Ask the Yangxifu: Does He Like Me? Signs a Chinese Man Might Be Into You

(photo by Puno 3000 via

Does this Chinese man like me? This is hands-down the number one question that women ask me every month.

Now, I’m not singling out this question — and, by extension, the e-mailers who ask it — to embarrass them! Who in love hasn’t experienced that uncertainty, when they’re not quite sure what’s going on and they crave a little reassurance? Besides, as I tell people, I’m a hopeless romantic and actually dig reading questions like this, which always come with these fantastic stories rife with the potential for incredible love. It’s a gift that readers share this with me!

But as I was reading my FAQs recently — which include this question, among others — I realized that, perhaps, the answers I’ve posted could use some updating and simplifying. Which would make things easier for women trying to know what’s going on with a certain guy in their life.

Just keep in mind that the following advice comes with a caveat — that I’m speaking mainly about men born and raised in Asia. If you’re dealing with a guy who grew up in a Western country (say, a Chinese-Canadian or Chinese-American), just remember that in most cases, they approach dating pretty much like you.

All that said…so how do you know if he’s into you?

Time. As in, how much time he’s with you. When Chinese men like you, they tend to go out of their way to spend heroic amounts of time with you. They’ll escort you to and from all your classes or out to your car. They’ll ride with you on the bus all the way to your apartment (and make sure you’re safely inside). They’ll give you rides in their car that are totally out of their way, just because they want to be with you that much longer. They’ll spend their entire weekends only with you (perhaps to the point that you might wonder if he’s actually pissing off his friends, who have no chance to see him).

Talk. As in, how much he communicates with you. Chinese men who are into you will generally make time to contact you frequently — if not every day, then several times a week. He’ll call or text you every single evening to wish you a good night or make sure you’re home safe. He’ll e-mail you every day or every other day to see how you are. He’ll make time to Skype or video chat with you on a weekly basis.

When you really think about it, this really isn’t different from what any guy interested in you would probably do — make lots of time for you, and talk to you a lot.

The main difference is something I mentioned before in my post about Indirect Dating and Chinese Men — that, in general, they aren’t going to discuss love and dating directly with you. In Chinese culture, people prefer to show their interest or affection. I think this is what trips so many women up — that they’re waiting for that verbal reassurance, when it’s just not going to come. If he is into you, the relationship will probably transition into something more serious rather organically — with a kiss, a touch or holding hands — instead of some sudden declaration of love.

So if you’re hoping for an “I love you” confession from him anytime soon, good luck. It took my own husband years before he could tell me “I love you” in English, and many, many more years after that before he could say the same thing in Chinese.

Instead, pay attention to his actions and not his words. And then you just might feel the love in the way he walks you to your car or your class, or calls you at night to make sure you’re safe at home. 😉


Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China/Chinese culture (or Western culture)? Send me yours today.

50 Replies to “Ask the Yangxifu: Does He Like Me? Signs a Chinese Man Might Be Into You”

  1. Haha…my husband must be a different kind of Chinese man. He was never really the type to go out of his way to pick me up at the airport or train station (which I never felt I needed…I’d just meet him at home and save him the trip!) and we spend a good amount of time apart as well as together (when we were dating, as well). But I do appreciate that…I like that we’re both independent and I have time with my girls while he can go off with his friends or coworkers. When we were dating, my husband never really texted or called me everyday. He did email me almost everyday when we were in different countries for 6 months, though.

    I do agree that you really have to read into the actions of Chinese men rather than their words. Especially things that show they remember what you said in the past.

  2. Thank you for this post, I was actually thinking of emailing you this exact question, ha ha!!
    I’ve been reading all of your posts since a few month and searching the archives for a better understanding of a guy I’m really interested in who’s from China. I already have a hard time navigating Western dating, ha ha! But with this guy, I’m always in doubt as to what I can and cannot say and do, because I’m scared of how he will perceive me. I’m almost sure he is interested as well, but I don’t know what I can do to help take the relationship to the next stage and show him my appreciation, it’s been going at such at slow (albeit very interesting) pace… I’m at a point where I feel I’m ready to take it to the next level and I’m getting a little bit frustrated.
    So thank you for your insight, I’m learning a lot about Chinese culture through your blog.
    Best wishes

  3. My fiancé definitely spends a lot of time with me and we talk a lot, but he was the one to say “I love you” first one week into dating. He can be quite outspoken about his feelings and I’ve met both types of men here, the outspoken ones and opposite.

    When he gets mad at me (发脾气) or we have an argument he’ll treat me to dinner and/or will make time for me when he would have to work in the evening as an apology.

  4. Overlooked the dating reality for the new generations in China. Things changed quite a bit in one generation.
    College students are more westernized these days. When they go into society, the priority is to start a family. You will be fooled to think most Chinese men still fit into traditional images of being indirect. It really depends on the person and where that person lives.

  5. One thing I came across in China and Hong Kong many years ago was that men would casually talk about taking me somewhere in China that wasn’t close by, but at least a two-hour flight away. We’d be talking about say, Sichuan, and a guy would say, “We should go there” or “I’d love to show you around Chongqing” or something like that. While it seemed quite bold, I realized after a while that it was just polite talk. So the advice to look at actions over words is excellent!

  6. In the west, rhetoric matters a lot more. A Chinese guy might not care about the words you wish to hear. That is the cultural difference.

  7. In the past , if I liked a woman I would like to know her more and more because we dated to get married :(.. Yes , we just pay more attention to women who we like. It’s all true!! That’s why we are different from other men who only use sweet talks and cheap words. Sweet talks and cheap words actually work though and women fall for it quickly. Of course, if you have actions and sweet words , more power to you. So before you leave the house, rinse your mouth with honey. Damn you’re be dynamic!!

  8. Before I leave my office, I just want to say give that asian/chinese guy a chance. Majority of them do want to date and get married. One spoiled apple doesn’t mean we are all players! One asian guy I knew was one of the sweetest guys out there. He got dumped by his gf so after that he just became a player . He picked up extremely beautiful women from Latinas ,black women to white women. He is married now. He said he felt so lonely even though he was with all those women. Seriously!!!! Chinese men are very different! We don’t just go out on the street and talk to women trying to get their #’s and bring them home and you know what… If you women out there who want to have family values and respect etc, Chinese/Asian men should be on your “hot list”. I know I I know you want a muscular, built, tall man and show him off in public holding hands and show him off to your friends for approval right? If you only base on that, I’m sorry but you know we all age and can’t maintain our physique for long. When I say this… that doesn’t mean I’m fat or skinny..

  9. May I add that spending time a lot and talking a lot are clearly signs that someone likes you. But he/she may like you as a friend. Only when he/she feels comfortable and responses to physical touching should you conclude he/she likes you more than just a friend.

  10. lol Take myself as an example of encountering a cute Caucasian girl, I would literally gaze at her for a long time when walking by. Not sure if it’s appropriate, but I tend to ignore all the Asian girls’ presence and look past them to the particular Caucasian gal in eyes. In that way I think I could stand out the fact I’m not that kind of Asian guy who’s into Asian girls.

  11. In general, I would say that these signs are somehow international. If he likes you he will act that way.
    Is pretty easy to know when someone is just playing around or really into you.

  12. It took me more than a while to notice things like him going out of his way to do things for me – made me feel so bad when I started realising and looking back at things that had happened 🙁

    One thing that infuriates me is when they decide not to contact you and expect you to carry on as normal. I can’t talk about this too much because it will put me in a bad mood! haha

  13. great post! i decided to comment to let you know i’ve been reading your blog for months now and love the stuff you’re sharing with the world. i’m an abc guy, so not the audience group you discuss, but so much of it is relatable and interesting 🙂

  14. I would add, does he give you little presents? For a while when I met my husband at first I liked him but didn’t know how he thought about me, but he would randomly (I thought) give me presents like a bookmark from a trip, a drink or snack in class, a potted plant for Thanksgiving day, etc. As he kept giving me little presents it helped me realize his feelings more. Good luck! 🙂

  15. If a man from Asia likes you, he will want to tag along naturally rather than direct asking out. As in, start off with friends first before anything. I’ve heard from Foreign women how guys in Taiwan (and throughout China and Asia to an extent) are comparably shy. The thinking from the Asian guy’s perspective is he wants to pursue friendship first and won’t say or do things to jeopardize that level of relationship. Like if he can’t be your lover, at least he’ll be your friend or some type of acquaintance.

    A lot of times, dating a man from Asia is more like hanging out with a friend than being pamper by a boyfriend (sort of). In time, if a man from Asia gets more closer to you, he will start showing more paternal characteristics. Like he will start nagging over little things, or being overly watchful (as if he is more like your father or older brother). Sometimes, it can be overwhelming and sometimes guys from Asia need to tone it down. But overall, it isn’t that bad cause along with those paternal characteristics, he will be more attentive, and do a lot of little to small things to show he cares. At the level of the relationship, even though it’s still dating, if you get to that part, it will seem as if he already considers you his other special half.

    I’m generalizing quite a lot but more or less, a lot of guys are kind of like this.

  16. i just feel glad that there is a website like this. it is very informative. it truly helped me understand more my chinese boyfriend. i agree, it is important to appreciate their actions better than their words. because my chinese boyfriend, actually i call him my husband already, is not good at expressing his emotions through his words but he is real patient to help me study chinese language, he is real patient to talk with me long hours, and even though his friends complaining why he does not go with them anymore to play ma jiang, he still have chosen to just fight for our relationship. ^_^ in return, i have shown him who really i am by being loyal to him, loving him with respect and trying to use my skills to help him build a good family for us. ^_^

  17. They said ” knowledge is power”. Knowledge turns to action is power!!! Without action, knowledge is just sitting there and nothing will happen. Having a circle of friends will be much easier for a future relationship to develop. Currently I know 3 Chinese women are trying to hook up this Chinese man with another woman that I know right now. You know in the past. I’ve tried to ask girls out directly too . Sometimes, it worked and other times no.

  18. Well I just think that every one has a beating heart the reason why women ask this q is cause they know the culture is diffrent i have a Chinese guy whi friend who walks me every he text me every day and he goes out if his way to be with me we both have hade a bad life but we have each other to pick us up he fall I help I fall he help so ja mob????????????????

  19. Hello.I am an Serbian girl who likes one Chinese guy that works in a Chinese department store and a cashier.I like him a lot.He always smiles sweetly and shyly at me.He is not like that to no one else.On the day before New Year I gived him a note that sayes I like you,and he just got shy and spoke quick Chinese and stumbled and the money he needed to give me fell from his hands.I don’t know what does that mean.I want tomorrow to give him a muffin,but I don’t know if it will look like aggressive.I am afraid and yet if he is scared I want him to know and accept me.He is little older than me.I don’t know his exact weight.Please help me.I need help.

  20. I just read your article ” Does he likes me?” I want to thank you for your insight, however, i have to say that it doesn’t quite answer my question. I want to believe that he does loves me, but ours is such a complicated story….
    I met this young man, long ago as i was a foreign sudent in the US. Within a few weeks he told me he loved me and wanted to marry me… He wanted to a baby with me…. I was charmed by him and the fact that he so openly admitted to love me, and said he wanted to marry me, but i was also cautious and wondering if he was sincere or just trying to take advantage of me… Being on a studend visa i couldn’t afford to mess up and be sent home… I broke things off.
    However, i never forgot him and a year later, as i inquire about him, i was told he was engaged to be married…
    Time went by but he never left my mind or heart, and a few years ago i was able to somehow reconnect with him. After more than 30 years!
    The first time i heard his voice on the phone, my heart jumped and i almost cried.. we met one afternoon and he asked my permission to kiss me. A delicate kiss on the lips… we spoke for almost 4hrs like good old time, and he told me he was divorce and back in China now. He was there for over 10 yrs. He remembered our time togethervery well and said i broke his heart… that we could have had a baby toghether…
    Anyway, as we parted, we hugged each other and i asked him if he wanted me to write to him and he said yes. I have been emailing ever since. However because i do not speak chinese and his english is very limited, (no writing) he doesn’t write me back…. however once he responded to an email and it was to me the most beautiful words I ever read… It said Mary I love you

    My question is, I don’t hear form him, no mail, no phone call but then out of nowhere i get this email…. What should I make of it??
    I am trying to fully understand his mind set and maybe get some advices on how to proceed.
    Thank You

    1. Hi MarieLise,

      Thanks for the comment, and it’s hard to say what’s going on — his limited language abilities are surely the reason he doesn’t write often, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. That said, telling you I love you also may or may not be meaningful — I’ve heard people here say it when they don’t necessarily mean it as we do. (Here actions count far more than words.) Instead of messaging him, you might want to try a video chat instead. WeChat is a good way to keep in touch — if you don’t have WeChat on your phone, install it and then ask for his WeChat.

  21. I met this Chinese guy on an online dating site and I’m dating him now. I’ve never seen him before but i like talking to him through text. I just want to know if He’s serious with me cause i freaken don’t have any idea. This is my first time dating a guy I’venever met before and a chinese guy at that.

  22. That’s what I like about Eastern men… they don’t need to say or hear ‘I love you’, constantly… my family are not touchy-feely, or verbal in our (understood and secure) affection for each other… I feel much more comfortable in Asian society because of the lack of overt display of emotional things. On the North American continent and to a lesser extent some of Europe, it seems to me that everybody feels insecure if they’re not told how much they’re loved/missed/valued/whatever. And so much hugging! I couldn’t stand it, lol.

    That’s an Australian outsiders viewpoint, and I’m sure I’m stereotyping to an extent… all the Italian, US and Canadian friends we have seem to want to hug us an awful lot, though, it’s kinda weird.

  23. My experience has been a little different. My Chinese man doesn’t have my education or money, so he’s avoided texting me or calling me when he’s been doing work that makes him feel ashamed (farm work). He resurfaces when he feels like he can take care of me (driving me about, paying for food). My man also does a lot of odd jobs, so he’s not available to be at my heels. Southern Chinese are networkers, so they’re good at balancing relationships and not fixating too much. Actually many Chinese men will pop off “I love you” without any depth of feeling or meaning. They might love you. They might not. Do they want your money? Do they want to marry you? Differences in ethnicity brings a certain level of intrigue and passion that can’t be discredited.

  24. Hello, My story start 18 years ago. He is Chinese I am blond hair with blue eyes. 7 years difference of age. At the beginning we lived separately but in the same city, we where a couple in love for more than 5 years. One day, he left for China folowing his path. I was devastated but I loved him too much not let him go. Little time after we saw eachother in Europe for one week. This happend more than 10 year ago. Last month we get together again. Same city, same one week. All this time he lived in China, me in Europe we did talk on the phone time to time, but we never saw our faces. Almost 12 years. Today he is back in China and I am home. He is single, I am single. I never stopped loving him and I don’t want to stay apart anymore, even if I have to move to China. I told him my feelings but he is…..quiet. What to do?

    1. Hi Gaby, thanks for sharing. If you really care about him, I would continue reaching out to him. It may be he’s just unsure b/c you’ve been apart for a while — so it might help to keep contacting him and showing him you’re serious about your intentions.

      1. Thank you Jocelyn. I think so too. I hope we are right.
        Big hugs. I will keep you posted.

        Thank you everyone for sharing stories and experiences. I really enjoyed reading the. Very helpful.

        GOD bless us al.

  25. I need to share my story and hope I can get some advices. I started talking with my Chinese friend through an language app, he was learning french so I helped him (I’m french native). So this happened maybe 4 or 5 years ago and now he came to my country to study french and I’d took a train to finally meet him. It was really nice and it was just like I’ve been friends for ages, I felt something for the first time of my life, and I was scared of that so I hide it, and he embraced me and kissed me, he even said “Je t’aime” and the day after he didn’t do anything, so I was kind of confused, but we were doing go, being friends and all. And few times later, we were hugging while being on our own phones, I just said (kinda joking, but wanna hear his answer) I could stay like that for ever, can I ? And his answer makes me confused, he reply “maybe”
    I don’t know what he mean by that and it scared me, cause he has been doing such cute things as taking care of me but I’m scared to misunderstand the mean of that.
    He bring me to the train station and he was waiting with me. Time to say goodbye, I started raising my ???????? But he hugged me and even kissed me, I was shocked and confused, i didn’t say a word, I just laughed before going on the train.

    And not long time after, he send me a text “when you arrive send me a text pls”

    I feel lost but at the same time I feel good, but I’m still confused because of him, why is he doing things and saying such confusing words ? ????????‍♀️

    1. Hey Ana, thank you for the comment. I’m not entirely sure myself about his intentions either. Maybe you need to find some way to have a conversation with him about this, which might mean getting more direct — but that may be the only way for you to know for sure, unless you have a mutual friend who could sleuth out what’s going on.

  26. I like a Chinese Dr whom we have been emailing a little. We have known each other for over 2 years he is single we live in the states. Different city about 3 hours a part. He has kissed me and hugged me and said he loves me, but now I’m not sure. His last email he ended with with Wish you the best. But yet he calls me beautiful and sweet, etc. I’m confused. Do I tell him I’m interested in him or ask him if he’s interested in me?

    1. Thanks for the comment Brenda. Is this a departure from his previous emails — as in, has he always ended them in this way, or has he used a more affectionate complimentary close previously and now reverted to “Wish you the best”? If not a departure from the past, it may not necessarily mean he isn’t interested — people in Chinese culture aren’t always accustomed to being direct and stating “I love you” — though it is interesting that he has said he loves you. If you feel comfortable being more direct with him, you could try telling him you are interested or inquire about his interest in you.

      1. Thank you for responding! He has never ended with Wish you the best. So this was new. He’s always saying how beautiful I am, etc. kinda shy, but sometimes not. I’m seeing him tomorrow, so I’m not sure how to word what I want to say! But we seem to get along really well. I really am fond of him and like him quite a bit. He was asking me more personal questions last time we seen each so it seems he’s interested. But I could be wrong?

        1. Hi Brenda, I hope things went well with your meeting! I would say, judge him more by his actions rather than merely his words. In Chinese culture, actions tend to be more representative of one’s affection for someone. So if you think about the sum of his actions toward you, that is more telling about how he feels about you, if that makes sense. Good luck!

  27. So Jocelyn, would it be ok that next time I’m in his city to ask him out for dinner? I feel like there is such a connection between us but I don’t want to ruin it. We are both in our mid 50’s and it’s been awhile since I’ve been in the dating world. The last meeting went good. I haven’t come and asked him if he he’s interested in being friends or more.

  28. Hey Jocelyn,
    I met this Chinese guy though a language app and it has been a few months of us talking almost everyday. I think I kind of like him but he is so confusing – I don’t know if he is bored of talking to me because we used to video call to practice but now I am a bit busy so we mainly text so I am not of much help in his learning process. However he recently talks to me for and then we don’t talk for hours and then he randomly sends me pictures of his daily life. I don’t I think I maybe be losing him? Not sure ( I mean we stil talk everyday still). Or like on other days he only wants to know how I am doing and when I ask him he doesn’t say anything, he comes back hours later and changes the subject totally. What would you advise please.

    1. Hi Magdalene, Have you tried being more direct with this guy about your feelings? Sometimes in these situations we need to be the one to say something — such as telling him you like him — and shake things up, particularly as the language barrier can make the guy in this case feel shy. At least this way if you tell him how you feel you could get some sort of resolution and see where you stand with him, instead of engaging in guessing games on your own. Good luck!

  29. I met a Chinese guy off of a dating app. His English to me is good. He thinks he needs to do better. But I can understand his words. We talk all of the time and have had good and sentimental conversations. Things that I don’t see people freely talk about so early on. He asks me if I’ve eaten. He tells me goodnight and good morning. He offer suggestions on certain things. He tells me he misses me. He talks to me about his family. That he’ll cook for me. Says he wants to take me to China and to his hometown. Talks about how he wants to hold my hand and just a whole lot of sweet, wholesome things.
    We’ve talked in depth about relationship expectations.
    We will go out soon.
    He has professed that he loves me. Both in English and Chinese.
    I really like him. Me being American I can’t bring myself to say the same. Although I REALLY like him ALOT!
    Now I read that Chinese men arent very expressive in this way. At least not this early on. But I also read that they in so many words fall quickly. At least a lot quicker than American men typically do.
    What do I make of this? I’m hoping that it sound sincere to you all. It feels sincere to me.

    1. Hi J Mc., Thanks for the comment! It’s hard for me to say about the sincerity here, since you’ve only described conversations. It will ultimately come down to what he does.

      But if you like him, you should try to see things through — keeping, of course, an eye on how he acts when you two actually start doing things together, beyond just the conversations.

      Wishing you good luck!

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