I’m a sucker for awkward beginnings (yaay for the underdogs!), so there’s nothing that quite whisks me away like a sweet romantic Chinese drama where the leads have a secret crush on each other from the very beginning (or even a nasty case of unrequited love).
In this post, I’ll be listing 16 super sweet and romantic Chinese dramas about secret crushes that will leave you with a heart full of warmth and a smile you won’t be able to shake off.
These are stories of when love finds its wings in the quietest corners and I just know you’ll appreciate them (and find a new recommendation or 15!)
Here are 14 sweet Chinese dramas with leads Who know how to take their time:
1. Who Rules The World
Hei Feng Xi is charming, Bai Feng Xi is bold, and they’re both incredibly skilled and smart – and that’s not to talk of the fact that they’ve literally been nursing feelings for each other for years.
Together, they strive for justice and fight against many hidden threats, and they soon find themselves opening up to each other.
I said it then and I’ll say it again, but the leads in this drama had insane chemistry, and it was so obvious from the first thirty minutes of the first episode that the male lead was so, so whipped for the female lead.
2. By Stealth Like You
Zhang Mu Xi had a crush on Guo Jia Nan in high school, and now, in college, they meet again by chance.
This is another sweet romantic Chinese drama where the girl had a secret crush on the boy but didn’t tell him until later on.
I loved every minute of this sweet drama full of heart-fluttering moments, and I just know it will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
3. All I Want For Love Is You
Gu Xiao Man is a high school sanda fighting champion, but struggles with her studies.
Luckily Zuo An, a top student who she has has a crush on for like forever ends up tutoring her.
They both end up in the same university with Zuo An’s help, and in college, their feelings for each other start to surface, and they grow even closer.
4. Shining For One Thing
Lin Bei Xing is heartbroken when her fiancé Zhan Yu chooses her best friend over her, and to try to revive their love, she invites him to their old high school.
While waiting in the rain, she ends up travelling back in time to when she was eighteen, so she decides to retake the college entrance exam and move on from Zhan Yu.
And, a chance meeting with Zhang Wan Sen after the exam sets off a new time-travel journey in this utterly wholesome romantic Chinese drama about new love and growth.
5. Love Is Sweet
Jiang Jun started in charity work but switched to finance to fulfill her dad’s wish after he got hurt.
In the course of things, she bumps into her old friend Yuan Shuai, who’s now her competitor.
I genuinely rooted for her from the very first episode and I’m sure that she’ll grow on you as well.
6. Legally Romance
At twenty-eight, Qian Wei should have been on her career path, but her job as a paralegal with Lu Xun has been far from great.
They’ve had a grudge since school, and Lu Xun has made her life miserable, but when a tragic accident puts Qian Wei in a coma, everything changes.
In this dream world, she’s a teenager again, and Lu Xun is different, and meeting him here reveals a whole new side of her demanding boss – she even realises that he might have had a crush on her years ago.
7. A River That Runs Through It
Xia Xiao Ju switches school right before the big college entrance exams, and she meets Cheng Lang, Lu Shi Yi, Qiu Yue Tao, and bestie Lin You.
And when she gets into the university, she finds out her secret crush likes Lin You, who is her best friend.
Soon enough, their love and friendship gets complicated, but if there’s one thing you can trust in any coming-of-age youth Chinese drama, it’s that they’ll eventually figure it out.
This is another must-watch Chinese drama about secret crushes and hidden feelings set in a university that gave me all the feels.
8. Cute Programmer
In this romantic Cdrama, Lu Li falls for brilliant programmer Jiang Yi Cheng and because of her crush on him, she decides to study computer programming in the university.
She performs beautifully in school and has amazing grades, but after graduating, she learns that his company doesn’t hire women.
So, she disguises herself as a man to get in, but she soon realises that it’s tough managing both Jiang’s demands and her secret crush.
Eventually, with determination, they agree to be a “contract couple” for a year, and as time passes, Jiang Yi Cheng starts to develop feelings for Lu Li.
9. My Fated Boy
Lin Yang and Lu Zheng An were childhood friends, despite their age gap, and they even played pretend weddings.
Life took them apart, and now, at 31, Lin Yang works in an office and rents a place, but her life isn’t as she hoped.
Then, Lu Zheng An, now 24 and back from studying abroad, reappears and he wants to revive their friendship and start a romance.
But Lin still sees him as the neighborhood kid, and he’s determined to show his true feelings and win her over.
This is another fantastic romantic Chinese drama where the man had a crush on the woman for a long time but hid his feelings, and I’m 100% certain that it will tug at your heartstrings in all the right ways.
It’s also super sweet because the woman was older than the man, and their love and eventual coming together felt magical.
10. Our Secret
Zhou Si Yue is a true genius, and his seat mate is Ding Xian, a spirited and endearing girl.
You guys, these two didn’t get along at first, but it was lovely to see them recognise each other’s strengths eventually and grow to love each other.
Ofcourse before this, they kept their feelings hidden for a long time and it was just the most heartwarming thing to see.
11. Hello, The Sharpshooter
Years ago in high school, Tang Xin fell for the charming Shen Qing Yuan but she kept her feelings a secret.
They eventually went their separate ways, and she became a trainee reporter and while he became a top pistol shooter.
When the Olympics are underfoot, Tang Xin is tasked with interviewing him, but he’s distant, and when her presence begins to affect his performance, he can’t explain why.
Soon enough, they’re spending a whole lot of time together and he slowly realizes he’s falling for her.
This sweet, sweet, sweet sports Chinese drama about secret crushes will have you kicking up your blankets with joy and happiness, so don’t miss it.
12. Just An Encore
Yan Ze has a secret crush on her desk-mate Ji Xiao, the handsome top student.
Feeling overshadowed by her beautiful and smart best friend, Gu Xi Ye, Yan Ze’s emotions grow when she suspects Ji Xiao likes Xi Ye.
And somehow, transfer student He Xin Liang always appears to cheer her up, but Xi Ye secretly loves Xin Liang and is jealous of how their relationship glows.
As you can see, everyone had a secret crush on everyone in this drama and it was so lovely watching them fumble all the way through.
13. Once And Forever
In the early 21st century, Xie Qiao enters Beiqing University, where her crush He Xiao Zhou also studies.
Qin Chuan, her childhood friend studying abroad, also secretly loves her and he’s very careful about hiding his feelings.
When Xie Qiao’s roommate Qian Xi and He Xiao Zhou become a couple, her one-sided love fades and she decides to move on with her life.
Then, Qin Chuan returns to start a business for her and he supports her in finding her life’s purpose.
The plot of most romantic Chinese drama about secret crushes is that the leads eventually figure out their feelings and fall in love, so it was very interesting to see this drama where the female lead well and truly moved on.
14. My First Love Is Secret Love
In high school, plump Zhu Qian Shuang had a crush on popular guy Qiao Ye but she was too shy to even think of confessing her feelings.
Determined to lose weight, she tried various methods, but she never managed to shed anything more than a few pounds.
Eventually, they part ways but then meet again and this is when Zhu Qian Shuang realises that Qiao Ye had also been facing his own trials.
Have you ever had a crush on somebody? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done because of a crush? Let me know in the comments below.
You guys, these are 14 of my all-time favorite endearing Chinese dramas about secret crushes where the boy or girl has a crush on the other lead but doesn’t tell them and I just know you’ll have fun watching them.
Please check out the related posts for even more recommendations, and I’m sure you can find something super interesting to watch.