Online dating has completely transformed the pickup and dating landscape over the past decade. It’s now very common for guys to use online dating almost exclusively as a way to meet girls.

As a foreigner in Asia, it can be hard to know exactly where to go to approach girls during the day time or which venues might be the best for night game. It’s often much simpler to open a dating app as soon as you touch down in a new country and start swiping to build a pipeline of girls you could have dates with.

This guide will talk about how to effectively use online dating in Asia and which tools you should use to improve your match rates and what skills you should work on improving to turn your matches into meets and your meets into sex or ongoing relationships.

Generally, with dating, you can have the greatest degree of influence when you’re with somebody, face-to-face, in-person. This is one of the reasons why cold approach pickup is such an essential skill and why it ALWAYS outperforms online dating (in any country).

Remember: the purpose of getting “matches” in online dating is to get a conversation going via text messaging. The purpose of texting is to get girls to meet you in person. A good way to think about this is looking at online dating as a game with three different levels that you must progress through:

  1. Getting a “match” on the platform (engaging with them in the dating app).
  2. Texting girls you match with to convince them to meet you in real life (moving them off the dating app).
  3. Meeting girls in real life to actually show them why you would be a good choice for them to date (actually gaming them face-to-face).

Each level is a compliance hoop that you want the girl to jump through. You start with something relatively low level (getting her to match or “swipe right” on you within the app) and progressing towards the final step (getting her to meet you in-person), which requires much more compliance from the girl (ie. it takes more active effort and decision making from her).

This article will mainly deal with the first two levels of online game: getting matches in different apps and then how to text those matches in a way that makes the girls want to meet you in real life.

How to Get Matches

Online dating is primarily a visual medium. When using apps like Tinder or Bumble, people are making a very quick snap judgement based on a single photo, so the more you can optimize your photos to be appealing to girls in general and also specifically to the types of girls you like, then the better your match percentage will be.

With your photos, you want to try and showcase any of the core attraction triggers. These are:

  1. Pre-selected by women – having other women around you in your life
  2. Leader of men – able to lead other men in a group
  3. Protector of loved ones – able to protect the people you care about
  4. Ability and willingness to emote – can show a wide range of emotions in a socially calibrated way
  5. Successful risk-taker – able to take risks and be successful when doing so

The more you can convey each of these with your photos, the less you’ll have to rely on raw physical attractiveness to generate matches.

For example: a photo of you with small animals will convey the “protector of loved ones” trait. A photo of you speaking in front of a large crowd would communicate the “leader of men” trait.

Note: In America, it’s a common strategy to social proof yourself by posting photos of yourself with other girls (attraction trigger #1 above), but in Asia this is not usually a good idea.

It’s important to use as many levers as possible to bump your physical attractiveness score as much as possible. These are all some tools you can use to improve your match rate:

  • Wear clothes that fit your body and that match with current trends and styles. If you don’t know about fashion, look through men’s magazines to get some inspiration
  • Use good camera angles to make your photos more flattering. One typical good angle is holding your camera above you and at a slight angle so you’re looking up into the lens.
  • Use photo editing apps and filters to clean up imperfections and make the photo look more professional
  • Hit the gym. Exercising regularly will be very beneficial for improving your look and match rate even if you don’t have the most flattering facial features.

How to Text Your Matches

Good text messaging is key to online game in Asia. Your matches are only good if you know how to follow up with them and how to convert them into meets.

Texting girls you’ve met from online game is a little bit different than texting girls you’ve met from cold approach pickup.

There are many components to good texting, but the main things you want to focus on when trying to convert your dating app matches into meets are making the interaction more fun and interesting for the girl while also showing her why it would be worth her time to meet you for a date.

Here are some examples of tools you can use early on when texting a girl you’ve matched with from a dating app:

  • Jokes and teasing in a playful and fun way
  • Telling interesting stories from your life
  • Making assumptions and guesses about her based on her photos / profile content
  • Sending interesting photos or sharing exciting parts of your life with her

At some point within the first 20 minutes of an interaction with a girl, you’ll want to move her off of whatever dating app you’re texting her on and onto some other messaging app.

Different Asian countries use different messaging apps. Here’s a list of Asian countries and the messaging apps that are most commonly used there:

Japan, Thailand, Taiwan – LINE

Korea – KakaoTalk

China – WeChat

Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore – WhatsApp

Philippines – Viber, whatsApp

What to Do on the Date

Whenever you have a date, it’s important to have a clear strategy and plan for what you’re going to do. The reason most dates fail is because the guy doesn’t have a clear game plan.

As men, it’s our job to plan the date and progress it in the right direction. Don’t expect the girl to do any of the work or to make things easy for you. Take responsibility and put in the necessary time and thought before you actually meet her.

The best date activities are things where both of you are actively doing something together. That could mean eating dinner, having drinks, going on a picnic, ice skating, browsing a museum or any similar activity. You want to be able to talk to her and have ongoing conversation throughout the date.

You’ll want to avoid dates like watching a movie, going to a loud club or festival and similar activities where the girl’s attention is not on you or where there are lots of distractions that could potentially pull her away from you.

As a general rule, it takes around 4 – 6 hours for a girl to feel comfortable enough to have sex with a guy she meets. Sometimes it can take longer if you haven’t developed your cold approach pickup skills very thoroughly and sometimes it can happen much faster if the girl is really keen on you.

The 4 – 6 hour timeline is good to keep in mind when you’re planning your date. It’s always a good idea to include multiple locations and venues as a part of your date progression. When you visit multiple different venues on the same day, it has the effect of making it feel like you’ve spent a lot more time together than if you were just at one place the whole time.

You’ll also want to try and make each venue be physically closer to your house (or hotel) so the home bounce will be logistically easier at the end of the date.

If you’re choosing a hotel while visiting Asia, you should pick a hotel with good logistics, meaning that there are good restaurants, bars or date venues located nearby. It’s also good to be somewhat centrally located in a big city to make it easier for the girl to meet you (instead of making her travel a long way).

Which Dating Apps Are Popular in Asia?

Much like messaging apps, each country in Asia has online dating apps that are more popular for that specific country.

Tinder is currently the most popular online dating app in all Asian countries except for China (where it’s actually blocked).

Bumble is a good alternative to Tinder. The main advantage to Bumble is that girls have to send the first message to guys. Many guys prefer this dynamic as it takes some of the pressure off them early on in the interaction.

The main dating app in China is a Tinder-clone called Tantan.

The biggest dating app in Thailand at the moment is ThaiFriendly. It’s competitor ThaiCupid is quite popular as well. You can message girls freely on ThaiFriendly (no need to match them first), but one of the disadvantages to ThaiFriendly is that you have to wait 10 minutes to send each message, so it can really slow you down when texting girls you’re interested in. You can pay for a monthly subscription to remove the messaging limit.

PinaLove and DateInAsia are both popular dating apps for finding Filippina girls both in and outside of the Philippines.

Language exchange apps like HelloTalk can be a good way to meet girls. In fact, many girls using language exchange apps may be using the app as a way to meet or chat with a foreigner in their home country!