Chinese Dating Culture
Although this is slowly beginning to change, there is a huge emphasis on women marrying early in Chinese culture. According to Chinese traditions, if you’re a woman of 28 and you’re still not married, you might as well give up and accept the title of 剩女 (shèng nǚ). While men have a few extra years to settle down, once you hit your late twenties and you’re still single, mom might have a friend whose daughter is 很漂亮 (hěn piào liang). Since there’s lots of pressure to get married from parents and family members, dating is an important part of Chinese culture.
For many young Chinese people, the ‘M’ word is already on their minds when going on a date. ‘Compatibility’ is a big issue when choosing a partner, and it can be said that even in the modern-day, marriage can often be a pragmatic decision rather than one based on love or romance. For many Chinese women, a man needs to have good prospects and be able to buy an apartment and a car.
Here are some useful vocabulary words for going on a date, telling someone you like them, and maybe fancying a little bit more…
Language of Love
来电 (lái diàn) Chemistry
打情骂俏 (dǎ qíng mà qiào) to flirt
暗恋 (àn liàn) To have a crush on
明恋 (míng liàn) to love
痴迷 (chī mí) Infatuated/obsessed
痴情 (chī qíng) infatuated
表白 (biǎo bái) / 告白 (gào bái) to express feelings
确定关系 (què dìng) to confirm a relationship
专一 (zhuān yī) one-track mind (focused on one thing)
暧昧 (ài mèi) and 暧昧关系 (ài mèi guān xì) were previously used in the negative sense, of having an affair or shady relationship, however, it is not more commonly used to describe a relationship that hasn’t begun yet and the couple has yet to confirm their relationship ‘status’.
爱人 (ài ren) / 情人 (qíng rén) Lover
宝贝 (bǎo bèi) / 北鼻 (běi bí) Baby
宝宝 (bǎo bǎo) Darling
亲爱的 (qīn ài de) Darling/dear/honey
小甜甜 (xiǎo tián tián) Sweetie/sweetheart
老公 (lǎo gōng) Husband (Woman call their boyfriend or husband)
老婆 (lǎo pó) / 媳妇 (xí fù) Wife (Man call their girlfriend or wife)
女朋友 (nǚ péng you) Girlfriend
男朋友 (nán péng you) Boyfriend
太太 (tài tai) / 妻子 (qī zi) / 老婆 (lǎo pó) Wife
先生 (xiān sheng) / 丈夫 (zhàng fu) / 老公 (lǎo gong) Husband
美女 (měi nǚ) Beautiful girl
帅哥 (shuài ge) Handsome guy
Flirting in Chinese
我喜欢你。(wǒ xǐ huan nǐ) I like you.
我想你。(wǒ xiǎng nǐ) I miss you.
我爱你。 (wǒ ài nǐ) I love you.
我好想你。(wǒ hǎo xiǎng nǐ) I miss you so much.
你最好了。(nǐ zuì hǎo le) You are the best.
我为你疯狂。(wǒ wèi nǐ fēng kuáng) I’m crazy about you!
Learn more romantic phrases with ChinesePod’s video lessons.
你看起来真棒！(nǐ kàn qǐ lái zhēn bàng) You look amazing!
我想更了解你。(wǒ xiǎng gèng liǎo jiě nǐ) I want to get to know you better.
我很高兴。(wǒ hěn gāo xìng) I’m so happy!
你很可爱。(nǐ hěn kě ài) You’re very cute.
你很漂亮。(nǐ hěn piào liang) You’re very pretty.
你很美。(nǐ hěn měi) You’re very beautiful.
很迷人。(hěn mí rén) Very charming
你很性感！(nǐ hěn xìng gǎn) You’re so sexy!
你的身材很美。(nǐ de shēn cái hěn měi) You have a beautiful body!
你的眼睛很美。(nǐ de yǎn jing hěn měi) Your eyes are beautiful!
我喜欢你的...(wǒ xǐ huan nǐ de) I like your…
眼睛 (yǎn jing) eyes
头发 (tóu fa) hair
声音 (shēng yīn) voice
你很甜。(nǐ hěn tián) You’re very sweet
你变发型了。(nǐ biàn fà xíng le) You changed your hair.
Chinese Dating Words
我想和你约会。(wǒ xiǎng hé nǐ yuē huì) I‘d like to take you out (on a date).
我买单！(wǒ mǎi dān) Let me pay!
我们AA制吧！(wǒ men AA zhì ba) Let’s go dutch! (split the bill)
你想跳舞吗？(nǐ xiǎng tiào wǔ ma) Would you like to dance?
陪我好吗？(péi wǒ hǎo ma) Would you accompany me?
我送你回家。(wǒ sòng nǐ huí jiā) I’ll see you home.
我今天晚上过得很开心。(wǒ jīn tiān wǎn shang guò de hěn kāi xīn) I had a really nice night.
Proposing in Chinese
我是你的。(wǒ shì nǐ de) I’m yours.
你是我的。(nǐ shì wǒ de) You’re mine.
我不想离开你。(wǒ bù xiǎng lí kāi nǐ) I don’t want to leave you!
我不能没有你。(wǒ bù néng méi yǒu nǐ) I can’t live without you.
我们结婚吧！(wǒ men jié hūn ba) Let’s get married!
我想嫁给你！(wǒ xiǎng jià gěi nǐ) I want to marry you! (for women only)
我想娶你！(wǒ xiǎng qǔ nǐ) I want to marry you! (for men only)
我愿意！(wǒ yuàn yì) I do.
一见钟情 (yī jiàn zhōngqíng) fall in love at first sight
日久生情 (rì jiǔ shēng qíng) Love will come in time.
执子之手，与子偕老。(zhí zǐ zhī shǒu, yǔ zǐ xié lǎo) To stay together till death.
未婚夫 (wèi hūn fū) fiancé
未婚妻 (wèi hūn qī) fiancée
You can learn more about Chinese weddings in our article The 6 Etiquettes of a Traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony.
我要你。(wǒ yào nǐ) I want you.
闭上眼睛。(bì shang yǎn jing) Close your eyes.
张开眼睛。(zhāng kāi yǎn jing) Open your eyes.
吻我。(wěn wǒ) Kiss me.
抱我。(bào wǒ) Hug me.
留下来。(liú xià lái) Stay here.
靠近我。(kào jìn wǒ) Come closer.
我想做爱。(wǒ xiǎng zuò ài) I want to make love.
好极了。(hǎo jí le) Great!
我有点紧张。(wǒ yǒu diǎn jǐn zhāng) I’m a bit nervous.
不要紧张。(bù yào jǐn zhāng) Don’t be nervous.
咬我！ (yǎo wǒ) Bite me!
舔我！ (tiǎn wǒ) Lick me!
轻一点。(qīng yī diǎn) Softer
温柔一点。(wēn róu yī diǎn) More tender.
使劲一点。(shǐ jìn yī diǎn) Stronger
正常体位。(zhèng cháng tǐ wèi) Missionary
女上位。 Girl on top (nǚ shàng wèi)
后入。(hòu rù) Doggie style
感觉太棒了。(gǎn jué tài bàng le) I feel so good!
你做的很好。 (nǐ zuò de hěn hǎo) You did that so well!
再来一次。 (zài lái yī cì) One more time.
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