Dating in Taiwan is tough.

I’ve dated around considerably more than I ever did in Poland, but the most dates I had with any one guy was four, and that was two too many.

When comparing the quality of Expats in Poland to Taiwan, Poland wins hands down.  The Expats I met in Poland were significantly better educated, as a group. Doctors, lawyers, Indian Chiefs, you name it, Poland had it.

In Taiwan there are primarily three categories of English-speaking foreigners.

The first group, English teachers, have by far the worst reputations. The buxiban system of education in Taiwan has a life of its own. English teachers are in high demand in Taiwan both in the public schools and in Buxibans.  No experience or teaching certifications are required to teach in most Buxibans, yet the money is good.  Life here is easy for the foreign teacher. The Taiwanese are friendly, helpful and nice. Many of them are intensely curious about Westerners. The money is good. The teaching schedule is light compared with many other jobs. And, if you’re a male, the women are fascinated with you.  All this attracts a certain type of Western male. Basically, the ones that are attracted to a life of ease without having to work for it. You see a lot of men here that couldn’t hack it in the West. Couldn’t get the jobs, couldn’t get the girls, couldn’t get the life. They drift over here like so much trash because its easy here, and unfortunately, here they stay.

The second group, students, are also numerous and live a charmed life. This population is varied, exciting, young, eager, and usually significantly more motivated and intelligent. This population can be but doesn’t have to be  rife with men fascinated by Asian culture. The majority of foreign students are here to study Chinese. A predisposition toward the culture is inherent.  There are many students who do study other topics, but they are not predominant. Most students come for a year, two, and their focus is their studies. I’m sure there are students hooking up all over the place, with Taiwanese girls and with each other, but again, this is a bit of a lark for most. A break from their permanent lives in the West.

The third group,  are the  American and British Born Chinese.  They are called ABCs and BBCs. They have their own society and culture. Although thoroughly Westernized they retain their Asian family upbringing. They are often  more shy when it comes to approaching women than your typical American white guy. They are often well-educated, well raised and here to explore their roots.   Most that I have met are very respectful of women, and frankly, I find many of them to be quite attractive. But, as a friend or two have told me, they stick to their own, and they are significantly less likely to make the first move. Very annoying.

Men have no problem dating in Taiwan. If it’s not one woman, than its three falling all over themselves to get a Western man. They’re as much of a status object here as they are in Poland. More, truth be told. You could be the nastiest, scummiest, loserish bit of crap in your home country, yet, if you’re a man, here you’re treated like a movie star.

For Western women on the other hand…good luck. I haven’t found any that’s for sure.

I’ve been on any number of dates at this point and no success. The Western guys aren’t interested for the most part. Those that are rarely look for commitment.

The problems with dating are many. Taiwanese men are very shy and timid when it comes to Western women. They are very afraid to approach us, and generally, most will not. Taiwanese dating culture is very different from the west. In fact, most of my Taiwanese friends agree that there IS no dating culture in Taiwan. Couples get together by hanging out in large groups of friends, or often meet at work, through other social acquaintances, or their parents. The concept of going out on a date with someone relatively unknown is foreign to the Taiwanese lifestyle. Therefore, the flirting, the texting, the dating, the random hook ups, friend with benefit arrangements, and the whole culture that revolves around a Western dating lifestyle is lost on Taiwanese men.

Ultimately, the cultural gap is just too big for most Western women.  Seriously, what would you do if it worked out? The expected role for a woman in Taiwan is considerably different, both in society and in the home, than for Westerners. What self-respecting Western woman would allow herself to become subsumed into male and family dominated Taiwanese culture? Who wants to be treated like a second class citizen after being raised to be a first?

Not this girl.

Like Poland, a Western woman must quickly realize that the majority of the Taiwanese male population simply isn’t for her. That leaves the Expats. Here we circle back to quality and quantity. Quantity should be self-explanatory. We are a minority. I’m sorry, but the quality of the Western men is not like it is in Europe. You have to sort through a lot of riffraff to meet anyone of quality. When you do, you’re fighting an uphill battle against their Asian fascination, transient lifestyle, and general lack of commitment.

I won’t say that all Western men are like that here. I do have a lot of male friends that I respect and care about that I do not lump into that category. But it is still the vast majority.

If you’re 23, great. Come over here and stay for a year or two. It will be the time of your life. When you’re thirty though, and have an urge to settle down. Reconsider.

Whatever kind of man you’re looking for, if it involves commitment of any kind, even short-term, you’ll be hard-pressed to find it.