8 Ways To Tell If A Taiwanese Guy Is Interested In Dating You

(Photo credit: consumerscu.org)
(Photo credit: consumerscu.org)
(Photo credit: consumerscu.org)

How do you know if a Taiwanese guy is interested in dating you?

Great question! And one that leaves many foreign women puzzled and confused.

Taiwanese guys do not show their interest in the same way most American guys do.

This is a summary of my observations while living and learning Chinese in Taiwan this past year. If a Taiwanese guy says or does three or more of the following, then he’s probably trying to woo you.

  • Sends you text messages regularly and  says things like, “I’m thinking about you,” or tells you, “Be safe.”
  • Gives you small gifts, like cards, trinkets, snacks, books, etc. personalized to your interests and preferences.
  • Invites you to meet his family and / or inner circle of best friends.
  • Offers to carry your purse.
  • Invites you to spend time alone together doing the following activities: movies, dinners, and scenic outdoor nature strolls.
  • Insists on paying for all your activities together.
  • Initiates  touching, like a quick and cordial touch of your hand, shoulder, hair or back.
  • Jumps at the chance to help you, like offering to bring you soup if you’re sick, fix your computer, or drive you to the airport.

Any one or two of these things by themselves can be a gesture of friendship. But if a Taiwanese guy is consistently seeking opportunities to contact you and spend time with you, in addition to the above items, he is probably courting you.

If that’s the case, here are 10 things you should know about dating Taiwanese guys.

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  1. I remember back in college 2 Taiwanese guys tried to ask me out. I inwardly laughed at their cluelessness because they were both friends with my (then) boyfriend (who is now my husband). These 2 Taiwanese guys had the exactly same way of asking me out. They used the line, “I’d like to get to know you better.” which I knew meant SO MUCH MORE to them than just wanting to get to know me. I had a feeling they had already decided I was the girl they were going to take home to meet their parents (just like you said in your post). Anyway, you made me think of them. They tend to get so ahead of themselves.

    • Yes, because it’s so fun to laugh at people who are romantically challenged, I used to laugh at this ugly girl who used to try to ask me out by asking me if I’d like to go for a walk with her, haha, as if she had a chance, why would I want to go out with someone so clueless when I could have hot chicks to date?

  2. I’d also add, if without asking they buy you breakfasts, or similar sorts (at least that’s what I read on Mobile01 and ptt). If you read the stories by those poor love-struck Romeos on Mobile01 and ptt, you’d find out that in Taiwan (or maybe in China to a extent), there is the idea that a man can/should “move” (感動) a woman into seeing him as mating-worthy (which I 100% don’t agree with and am actually creeped out by it).
    Agree re. “they totally get so ahead of themselves.” LOL Another line many TW guys use is “I like you, would you be my girlfriend?” (or 我喜歡你,我們交往吧), which always cracks me up whenever I hear about it in life or see it on TV. I read it somewhere that this kinda of “lack-of-dating-and-jump-to-relationship” dating culture has to do with heavy Japanese cultural influence, that in Japanese there is no much distinction between “I like you” and “I love you,” and also in Japanese manga, confessing that you like the person usually is a precursor to asking the person to have a relationship with you. Such approach always baffles me.

  3. I was attracted by the title of the article, so I read along with interest. I’m a foreigner living in Taiwan. After I was finished, I was left with only one thought: Wouldn’t any three of the aforementioned points, perpetrated by a male towards a female, indicate one’s desire to court another in any culture? How is this specifically insightful towards men in Taiwan?

    • That’s a great question, Jimmy. I’m so glad you asked! Basically, the main difference between western guys and Taiwanese guys (and of course this is a HUGE generalization!) when it comes to dating and hitting on women, is that western guys tend to be more up front with their intentions. Many western women miss the signals from Taiwanese guys and interpret their behavior to mean “friends” only. Often Taiwanese guys have a “friendship-first” approach to dating. So it’s not always very obvious if they just want to be friends, or more. The intention of this post is to outline some ways in which Taiwanese guys express their interest in a woman.

  4. Please add (9)compliment on your shoes or your style. I do it a lot but many white girls still have no clue that I am hitting on them.
    and (10) When Taiwanese guy ask you to hang out at their place to enjoy with alcohol, food, and “good time”..

    • Great points! Thanks for adding them! Especially an invitation to go back to a guy’s place. That is usually a huge indicator, right?! But if the guy lives with his family, then I don’t think he would extend such an invitation.

      And complimenting a woman’s appearance is another way to show interest. Here’s a tip for when you use this strategy: Instead of saying “That’s a really pretty sweater,” or “I like your shoes,” try using the clothing or style to compliment HER. For example, “That sweater makes your eyes look so green and beautiful,” or “Those shoes show off your sexy legs!” She’ll get the message for sure!

      • Isn’t a text saying “I am thinking about you” much more obvious than the tips you gave? I think any girl should know this guy is hitting on her by saying that. I feel the tips you gave are more subtle hint. Remember another prior article you mentioned in the US guys just directly ask the girl if he can take her out.

        • Yeah, I agree. Saying I’m thinking about you is a pretty clear sign. But Taiwanese guys aren’t always so direct. They might just send a message that says, “It’s going to be cold this week, stay warm.”

          Yes, I think most American guys would ask a woman out on a date, and it would be obvious (to the American woman) that it was a date. I also think that Taiwanese woman are able to determine when a Taiwanese guy is interested in dating her or just wants to be friends. But I think many American women interpret a Taiwanese guy’s signals as friendship, and they miss the fact that he is expressing his desire to date her. What do you think?

  5. Well, my understanding that girls are very sensitive and a subtle text like “It’s going to be cold this week, stay warm.” would make the girl sense something – even American girls. If you are asking me, I think Taiwanese guys might be more afraid of being rejected. So using a subtle way to test the water. It there is reciprocal response from the girl then he will move forward. People have been saying if a girl rejects your invitation then she is not interested in you. Some guys may try more than once – however it is very tough feeling being rejected each time. So a suble way could save some face. I guess American men have totally different way of thinking in this regards? I think perhaps you could educate us what would be a better way to let American girls know our intention. By the way I have been trying to ask a American girl for a coffee twice but was politely declined. I am sure she was interested in me for some time but due to some reasons that interest might have gone. I had decided to give it up, but she just came back to contact me once a while when I did not contact for a few days. I did the “stay warm” text and some of the things you mentioned as well 🙂 but whenever I went back she become aloof again – it is so confusing. I might try the third time (perhaps the last time) and follows your suggestion tell her that I’d like to take her out for dinner. But it may be another hard feeling by being declined. I am still thinking…

    • Honestly, I think most American women wouldn’t “sense something” from a “stay warm” comment. To me, it reminds me of something my mother would say when I was a child. Sure, it shows parental concern for the person, but it doesn’t seem romantic.

      As far as your situation, I hesitate to give advice since I don’t, of course, know all the details. But I would like to encourage you to view rejection from women as something not personal about you… If a woman says no it may be for a million reasons that have nothing to do with you. So learn to not take it personally and move on. That kind of self-confidence is really attractive!

  6. If you want a girl, you need to be very assertive and express your intention upfront. Fail like a man. You have nothing to lose at all.

      • How do American girls reject this invitation if you are not interested or not sure you you like him, or whatever reason? How American guys respond to the rejection, typically?

  7. Regarding the “be safe” messages, if Taiwanese guys just check up on you would that be a sign that they are interested or just being nice and a gentlemen? They always tell me to “be safe” and message me to check that I arrive to home safely. I normally see this as a sign of them being nice and caring for a friend.

  8. For the “be safe” messages, if Taiwanese guys just check up on you would that be a sign that they are interested or just being nice and a gentlemen? They always tell me to “be safe” and message me to check that I arrive to home safely. I normally see this as a sign of them being nice and it seems like a caring thing for friends to do.

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