How to date a foreigner and NOT get your heart broken?

Does anyone have any advice to offer to both foreign men and Vietnamese women about how to achieve long lasting success in a relationship?

Slowly....slowly....slowly. Don't try to do too much, too fast. This is true for relationships between any two people, not just foreign men and Vietnamese women. Start a friendship, and let it develop over time. During the friendship, let the other person know your long-term relationship goals, and see if theirs match yours. You may not ever be more than just friends. But if you do become more, you'll know soon enough. Relax, and be patient!

Nice post Mr Monkey :) Thanks for participating. That is some really good advice, but it does bring up a few more questions, like... How much time should you give it and how do you stop yourself falling for someone before you have worked out the goal compatibility? Finally of course, how do you know if, when a person says they are long term, commitment oriented, that they are telling the truth?

This matter is depends on many things. depends on your feelings, depends on who are you fall in love with, that no one can give advise. Only you feel yourself and depends on you, how you evaluate the person that you fall in love with. (Special, Love should not base on Money)

Hi! I used to be in your situation when I met a Swiss man months ago, I really confuse and nevous that the difference between people and culture would make he don't understand me, so I usually wondered even little anythings like: If he asked me for coffe, I often answer by "which atmosphere does he like" so that I will choose a suitable coffe shop to make him feel comfortable and so on. you know, I didn't know that the more I try to make him be free the more he feel uncomfotable and I also lost myself in front of him which made he love me...that we decide to...after a short time so my truly advice that always be yourself because the imfortant thing that a girl love you for your own character, not for who you are or what you do for her, that is true love.

just let every thing happen naturally, I wish you have a good relationship with that lucky woman.
Please feel free for discuss me on this topic or by messager, I will do my best to share with you

I have friends get into relationships with Vietnamese women and while it's not true for all, a lot of them were very much along the lines of,

Week 1: Meet the parents.

Week 2: Start discussing marriage and children.

Week 3: Guy runs for the hills.

There's also lots of checking of text messages, accusations of visiting prostitutes whenever they aren't together 24/7.

Again not true for all but true for quite a few.

Thanks for your response Chinh - you say that relationships should not be based on money and that is very sensible advice, but how can a foreigner be sure that a girl is not after him just because of the money - apologies in advance, I do not wish that to sound offensive because I know that there are a lot of nice people out there who are not like that! Also, if a girl does initially become attracted to a foreigner and the money is a significant part of that attraction, but then she begins to love him, but he discovers her initial attraction was financially based, then he might dump her and she will be upset.

Thanks Thu, great comments. But I have heard "be yourself" so many times and ultimately it doesnt work and doesnt really mean anything. What is "yourself" - I can tell you now that for many women it is not being able to see past the current moment and behaving in an unpredictable and highly emotionally charged manner which alienates people rapidly and for many men it is not seeing past the thought of getting a girl into bed. So in so many cases, just being yourself is exactly what leads people into heartbreak situations. I dont wish to sound critical of your post, but I do wish to expand on the standard one liners and get into the detail of what things people in successful relationships to that others dont.

Buzzer - thanks for the comment. It is very true. Many men like the idea of marriage, but when it actually comes down to it they get frightened of the commitment. Of course the girl is totally in love with him by this time and so when he runs, it is her that is heartbroken. So how does a girl make sure a man is genuine and will follow through, before she falls for him?

Also, jealousy! YUP!!! For sure, GIRLS.... what is your take on that? Have you checked your mans text messages? Have you ever accused someone of being unfaithful? What was the result? How do you be sure your man is being truthful and faithful without upsetting him?

Hi UKGuyInSaigon,
I think you already have all answers by yourself but you are only here to challenge the people. I am right?

Hi Trang, if only I had all the answers :) I have a lot of opinions and a bunch of experience, but I am not happily married, not married at all actually, whether happily or unhappily :) so I am pretty convinced I dont have all the answers and really this thread is to expand on several of the questions that keep running around my head and open a discussion with a group of people to see what comes out. What are your thoughts?

That is an intersting feebback and I think to build a relationship, you have to base on both head and heart.
so through your above answers for other guys and even me, may be you based on head too much, that why you have to ask "how to date a foreigner and not get your heart broken"
I wanna say that there is no standard for love. If say yes, that mean one can stay at home, read a lot of guide books, then just follow it to catch their girl. :)

Thanks Thu, certainly there are no standards, if only it were that easy :) But, there are successful people and there are unsuccessful people, in love as in many other walks of life and I know for a fact that you can learn to be successful in professional life by following some of the hints and tips from other successful people, so whilst I accept that there is no perfect answer for love, there may well be some useful hints and tips from successfully married people that could help :) Maybe I do follow my head too much, I dont really know what that means though, so hard to tell :(

saigonmonkey :

Slowly....slowly....slowly. Don't try to do too much, too fast. This is true for relationships between any two people, not just foreign men and Vietnamese women. Start a friendship, and let it develop over time. During the friendship, let the other person know your long-term relationship goals, and see if theirs match yours. You may not ever be more than just friends. But if you do become more, you'll know soon enough. Relax, and be patient!

I think this part alone answers pretty much all your questions. Make your judgements after you have gotten to know them on a personal level. Just take it easy and don't expect too much too soon or in your case, think too much and let things take its natural course.

I saw your smart opinion here that you learned enough experience from your past.

For personal relationship, it's hard to say to learn from others' experience but from your own because there are different situation, different persons, culture and concept. Only you can know what the real cause and improve yourself.. Let reserve some moments for thought and gain.. 

Someone is right to say that we should love by heart and a head..

Thanks EasyHeart, those are some good questions you ask and I am sorry that you are having difficulties. How often have you broken up in the last year and how do you know he is with other girls? Hanoi is a big city, the chance of bumping into him or your friends seeing him out with other girls is quite slim. When you break up, how long to you stay broken up and how do you get back together? Who makes the first move and do you talk about it afterwards and achieve any sort of resolution? Why do you keep breaking up, what reason does he, or you give to the other for the break up? Do you argue much when you are together and is the relationship still intimate and loving? A lot of questions I know, sorry about that, but I think it will give everyone here a bit of an insight into your situation and that may help us offer advice.

When you intend to arive overhere. I am working at bagpacker erea in hochiminh city, vietnam.southern people or hochiminh citizens are friendly and ongoing.
if you need some one to go around i and my friend can help.

welcom you to saigon or Hochiminh city.


Just about to head off to work but saw this and thought I would give my input.

In my opinion, It's up to the foreigner to be completely honest with himself/herself as it is only he/she who really knows if the relationship is serious or not.

Like many expats in Vietnam, I am an ESL teacher who came to Vietnam expecting to stay for a year before continuing my adventure to another country in Asia. But, I met a Vietnamese girl who changed the outlook on my future.

We dated for about 3 or 4 weeks and it was towards the end of this time I had to make a decision. I was not willing to commit to a relationship unless I felt like I could give the relationship and her 100%. I didn't want to get months into a relationship and have the urge or temptation to move on.

So I made the decision I wanted to commit myself to her but it certainly was easier said than done. Although in my mind I had made the decision it was never going to be easy convincing her how I felt. She had never dated a foreigner before and quite rightly had her concerns that I would/could leave her in the future. She had been in one relationship before me with a Vietnamese guy for over 5 years. He broke her heart, she was scared to fall in love again.

So we both decided to try and go slow, to be completely honest with each other and see how things played out. We are now almost a year into our relationship and I could not be happier. She is still everything I could ever hope for in a person and I feel truly lucky to be a part of her life. We moved in together after 6 months (things did progress very quickly after a few months) and things have been great.

I have had no pressure from her or her family about the progress of our relationship although we both do like to think about our future together.

In order for a relationship to work I believe you both have to be on the same wavelength from day one. Both should know each others expectations and concerns and work hard to establish trust and security from one another.

To conclude my long post (sorry) it CAN work but it won't be easy. My life has certainly changed and new challenges have presented themselves but she is worth it.

This is a recent picture of a wedding we attended recently, I hope my post his helpful to some :)

Hi John,

Thanks for adding that excellent perspective to our little discussion. I am also the survivor of an intercontinental marriage (if you get my drift), a little further than Spain but not as far as VN so yes, I understand the cultural and familial difficulties. I think it also depends where you live too, in my case she came to live in the UK and found it hard to get work for a while, so it was difficult for her and that led to problems for us.

Ultimately you have a very good point about getting to know the cultural aspects of the country women / men you intend to date / marry and I think that is a very useful general tip for anyone concerned. I do have quite a few honest local friends and will be challenging them more on this matter soon :)

Bonesy you two are going to make it. I had the same thought process as you about 38 years ago. Loves still going strong I'm happy to say, but as you know in your short time it isn't all roses and champagne, you both have to work towards the same goals. Hint, Hint get married on Valentines day and you'll never forget an anniversary.....

Mr Bones and Mr Bud - thank you so much for your input! The stories of being happily together after even a short while are genuinely heartwarming and inspirational. When I started this thread I was really hoping to hear from some people who had made it or were making it so it is really great to hear from you. I think one of the key things I pick up from this is commitment. That is something that is necessary on both sides of course and well worth highlighting. If either of you have any further, specific words of wisdom, like how to handle certain types of arguments or jealousy or whatever challenges you may have faced, please share.

Budman1 :

Bonesy you two are going to make it. I had the same thought process as you about 38 years ago. Loves still going strong I'm happy to say, but as you know in your short time it isn't all roses and champagne, you both have to work towards the same goals. Hint, Hint get married on Valentines day and you'll never forget an anniversary.....

Good to know Bud. Do you have a family?

Good for you, Bonesy. Your story and some other successful stories that I have known or heard of give me some hope. I actually think people need God's blessing to have a happy relationship in this life.

Coming from a conservative family, however, I have many difficulties. I would not be allowed to live with a man without marriage. I would not be comfortable with sex without marriage either. It is almost impossible if the parents are living in the same city.

For those who feel discouraged because Asian families might control your relationships, it is only part of the story. I don't think parents care much about your pocket because if they do, there are many millionaires who are not expats. It is more about requirements and standards. A partner will be able to stay and provide support during both good and bad times.

I agree that parents-children relationships are quite strong here, but in a different perspective, it means good. It is part of cultural values that should be preserved and respected, maintaining an Asian cultural identity.

Bonesy yes, a lovely Daughter.

EasyHeart, thanks for your comment. I believe that two fundamental pillars of a successful long term relationship is an ability to get on really well with each other and a good, fulfilling and enjoyable sex life. If you don't live with each other before marriage, you will be taking a serious risk that you may no get on as well as you need to when in the confines of your own home and having to deal with the realities of every day life. Also, if you do not sleep together before marriage, then you may find that you simply dont get on sexually. I'm not sure about women (comments invited) but for many men this would be unacceptable and certainly a driver to stray from the marital bedroom - thus both those concepts seem to be good ways of increasing the chances of eventual heartbreak. So for me it raises the question, should we stick with our traditional family values or should we seek to be happy and is it possible to achieve both?

It's really strange when seeing a foreigner man asking this question " how to date a foreigner and not get your heart broken?"

After 4 weeks dating with a great French man and making such an awesome love, he disappeared without saying "good bye" and the phone number was no longer exist...

Everything happen by a reason...

Life still is so beautiful when remains the man like you.

Hopefully you will find a lovely girl soon.

Buzzer :

I have friends get into relationships with Vietnamese women and while it's not true for all, a lot of them were very much along the lines of,

Week 1: Meet the parents.

Week 2: Start discussing marriage and children.

Week 3: Guy runs for the hills.

There's also lots of checking of text messages, accusations of visiting prostitutes whenever they aren't together 24/7.

Again not true for all but true for quite a few.

This happened to me, this woman turned into a complete screwball really put me off. She had planned our wedding and the tables at our engadment party without even asking me or telling me she loved me like wtf

I know a lot of guys here just go from one woman to the next and it may be fun for a bit but all this sex with beautiful woman is so unfullfilling, really is! lol just not for me and I still live in hope of finding that one compatible girl, which is very difficult.

Also if a girl is a virgin im not interested, if a girl wants sex after marriage sorry not interested, sex is an important part of life and to me its just kinda immature and backwards, respect the culture but its not for me, sex isnt a big deal really.

Another gripe with vietnamese woman is if they still live with their parents, I respect the culture but it puts me off, though I understand financial constraints on people but if she's 26 and has to be home by 7 or her mother will beat her then its goodbye for me.

I keep finding desperados who are like adult babies, they are in there mid 30's and they have the mentality of a 15 year old, or there english is no good, im trying to learn vietnamese so that would get rid of one obstacle.

Despite my complaints and constant dissapointment with vietnamese woman I still live in hope, like others I planned on being here a year now I dont think ill go anywhere else, id rather if I had children they were raised here than the UK thats for sure and do plan staying long term, I think id much prefer a compatible vietnamese woman than a western one its just so difficult finding that compatibility.

Ive been talking to someone thats beautiful great english and has similiar interests as me but shes only 18 and she seems to good to be true im 31 but never know, live in hope eh? surely these constant dissapointments will come to an end!

Leona, thanks for your comment and sorry to hear about your relationship breakdown, I think that scenario is probably quite common and I wonder, how long did you spend dating the guy before having sex? I know that is a very personal question and you may not wish to answer, but I think that is probably one sure fire way of weeding out the good ones from the fun seekers. Not sure how long one should leave it, but a few weeks has to be a reasonable minimum I would think. As for me asking the question, men have feelings too you know :)

Mr Broom, thanks for your candid response! Actually I think those things you mention about VN girls could be a useful guide to how many western men think, which is probably useful for people who are thinking of dating one. We come from a generally more socially sophisticated culture (notice I said generally, before anyone gets upset please!) and as you point out, that is not necessarily a good thing, but there are some benefits in the social skills that you point out very clearly. Of course it works both ways and the fact that you are trying to lean Vnese is commendable - so often us foreigners can be quite arrogant and get annoyed when local people cant understand us - I have seen that sort of ugly behaviour on a number of occasions!

My ex-wife (who was not from the UK) was 21 when we got married, I was 35 - there were difficulties - she liked nightclubs (and sleeping with men as it turned out) and I liked restaurants and walks. I guess I should have figured that out before I married her, but there you go. The main issue I found with such an age difference was that she found it difficult to handle arguments or disagreements in a mature manner and whilst I was happy to talk she usually preferred shouting and throwing things. I really hope your young lady turns out to be good for you and you for her. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion.

I wasn't planning on posting in this thread as I thought the most obvious answers were already given in the first 4 post.
First, Vietnamese are a 100 times more socially sophisticated then we are in west, it's just hard to understand because of the cultural differences.
Second, if you fail to try to understand her culture (Vietnamese ) then your relationship is doomed to fail. Please note I said try to understand her culture, you don't have to learn everything. But if you don't understand the cultural roles of girls, women, wives in Vietnam you will likely fail in a serious relationship.

I came to work in Vietnam 5 years ago, working in the oilfield as an expat commuter (means I came here to work 4 weeks and then returned to home in the US for 4 weeks)
I never dreamed or thought I would want to live here. One hitch I decided to spend an extra week in Vietnam instead of returning home. The first night I stayed here I met my future wife. She was sitting with some friends and they were arguing about the proper way to say something in English. I turned to them and gave the proper way to say it and they invited me to eat with them. I found that my future wife worked for an oilfield  service company and that her company and mine worked together. We got along pretty well and we exchanged numbers and email addresses. We ended up going out 1 more time during that trip but after returning home we started chatting everyday. Soon when it was time to go home the next hitch we made planes to meet again and I ended up staying another week in Vietnam. This went on like this for about 6 months and then I decided to stay 2 weeks and a few more months and I stayed my whole time off here. Never once did we speak of marriage or did we spend an entire night together but gradually we just knew we would get married.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we have been married nearly 3 years now and have a 2 year old boy and a 1 week old daughter.
I'm 47 and she is 29

Money is always issue for both men and women in any country but there are bad and good people. Bad people consider money as their top target.

For love, there is no material target but the match of two person's soul and awareness. Some people tend to blame to others' mistake when they failed in the relationship.

Every country has different in culture and traditional custom with the positive and negative sides. In Vietnam, we respect the family relationship and the parent always want best things for their children, that is not negative point. Many parents respect to their children's choice if they see that their children are happy with that. We shouldn't consider one individual and blame for the rest.

Also as Vietnamese traditional, most people consider the relationship between man and woman as serious issue. Their trend is to think about the long term together so sometimes it leads to the parent meeting.. as said above. Once the woman introduces you with her parent, means that she is sincere with you BUT she should consider when is right time and who is right person for that.

There are still your right woman and your right man out there waiting, don't stop to hope and don't forget to improve ourselves also.

TrangDoan :

Money is always issue for both men and women in any country but there are bad and good people. Bad people consider money as their top target.

I disagree with you that it is bad to consider money as the top target. The 2 most common reasons for marriage are love and money (security)
A resent poll by one of the Vietnam online news sites showed that nearly 40% of Vietnamese couples over 40 years old married for money and security for their family and that both the husband and wife were happy with that.
Whatever the reason for marriage is the Vietnamese wife was the most loyal to her husband and family.

Don, thanks for your valuable input, I'm delighted that you did decide to comment. Firstly thanks for the thought about social sophistication - that got me thinking about what I said and one example I could think of that supports your argument is the way the language is different for when you are addressing a male or a female or someone who is older / younger / more or less "superior" e.g. Anh and Em - so I agree there may well be cultural things that I was not taking into account. Do you have any other more specific examples in that area?

Also, thanks for the heartwarming story of how you met your wife and congratulations on the birth of your recent child! One thing I find charming about Vietnam is that you could  inject yourself into pretty much any conversation in any coffee shop and be likely to get invited to join the group, certainly the group would be polite and cheerful - now in a pub in London it would be a very different story! Am I getting the wrong end of the stick about this place, or are people generally nice, polite and friendly?

Finally, thanks also for the interesting comment supporting security as a good reason for marriage. I think in the west it has been that way too for many years, the wife found a husband to win the bread and the husband found a wife to bring up the kids and look after the house (cliche I know) but it provided a secure family unit. However, now that women are more independent in the west, we find the divorce rate soaring, I wonder if that is because security is becoming less of a factor to glueing people together? Also, if it is, then is it not a bad thing that people would be held together in a marriage due to security despite the other areas of the marriage failing (such as love and sex). Really I am just playing devils advocate here to see what people think on the interesting points you have brought to our discussion.

Thanks for your input and insight into Vietnamese familial culture too Doan, so all I need now is to find a girl who wants to introduce me to her parents lol :) Thanks also for the encouragement. it made me think that impatience can be a big problem in these situations. I know for sure that personally I really love being in a loving, close, intimate relationship and if the opportunity arises to get into that situation, it is really, really difficult to resist. But taking it slow (according to many in this discussion - and I cant disagree with the principle) seems to be one of the the ways to longer lasting happiness. I wonder if there are any successful couples reading this who did not take it slow...

tennisanyone? :

Yes, I'm a dreamer but I hope not the only one.

Nice :)

Last night I met a girl in her late 20's who is, by choice, still a virgin! Of course where I come from this is pretty rare and given the discussion we have been having here, I thought i would ask her about her choice. Unfortunately she didnt want to talk about it much, suffice to say that she confirmed it was her personal preference. Of course I guess this translates to "I have been brought up that way and am behaving under the influence of my family, without really thinking too hard about it and indeed denying any other possibility to myself". I am not sure how this can be healthy in terms of finding ling lasting love and creating a successful marriage in the future. Surely, if someone doesnt have much sexual experience then they are unlikely to be able to fulfil their partners needs and desires and will end up missing out on a good and fulfilling sex life themselves. Or not? Maybe it is a good thing to to have a vast array of experience in the bedroom department because it makes people more loyal to their partner and more appreciative of the physical love and affection that they can get from their partner and their partner alone? Any comments welcome...

Gosh, UKGuyinSaigon. From your experience, how many partners are there that you broke up with because of not being compatible in sex?

I hardly know any. Most people broke up because of other reasons: cheating, deceiving, out of love, emotional unfulfillment, domestic violence, long distance and lastly not being to have children or  serious financial problems.

I can say if someone has a vast array of experience, it just means he/she used to be a player. And who knows if you are not just another person on the string.

I agree with easyheart on this. I think if both man and wife are either virgins or have very little experience that this could be a way for the couple to grow together. I have never heard of anyone getting divorced because they were not good in bed.

We are in Vietnam, the girls keep the virgin till the wedding night. There are some reasons:
1/ the wife would like to give the best of women for her husband. They would give what is holy for husband.
2/ This is most important, due to the man like the women who is still virgin. If she is a virgin girl, she is a proper girl. If she is not virgin then the man think that she is an immoral girl.

It is better nowaday, but a part of them is still thinking like that and that is the main reason for the women like to keep the virgin. She doesnt want to be unhappy after marriege. This is true, due to there are many story show that the man fight the wife or unhapy after wedding night when he know she is not virgin.

New topic