If you're interested in meeting Asian ladies, then another alternative to online dating is to attend a dating party.
Dating parties are particularly popular in China. They're organised by local dating companies, and are basically just parties where 100+ men and 100+ ladies get to meet, swap phone numbers and get married if they think they're a good match.
You'll find dating parties going on in any medium to big sized city in China.
The catch? They're not aimed at foreigners seeking Chinese brides. They're intended for the local population to find Chinese partners. So to attend one you'll have to do a lot of groundwork.
Having said this, you might find international parties in larger Asian cities that are aimed at intercultural marriages. These are quite common in Tokyo, Japan. They're arranged as international evenings and the dating aspects are downplayed, so as to not make it so obvious that the primary objective of the evening is for unmarried Japanese women to find foreign boyfriends.
Back to China, and the best way to find out about these parties is to find a Chinese bff (best female friend) who is self-confident, single, desperate to get married, and who isn't interested in marrying you. Then set her to work searching for events that you might be able to attend. She'll need all her self-confidence to persuade the organisers to let in a foreigner .
Xiongmao writes… While I was living in China I attended a dating party with my own Chinese bff. Here's what happened:
Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, but I only had my camera phone, and attending such an event was a huge privilege, so I didn't want to overstep the mark.
First of all I'll say that the dating party was 100% totally and absolutely free! So how much better than the romance tours offered by Western companies!
Why was it free? Because the party venue just happened to be at an exclusive 5* development of condos and executive houses. And what's the first thing a married Chinese couple want to buy? Why - a place to live of course!
Here's the development. The properties were stunning, but it was in the middle of nowhere - a suburb of Guangzhou so distant, it was practically in Dongguan :
We got bussed to and from the venue from a pickup point in central Guangzhou.
I did a rough headcount, and there were around 150+ ladies and 100 men. So good odds if you're a guy, and maybe not what you'd expect from a country with more men than women.
As for quality, the quality of woman was very high indeed. They were mostly educated middle class women, aged from 25-35. So they'd missed out on the chance to get married at a young age, and were fairly anxious to find Mr Right.
Here's a couple of typical dating party ladies:
I'd say that most of the women there were 7's. There were a couple of 9's, but they were quite picky. As they could afford to be.
The ladies were pretty serious about the event. They had mostly dressed to impressed. Maybe a few were there because their moms told them to go, but generally speaking Chinese women are very marriage focused.
The party itself occurred on a rare sunny April afternoon in Guangzhou, and most ladies (and me!) took refuge beneath umbrellas:
If you wondered why Chinese women age so well, then this is the answer.
To break the ice there were a few events laid on by the organisers. This was a kind of gameshow type event where a guy got to ask a few girls questions, then at the end the girls held up a sign to say whether they were interested in the guy or not:
It was a lot of fun, and quite emotional in places.
Back to the ladies, and I didn't really do that well. Not many ladies spoke English, but a different problem was that it was maybe too novel for a foreigner to attend one of these events. Plus it was a whole new experience for me, and it was a lot to take in.
However, I did meet the organisers of the party - one of China's biggest dating sites. They were so impressed that a foreigner attended the event that I subsequently visited their offices in downtown Guangzhou. They were very eager for me to meet some of their female clients for dates, but that's another story for another time.
I'll also mention that the dating party was a good place to find Chinese male friends as well. It was also a good place to do some general networking. A foreigner attending an event like this is a real rarity. So if you have confidence and Mandarin skills, you'll do very well at one of these events. If you're in China teaching English, you'll almost certainly find some new students at such an event as well. Bring plenty of business cards!
Sadly, while the afternoon was free, the food and drink was not! My friend and I almost passed out from hunger. And before you accuse me of being tight with my money - there wasn't actually any food or drink that you could buy. Only in China would a dating event not have any catering .
Well my friend and I failed to find anyone we liked. We got the bus back to downtown Guangzhou, got stuck in traffic, and walked through a thunderstorm to the nearest Pizza restaurant. A huge moth flew into the restaurant and the waitress beat it to death with a broom. I jumped onto the sidewalk and stood in a load of wet cement. We ended up getting a packed bus back to our neighbourhood. There's no such thing as an ordinary day out in Guangzhou.