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How do you date someone in Hong Kong

How do you date someone in Hong Kong?

As Hong Kong is a complex mishmash of Western and Asian cultures, it can be tricky to know exactly what to do on a date or how to ask someone out if you’re not a local. Luckily, for you, we’re here to simplify things! 

We’ve made a list to help you out and answer the question, “how do you date someone in Hong Kong?” Continue reading to get all the essential knowledge and make it easier for you to go on a date with that special someone!

How do you date someone in Hong Kong?

Since Hong Kongers still tend to be traditional as well as reserved, you should start to date someone in Hong Kong without actually dating them. In other words, begin your relationship with them as friends and hang out casually first. 

If you still wish to date them afterwards, ask them out and clarify romantic intentions this time. 

Like most Asians, Hong Kongers are primarily more conservative and date with the intent to marry. Of course, this does not apply to everyone, but it is still a good general rule to keep in mind whenever you think of approaching someone romantically.

With conservatism and the intent to marry come slow-paced relationships and tight-knit connections. Since Hong Kongers prefer to get to know someone thoroughly before committing, you should expect to spend a lot of time together before things get official.

In addition, most Hong Kongers tend to date within their circles or friend groups, so this is why you might want to try befriending someone first before asking them out. 

Most importantly, Hong Kongers abide by a culture centred on Confucianism and certain superstitions. As such, Hong Kongers will prioritise family and follow certain rules and concepts to avoid losing respect or attracting bad luck.

What should you do on a date with a Hong Konger?

On a date with a Hong Konger, you should dress neatly, meet in a convenient and casual place, and give gifts if and when appropriate. It would also be wise to keep in mind the traits and behaviours that they have in connection to their culture.

Let’s discuss these ideas in greater detail. 

1. Learn about and respect the culture

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If you’re a foreigner seeking to date in Hong Kong, then you need to remember that Hong Kongers have certain points of etiquette. For example, there are actions they consider impolite or inappropriate that you might not realise are bad form here. 

Even though the locals are exposed to Western ideas, prefer to identify as Hong Kongers, and speak English, they also still share traditions and beliefs that stem from Confucianism and other Chinese superstitions. 

One of the essential ideas to remember is the concept of “face,” which represents someone’s reputation, honour, or dignity. Actions that show respect “give face” to someone, while acts like refusal or humiliation cause someone to “lose face.”

It is essential to keep this idea in mind when you go out on dates with Hong Kongers, as most of your interactions will revolve around it. On your date, always remember to be respectful and courteous and refrain from overstepping boundaries and being patronising.

2. Remember to give gifts when appropriate

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Gift-giving is an integral part of Hong Kong’s culture. Usually, people give gifts when they visit someone’s home or when commemorating a momentous occasion. 

With that in mind, remember to bring a gift when you are invited to your date’s home or if you’re celebrating something. Examples of common presents you can give include these:

  • Food such as fruits and sweets
  • Flowers
  • Expensive alcohol
  • Watches

It is also essential to remember that there are some items that you should never give someone as a gift in Hong Kong, as they signify bad omens or send the wrong message. Presents to avoid include the following:

GiftReason to avoid
ClocksRepresents death. The Cantonese word for “clock” sound similar to the phrase that means “to pay final respects”
ShoesSignifies that you want that person to run away from you
Scissors, knives, and sharp objectsSignifies that you want to cut off ties or relationships

3. Dress to impress

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It isn’t always necessary to dress in a suit and tie for a date, but you must always do your best to look presentable. 

Looking unkempt and dressing inappropriately is taboo in Hong Kong, so remember to pay attention to your clothing to give a positive first impression.

4. Meet in a good place to converse

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The venue you pick for your first and subsequent dates matters. 

Of course, you don’t have to go to the most romantic and expensive spot on your first date, but Hong Kongers often find it charming to go to a lovely place where you can talk and get to know more about each other.

There are numerous things to do in Hong Kong, but you might want to consider something casual that would be aligned with both of your interests. Coffee or bookstore dates, lunch dates, and other activities where you can talk with few distractions are great options.

What should you not do on a date with a Hong Konger?

When going out on a date in Hong Kong or with Hong Kongers, it is essential to not push their physical boundaries and expect immediate commitments. It is also crucial that you avoid talking about superficial topics that your date may find boring.

1. Don’t push physical boundaries

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Although it varies from person to person, Hong Kongers are generally more conservative than Westerners. As such, you should not expect to get a hug, a kiss, or anything intimate soon after your first date.

If you’re lucky, you may get to hold hands on your first date, but you should never do anything that would make them feel coerced or forced to consent to any form of physical display of affection. 

Physical displays of affection are often reserved only for people in established relationships here. As such, you should instead focus on building the foundations of your relationship on your first date instead of jumping into intimacy.

2. Don’t expect immediate commitment

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Hong Kongers tend to date with the intent to marry, so it doesn’t come as a surprise if they take their time picking out a partner. As such, don’t expect that the person you fancy will immediately commit or get attached to you in just a few dates.

Instead, prepare for a slow and steady process of getting to know each other and easing into each other’s company, which involves more than just a few dates. 

3. Don’t talk about physical or superficial topics

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Hong Kongers going out on dates often already have established careers or are currently working towards a professional goal. Since they date for a long-term commitment, Hong Kongers tend to look for someone that could add value to their lives and careers.

With this in mind, you should avoid talking about topics that they might find physical or superficial. Gossiping, complimenting only their looks, and other surface-level subjects should be kept to a minimum or not be brought up at all.

Instead, you should try inquiring about their dreams and ambitions, or talking about certain goals you and your date might have in common. 

Remember, it’s perfectly fine to talk about yourself, as conversations always involve two parties. However, remember not to talk too much about yourself or spend the entire date just discussing what you like.

What are the challenges to dating in Hong Kong?

Most dating challenges in Hong Kong stem from the region’s work culture. Hong Kongers are always busy and highly ambitious, which could inhibit them from meeting people and going out on dates in the first place.

According to a professional matchmaker, Hong Kongers find dating difficult because of their work-centred lives. 

Since Hong Kong is notorious for its long office hours and poor work-life balance, it is unsurprising that most Hong Kongers will have little to no energy left to even look for a partner.

Hong Kongers are also highly ambitious and tend to date to marry, so their standards may be higher than others, especially towards themselves and potential partners. They might spend so much time looking for the perfect match that they let opportunities for romance pass by.

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