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Dating in Mongolia

Hi everyone,

As a spin-off on the marriage thread, I was wondering if any of you kind people could give a glance into your dating experiences as foreigners in Mongolia, with Mongolian men and women.

Are there any things that would be useful to know?

I am a white American woman who has been dating a Mongolian man (from Outer Mongolia) for almost 1 year. I haven't found much information on dating customs online, although I did read that introducing a girl to your family means you are getting married.

My boyfriend has not told his parents we are dating, and I still have not met any of his friends. Would that be the reason or?

Please share any information you have on dating in Mongolia (ie. views on sex before marriage, children, speed at which relationships move, how do men treat women/how do women treat men, what is considered romantic, fidelity/infidelity etc).

Thank you so much to everyone who contributes to this thread! :]

bump

:up: :whistle: with people getting married to Mongolians, someone has to know about dating that comes before hand...or?

Well I'm not sure my experience is that relevant since in my case it is my wife who's Mongolian, plus we dated while in the US and she had already been living there for 8 or so years.  But I didn't first meet some of her family until after about 4 months of dating, and didn't meet her parents until maybe 9 months (that was more to do with travel schedules than anything else though).  We weren't engaged or had even talked seriously about marriage until well after that time, so it was pretty much the same as past relationships with American girls really. 

From what little I've seen of dating in Mongolia as an observer it seemed to me that dating wasn't too much different than for Americans, though Mongolians tend to being more family oriented and more willing to marry at a younger age (under 30yo).  And perhaps they are on average a little more serious about dating (and sex) as Americans as a whole, though on the flip side the American standards of dating are not exactly a high bar to beat ;)

Ok, so I just asked my wife and she says it does seem unusual to date for close to a year without meeting family (she said maybe 3-6 months would be reasonable) unless perhaps the family is far away or the like, but even then she would expect the guy in question to tell his parents that he's seeing someone.  So maybe you should try getting him to open up and ask if you can say hi to his parents the next time he calls them.  I don't know, in my experience Mongolians are more tolerant than many other Asian subcultures about interracial dating and marriage (there are some exceptions but they usually involve Mongolian women with certain types of foreign men), but intolerance about that issue is not unheard of and it's possible that would be a problem with his parents.

My husband and I met in Mongolia but then had a long distance relationship for nearly a year before I moved here. My arrival was also our engagement party/family introductions. We never properly dated. I would say, by his accounts of past relationships, casual dating is done like it is most places. I think, like with all relationships, trust your gut, respect your partner as you would like to be respected, and be open to new perspectives.

Oh, sweetie,
It certainly sounds strange for a couple who have dated over a year unless his family is far away.

Yes, bringing a girl home certainly means he is marrying her. One thing I would recommend is for you to learn to cook for him if you don't already. Mongolian men are expectant of their wives to care for him and certainly prepare a decent mongolian food for him. Even if he does not care, his mother and family will dislike a wife who can't do a little housework. Mongolian food and tea are really not that hard to make to compare with other asian foods. There are no complicated spices or not even that much of variety.

Maybe you should talk to him and ask to meet his siblings or friends before visiting his parents. Bringing a foreign girl should not be any issue to their tradition.

Best of luck. Tuya

I married a Mongolian man, and he's the most loyal, dependable, trustworthy, handsome, honest person I've ever met. Sounds like you chose some sad individuals to date, but I'd hardly say that your poor dating choices represent all Mongolian men.

If all Mongolian men are perfidious, all Mongolian women must be the same as the men. Do not blame all of us!

I am Mongolian and male. Some guys say that all Mongolian women are really materialists like you said. But I wont say it because I know that all of them are not like that.

Think about it.
Why do you give the wrong to the men only?
Why dont you and your friends find the wrong from yourselves?

I can assure you, they aren't all like that. You maybe need to start hanging out in different social circles. If you focus on the negative, that's often what you will attract.

What a big egoism?

When the people are 20 years old just like you, they think they can do everything and know everything. But they realize many things as time goes by.

If you want to marry a foreign guy, then find him and marry with him. After a few years, maybe you will understand that liars, abusers and fault-finders are not just in Mongolia, but in everywhere in the world. Like that, good people are not just in developed countries, but also in undeveloped countries like Mongolia.

The reason that makes you think not to marry a Mongolian guy is not exactly correct. I'd like to advise you to listen to your heart.

I'm not sure what being foreign really has to do with it. You painted a really broad and inaccurate picture of an entire population of men. I assume that you're drawing on your experience, and if that's the case, it sounds like you've dealt with a bad bunch. If you're going to share an opinion that may insult a large group of people who read this board, you should be prepared for some feedback. There are bad apples everywhere. Could Mongolia use some more women in political power and education about gender equality? Yes. Does it mean that all Mongolian men are "alcoholic, abuser, blamer"? No. My comment in response to you was general - women all over seem to face this challenge. When they start expecting more from themselves, they start receiving more from others.

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your responses and conversation.

I know this is late, but I figured I would update this thread since a few people have posted since, and so in case others find themselves searching for this question, they will at least have my experience to judge.

I broke up with my Mongolian boyfriend (now ex) after he began constantly accusing me of cheating. I soon found out at the doctors that he had infected me with an sti (must have happened 6 months before we broke up because we maintained long distance). I cleared up the one sti, but believe he could have given me a form of herpes. Since I only get a bump in an unusual area (after shaving), although I never used to have this issue, my doctor advised I forget about this since there would be no cure anyway. I do not believe it is an ingrown hair, as he developed this issue too. Of course he was a doctor, so I believed his explanation, and I was quite young and naive when we started dating.  :(

A few weeks ago (this continued until last week), a Mongolian woman reached out to me. It was his wife. Apparently he was married for almost 20 years, with 4 children...but since they were in Mongolia (we were a few countries away), there were no signs. 

When he spoke with his 'mom' on the phone in front of me, it was actually his wife. His wife informed me that he is becoming an alcoholic, and that he hit her.

So he wasted my time (and his wife's), cheated, gave me 1 or 2 stis (hopefully only the 1 I cleared...), was married with 4 kids, and became verbally abusive toward me and physically toward his wife, and is now an alcoholic again living in Mongolia. From afar he looks well-respected with a baby face, but the reality is he is simply scum. Most people will never know...

I have been studying Mongolian simply because it is a beautiful language and I appreciate the culture. I will continue studying it despite my experience.

Bayarlalaa

I'm now in a Ldr too with a mongolian guy, we planned to meet , he works in china, so busy .Seems he is  a good guy, very polite .Should i trust him or .... ,before i read ur story, I'm worry about this realtionship.

Mongolian women are nothing less than promiscuous either. I have dated a Mongolian girl for two months, and in that two months she has cheated on me several times that I even lost the count. The worst part is she wants me, and the other guys too, she just can't decide what she wants. Even after all the unconditional love and respect I gave her, I am just not enough for her. I just feel sorry for myself that I wasted all my emotions on such a person.

New to the dating scene after 18 years married to a Mongolian women, I have found that nearly all the women I have met all say the same thing, that they all have been a victim of physical abuse with a Mongolian former partner, and only look for a relationship with a foreingner, someone once said that a Mongolian courting couple, is like looking at the Klingon mating ritual!

If your bf has not introduced you to his friends, it is a problem.

Hi David
I just arrived in UB for holidays . I am divorced  and would like to get together with you regarding your experience of dating local women. I am staying in near MAX MALL.


majeed

Hey Hkx:

Glad that you asked. I have been living in Ulaanbaatar (UB) for over a year now. I am a structural design engineer, and presently working as a consultant to the Rio Tinto Group, to reestablish a development plan for the Tavan Tolgoi; a coal mining project in the Gobi desert. This mine is incredibly important to the locals, and will mean the difference to the vast majority from scraping by to having a comfortable existence.  Because of this, I have become somewhat of a “celebrity” in UB as the locals have somehow come to the conclusion that my work will have a direct effect on their respective lives.

I maintain an apartment in the State Department Store area which in my opinion is in the best location of the city, for a westerner such as myself. This will seem pointed, however, after living in UB, I have become well acquainted with the Mongolian culture. In short, it is a “man’s” world. I am unsure where you are from Hkx, however, it would be difficult for a western woman to have a successful relationship with a Mongolian man. Mongolian men see “their” women as subservient and will expect them to acknowledge them as head-of-household. In other words, Mongolian men will not take kindly to being challenged by their spouse (trust me). I have seen them browbeat their wives on several occasions, and do not rule out force if necessary. In Mongolian culture, the man would feel that by beating his obstinate wife, he is in fact helping her to understand her place in the family unit, that in the end the family unit may live in harmony. My advise to you Hkx, get out of the relationship and find a man who shares your culture and value system, it will save you considerable pain.

I am additionally unsure why you have not met your boyfriends parents? Mongolians are a very social people once you have been accepted within their circle. It is not uncommon for Mongolians to not introduce friends when they bump into other acquaintances. However, again not to have introduced you, would tell me there are perhaps sisters who may disapprove.

For white western men, it is just the opposite – it is in fact an adult Disneyland. When I first arrived to UB, I went through a three-day adjustment orientation. The last day was strictly dedicated to potential pitfalls involving the Mongolian ladies. The Embassy gentleman conducting the seminar continually overstated that younger, white good looking, professional westerner men (especially American) were revered as a prize to younger and often, much younger Mongolian ladies. These ladies he stated are some of the most beautiful in the world, and have developed a very effective plan-of-action to alluring, and often time trapping these western men as they have an irresistible quality about them. He additionally advised us to not become addicted to the nightlife, as when the sun goes down, white western men with an eye for the Mongolian ladies are not always safe. In other words Mongolian men despise white western men who stroll through the city with their ladies with a passion. There are certain locations (i.e., Grand Khaan Irish Pub) which are okay, however, steer clear of many others (i.e., Marco Polo Night Club) where the clientele is questionable.

I initially thought the “Embassy Man” as he is known, was being “better safe than sorry”. However, he was not kidding. The first month, I had my nose to the grindstone and had little time for much else. Then I began to notice the attractive maid who attended my room was introducing me to her equally lovely friends. I eat lunch each day at “The Turning Point Café” and began to notice the waitresses becoming more conversational, asking personal and probing questions. It was the same with the local grocery store where I shopped, and many other frequented locales. Of course all of this paled compared to the “Iron Man Fitness Club”, a local gym I worked out at just prior to dinner, which was overflowing with some of the most beautiful ladies in the UB – all of which were assertively curious about the western man in their mix. It seemed pretty, young Mongolian ladies were coming out of the woodwork, suggesting I venture out in the evenings to social locations such as “Face Club”. Finally, one evening I thought, “what the heck”, turned off my computer, left my room and ventured to the “Face Club”. I had barely entered, when Magnai, the young lady who works the currency exchange desk at the building I live, grabbed me by the arm and pulled me to the dance floor. Before I knew it, I was at a table with Magnai and three of her girlfriends, and two of their boyfriends. The two boyfriends glared at me all evening as if willing me to drop dead. To cut to the chase, I was approached numerous times throughout the evening by young ladies to dance, however, they were aggressively told to “shove off” by Magnai who was overly protective of me, and would not let me out of arms range for the remainder of the evening. I was unsure if she was trying to prevent me from being taken advantage of, or were her motives more personal? There is a midnight curfew in the UB, and when we departed, Magnai and her three girlfriends all piled in my leased vehicle, wanting to continue the party at my apartment. I politely managed to get them to their homes. I did little “clubbing” after this, however, was very evident that the Mongolian ladies although inherently shy and reserved, can be very aggressive and calculating when they have their sights on a western man they want. As I have been here for sometime now, I understand that unless the western man is an “expat” (which by the way they are much, much, less interested in), the Mongolian ladies are aware they will be in UB only until their business activities have concluded.

I was able to find a special blend of coffee I enjoy at the UBean Coffee House. I eventually ended up dating the lady who managed the coffee house – her name is Kubilai. I want to add that it is very difficult to gauge the age of Mongolian ladies until they hit 38-40 years of age I have found. Mongolian ladies develop physically at a very early age, and unlike other Asians, tend to be on average taller and shapelier. Although very feminine, Mongolian ladies simply have a stronger, sturdier appearance to them. My point is, it is difficult to tell much of an age difference between a Mongolian lady of 18 and 35. For example, I am 35 years old, and Kubilai, I later found out was only 19 years old. Because she was tall (5’9”), full-figured and always well dressed, I assumed she was considerably older. Additionally, as in western culture, it would have been extremely rude to discuss age with Kubilai. When you hear the adage “age is just a number”, well, this honestly rings especially true for Mongolian ladies. They may not want a fatty, or an old short, bald guy, however, their main goal is to find a good provider, family oriented and will take the lead in the relationship. I no longer date Kubilai (something just didn’t seem right about dating a lady ½ my age), however we remain good friends. There have been several other ladies after Kubilai, as it can be intoxicating to receive so much attention from a seemingly endless supply of gorgeous young ladies, however, it is always important to maintain perspective and remember there is nothing they desire more than a white, western husband, especially a white collar professional. I now understand that the “Embassy Man” knew better than anyone. I now keep my nose to the grindstone and remind myself of my primary mission in the UB; maintain my routine (breakfast, gym, work, etc.), and do not lose sight of the endgame. I did not come to UB to be a pub-crawler, or in search of a wife, however, for professional reasons for which I am being well compensated and will augment my blossoming resume. When I depart, I will back on the UB with fond memories, however, also how easily, how very easily it would have been to get sidetracked.

Mongolians generally don't introduce people to their family that they don't intend to marry. I could certainly say a lot more about your assessment of "dating in Mongolia", but I'll bite my tongue, since your take on things is a sad reality among white male expats.

Not a sad reality (and I am not an expat). It is the reality of the world we live in. I see it for what it is and accept it. Going back to the adjustment orientation 1-1/2 years ago, there were 17 foreign men and 1 lady (Nurse, Red Cross volunteer).  There was only one lady for a reason, Mongolia is not a society for wayward foreign women (even Russian women struggle here), it is a man's society, and foreign women have very little esteem here.

You're presenting YOUR worldview, and it's one that reinforces misogyny. I know many expat women here, many of whom are married to Mongolian men, myself included. The only time I've ever felt devalued as a woman in Mongolia is in my interactions with misogynist foreign men.

With all due respect Michele, you seem like an intelligent and purposeful woman. However, there is an angry… almost rant to the manner you use the term “misogynist”. I venture to say that there is some inner-resentment that the world does not click universally in the same manner it views the status of women. Or perhaps “white male privilege” is alive and well in Mongolia, and runs counter to your California based ideology.

I do not wish to argue the point, however, please understand that you are bantering with a person who has lived in UB for some time now, Although I have remained focused to my work-related purpose here, I am not blind to what I see each and every day in front of my own two eyes which have not failed me to date. On a more uplifting note, I am hoping that I and the team I am working with, will be able to do something very special for the people of this country, creating a very much needed jump-start in stimulating the lifeblood of their economy. Unbelievably, most of the push-back we are getting, retarding our progress is coming from environmentalists (all from privileged countries unaffected by the day-to-day strife felt by this populous), protesting our efforts. I spoke with one of the environmentalists who was from the bay area in California (like me), who confessed when she first heard her band of lunatics were being sent to Mongolia to protest the efforts being made in Tavan Tolgoi, she thought she was traveling to China (she believed Mongolia to be a “city” in China). In truth, I feel sorry for these once great people, and to reiterate, hope we can do something to make their life better – I believe we can.

Although I have become enamored by the Mongolian culture, history and the beautiful ladies, I have not lost sight of the fact I will be soon returning to my home in the bay area in California. I know everything will again look different upon arrival, as would a Mongolian bride were I to take one. This is why I have chosen to disconnect myself from the community as much as possible, and keep my nose to the proverbial work-related grindstone. In truth Michele, I will more than likely end up marry someone like you one day. You are evidently bright, strong-willed, a firm supporter in what you believe to be right, and tragically opinionated (don’t worry – not hitting on you, I know you are happily married and have a wonderful family). I do not want to marry someone who will agree with me all the time, and willing to give me that boot in the backside when I require that much needed adjustment or simply need to be righted.

Амжилт хүсье Michele!

I've been married to a Mongolian for 7+ years with about 1-1/2 years total spent in Mongolia, and sometimes I feel I'm only scratching the surface of the culture.  Even more so when it comes to the (big) differences in the attitudes and people between urban and rural locales. So what follows should not be taken as "definitive" of Mongolia.

So then, my (limited) experience here has been somewhat different from hamishbond.  I have not seen blatant or extreme examples of sexism here firsthand, nor have I heard any of the handful of foreign women I've met here (whether residents or long-term visitors) complain about blatant chauvinism from Mongolians.  I have seen some subtler signs along the lines of preferential treatment and I see how Mongolian women tend to be under-represented at the higher levels of the business world, but that still seems to me a far cry from "a man's world" (or at least not much more than is unfortunately still typical in the US).  While the women in my circle of family and friends here tend to play a larger domestic role than the men as compared to the West, I get the impression it's more of a partnership dynamic than one of dominance-subservience (plus I've never seen the men refuse or balk at cooking lunch, changing a diaper, taking care of the kids, etc.).  And I've certainly never seen or picked up on any abusive behavior with them.  Now admittedly I'm not a woman and I also don't socialize much beyond my "circle", so I can't possibly claim that I see everything or that what I see represents the whole.  Nor can I say there probably isn't some truth to what hamishbond has said or the embassy guy briefed him on (I wouldn't mind listening in on one of those orientation/adjustment briefings that he described, just to see how much it jives... or doesn't... with my experiences).  But at minimum I can say there are SOME elements or circles of society in Mongolia where women are not treated as unequal.  So for any foreign women looking to experience Mongolia, I would preach caution, situational awareness, and patience (as I would for ANY other country and culture), but I wouldn't warn them away.

As for younger Mongolian women and foreign men, I can't speak much one way or another about that (seeing as I've never been single here).  The one thing I HAVE noticed is that of the handful of times I've been approached by or sensed any flirting from Mongolian women, it's mostly been the occasions where I had to be wearing nicer clothes or business wear.  When I'm dressed in regular street clothes as I typically am, not so much.  So if one doesn't want to be bothered by flirtatious women (what a bother!  :D ), indulge your inner Nirvana-grunge child and break out the faded jeans and flannel shirts  ;)

Getting late and need to turn in, however wanted to chime in. I believe Nickbert has described an accurate account of Mongolian society. I want to congratulate Nickbert on his marriage to a Mongolian woman. I sincerely believe these remarkable ladies are the most beautiful women on the planet, and make extraordinary wives (although having more fire in their soul than most Asians). Not to get sidetracked, however a couple male colleagues and I were discussing why the Mongolian ladies seem to possess an allure and intoxicating effect on men, surpassing other Asians. Firstly, Mongolian ladies tend to be taller and robust/shapelier than other Asians. It has been clinically researched and proven that when the parents of a child are distantly related, the taller and healthier the child wild be. This is especially true in Mongolian society due to an influx of various cultures over the centuries. Do not misunderstand me, Mongolian ladies are still Asian, and are not setting records on the international height chart – however, when I walk about UB, it is not uncommon to see several young Mongolian ladies in the 5’8”, 5’9” or even 5’10” height range [unheard of outside of Northern China/South Korea (btw: there are erroneous Asian height charts online which illustrate Japanese, Singaporean, Thai, Laotian , etc. ladies to be taller than Mongolian ladies – in their dreams) ]. Conjointly, Mongolian ladies have “killer” curves more similar to Eastern European culture rather than Asian. Lastly, Mongolian ladies tend to be more assertive and possess more fiery tempers (much more) than their Asian counterparts throughout the world. They also exude a public confidence which you do not see in other Asian cultures.

Please let me add from my personal account, that I am in UB for professional reasons, providing consulting services to several teams of developers/engineers, including the Rio Tinto Group to rejuvenate the Tavan Tolgoi.  Nearly all of my daily/evening interaction and socialization is with fellow Americans, Europeans and educated Mongolian professionals linked to our project. In other words, everyone is focused and speaks English. My circle is very constrained, and I am purposely keeping it this way to limit the distraction all around me. To reiterate, when I initially arrived to UB, I was “drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid”, intermingling with a few of the local ladies and a few sorted expats, here and there. I found the expats I encountered who chose UB as their final destination to be somewhat “clingy”, and had a dismissive attitude of the Mongolian people overall. I did not judge, as these expats had been here far longer than I, and believed their collective mindset may be for good reason. What I did notice, the expat men I encountered seemed to all be in the 50- 60 year age range (without doubt best years behind them), and migrated to select clubs each evening where “table girls” can be had.  What I found common among this group of expats (not stereotyping), they all seemed to have attended accredited universities, well educated, however did not seem to prosper financially. Most of which also seemed to have been the recipients of several failed marriages. I believe UB had become a hiding place or checking out location for them. Most local ladies see these expat men overall as “needy”, and quite honestly, show them little interest. It did not take me long to severe these ties and get back on track as to my purpose here.

Nickbert hit the nail on the head with being nicely dressed (to this day I refuse to wear a deel coat). This is true. Young Mongolian ladies have very little in the way of creature comfort, however, appearance is very important to them, and spend what little they do have on food and clothes. Prestige is important to these ladies. When they see a western man nicely dressed, it is like moths to a flame. There are no secrets in UB with the locals. You may believe you are flying under the radar, however, if you are a descent looking western man with a future, the marriageable Mongolian ladies will get the scoop on you rather quickly to determine if you are worthy of pursuing. Because I am fairly young, have a good profession that pays me rather well; and most importantly will be returning to the USA in another 10-12 months, am precisely what these ladies hope to catch. The sceptics will disagree (let them), however, the most beautiful of these ladies dream of marriage to a western man (preferably American) and raising a family in the USA. In fact, when I was dating Kubilai for a short period, she indicted to me that the most beautiful of the young Mongolian ladies had advertised themselves in online “Mail Order Bride” (MOB) magazines, hoping for marriage with a western man. She shared this webpage with me, showing her profile, as well as many other of the local ladies I knew who I will allow to remain nameless. It is sad, however, I fully understand their desire ti attain the absence of struggle. I stated in an earlier post, that Mongolian girls develop very early, physically and emotionally/socially. Mongolian girls experience precocious puberty far more than other Asians (much of which has been contributed to saturated fat consumption), and marry/conceive children earlier in life statistically than other Asians. I do not contribute this to social environment, I contribute this to a culture whose women mature earlier, are physically stronger, and taught to be mothers/caretakers at an early age. I have been to several Mongolian homes and ger’s to find a 9-10 year old girl caring for her infant sister as if her mother (and doing a great job). I have always been amazed at the early and capable mothering abilities of Mongolian girls. Young, Mongolian ladies want more than anything, to attract a western man for marriage. Ideally, someone in my position, soon to return to the USA (not an expat who has made UB their home). However, if unable, then through the MOB route. When a Mongolian lady has hit 22-24 years of age, if she has not landed her western gent, then she will settle for a local man (generally of the highest stature possible) as her biological clock is ticking. Personally, at times I often wish there was no internet, as I would like to see these once great people untouched by the outside world and continue as they have for generations.

Yellow Fever has no cure.....

As a Mongolian woman reading your comments, it seemed u r too American like your new president. Good luck with that. :)

uyanga25 :

As a Mongolian woman reading your comments, it seemed u r too American like your new president. Good luck with that. :)

:lol:

During a business trip in China a few years ago, some of the Chinese salesmen I talked to who had visited Mongolia previously had pretty much made the same comments about Mongolian women.  One of them talked at great lengths about it and some Mongolian strip club he visited, to the point it made me rather uncomfortable... not to mention grateful that my wife didn't have to meet the little pervert.  So it might be that Mongolian women do have a wide appeal.  Which brings me to president-elect Trump; if he ever plans a presidential visit to Mongolia, my wife and I are going to set up a discount store in UB selling pepper spray and compact stun guns before the visit.  There's a lot of potential money to be made there  :D

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