etc. Although part of the young Taiwanese guys act the opposite way, these “virtues” are still greatly valued by the whole society.

    In Taiwan, in my opinion, good guys don’t linger in night clubs. I don’t mean to be rude, but we do see clubbing slightly differently here, even with bias (ie. we tend to believe those local club-goers are shallow and have “expectations”-guys are sex-driven, women are looking for rich guys and/or cross-culture relationships).

    So the truth is, night clubs in Taiwan are the places where western girls most likely to meet awful Taiwanese guys.

    I am sorry that some of you had bad experiences with awful Taiwanese guys. Please believe that there are still the good ones around the corner. Try Eslite Book Store next time!

    • Although part of the young Taiwanese guys act the opposite way, these “virtues” are still greatly valued by the whole society.
      You can see the irony in just one sentence.

      You cant be humble if you are passive aggressive. Most modern people dont even know what 四書五經 is. Dont believe me? Just start asking your friend to name all nine books from 四書五經. Even 詩經 國風篇, tell people to look for true love even if the family members are against it.
      ——————————–
      In Taiwan, in my opinion, good guys don’t linger in night clubs
      People who think they are good guy are not necessary good guys. They are just losers that cant get laid in night club.

      • Contradiction, that’s what meant to say.
        Don’t you see from my sentence the conflicts between a)east and west cultures, b)generations, and c)the minority and the majority (sub- and main culture within a society)?

        What’s the point here of checking people’s knowledge on Chinese literature and philosophy? What are you trying to prove here?

        As for the “good guys are actually night club losers” theory, you’re totally out of focus.
        Some people go to night clubs, but the others don’t. I was talking about those who don’t here.

      • Individualism is wonderful. But sometimes I try to figure out this world with a different approach, which happens to be traced back to the so-called “Eastern philosophy”. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay in Taiwan, but with all due respect, you don’t seem to know much about this value system and thus got it terribly wrong. I tried to see this topic with fair eyes, with eyes that are different from yours.
        Judging my point of view, accusing me a racist, and degrading my personality make you immature, ignorant, and discriminative.

        Should I say “your snobbishness offends me”?

        About your words on my coming marriage, I’m going to take it as a blessing, so I thank you for that.

      • You’re very welcome, Emma. And I do hope your marriage makes your way of looking at things a little more complicated. Cheers and so long.

  18. I just surprisingly found that you’re the original author and what I read before is a translation which is not very truthful to your article. When I read the Chinese translation I thought that is an annoying article from some arrogant guy who want to TEACH western girls to tolerate his every shortcomings and date him.

    For example, you wrote “Taiwanese guys generally take things slow. ” and the translation is “有些台男有點固執.” When I saw “有些台男有點固執” I thought “You know you’re stubborn, and you still want girls to tolerate you and date you?”

    The translation also skips lots of your words such as “As one guy I know put it, “When I hold her hand, it means I am giving her my heart.”” I believe the translation will be much less annoying with this kind of expression,

    After reading your article I think you really meet some nice Taiwanese guys, and they give you very good impression. That’s a great thing 🙂

    • I’m glad you read my article in English. Is the Chinese translation you are referring to the one on my blog? My Chinese isn’t good enough to translate it myself, so I’m not sure how accurate it is.

      What I wanted to express in the article were some things I have observed about Taiwanese guys and dating culture in Taiwan. My intention was to point out some things that western women who want to date Taiwanese guys might find helpful to know.

      In many ways I think Taiwanese men have a lot of great qualities. But maybe that is the topic for another blog post! 🙂

  19. You also make a serious mistake for not telling your reader to read this book “The Ugly Chinaman And The Crisis Of Chinese Culture ” but better read original chinese Text 🙂

      • Yep, car doors, and holding doors open in buildings too. Also, there’s always a man in the metro carriage carrying a bunch of flowers. I saw a man with about 30 roses today! I got 3 roses on my second date with a Russian. And there’s no embarrassment on their part.

      • Just curious why “opening car doors” is something particularly for women? Indeed I see men in the US open doors but rarely car doors. I still open car doors for girls. Just a way to show curtesy. Sometimes I think I probably do not do that becaue i did not see Americans do this.

          • It seems to me it might be due to feminism. At least one American told me that he once was questioned by a girl why he opened the door for her. She could have done that herself. Sometimes it can be a bit hard to decide should I open the car door or not – in the US.

    • That remind me the saying that “the problem of England is they have too few gentlement and the problem of French is they have way too much gentlemen..

  20. Good insight. I actually read your list of Taiwanese characteristics and see mostly the way I am. Except the overbearing nonsense about insisting someone buy a fan to save electricity. Im old school. Im not alone in America but i’m getting there. maybe that’s why I a thirty one year old bachelor teaching eel in Taiwan.

  21. Quite interesting, and yes you are spot on on many points regard local Taiwanese men, not Taiwanese men raised in the west.

    “Cheeky, rebellious, or sexually flamboyant women are more likely favored by western men and not so much by their Taiwanese counterparts”

    As someone who was born in Taiwan but grew up in Australia since childhood (1.5 generation), I do strongly disagree with the above point, as I love women that are individualistic and more forward. That’s how i am and also because of my strong preference for non-Asian girls.

  22. hi there:)
    i just meet one guy from taiwan he is so sweet 🙂
    we talk and we skype.
    I am older that him abut 3 years and i dont see the diferent.
    he is shy that for sure… and i know his family know about me event not see me.
    its that mean that he is interested on me seriously?
    thanks Sema

  23. Han Solo,

    Hehe…. STEREOTYPES, DAMNED STEREOTYPES, and MASS-MEDIA PROPAGANDA

    SEARCH & READ “George Carlin – advertising and bull shit”

    These WHITE WOMEN in TAIWAN now a day all think that TAIWANESE MEN especially HOT Good Looking ONES would also all owed them A DATE just because SHE is WHITE and CHRISTIAN!! {roll my eyes}

    SEARCH & READ “MAN TRIES TO CONVERT LIONS TO JESUS, GETS BITTEN”

    Lol…. it must be DARWIN on NATURAL SELECTION at work! LION is like “THIS Ted Haggard AND Eddie Long PRIEST taste like crap”! LIONESS is like “Oh dear, I hope that PRIEST didn’t have HIV/AIDS with all those CHIPPENDALE Men HOOKERS”!! >=P

    SEARCH & READ “Chris Rock – Love”

    I bet most TAIWANESE WOMEN at TAIWAN don’t have PROBLEMS at all with TAIWANESE MEN being SHY with THEM for sure…. haha!! 😉

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