If there’s one thing we can always trust Chinese drama to do – aside, of course, the effortlessly beautiful cinematography and cast pairings that make so, so, so much sense – it’s craft an utterly swoon-worthy romance that will make your cheeks hurt from smiling (let’s not talk about the curled toes, okay?)
In this post, I’ll be listing 10 standout Chinese dramas about friends who become lovers that I absolutely think everyone should watch at least twice.
There’s a saying that friendship is the foundation of any worthwhile relationship, and if you’re keen on seeing nuanced interpretations of the delicate balance between friendship and love, then you’re going to enjoy the dramas in this post.
With everything from the whimsies to the chemistry, to the tender moments, the heartaches, the heart-stopping moments, and the inherent beauty of two familiar souls discovering the depth of their connection, the Cdramas on this list will literally have you in your feelings.
So, sit back and get ready to add a couple of dramas to your watchlist (I know you want to!).
Here are some of the most romantic friends-to-lovers Chinese dramas you can’t miss:
1. The Oath Of Love
Lin Zhi Xiao is a talented cellist with big dreams and a vibrant spirit, but just as life seems to be hitting all the right notes, her world takes an unexpected twist.
When her father’s illness throws her into a whirlwind of uncertainty, she crosses paths with Gu Wei, a doctor whose own struggles mirror her own.
From an awkward encounter blooms a connection that defies expectations, and as their bond deepens, love whispers in the air.
This delightful adaptation of Entrust the Rest of My Life to You by Bo Lin Shi Jiang really captures the sweetness of friends becoming partners in the best of ways – I couldn’t recommend it more!
2. The Day Of Becoming You
Jiang Yi, a cool and distant heartthrob, and Yu Sheng Sheng, a determined reporter with a knack for trouble had the most fascinating meet-cute in history.
When fate plays its mischievous card, their lives collide on their shared birthday, leaving them stuck in each other’s bodies.
And as they stumble through the comedic chaos chock-full of hilarious mishaps and hilarious moments, unexpected love blossoms.
This is another devastatingly romantic Chinese drama about unlikely friends who become lovers that kept me hooked from the very first episode.
3. My Fated Boy
This compelling Chinese drama featured two childhood friends who reunited and then discovered their feelings had never left.
Now in their 30s, Lin Yang navigates the daily grind while memories of her bond with Lu Zheng An resurface.
But when he reappears as a handsome, just-graduated globetrotter, determined to ignite a romance, Lin Yang can’t help but see him as that adorable neighborhood kid.
With puppy love on his mind, Lu Zheng An sets out to prove his genuine feelings.
4. In Your Heart
Cheng Yi and Ling Zi Ming are two buddies from different but equally unconventional families, and they’ve been each other’s rock since forever.
But as they enter the mysterious realm of puberty, things get a bit complicated.
These clueless youngsters stumble through attempts to get closer, only to find themselves drifting apart instead.
This is another amazing coming-of-age Chinese drama that captures the essence of unconditional love between best-friends.
You’ll love this if you’re in the mood for a sweet watch.
5. Time And Him Are Just Right
Lin Xi is a tough yet joyful horror movie enthusiast who fights for justice and stands up against bullies, and Ji Jun Xing is an introverted computer whiz who may seem cold on the outside but hides a heart full of warmth.
As their high school days draw to a close, they face the nerve-wracking college entrance exams that could separate them.
This is another coming-of-age Chinese drama set in a high-school that absolutely blew me away with its nuanced exploration of the challenges of maintaining a strong friendship while navigating a romantic relationship.
6. Memories Of Encaustic Tile
This childhood friends-turned-lovers Chinese drama boasts an ensemble cast made up of Shao Xue, Zheng Su Nian, and Zhang Qi!
Growing up in the antique and museum world, their lives intertwine like an ancient tapestry. But as they reach a crossroads, destiny throws a curveball.
Zheng Su Nian’s mother falls ill, pushing him into his family’s legacy, while Shao Xue yearns for new horizons.
Sparks fly between them, but wait—Zhang Qi, the math whiz, also vies for Shao Xue’s heart! With dreams of studying abroad, choices loom large, and the four will have to fight for their happiness.
This is yet another heart coming-of-age and slice-of-life Cdrama about friends becoming lovers that explores the insecurity of growing while transitioning from a friendship to a romantic relationship, especially in a group. You really don’t want to miss this.
7. Let’s Meet Now
Sparks fly when Ji Qiu, a talented writer-director, and Zhou Zi Qian, a shooter, cross paths at a shooting gallery, unaware of their childhood connection.
Ji Qiu treats him like a stranger, not knowing he was the boy who once hid behind her.
But destiny has a funny way of bringing them together again through a new variety show, “Let’s Meet Now.” As their love-hate dynamics take center stage, they gradually uncover hidden depths.
This heartwarming modern love story is filled with laughter, unexpected reunions, and a sprinkle of nostalgia.
I really loved this Chinese drama because the progression and gradual development of feelings between the leads was incredibly romantic.
The both walked the blurred lines with so much angst, happiness, and wariness and it was so beautiful to witness.
8. A Little Love Song
This is another friends to lovers sports Cdrama featuring an ensemble cast – Li Tao, Zhang Sheng, Wei Chang, and Fu Meng Meng – that showcases the growth and maturity of the relationship between best-friends over time.
Tennis brings Li Tao and Zhang Sheng together as childhood friends, and they stick by each other through thick and thin, from family issues to career risks.
They also discover their feelings for each other and overcome many difficulties. Wei Chang and Fu Meng Meng, who have their own crushes and dreams, follow their hearts and don’t give up.
These characters experience the joys and pains of growing up with youthfulness, and it was simply beautiful to see.
9. Definitely Not Today
Mi Chong is a homebody who fears socializing, and when he decides to end his life in a river, he meets Zhi Liao who was already drowning and immediately saves her.
On the other hand, Zhi Liao is a lively girl who struggles with family drama, and she decides to swim away from her pain.
Soon, she’s bonding with Mi Chong, who is her opposite in every way that counts, and they help each other heal.
This Cdrama is based on real-life cases, and that’s what makes it all the more haunting.
I might have fractured a tear-duct while watching this drama and I really feel everyone should watch it because of its sheer beauty (remember to check the content warnings).
This emotionally-charged Chinese drama tugged at my heartstrings and I know you’ll enjoy it too.
10. River Flows To You
Qi Ming and Yi Yao grew up together in the same alley, and Qi Ming was like a big brother to Yi Yao. One time, he even planted a tree for her to make her happy.
Over the years, they went through a lot together, from sickness, to troubles, to love, to work, and they finally became a couple after college, but they separated because of their careers.
Youth is wonderful, but also bitter, and in this drama, Qi Ming, Yi Yao, and their friends pursue their dreams and learn from life.
This is another bittersweet friends to lovers Cdrama that leans on the I-will-definitely-rip-your-heart-out trope, and it was frankly interesting to watch.
11. Unrequited Love
Luo Zhi and Sheng Huai Nan were inseparable as children, but time and distance made them strangers, and while Luo Zhi never stopped loving Sheng Huai Nan, she eventually accepted that he was out of her reach.
Until they met again at university, and a trip to Red Canyon Valley changed everything. Suddenly, they were friends again, and more than that.
But love feels like an incredibly rough terrain, and the duo have to navigate meddling, miscommunication, and mistrust.
If you’re in the mood for a friends to lovers Cdrama with well-developed characters, then this is just the show for you – you’re going to love it!
12. Love Is Sweet
After her father’s death, Jiang Jun is forced to join a top investment company to fulfill his last wish.
There, she reunites with her childhood pal Yuan Shuai, who is now her foe, and she struggles with many obstacles and foes in the ruthless world of finance.
But with her heart, brains, and talents, she succeeds in her career and love life.
Love Is Sweet is another childhood friends-to-lovers Chinese drama that had me glued to my phone from the very first episode.
Not to sound demanding or anything (I am sounding demanding, you just can’t hear my voice), but watch this drama if you love workplace politics and romance, and you’re in the mood for a Cdrama with leads who have incredible chemistry.
What did you think? Are these friends-to-lovers Cdramas romantic or what? You know they are!
These heartwarming dramas are just the perfect things to indulge in if you’re in the mood for sweetness and angst.
If you want more recommendations, check out the related posts below. As a self-acclaimed drama curator, I don’t take my recommendations lightly.
Try these and tell me thank you in the next post.