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The Expat’s Guide to Dating Western Women & Asian Girls In: Shanghai, China

If you didn’t already know, I’m Chinese by ethnicity, American by nationality, Asian-American by culture and Taiwanese by heritage. Confusing, I know, like most Asian-Americans, it took me years to figure out what the difference was between race, ethnicity, heritage, and nationality. My father was born in China while my grandfather was an officer in the Nationalist army. When the Communists took over and my family fled to Taiwan, he was 3 years old at the time. My mother was born and raised in Taiwan to Taiwanese parents. I was born in the U.S. and grew up in San Francisco, as an Asian American.

1 on 1 student Jackson with Johnny Wolf and two cute Western girls in Shanghai.

1 on 1 student Jackson with Johnny Wolf and two cute Western girls in Shanghai.

These days, I’m an expat (an expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing) living in Thailand and teaching in countries like China, Singapore, and Malyasia. And in cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai, they are a notorious paradise for Western men who have a serious case of yellow fever and are literally shopping for Asian girls. However, I don’t deal with Asian girls that way. Ironically, here in Asia I find it easier dating Western girls. Being in Thailand and Shanghai makes things ten times harder as an Asian guy who has a weakness for Western women. Remember, I grew up in San Francisco. The dating scene I know and love is so radically different from what it’s like to date in Thailand and Shanghai that I had a serious learning curve when I made the move.

But I still have a passion for beautiful Western girls. The thing is, Western women raised in America and Asian girls raised in Asia are NOT the same thing. Instead of learning one way to approach and date that works on the majority of Western girls and Asian girls in America, I had to learn two different strategies. It was a pain in the ass to learn how to switch on and off between approaching a Western woman and approaching an Asian girl, but if you live in China, especially if you’re an Asian guy like me, it’s valuable to know the difference between how to date Asian girls and how to date Western girls.

I recently had a discussion with my buddy Alice Zindagi, who has also lived in Thailand and loves Asian guys, and we came up with this list of some of the biggest differences we see between Western girls and Asian girls when it comes to dating. For example…

Jackson approaching Western girls in Shanghai like a BOSS!

Jackson approaching Western girls in Shanghai like a BOSS!

1)      You can’t cold-approach an Asian girl like you can a Western girl. Culturally speaking, most Asian girls are wary of strangers. Sure, if you’re a stranger selling things in the floating market outside of Bangkok, Asian girls will ask you the price, but if you randomly walk up to an Asian girl in the streets of China, be prepared for a negative reaction (unless you’re white, white men have immunity here, but I’m an Asian guy and I get looked at like I’m a ranting homeless guy). I bet you $100 the Asian girl will turn around and walk away from you without even a word. She’s not rejecting you, Asian girls just aren’t used to it and think you’re weird. This isn’t a problem with Western girls. Western culture, American in particular, puts a strong emphasis on being social in general, saying hello to everyone, smiling at the woman who bags your groceries, and being socially bubbly. Most Western girls LOVE to talk to strangers.

2)      Western women in Asia are put on a social pedestal. Pale skin is highly prized in Asia as a sign of high social status and not having to do outdoor labor; I see this emphasized all the time with skin bleaching creams and whitening ingredients used to promote 99% of all lotions, creams, and cosmetics sold to Asian girls here in Thailand and China. As a result, Western girls in Asia, particularly highly Westernized areas like Shanghai or Bangkok, are often treated like trophies. Some of the Western girls enjoy it, but a lot of them are irritated by it. I would be too if I got stopped by strangers fifteen times a day asking if they could take my picture and show their friends (this actually happens, I’m not even shitting you on this one) like I was a zoo animal. If I were you, I would be careful to avoid trying to get a Western girl to take pictures with you; there’s a good chance Western girls will assume you’re just trying to make yourself look cool to your bros.

Jackson approaching an Asian girl, they're literally all over the place in Shanghai.

Jackson approaching an Asian girl, they’re literally all over the place in Shanghai.

3)      Asian girls are more plentiful. This should really go without saying. If Asian girls are your thing and you can get past the awkwardness of the initial approach (try Social Circle game or Lifestyle game on them), they are EVERYWHERE. There’s a lot more to choose from. You’re going to have to work harder if you’re hell-bent on having a Western girl. Here in Thailand, women are in the minority of the expat population. Western girls are slightly more common in Shanghai, but it’s not exactly wonderbreadland here. While you’d be tempted to seek Western girls out in tourist areas, expats are unlikely to go there (although if all you want is a fling with a Western girl, by all means seek out a tourist). Believe it or not, you CAN find female expats (if they’re in your city) wandering the local marketplace.

4)      Make sure the idea of “dating” is clearly defined. It’s not uncommon for dating in Asia to be conducted with marriage in mind. I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I’m looking for right now. If you date Asian girls casually, there’s a definite chance that she takes it more seriously than you do. This is less of a problem with Western women, who tend to have a more disposable attitude toward dating. Either way, protect yourself and your sanity by making sure the Western girls and Asian girls both understand exactly what you want out of them and exactly how far you’re willing to take the relationship.

Downtown city lights are fun, but don't let tourist Western girls turn you into a tour guide.

Downtown city lights are fun, but don’t let tourist Western girls turn you into a tour guide.

5)      If she’s a new expat or a tourist, be prepared for the inquisition. Asian girls know exactly what’s up about where they live and they don’t need to ask questions about how to do this or how to get there. But if you approach a Western girl who is new to the area, she might take your interest as an open invitation to turn you into her personal tour guide. I occasionally get asked by a Western women what the best places to see in Shanghai and Bangkok are. Whatever you do, don’t just sit back and allow Western girls to drag you around like that. I hate being labeled like that, I’m not a guide dog. You shouldn’t be one either.

6)      Prepare to pay for everything if you date an Asian girl. And I do mean everything. Men in Asia are expected to be the main breadwinners and in general to contribute the most money. We have to work hard and then even harder in order to be considered a success. Asian girls will often measure our success by what we’re able to provide them with on a date. Western culture is more progressive in this aspect and a Western girl is more likely to go Dutch or even pay for the date entirely. If you’re broke because it’s not payday but you don’t want to spend Friday night alone wandering the back streets and bazaars of downtown Chiang Mai or Shanghai, keep that in mind.

Johnny Wolf breaking stereotypes about Asian guys with this cute Western girl in Shanghai.

Johnny Wolf breaking stereotypes about Asian guys with this cute Western girl in Shanghai.

7)      Even though you’re in Asia, sometimes Western girls will still stereotype you. Asian girls have no reason to stereotype you because you’re just like every other man in their country: Asian. They won’t concern themselves with rumors and myths about Asian men. But even when Western girls are in China, some of the stereotypes they heard back home will be carried with them. For example, because we Asians are culturally more wary of strangers, if a Western girl picked up on that and remembers Asian guys back home watching her from afar, she might assume that all Asian guys are just pussies and we’re afraid to approach Western girls. These are facts of life. I have seen it happen in both Thailand and China. You’re just going to have to depussify yourself and prove a Western girl’s stereotypes wrong.

Ultimately it’s up to you whether you choose to date Western women or Asian girls while you’re in Asia. Western girls do have their disadvantages, but they are just my preference, and I bow to your patience and determination if you’re willing to deal with the extra steps that dating an Asian girl can be. The important thing is that you’re at least getting a date instead of jacking off to hentai by yourself every night.

Take this guy from my Shanghai, China bootcamp for example. He used to be a complete dating noob, but he took charge like a boss and doesn’t have to worry about going to bed alone:

If you still find yourself having trouble crossing the divide between dating Western girls and dating Asian girls, if you just can’t master the difference, then sign your ass up for one of my Asia PUA Bootcamps and I will whip you into dating shape: whether in Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore and China (From Hong Kong to Beijing and Shanghai).

For more information on Johnny Wolf’s doings in Asia, check out his Thailand Full Moony Party PUA Bootcamp Review for all his legendary Asian exploits in one of the most amazing parties in one of the most amazing countries!