Well this is it, our final bit of advice before the big day. If you’ve just tuning in to Asian Dating Monthly, make sure you catch all of the advice our dating experts have hammered out when it comes to Valentine’s Day. You can check out Socrates’ article on Valentine’s Day in South Korea, RedpoleQ’s article on Japan, and guest writer Dan Bloom’s article on Thailand to get a more complete picture of what Valentine’s Day is like around Asia.
Date’s for Valentines day 2014:
Feburary (Standard Western Valentines day) 14th
March (White day) 14th
August 9th (Qixi Festival) – this one is a nightmare.
Valentines Day in China
Lets start out totally positive: I hate Valentine’s Day.
Now hatred of a mere ‘holiday’ certainly seems irrational, maybe even a little ‘crazy’, which I can’t deny. This hatred wasn’t something I was born with, it developed and deepened with each Valentines Day mistake I made. It all started about two years before with me trying to have two girlfriends at the same time. I would spend Valentine’s Day with one and, while I was doing so, the other would come over to my house, see me with the other girl (or her friends saw me out somewhere with another girl) and go crazy…… which didn’t lead to a threesome or anything really that great.
So instead of bitching about my irrationalities I will dive into What Happens for Valentine’s Day in China, The Meaning Of Valentine’s Day in China, How to Romantic It UP, and finally, some tactics to BAG UP Your Valentines Day as if you were wearing three extra thick frangas (condoms for the non Australian readers). Firstly, let’s start with what actually happens on Valentines day in China and then move onto the other stuff.
In China, Western Valentines Day is called 情人, or Qing Ren Jie.
On Valentines Day in China, most people go out to restaurants, or forget to book a restaurant and spend 2+ hours waiting (I did this once, it wasn’t fun, book your restaurant as early as possible i.e try 7 days in advance) in line. As it’s a Western holiday people are usually working and celebrate the night time together, and this year Valentine’s Day’s – luckily – during the middle of Chinese New Year! Which means everyone will have time off, which means you get to spend all day and all night lavishing your sweet heart with gifts.
What you should expect to see/possibly do on Chinese New Year (depending how Chinese/Traditional your girl is):
- Give gifts as mentioned below.
- Wear matching t-shirts.
- Wear signs proclaiming you are a couple.
- Go out to restaurants or Valentines Day events.
(All of this stuff is good if you want to increase the romance levels with your girl and make her feel all gooey)
Almost every restaurant, club, or place of social gathering will be capitalising on this. My suggestion, though, is that you stay home and cook yourself and do the whole ‘It’s what we do in the West because it’s more romantic than going out to a restaurant’ line.
If you’re single then you should be hitting the clubs or single parties or whatever other events are happening in your city, as there will be lots of sad girls looking to hook up. Google is your friend.
If you’re a Western/Foreign guy then you will get a fair bit of leeway in the gifts you give and the things you do, you still do want to make it ‘romantic’ though, also if you’re dating a non Shanghaiese girl she will be more relaxed about things and will freak out a lot less about Valentines Day.
The Meaning of Valentines Day in China
Commercialism, Materialism, Face. These are the three words used to sum it up, but you could change them for love, business and money if you wanted. The whole point is to express how much you care about someone via how much you spend, roses go from being 1 or 3rmb to 10rmb or more, on the day before and on the day itself.
Now there is definitely love involved, but the main point for Chinese people is to get face. If you give your girlfriend an expensive Louie Vutton bag, she will immediately be on the phone/chat app telling her friends about it, as it gives her face and makes her feel superior, which is important in China. The whole point of gift giving is to give/gain face. The more expensive the gift the more you love her, is the mentality. It does vary a little from place to place, I live in Shanghai which by far is the most materialistic place in China, so outside of Shanghai people will be a little more relaxed.
The expectations for presents China on Valentines Day usually goes like this (not in any particular order):
- Anything ‘heart’ shaped/involved.
- Teddy Bears are ok if you’re a foreign guy, but most Chinese avoid giving them as they seem cheap.
You don’t have to buy all of these, but you won’t go wrong with any of them.
As a guy you’re also expected to buy her dinner and spend the whole night with her, generally being a good boyfriend. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get shit in return – I don’t recall many Chinese girls ever actually buying me a Valentines Day gift (I think one….). Many of them seem to think that Valentines Day is all about getting and not giving.
Around this time of year shops will have discounts to inspire more gift buying although some things, like roses, will raise in price. Just be happy you’re not a Shanghaiese guy. Shanghaiese guys are sometimes expected to buy girls 999 roses, and, at about 15rmb ($2.50USD) each, this can get expensive. …Plus everything else I’ve mentioned, plus dinner, plus their soul.
Now as I previously mentioned, you as a Western/Non Chinese guy can get away with doing the basics. I would suggest that you take your girl to a restaurant, shove some food down her yap, bring her home (skip the restaurant and cook at home is also good), and give her a good banging. Throw in a gift in there somewhere for good measure.
How to ‘Romantic It UP’
I have one particular thing that I think is a good idea for Valentines Day, a simple treasure hunt game that girls have enjoyed and rewarded me for (sexual pleasure!) shortly afterwards. You need 5+ presents (I usually go nine) and somewhere to hide them, you also need to write notes at each stage. I make the girl go and sit in my room while I hide the presents around the house in various places, at each place I put a note giving her a hint for the next place, the starting one is usually ‘knock knock’ as that sends her rushing to the front door, where she finds the first present and another note. The first present is usually something edible like cookies or something like that.
The presents I’ve used for this game before were:
- Spa/beauty treatment coupons
- Beautiful little singing revolving photo frame thing.
- You also can’t go wrong with poetry or love letters as a Valentine’s Day gift/gift for this Game.
As for restaurant suggestions, I have one: Teddy Bear Thai restaurant in Tian Zi Fang (Shanghai only, sorry guys). This place is the bomb because it’s got Thai food, a perfect atmosphere, and you can pay 500RMB+ to make your own teddy bear with your girl, which she will love. Check out the details for the place – as the lady in the review said, it’s great for kids, so your girl will love it too.
The only other place I suggest you take your girl to on Valentines Day (If you see an extremely tall and handsome guy there, it’s me. Say Hi!) is Lovers road (甜爱路 Tian Ai Lu). Check the link, and then this one here. It’s a street for lovers – you can write your name on a wall, which will supposedly bless you and your lover with a wonderful relationship forever, but only if you walk along the whole road, which takes about 30 minutes. This, for the record, won’t save you if you don’t buy her gifts.
Ok la, now for the how to…
BAG UP Your Valentine’s Day
Here are my hints, tricks and tips for how to avoid massive drama on Valentines Day. This is relevant if you are dating more than one person at a time, if you’re not, then you’re probably going to be fine.
1. Leave the city.
You can do this with your girl or not, the advantage of this is that you cannot receive surprise visits. Travel in China is cheap and I would suggest going on a romantic trip for a few days to a small town near your city. (Shanghai – Hangzhou, Beijing – TianJin).
2. Reschedule Valentines Day.
You can reschedule Valentines Day because you are ‘working’ or ‘looking after your single depressed friend’ and then make that day SUPER AWESOME to make up for not spending Valentines Day with your girl.
I personally don’t like this option as I think most girls know what you’re actually doing and it creates resentment, girl’s aren’t stupid so they know you’re not really with your single friend but, this being Asia, they are more likely to accept a lie and not say/do that much about it. This depends on your girl’s level of crazy.
One of the other downsides is that some girls will think you don’t care about them very much, which may lead to them to do crazy things or hook up with other people. There is always a chance for this to happen in your relationship, though, so you’re just increasing the probability rather than introducing it as a new possibility.
3. Spend Valentines Day alone.
Your safest option by far, is to spend Valentines Day alone. I’ve tried experimenting with this on various holidays and I usually begin it by stating how much I hate X holiday for X reason and then adamantly refuse to spend it with anyone other than myself. This is a good way to do things because you then have free rein on when you want to ‘celebrate’ or give your girl gifts and that means you have zero chance of getting caught. You can tell her that you don’t want to celebrate it on Valentines Day but will do it another day because of x reason. The point is that you don’t like Valentine’s Day for a certain reason. If one of your girls freaks out and comes over to your place unannounced then she’ll see you just sitting there playing Xbox or PS3 and eating pizza. She will end up looking like a bad person for mistrusting you and you’re just the guy who wanted to sit at home and wallow in your emotional issues (which is fine :D). The point being you don’t get caught, which is great!
4. Spend Valentines Day with your main girl.
This tactic is fairly straightforward: you spend Valentines Day with your main girl and risk the other girl coming to see you. If you set this up right, then it will usually be ok and you won’t run into problems. The important thing is that you’ve set up the right Patterns for how often you see the other girls and set the right Expectations so they don’t get all butt hurt when you tell them you’re ‘busy’ on Valentines Day, which is not necessarily the easiest thing to do, but certainly worth while.
Note: Your phone and your house are potentially your worst enemies, if you’re getting calls from the other girl on Valentines day then I suggest you covertly deal with them by going into the toilets (if you’re outside) and answering or replying to messages or just not at all. If you don’t answer the phone you’re increasing the risk of the other girl coming over for a surprise visit.
Well dude’s that’s a wrap on Valentines Day in China. Valentines day is a confusing holiday in China because there is the Western one, and two other ‘Chinese’ Valentines day’s (or approximations there of)…… the Chinese seem to enjoy randomly creating holidays for fun (there is even a hungry ghost day). As an extra treat, I’ll thrown in some more info about Chinese Valentines Days that will bite you in the ass/wallet in the coming months. First, don’t forget about Chinese Valentines Day, called 乞巧节, or Qi Qiao Jie. And, of course, don’t forget about White Day, which this year falls on the 13th of August (Chinese Valentines day 2014 is 2nd of August). Dear God.