Dating/Marrying Tips for Expats :/

when first dating local women i didnt heed the sage advise of my local relatives and went off on my own.  being arrogant and confident i thought i had nothing new to learn considering my advanced age.   i was humbled.   several posts have inspired me to start this thread to help newbies navigate the world of dating Vietnamese women.   anyone can add their opinions and advice but please refrain from bashing the Vietnamese women.   they are beautiful, hard working and very loyal.   i love them.  ofcourse there are exceptions to every rule so dont take these advice/opinions as canon. 

1 - throw out most of your western dating habits and rituals they dont apply here.

2 - being an expat youre considered a prized catch.  youre the doctors, lawyers and C celebrities of the western world.  women will gravitate to you because of your blue eyes, passport or high tax bracket.   women that looks like car models approach and insists youre "đẹp trai" - trust me youre not that "đẹp trai."

3 - many women see dating as the first step to matrimony.   this is first thing i learned on my dating adventure.  the dating period can be as long as you want just know that at the end of the "date" youre expected to come bearing areca nuts and betel leaves.

4 - some women will sacrifice love for financial security for their family.   but they will love you regardless of their original intentions.   you can drive yourself crazy wondering if she loves you for who you are or what you can give her.   if you can accept the fact that she loves you and will take good care of you then youre good.

5 - refrain from PDAs.   public display of affection is a no-no.  no holding hands or kissing.  i remember trying to kiss my ex on her cheek on our 5th date.   she reacted like i had smacked her.  or maybe i had bad breath  :unsure

6 - women expect the men to be the drivers.   so if you dont have a scooter or scared to drive get a taxi.  i remember several times my dates would refuse to sit on the back of my electric scooter.  "quê quá" - image is everything.

7 - getting phone numbers from local women is not a big deal as it is in the western world.   they give them out like candy without hesitation. 

8 - unless she lost her family when you marry a Viet woman you marry her family.   if you dont get along with your in-laws youre screwed.

9 - on the first few dates you can sometimes expect friends, family or co-workers to attend.

10 - if youre dating/marrying a catholic/christian woman there are a whole new set of rules.

11 - if you have a quirky, dark, sarcastic sense of humor refrain from it until you get to know her better.  humor sometimes does not translate well.

12 - see # 28

there are many more to come...anyone male/female feel free to add to the list  :top:  although its meant to be helpful its also meant to be fun so dont take it too seriously.

Very good observation, OBB!   :top:

From my side, definitely agree except number 3, 5 and 9

What about female expats? Its always the Western Expats dating a local but does someone has experience the other way around?

if the Vietnamese local girl is hard to get than she's legit.

Cherry An Vo :

From my side, definitely agree except number 3, 5 and 9

Cherry, if you don't agree with 3, 5, and 9, then you are a "Westernized" Vietnamese lady. (That's not a bad thing) Most of the local ladies follow the practices described in 3, 5, and 9.

OBB: Good post. So good, that I can't think of anything else to add right now.

WOW! It seems you read Vietnamese girls' mind. How long have you observed these? You experienced yourself or collected them from your friends? :top:

Several of these rules also apply to Vietnamese. If brother has a girlfriend, it is not unusual for sisters to check out her neighborhood and ask questions about her. And first dates often take place where the girls friends and family can be found, and if not, then several will tag along.  And if marriage is in the offing, older sisters and young aunts go into the FBI mode, doing a background on check on the lady that would make NSA envious.

Cherry An Vo :

From my side, definitely agree except number 3, 5 and 9

if you disagree please let me know why.  i would love to see the female's perspective on this issue.  theres no right or wrong. 

3 - outside of HCMC the women ive talked to tell me they date to find a husband.  i have around 50 aunts and nieces and with several exceptions this is their views also.   dating around is for foreigners and the rich.   times maybe changing though.

5 - the few times ive tried PDAs ive been rejected unless youve been dating for some time and even then its "hên xui" hihi.  but once again times are changing.

9 - about 50% of my first dates there were campanions.  i dont mind because it makes her feel safe.  one time i had to spring for 20 of her friends.   the Vietnamese addage "the more the merrier."

missmae :

What about female expats? Its always the Western Expats dating a local but does someone has experience the other way around? Im not looking for one since Im on a LDR with my boy back home but just curious

um...im a male expat so i would opine about my experiences.   it would be great to see the female perspective on this matter.  how about you start a thread.  im sure it would be quite informative and i could definitely learn from it.

phanbamboo :

WOW! It seems you read Vietnamese girls' mind. How long have you observed these? You experienced yourself or collected them from your friends? :top:

kinh nghiệm va họ hàng mô  :P

13 - even chatting on the net or talking on the phone for a period of time it could be considered a relationship.   how serious depends on the woman.

14 - if you want to know how far your relationship is progressing give her a ride on your motorscooter.   if she wraps her arms around your waist then you're in.   if not then keep driving.  (or use this trick.  drive really fast so she'll have no choice but to grab your waist.  i keed.   please don't speed there are lots of nuts on the road already.)

15 - if you've asked a woman for a date and she's hesitating offer her to bring a companion.   more often than not she will accept. 

16 - always pay for the date.   don't do that dutch crap.  good god guys we make more money in a year than she perhaps her whole family will make in their life time.   

17 - on the other hand if you're on the first few dates and she asks for money for her family or go "sắm đồ" then its a warning sign.

18 - the longer the "chân dài" the longer the bill.   i keed i keed.

19 - if you're in a serious relationship sleeping in the same room at her house is a no-no.   they will prepare a separate room for you or stay at a local motel.   you might get a visit from your local constable so its not worth it.  my ex-fiance had to sleep in a separate room when she came to visit me.

20 - always bring something back for your GF's family when you return from traveling.   it doesnt matter what it is.  my relatives always complain i never bring anything back when i go "du lịch."  what can i say i like to travel light.

21 - this is not a relationship advice just an observation.   doing things alone is frowned upon.   i like doing things by myself like eating, drinking, movie theatres etc.  except during lunch time you rarely see people sitting alone.  its taken as you have no friends/family.   which is not a good sign to them.

22 - non-relationship advice part deux.   learn to haggle.  i was annoyed by the constant double pricing for foreigners.   if you think the price is too high go to the next stall and check out their prices.  you'd be surprised at the price differential sometimes.  for me i only haggle if its a big ticket item.   haggling over 5,000-50,000vnđ is not worth it to me. 

23 - im sure this is well known already but ill post it anyways.   vacationing with your GF in a 4-5 star hotel is against the law.   you have to pay for separate rooms and whats the point of that.   google for the 3 star hotels or less and they are more accomodating.   

24 - for every expat/viet kieu complaining about unscrupulous Viet women there are just as many or more Viet women who have been duped by expats/viet kieus.   you just dont hear about it because they rarely talk about it.  although i feel bad for us men i feel more sympathy for the women.  if they are shamed by a foreigner they have very few options.   its the idiots who ruin it for the serious guys.  so if you just want sex and fun go to the local brothels where it belongs.

missmae :

What about female expats? Its always the Western Expats dating a local but does someone has experience the other way around? Im not looking for one since Im on a LDR with my boy back home but just curious

That's probably because most female expats show up already married from my experience.

If I may ( not my arena, just an observation and my experience)

#5: Same-sex PDA is shockingly acceptable here.  Friends hold hands, men with arms around shoulders.  In America men are white around the eyes with fear at anything appearing remotely gay or effeminate, even unto avoiding being seen drinking tea. 

My partner and I sometimes hold hands in public.  Vietnamese take no notice.  Then some American "values voters" come into view and they're just shocked and offended.

#8: I wouldn't date Vietnamese women were I not already partnered, I'd rather be single than deal with the family stuff.  I have two friends here in LTRs with Vietnamese women, both have relationships with the GFs' families that I'd comfortably summarize as raw extortion, with monthly payouts that'd be high in the west.  One of them hasn't been able to find work in two years and the 30 million ₫ he gives her family every month is closed to discussion and will leave him penniless within four years.

I won't TMI you with dating Vietnamese men.  Nice to look at, but that's it.

Hey, all things u posted is not really right, just for the women u have met. I'm not like that. My friends are not like that. So dont use your tips for all situation. Maybe sometimes u meet a good girl but u dont know, u will regret.
Well about spending money of bf, it's just right for some girls. I think many girls want u express your feeling, your love to her so she wants u buy gifts to keep them like good memories.
Your vietnamese is very good, i think. This topic is so interesting

milkybunnyHCM :
missmae :

What about female expats? Its always the Western Expats dating a local but does someone has experience the other way around? Im not looking for one since Im on a LDR with my boy back home but just curious

That's probably because most female expats show up already married from my experience.

Dang, I should get married soon!
BTW might also be because imo Im not attracted to locals here. Im quite a tall Asian (1,68cm) and all the VN I met here are tiny. Im only attracted to guys who are at least 1,78 cm :( But the girls here are really pretty. So tall and thin. Just dont like the Hype of Being white! This is crazy since in the western world tanned is a sign of beauty!

I feel obligated to post since apparently I'm one of the few female expats who has dated Vietnamese guys. I dated two guys (mid twenties) over the span of a year so that's not a large sample size, but I'll share what I've gathered thus far.

I guess foreign girls dating Vietnamese guys is a concept that is new to just about everyone including the poor guys...no one knew quite what to do with me XD The novelty and glamour of dating a foreigner is of course still there- but not the money extortion (at least in my experience) and for that I am greatly thankful. If anything, the rule of 'guy pays for everything' still applies(or they think it does).

So #16 was warped and twisted and turned on its head. I was dating an orthopedic surgeon at one point but I made more than 3 times the amount he did. Of course because he's a guy, he felt obligated to pay and he put up a pretty good fight for the first few weeks, but it eventually got to the point where I would pay for the dinner, movie, dessert, everything- which was more than OK with me but I felt like it bothered him even though he didn't say anything.

#5 is very much so still true. Guys would cringe/shrink away if I tried to hold their hand/hug them in public. The guy who had been seeing me for 6 months refused to kiss me goodbye as I was boarding my plane back to the US :/

#3 does not hold up for the guys.Even though each relationship lasted multiple months, both guys knew that it was all fun and most likely* wouldn't end up with them coming back to America with me (or me staying in Vietnam).

#9 is also not quite the same for guys. If someone else is coming along on an initial date, it's because they're a mutual friend and trying to hook you guys up. Guys don't need a chaperon.

#13 is still true. After knowing a guy for a month, I spoke with him on the phone once and let him give me a ride and after that he was under the impression we were dating.

Something that expat girls dating in Vietnam should be worried about that is largely a non-issue with expat males: the Vietnamese guy that's hitting on you/been taking you out to dinner/etc- could very well be married with kids of his own already- and he will have no qualms about making moves on you in public in front of all his friends (they'll probably egg him on). So be forewarned.....

Thanks KnTrinh for this great report!

So actually as an expat Im quite safe not to exploited.
I usually go on dates with expats like Korean, Candians ... but never dated a local here. Would be an interesting topic. Who volunteers?:)

re#24

I've been in Vietnam for 6 years and love the country and people. Of course there will be women who will take advantage of the supposedly rich foreigner but many woman just enjoy the difference physically and culturally. Some of the girls I've dated just like the novelty of my blue eyes and don't care I'm older and overweight. I love Vietnamese women but it's difficult to meet them because they are afraid I don't speak a lot of Vietnamese. Oh well, I'll keep looking and improving my language skills.

Nice list OBB, i am sure people will find it helpful.

Hi all,

Please note that the off topic posts have been removed from the thread.

Regards
Armand
Expat.com Team

kntrinh :

I feel obligated to post since apparently I'm one of the few female expats who has dated Vietnamese guys. I dated two guys (mid twenties) over the span of a year so that's not a large sample size, but I'll share what I've gathered thus far.

I guess foreign girls dating Vietnamese guys is a concept that is new to just about everyone including the poor guys...no one knew quite what to do with me XD The novelty and glamour of dating a foreigner is of course still there- but not the money extortion (at least in my experience) and for that I am greatly thankful. If anything, the rule of 'guy pays for everything' still applies(or they think it does).

So #16 was warped and twisted and turned on its head. I was dating an orthopedic surgeon at one point but I made more than 3 times the amount he did. Of course because he's a guy, he felt obligated to pay and he put up a pretty good fight for the first few weeks, but it eventually got to the point where I would pay for the dinner, movie, dessert, everything- which was more than OK with me but I felt like it bothered him even though he didn't say anything.

#5 is very much so still true. Guys would cringe/shrink away if I tried to hold their hand/hug them in public. The guy who had been seeing me for 6 months refused to kiss me goodbye as I was boarding my plane back to the US :/

#3 does not hold up for the guys.Even though each relationship lasted multiple months, both guys knew that it was all fun and most likely* wouldn't end up with them coming back to America with me (or me staying in Vietnam).

#9 is also not quite the same for guys. If someone else is coming along on an initial date, it's because they're a mutual friend and trying to hook you guys up. Guys don't need a chaperon.

#13 is still true. After knowing a guy for a month, I spoke with him on the phone once and let him give me a ride and after that he was under the impression we were dating.

Something that expat girls dating in Vietnam should be worried about that is largely a non-issue with expat males: the Vietnamese guy that's hitting on you/been taking you out to dinner/etc- could very well be married with kids of his own already- and he will have no qualms about making moves on you in public in front of all his friends (they'll probably egg him on). So be forewarned.....

i am extremely impressed.   you went against the norm and enjoyed yourself.  i only know of one other foreign woman who dated and eventually married a local man.  reminded me of the time in high school i asked a black girl to a Tet Festival in town.   we got stares like you wouldnt believe.  i didnt see it as such a big  deal but the other Viets did.  i agree with you that local men cheat often.   men with money are almost expected to have women on the side.  its an open secret.  but the women are starting to get out on their own. 

i read in another thread that youre flying out of SF for VN in late Feb.   im also heading out on Sun 23 past midnight or monday morning in Feb.  it would be funny if we end up on the same flight.

25 - "biết điều" is a phrase that basically means "i scratch your back..."   learn it and practice it.   when you ask your GF's family, relatives or friends to do you a favor which probably will be often take note of who did what for you and pay back in kind.  it doesnt have to be money.  this practice is so steeped in the culture that when its done in the political and business arena people dont see as corruption. 

26 - gossiping is a national past time.  you will know more about your wife's third cousin than your own parents.

27 - if you prefer a sexual relationship date women who are divorced/separated, single women with kid/s, older women and rich women.   they are less apprehensive about premarital sex.   if you get lucky one might even offer to "nui" you.

28 - if you're serious about marrying a Viet woman ask someone you trust to "làm mai" for you.   its a step below arranged marriage.  its really an introduction to someone that person knows that is reputable and honest.  then the couple can take it from there.   there is no pressure to advance beyond the meeting and dating stage.  to me this is the safest bet to meet a "good woman."   ofcourse if you end up marrying her you must name your first born after the introductee :D

I do believe :

re#24

I've been in Vietnam for 6 years and love the country and people. Of course there will be women who will take advantage of the supposedly rich foreigner but many woman just enjoy the difference physically and culturally. Some of the girls I've dated just like the novelty of my blue eyes and don't care I'm older and overweight. I love Vietnamese women but it's difficult to meet them because they are afraid I don't speak a lot of Vietnamese. Oh well, I'll keep looking and improving my language skills.

So I'm going to have the sane issues, I speak very basic vnese, so it will be hard to meet local ladies?    Maybe I should reconsider retiring In Thailand....

It's best to meet ladies through acquaintences and sometimes you meet someone who can speak some English and it can be fun integrating your communication skills to have fun. Chemistry is important and although I am in a bit of a draught without that special friend; I know that just around the corner is somebody who will think I'm interesting. I have been to dozens of countries and there isn't one that fascinates me as much as Vietnam. I love the people, the food and especially South Vietnam weather.

Like everybody suggested make friends with locals. Get someone u trust and he or she might "lam mai" for you:)

deeply impressed. So many tips, and I must be very patient to read all with my dictionary  :proud . You know VNese well, but I think some are for a common VNmese dating, not just for an expart with a VNese. I mean even you are VNmese, these tips are also useful with you. Im not sure, Im a local woman and this is just my thinking :)

1, 5, 19, 27. agree. You may scare a girl if you hold her hand, kiss, or want to spend a night with her at the first meet. It's too fast for them commonly. And you also right about divorced/separated women, they may not shy, afraid of premarital sex, or even one night sex, because they are so lonely and need it :). But I think these women are weakest, they grow weak by there situation, they may be ready to sleep with a stranger, but they are still poor women, lonely, and just demand a normal warming family, then a passion night like that just makes they feel worse  after that :) that's VNese thinking. So I think if you are real men, I hope you not to hurt anyone like that.

3. yes, almost of them are serious in dating. They may guess, and think about the future: he has good job? he's interesting enough to have closer realationship? even He's tall or has good health enough to make taller and good health babies?...

4. no idea :D I think some women are very faithful in love, but some love money much more and poor you if you meet this kind.

6, 14. yes, :D but I also feel excited if a man is behind me, :)) and no choice for him when I drive too fast haha. Nuts maybe useful in this situation :P

7. yes

8. I think this is normal, if you love a woman, you s hould love everything of hers, including her family. The realation with family is very close in VN even you are 18+ or married. That does not mean you are forced to have duty with her family, but you should share with your wife to take care her parents

9. yes. VNese is not independent like exparts, so they feel nervous if go
somewhere alone, even in a dating. :D agree with kntrinh, this is for girls
only

10. no idea, :D im no religion

11. I dont know, but even my speaking and listening are not good, but I had a very intersting conversation with a Canadian before, and I feel sense of humor is an advantage to attract women, and make language difficulty reduces

12, 28. :D maybe, it reduces risks. But dont ignore if you meet someone
by chance

13. yes, some prefer SMS

14. yes, VNese are usually shy, or maybe even she want to go with you, :D she still says "I dont know, let me see..."

15. sr but I havent figured out, is it similar #9?

16. yes, she like that, but sometimes I think women also want to pay, maybe the rate is 1/ 10 of dating times :D

17. absolutely yes :) A good woman even doesnt want to spend a coin of
yours

18. :D haha maybe. :D Im "chân ngắn"

19 again. yes, or it depends how manly you are to attract her :P

20. no need 'always', but they will very happy with gifts, even if it's very cheap. It makes they feel that you know to take care about others, and that's good for their daughter

21, 23. no idea

22. me too, I hate the way so many stores double price for foreigners, im
feel shy for this :(.

24. love your thinking :)

25, 26. :D you are so smart and have deep knowledge about VNese


Oh my God I completed my comment :D, it takes a long time  with my dictionary, and sorry if I wrote incorrect English or misunderstand something.

P/s: How about tips to date/get married with a foreigner?

excellent info Smile30.   i like your detailed input and your english is pretty good.  im not a dating expert most of the information ive culled from friends and relatives.   as ive stated before there are exceptions to every situation so dont take these advice as absolute laws.  as for dating tips for local women dating expats?   hmm....

I have to say other than a few of the statements you are right on. Also if you do marry a Vietnamese lady she stands by her son even if he is not a very good person & never say anything negative about his bad actions or you will be 2nd on her list of men very quickly ( if not already #2 behind the son).

very well listened,and observed :thanks:  ( # 4 ) i think a lot of guys believe their lady is just in love with them , when in fact it is a whole deal, them, the future, thier children ( not in his picture in the beginning ) their family relationships and ( not wanting to be rude ) money, money, plays a big part in bringing this all together for her, without a good means of support how can she ensure thier children have what she plans for them?. Iv`e heard it said that women, give sex, for love,and that men, give love for sex. Unfortunately most couples, when they are starting relationships don`t talk enough or just avoid the important stuff, hoping it will get sorted as they go, big mistake, small splinters hurt just as much. Thank you again for the wisdom , I feel it may be invaluable   :one Thanks o b b, this is proving to be one of the best most informative threads Iv`e seen to date

Maybe your relatives from the west and the girls you met are from the bar. There are different area in Vietnam and different culture too. So you should survey all the areas before talking about Vietnam girl.

I dont think just girls from bar give him or his friends these exprience :). I think so many tips are collected from our culture commonly, even that girl is from country side with low standard, or a morden girl with good knowledge. Many people here consider that westerners in Vietnam are a little bit innocent, they are easly to be cheated, like in buying something, taxi... , or even are cheated buy bad girls that just need money. I also had this thinking before, but then i realized that they are so smart. You can see why westerners are richer than us, why their culture is more civilized than ours? Because they are not donkeys. You can cheat them at the 1st date, or even the 2nd, 3rd ..., :)) but That does not mean they will marry you or give you their wallet.

I havent many chances to talk to westerners, but I think men are the same in everywhere, just few differences, and some are good, some are bad. For me, seiously dating using these tips is just the first step to have a realationship, the most importance is to solve, to merge, to match differences in culture, in thinking. Because the guy can ignore his normal dating habit...to date with a girl, but it's to ignore at that point, he's not changed, he still come from Western with his westwen thinking, and the right girl must understand that to go the next step of the realationship.

What ever hsppen to boy meets girl? We are all human we all need to be needed and loved , yes I agree that there is good and evil in all of us, many bad girl/men regardless of their place of employment. Most woman/men regardless of their nationality must always be on guard when first dating.  That why u date, u Skype , u SMS, to build a foundation of trust, honor and loyality, if a man is fooled by beauty and is taken advantage of, it because he only cared about the physical beauty of that lady, he didn't make the investment required to asses her interior beauty , men are visual creators thus we become stupid at the first sign of a shine nickel.........

Long holiday, and happy new year to all!

This thread attracts me and Im waiting for tips for local woman dating expart :D OBB? How to make friend with exparts and maybe even dating them? Maybe you will wonder why I want to do this with exparts rather than local men. Uhm, I like your culture, I like your open-mind thingking, more knowledge about the world, or just maybe improve my English speaking, and maybe Im attracted by your blue eyes heheeeeee  :kiss:

Open-mind is the new term with our culture. One time I had a tour to Nhatrang, when we had lunch, the tour guide created a small party on sea and asked us to sing, dance... Some Rusian girls came and danced, they are so sweet. We Vietnamese just stayed at our seat even we wanted to do like them haha. We felt shy  when standing before many people. I admire these girls, and want to change my thinking. But that's not easy. This is an very simple example for our culture difference.

In Hanoi, I sometimes drink beer at the old quarter, there are so many westerners there, but "Hello seems to be the hardest word"  :lol: And even I can say Hello, how to know who are good/bad? what sign to know they are serious or not? and how to understand each others?

osage :

I have to say other than a few of the statements you are right on. Also if you do marry a Vietnamese lady she stands by her son even if he is not a very good person & never say anything negative about his bad actions or you will be 2nd on her list of men very quickly ( if not already #2 behind the son).

This will be true for all cultures.  :cheers:

ETA: You are already number two regardless. A woman can never love anybody more than her kids.

My advice, if you are starting a family marriage is the right thing to do. If children are not in your future I would avoid all legal entanglements. Just the paperwork and hoops they want you to jump through is just not worth it in my opinion. Most families are happy with the wedding party and ceremony without the legal paperwork. Just my 500 dong worth...

(Moderated: no free ad on the forum pls)

Article #27, nui......... macaroni?

I have said this before and now its time to say it again. Women in general go for men with personality. And the more personality they have in their wallet, the more they go for them.

eodmatt :

Article #27, nui......... macaroni?

I have said this before and now its time to say it again. Women in general go for men with personality. And the more personality they have in their wallet, the more they go for them.

Ain't it the truth! The funny thing is when the girl tells a guy how handsome he is, he believes her regardless of his appearance or age. It's the bulge at the back of his pants she is interested in, not the bulge at the front.

I do believe :

It's the bulge at the back of his pants she is interested in, not the bulge at the front.

I keep my wallet in my front pocket.  I win either way.

New topic