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Dating in Asia

Modern technologies are forever changing the way we work, shop, connect, look for partners, court. The world is going online and it’s your chance to offer the platform where people find their soul mates. Go global with a new dating site, powered by SkaDate Dating Script, or expand an existing one to other countries.

Keep in mind that different countries date differently. Culture matters. Explore the market accurately to find out which better to offer to the chosen audience. Today I will list some dating habits, attitudes to relationship and marriage in Asia, the world’s largest continent, hosting 60% of the current population.

The region is a huge mix of various ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical pasts and government systems, so let me talk about it separating by subregions. GeographicallyAsia includes:

  • South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka)
  • East Asia (China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong)
  • South East Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore)
  • West Asia, more known as Middle East (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Iraq)
  • Central Asia  (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).


Dating culture is strongly influenced in this region by ancient traditions and religions, mostly Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and – Islam, brought here by Arabs and Turks. The average marriage age for girls in South Asia  is 21.


Indian dating is mainly influenced by the custom of arranged marriages  by parents or relatives where just a little dating required. Interests of family are considered to be more important than the romantic needs of individuals.  There are changes undergoing and love marriages are becoming more accepted. When couples want to initiate a contact on their own, dating sites are a big help. That’s one of the reasons of the popularity of online dating services.

There are also hybrids in which a couple meets: online dating ( claims to be the world’s largest matrimonial service) and “self-arranged marriages”, they fall in love and agree to marry—only then let the two families fix everything up, as in traditional arranged marriages.

“Dating”as it is practiced by most people today does not exist among Muslims. It is a social taboo, couples can have a premarital meeting to check their compatibility but with relatives or friends surrounding them.


Due to the remarkable developments in education, increasing urbanization and involvement of women in economic activities the system of arranged marriages are weakened in East Asia. According to the Economist newspaper he average marriage age in these countries is now 29-30 for women, 31-33 for men (no data on North Korea). In comparison, women in the U.S. get hitched at around 26 years old, and men at 28.

Dating before marriage is acceptable in China but few Asian couples live together outside the marriage. Rapid urbanization (where people from suburbs move to the city getting jobs but not a social life), one-child policy generation meaning fewer opportunities to socialize while growing led to the growth of an online dating sites. It is perceived an access to the extensive network of singles in a low-pressure environment for searching mates. Another consequence of the one-child policy is the preference of boys as an only child, which led to an enormous surplus of male population over female. Most affected in this situation are rural, lower-income men. Online dating is one of the options to find a mate for  them too. Chinese online dating industry is expected to break $318 million annual revenue by 2014, according to a recent report by Analysis International.



Japan is loyal to dating before marriage but quite strict coming to the marriage. There are many interesting facts about Japanese practices of dating and marriage.

For example, there is a popular practice of gōkon, a group blind date, where a group of single men and a group of single women organize a night out, with the hope of forming romantic partnerships. A single man and woman who know each other organize the gōkon in advance, each agreeing to bring three or four eligible friends. The venue is usually a restaurant or anywhere people can eat, drink and make a bit of noise.

Want more? There were reports of men in “love” with digital simulations of women from video games and anime, one 27-year-old brave man staged a wedding in 2009, watched by thousands online, in which he married his waifu. Another practice is omiai, where  parents hire a matchmaker to give resumes and pictures to potential mates for their approval. Japan is always full of unusual for many facts.


The culture in Southeast Asia is a mix of Indian, Chinese, Arab and Western cultures as a result of cultural pressures due to trade, immigration and historical colonization as well.The China Post claims 22.4 percent of population involves spouses from other countries and regions. The average marriage age of South Eastern Asians at first marriage is 24.5 for women and 27.7 for men.


Malaysia is multi-ethnic (Malaysian Malays, Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians population), multicultural and multilingual state with strong influence by Persian, Arabic, and British cultures. It could be called the most democratic country with Islam claimed as a state religion while protecting freedom of other religions.

It has one the most developed economies in the region. Like in Singapore the number of educated women are growing, careers have taken priority and this led to the later marriages and lower fertility rate. Attitude to dating is different in different religious communities in the country, but generally there is a freedom for people of opposite genders spend time together in public.

“Dating” in this culture sounds as a frivolous activity with no intention of marriage. Therefore, people better define it as a “courtship”, sometimes involving parents and allowing two people to learn about one another for marriage.If any Non-Muslim in Malaysia is intended to marry a Muslim, according to the law, the person should convert into Islam.


For long time Singapore’s government  promoted marriage and romance between educated individuals, encouraged individuals to marry late, have less children and get sterilized. The campaign was known to target the uneducated in particular,  Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore: “Free education and housing lead to a situation where the less economically productive people are reproducing themselves at a higher rate”. It was successful. Some claim it was “over successful”.

Today Singapore is worried about the decline of marriage among its best-educated daughters. The government even set up an online-dating service,, to boost marriage rates among graduates.

Changing marriage patterns are also the result of improvements in women’s education and income. Financially independent women give preference to dating and career growth. As well, education leaves the best-educated women with fewer potential partners among Thai men.  In Thailand, the number of women entering their 40s without being married was 12% in 2000, 20% in Bangkok.

Thailand is well known for many Thai-Caucasian marriages, which has a bad associations in international society as a result of Thailand’s reputation  as being a ‘sex’destination  western tourists. Thai community is patriarchal and quite conservative itself, but situation is changing. Many young Thai couples these days adopted “Western” lifestyle by open dating and even cohabiting.


Muslims don’t date and that dating is “haram” (prohibited).
Opportunities not only to date, but meet are rare since young people don’t get the chance to go on a date, but they are introduced to each other by their families after their matrimonial union is already settled. Schools are separate for boys and girls in these countries, and they are even forbidden to go outside past a certain hour, for girls it is usually an earlier time.

Iran is more strict in relationship than Pakistan, here people of different sexes are not allowed to communicate freely in public. As a religious autocracy, Iran imposes Islamic rules on dating. There are officially sanctioned internet dating agencies with very strict rules. Prospective couples can have three meetings: two with supervision inside the center, the third being a “brief encounter on their own”, after that, they have two options: choose to marry or never see each other again. Disobeying the restrictions can lead to punishment, sometimes by death.


Located on Silk Road,conquered by Mongols, Persians, Tatars, Russians, strongly influenced by Turkish, Arabian, South Asian, Sarmatian, Western and Chinese, cultures, Central Asia has a very distinct, vibrant culture. Religion somehow influencing dating habits and marriage, but not significantly.

First marriage age for women is 23, for men – 25. “Dating” is generally viewed as a courtship, when two people get to know each other before the marriage. There is a pressure on girls to get married till 25 and for guys till 30 in Central Asia as a result of either economic necessity or concern for virginity, or a combination of both. In some countries the practice of “bride kidnapping”, when a man abducts the woman he wishes to marry, is still present.

Urban areas significantly different in dating by practicing cohabitation and late marriages.


Internet seems a culture neutral zone, but what people learn to value in their families and societies from the very childhood stays with us for life. Therefore, to maximise chances of success, you have to tailor your dating site to specific customs. Keep following our SkaDate Software Blog