Dating culture in Tehran

The Secret Dating Culture in Tehran

Iran is a country with a rich history, breath-taking nature, and stunning architecture. Iranians living in Tehran are by nature very kind and helpful, much like the rest of the Iranians living in other parts of the country. However, dating in Iran is restricted in the country and Iranians often have to find ways to circumvent local rules and date in secrecy. This has led to a whole secret dating sub-culture in the country that keeps growing, despite efforts by the authorities to stop the practice. Let’s take a deeper look at the secret dating culture in Tehran and what the repercussions are.

How Different is Dating in Tehran as Compared to the West?

Just like other societies where Islamic law is imposed, people living in Tehran have to follow several strict rules that control their social lives. For example, people are not allowed to kiss or touch in public. Secret dates are also prohibited.

So how do young Iranians go for a date given all the restrictions that they have to overcome? Well, young couples in Iran date in a way that is almost similar to dating in the West, but they have to find ways to conceal that they’re actually together. They also have to choose their meeting spots carefully to not raise suspicion.

Meeting Points for Potential Couples

So, you must be wondering, how do young Iranians living in Tehran find love? How do they date? Well, when it comes to obstacles in love, you can expect young people to have their wits about them and find solutions to overcome them whichever way they can. A variety of secret dating sites that operate outside of the government scope have started to pop up to address the issue. Sites like Shahvani, for instance, allow young Iranians to date discreetly and engage in discussion.

Although most young couples prefer to meet online, some young people still prefer to meet face to face with their potential dates. There are a lot of opportunities from workplaces, universities, parties and through families where people can meet each other.

However, dating in Tehran is never easy. When young people go out together, they usually have to deal with a certain level of fear. This is mainly because of moral police patrols who will interrogate people of opposite genders who are out together and don’t have any official relations.

Not every date in Tehran will end up in a police van, however most young people in Tehran like to spend their time in the park and have learned how to get out of sticky situations. While from the outside the situation can seem dark and gloomy, the locals have grown to accept these rules and work around them instead of protesting them.

How Iranian Women Compare to their Western Counterparts

In Tehran and Iran as a whole, women rarely flirt with men. This is in contrast to Western culture where mating roles are increasingly being reversed and women are more comfortable with approaching members of the opposite sex. Iranian women still prefer to let the men do the chasing. The most they will do is usually get close to a person they’re interested and try to strike up innocent or work-related conversations. But things are slowly beginning to change, and more women are opening up to the idea of initiating contact.

Young people in Iran, just like in Western countries, are also falling in love and dating. And even with the strict rules in place, love will always find a way to overcome obstacles, even if it means incarceration.


Hi, I’m Victoria. I’m not a psychologist or a therapist, instead my relationship advice comes from real life dating experience and lessons learnt by trial and error. All the guys I’ve dated have been very different but I certainly came across my fare share of “Mr Unavailable” types, so if you find yourself in a situation with a guy who won’t commit, hopefully these stories will help.

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