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Living with Vietnamese girlfriend....what problems may I encounter?

I am thinking of living with my Vietnamese girlfriend for one year in the Hoi an area . I am American and she is a citizen of Vietnam. Will it be problematic to live together there ? I would appreciate any advice.

It would depend on your neighbors and local police ward. It's hard to say how acceptance they are to you two living together. If your neighborhood isn't new to seeing a westerner roaming the hood then I think it might be ok. You can always test it out and see what happens. But do it with a back up plan. Good luck. Vietnam is full of surprises.

Teach4fundotcom :

It would depend on your neighbors and local police ward. It's hard to say how acceptance they are to you two living together. If your neighborhood isn't new to seeing a westerner roaming the hood then I think it might be ok. You can always test it out and see what happens. But do it with a back up plan. Good luck. Vietnam is full of surprises.

Good advice. We own a house in a fishing town roughly 300 km from Sai Gon and for a long time I was the only "White" foreigner there. We used to go for early morning walks and got vile looks and questions like "What is that thing next to you? Is it a Russian?"

My wife would answer, "No! My husband is an American. He was a GI here during the War."

Then I'd get at least a hand shake and frequently a hug and a "Glad to meet you my Brother."

Eventually, I bought a "US Army retired" Cap and my wife soon decided that I was not allowed to go out of the house unless I was wearing "The Cap."

Note, that was a number of years ago and their are towns where wearing "The Cap" would be a bad idea.

One thing that many foreigners fail to realize is that the Vietnamese are as diverse as anyone else. Their is no generic Vietnamese. Their is only a diverse collection of Vietnamese individuals.

Did  you concern about the culture? for example:
- foods: do you like Vietnamese cuisine or does she? notice that you will have to have dinner together every day, not just 3 - 5 times a week, so maybe it will cause some boring on you
- relationship: i dont know who she is but Vietnamese woman are usually looking for a husband, not just a partner in their life. Better talk to her to clear about this relationship.
- money: how will you share your money in daily spending or other expenditure? make it clear.

hoping you can live with her well, Vietnamese people are full of surprises.

Hoi An having a big tourism industry should mean that the guys and gals in green will be used to foreigners. Get your gf to go to the local ward police and register you both at the same house. It's not illegal to live with the girl here, it used to be, but it's all up to the ward police at the end of the day. My friend lived with his gf in My Tho for 5 years without a problem, so it's not too difficult.

nysm :

Did  you concern about the culture? for example:
- foods: do you like Vietnamese cuisine or does she? notice that you will have to have dinner together every day, not just 3 - 5 times a week, so maybe it will cause some boring on you
- relationship: i dont know who she is but Vietnamese woman are usually looking for a husband, not just a partner in their life. Better talk to her to clear about this relationship.
- money: how will you share your money in daily spending or other expenditure? make it clear.

hoping you can live with her well, Vietnamese people are full of surprises.

I appreciate your effort to write a thoughtful answer in a language that is obviously not your own. Thank you.

You should have no more problem than anyone living here. The Family Law was changed and you can now live together legally. However, that does not apply to staying in a hotel. If the police try to collect coffee money from you jut whip out a copy of the new Family Law. They will stop bothering you once they KNOW you KNOW. But police will try to exploit those that do not know or are fearful of confronting them.

"Tien Cafe", about the cost of a Starbucks latte, will put a quick smile on the green guy's face.  It's not just a cultural courtesy for them, but it works 99.9% of the time.  Tien means money and cafe means coffee.  handing it over discreetly with a smile will do.

i love questions like this for the unwary.  Just curious, how long have you been dating and do you live in Vietnam now?  I can tell you from my experience, living with my Vietnamese girlfriend was not in the realm of a possibility or even a thought. She lived with her family and I did not spend much time there until after we got married. 

If you are going to live with her before marriage, I would love to know how you pulled that off.  If you happen to pull it off, my educated guess is that you better be engaged or in the process of proposing and getting married.  Vietnamese women do not just hook up like western women or maybe you got really lucky.  But then again, you did not mention her age or your age as I think that could make a material difference.

vndreamer :

i love questions like this for the unwary.  Just curious, how long have you been dating and do you live in Vietnam now?  I can tell you from my experience, living with my Vietnamese girlfriend was not in the realm of a possibility or even a thought. She lived with her family and I did not spend much time there until after we got married. 

If you are going to live with her before marriage, I would love to know how you pulled that off.  If you happen to pull it off, my educated guess is that you better be engaged or in the process of proposing and getting married.  Vietnamese women do not just hook up like western women or maybe you got really lucky.  But then again, you did not mention her age or your age as I think that could make a material difference.

I've only been married to one woman in Viet Nam(or anywhere else) and that was either in 1971 by Vietnamese custom or 1973 with legal paperwork that satisfied the US Immigration and Military. Note, we are still married.

What you describe seems very reasonable for a young woman, in the prime age range for marriage, who is still living at home and under her parents control. As women become older, mid 20's and up and are employed, things sometimes work differently.

70 years old :

What you describe seems very reasonable for a young woman, in the prime age range for marriage, who is still living at home and under her parents control. As women become older, mid 20's and up and are employed, things sometimes work differently.

Exactly right!  She would apologize profusely when she had to go home at 10pm!!!!!!!!! and she was already working and graduated from the University.   I was ok with it because I knew it was normal for families (i.e., Dad) like hers in Vietnam.  Respect respect respect.

Well, we're open now so I don't think there would be any problem for a cohabitation of a foreigner man and a local woman in Viet Nam. Unless you guys make things that could be considered 'unhealthy' or harmful to your neighborhood or community in general, just take it easy and have fun ^^.

Hi,
For this question, I think the most important thing depends on how much you understand each other, how much you two want to live together and if that is all you want after thinking carefully. All the others things such as: how people think abt you, policy, living cost... is not a big deal.
Nowadays, foreigner dating/marrying Vietnamese girl is very popular so it is not so hard for you. so no need to worry abt this too much, just enjoy your time together.
Tina

:)   Pretty well the same thing here - now that the family has accepted us together,
and the other people around are used to seeing us together - there is no problems at all.

No cap - but sometimes a T-shirt indicating eithe the Australian army or the Israeli army
solves all problems long before they arrive.

lactien :

Hi,
For this question, I think the most important thing depends on how much you understand each other, how much you two want to live together and if that is all you want after thinking carefully. All the others things such as: how people think abt you, policy, living cost... is not a big deal.
Nowadays, foreigner dating/marrying Vietnamese girl is very popular so it is not so hard for you. so no need to worry abt this too much, just enjoy your time together.
Tina

Agreed. In 1970 Dong Thap the question was, is the harry monkey monster thing from outer space really human? Anyway, one young lady decided that she wanted one of those monster things and we have been married since 1973 and are the parents of six  successful young ladies.

It's actually becoming more common now, I know numerous expats living with their gfs in both the larger and smaller cities. My friend lived with his gf in My Tho for 4 years, and 12 years later they are still not married as she doesn't care for it.

I live in SaiGon with my girlfriend.

US Male, retired.   So far the neighbors seem OK, Lots of invites and hand shakes and the Kids love me.  We tell some people we are married and others I am visiting.
We have a big 1 story house in a huge compound. Place needs a lot of work. Had to get pissed and tell everyone to stop throwing their trash over the wall.

Have hired local help, made friends with a number of the shop owners, and let them see me working hard.  Even have a beer with them. Singing is not happening. Language is a problem sort of ... I know some and they know a bit. Then I draw pictures if need be.

Have been invited and gone to dinners, funerals, wedding and road trips to the ocean.

I smile and wave at everyone, and laugh often.
In the recent flooding that plagued our neighborhood ... I joined hands and helped all I could. Even though we too were under water and lost much.
When we worked on the local sewage problems I got just as dirty, killed many scorpions and brought the guys plenty of iced tea. They often see me working hard and doing repairs to the house, garden and compound walls. They know I have driven all the rats and scorpions out of the area ... sort of.

My advice ... smile, wave, talk with them, buy at local markets, get some toys for the kids, be kind and lend a hand, join a gym/yoga, give some 'extra' fruit to the elderly neighbors, invited someone over for tea/beer.  And carry your girlfriends basket when you are at the market.

Please give a little something to the local beggar, local temple and hospital.

Remember the lowest man is still a man and deserves respect.

Jefferson

binh thanh p 11

I need a Viet Kieu cap. Everywhere I go they don't bother to ask just label me Chinese guy.

My advice ... smile, wave, talk with them, buy at local markets, get some toys for the kids, be kind and lend a hand, join a gym/yoga, give some 'extra' fruit to the elderly neighbors, invited someone over for tea/beer.  And carry your girlfriends basket when you are at the market.

Please give a little something to the local beggar, local temple and hospital.

Remember the lowest man is still a man and deserves respect.

What a nice gesture - hats off to you sir.  :thanks:

As long as you know which beggars are real, some are scammers.

yep, how sweet it is to be lived with our lover. but have you ever thought about what will happen after you break up ...?
the man is easy to keep staying nice room and the vn girl she has to move out and looking for other room which it's fit with her budget .

As long as you know which beggars are real, some are scammers.

Yes, very true. Sometimes the scammers out there give the genuine ones a bad name.  :|

Fantastic attitude JC!

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