What's the culture around dating ?

Hi !

I've been talking to a Vietnamese girl for just shy of 2 years and we met for the first time 1.5 years ago. We're very serious and have been discussing marriage.  She's a pharmacy student living at home.

What's the cultural norm for helping out her out financially here ?  Is it normal to help her? Expected at this stage of our relationship ?

Tough question and only you can answer that.  Based on your other post of not moving here for 4-5 years I think your discussion may be a bit premature.  A lot can happen in that long of a time span.

Paying support is a fairly normal thing if you are in a committed relationship.  It always begs a couple of questions, though.

How did you meet her?  Online or introduction?
You visited the first time 1.5 years ago.  How many times since?
Why the delay of not coming for 4-5 years? 
What do you plan to have to make a long term commitment to someone you won't be "with" for that long?
What is the age gap between you and her?

Last one isn't a loaded question.  I'm 23 years older than my wife.  It goes to motive.

SteinNebraska :

Paying support is a fairly normal thing if you are in a committed relationship.  It always begs a couple of questions, though.

good to hear. thank you for answering

SteinNebraska :

How did you meet her?  Online or introduction?

online

SteinNebraska :

You visited the first time 1.5 years ago.  How many times since?

I'm here for a month now, and it's the fifth time I'm seeing her. The cadence is around 3 months between visits.

SteinNebraska :

Why the delay of not coming for 4-5 years? 
What do you plan to have to make a long term commitment to someone you won't be "with" for that long?

I'll bring her to America first (K1 visa). I have some commitments I can't get out of until that time, and she wants to live here which is fine by me since my money will last me longer here.

SteinNebraska :

What is the age gap between you and her?
Last one isn't a loaded question.  I'm 23 years older than my wife.  It goes to motive.

Same situation as you at me being 22 years older.

Thank you for your answer

We met when I was coming here for work for two weeks every two months.  I started sending her support every month after a couple of months of talking and after my second visit with her.  The reason was somewhat doing the right thing and somewhat selfish because she worked six days a week and made little money and with the time difference with the US we couldn't talk every night because she was at work or vice versa.  So I brought enough money each visit to cover her expenses and she quit working.  Then we could talk every night.  I moved here fulltime after making 4 or 5 trips in January of 2019 and we married in April.  We are going back to the US on a CR1 visa in a year and a half or so when it gets approved.

As far as support, if she lives with her parents and is going to school it's hard to say how much would be appropriate.  I'd guess enough that she doesn't have to work while going to school so she can concentrate on studies and enough to pay her classes and a little help to the parents for her room and board.  Hard to quote a figure because that figure is different for everyone but 10,000,000 would probably a minimum and be enough to get by.  Average factory worker makes about 6,000,000 - 7,000,000.

basically :
SteinNebraska :

Why the delay of not coming for 4-5 years? 
What do you plan to have to make a long term commitment to someone you won't be "with" for that long?

I'll bring her to America first (K1 visa). I have some commitments I can't get out of until that time, and she wants to live here which is fine by me since my money will last me longer here

It sounds like you are not far from but not yet retired.  It may be better for you to remain in the US except for visits as you will then not have a problem with the I-864 Affidavit of Support for the K-1.  If you moved to Vietnam first, your relative lack of income would be a problem and only a firm letter from an employer guaranteeing employment in the US will count, regardless of your past US income.

It is worth noting that if you wish your future wife to become a dual citizen, it will take a full five years from her arrival on a K-1.  That may be a longer time investment than she wants to make.  Also employment in her chosen field of pharmacy could be difficult.  That type of work is controlled by state boards.  The criteria may vary from state to state but may look suspiciously like they are set up to exclude people who were trained in other countries.  She may find herself under-employed which will add to her frustration.

two points to THIGV's comment above.  First, if you do move here and don't have a job you can qualify based on adequate savings in lieu of income.  I believe it is 3x the income   level required.

Second, he is right on the job.  Vietnamese college and university degrees don't translate well to the US, especially pharmacy.  Do you know if she going to college or university?  My Vietnamese niece got her pharmacy college degree and now is going back to university because she can't own or operate a pharmacy on a college degree.  Best she was able to find last year was working in a pharmacy full time for about 6,00,000 per month.  Same as a base factory worker.

Thank you for your insights. Stein, your actual VND amounts were super helpful. Really. I've gotten a varied response from people. I told my gf to inform me about customs and such so she did tell me it was normal to help with money, and when she then asked me for money it seemed reasonable but some friends have thought it not normal at all while some said it is normal. However, it being heavily skewed towards people saying it's not-normal. I've been concerned since many people warned me about foreigners being used.  Having dinner with her family almost daily, and meeting all extended family and their friends, I have no reason to believe anything bad to be going on though.

Based on what she's said, she doesn't care at all to become US citizen. She just wants to live where I live.

What would the problem with  I-864 Affidavit of Support for the K-1 be ?

basically :

Thank you for your insights. Stein, your actual VND amounts were super helpful. Really. I've gotten a varied response from people. I told my gf to inform me about customs and such so she did tell me it was normal to help with money, and when she then asked me for money it seemed reasonable but some friends have thought it not normal at all while some said it is normal. However, it being heavily skewed towards people saying it's not-normal. I've been concerned since many people warned me about foreigners being used.  Having dinner with her family almost daily, and meeting all extended family and their friends, I have no reason to believe anything bad to be going on though.

Based on what she's said, she doesn't care at all to become US citizen. She just wants to live where I live.

What would the problem with  I-864 Affidavit of Support for the K-1 be ?

I can tell you that after living here for 12 years and being married to a local, being asked to give money is a red flag to me. If you offered thats fine, but her asking is not a good sign.
How much a month did she ask for?

Just my two cents but a compromise might be that you agree to pay her tuition but not general support.  Likely she is living rent free and eating at her parents' table anyway.

Ask her to provide you with documents that show how much the tuition is and agree to give her that much each semester.  It may be a significant amount for her, but fairly easy for you to handle.  It's certainly not Columbia which is $57,208 per year.

colinoscapee :
basically :

Thank you for your insights. Stein, your actual VND amounts were super helpful. Really. I've gotten a varied response from people. I told my gf to inform me about customs and such so she did tell me it was normal to help with money, and when she then asked me for money it seemed reasonable but some friends have thought it not normal at all while some said it is normal. However, it being heavily skewed towards people saying it's not-normal. I've been concerned since many people warned me about foreigners being used.  Having dinner with her family almost daily, and meeting all extended family and their friends, I have no reason to believe anything bad to be going on though.

Based on what she's said, she doesn't care at all to become US citizen. She just wants to live where I live.

What would the problem with  I-864 Affidavit of Support for the K-1 be ?

I can tell you that after living here for 12 years and being married to a local, being asked to give money is a red flag to me. If you offered thats fine, but her asking is not a good sign.
How much a month did she ask for?

Thank god someone has the bottle to put some reality to this question. I totally agree with colin, been here 14 years & 2 long term relationships, never ever been asked to give money. OK after the relationships became commitments I quite haply give money but never directly to her family & never in the amounts that Stein quotes as "normal" I was with my GF of 2 years for 6 months before she moved in & lived with me, I asked her "honey, how much money should I give you now" she looked shocked to be even asked. She has 2 daughters living with her family in Mekong & it was never part of my plan for them to live with us, so I said it was only right I took care of the 2 daughters living & schooling etc. My GF said OK if you give me 3 million every month I will be happy.

Basically.......sit yourself down & think for a bit, you are in USA & she is in Vietnam, so its a pretty long distance relationship for now. So why would you even think about supporting her if you rarely see her & why would she even ask? Say to her....honey I love you very much but until we are in a committed relationship I cant support you! She will either give you a s**t load of verbal & do a runner or she will say OK honey don't worry , I love you too much & will wait for ever for you & me to be together I don't need money to love you...or words to that effect!

I bet there are hundreds of xpats here who can tell you horrendous stories about Vietnamese ladies milking xpats, One girl I knew had 3 foreigners sending her money every month with messages of undying love. She actually did eventually marry a Canadian guy who was not one of the 3!!

Basically......be careful!

She asked for 15 million. She has 4 sisters, and one brother. A newphew lives there too.  They are middle-class, and getting food for everyone is costly. I went to eat at her house every day this week, and I bought one dish for everyone one day I went. The one dish for everyone was 300,000 and it was from a regular little hole-in-the-wall place that sell Pho and other things.

She says she would like to give back because she's lived there since she was a child but she didn't do anything for them yet, and she will go with me soon.  She wants to show that I can take care of her when she comes (her father is very traditional, and also very worried about her not coming back to visit often etc).

I said 15 is too much and have been sending 4-5 million per month. She's been feeling really bad for asking, and has been really upset and worried I'm thinking poorly of her. And sure, it's really difficult to not worry about this for me. I hate this situation.

I can understand where she's coming from. She's going to be going very far from home. I'm someone who has some money to help, and she told me if I can't help, that's fine, but if I can, please do.

I watched her take care of my laundry today that she washed yesterday. She'd hung it out to dry outside and went rotating them. I watched her without her knowledge and she put so much care and effort into taking care of my things. She's so caring about everything, it's very hard to imagine that I'm being taking advantage of.

If you start feeling sorry for people here your screwed.

They are far more resilient than you think.  If  she asked for 15 million , I’d simply pass , take another number & get back on the queue.

She’d want more form on the board than being able to do a good job washing a shirt.   Plenty of them like that.

So there's no expectation of showing her family I'd be able to support her ? She's 21 and it's 2020. Could she just not know better ?  She's very caring of her family, and I think they're super nice people. I've hung out with uncles, nieces, and even friends of her sisters husband etc.

Is just withholding the money actually a safe test ?

Like she does seem to have a romanticized view of a husband who gives her what she asks for (especially a foreigner), but she's also been understanding if I can't give.  I've seen her talk to her sisters husband's friend explaining that she's OK with our age difference.  I can understand too if she wants to show she's made a good choice. There seems to be a lot of wanting to show status in this culture as well.  Her sister's were asking her how much I helped her with every month, and a Vietnamese friend said there can be a lot of pressure from family like that.

Also note, she didn't ask for anything until about 1.3 years into our relationship in the context of talking about marriage etc. And I know her sister had some gambling problem for a short period which meant that she wasn't getting money from her sister to support her.

She's the youngest daughter in the family (of the four) and maybe she's a bit spoiled ? she's almost always taking me to the cheap places to eat when we go out. She doesn't care about having expensive food or anything like that. She's also chided me for not buying fruit at cheaper places when it's been very cheap anyway. She seems frugal at the same time and from what i can tell. She also likes to buy clothes for me.

basically :

So there's no expectation of showing her family I'd be able to support her ? She's 21 and it's 2020. Could she just not know better ?  She's very caring of her family, and I think they're super nice people. I've hung out with uncles, nieces, and even friends of her sisters husband etc.

Is just withholding the money actually a safe test ?

Like she does seem to have a romanticized view of a husband who gives her what she asks for (especially a foreigner), but she's also been understanding if I can't give.  I've seen her talk to her sisters husband's friend explaining that she's OK with our age difference.  I can understand too if she wants to show she's made a good choice. There seems to be a lot of wanting to show status in this culture as well.  Her sister's were asking her how much I helped her with every month, and a Vietnamese friend said there can be a lot of pressure from family like that.

Also note, she didn't ask for anything until about 1.3 years into our relationship in the context of talking about marriage etc. And I know her sister had some gambling problem for a short period which meant that she wasn't getting money from her sister to support her.

She's the youngest daughter in the family (of the four) and maybe she's a bit spoiled ? she's almost always taking me to the cheap places to eat when we go out. She doesn't care about having expensive food or anything like that. She's also chided me for not buying fruit at cheaper places when it's been very cheap anyway. She seems frugal at the same time and from what i can tell. She also likes to buy clothes for me.

To be honest I think you have found a one in a million there & lucked right in man. Now I feel I know a bit more about your situation I think you are OK with this girl & her family. At 21 sounds like her family have given her a good grounding for life as a good wife. In my opinion you really don't want to jeopardize the relationship over an issue like money.
If you have the cash why not treat her & her family to a better life even although as you said they are Middle Class. Taking all this into account my advice for what its worth would be to send her 30 million a month cos the food bill alone just eating Pho is 9 million & after that there is beer for her father & brothers etc so 30 mil should just about cover everything.

Good luck for the future & I hope it works out good for you & her mate

unionjack :

To be honest I think you have found a one in a million there & lucked right in man. Now I feel I know a bit more about your situation I think you are OK with this girl & her family. At 21 sounds like her family have given her a good grounding for life as a good wife. In my opinion you really don't want to jeopardize the relationship over an issue like money.

This is honestly what it feels like.  She couldn't see me after dark initially, and we can never travel alone since her father won't allow it. She has all the good girl qualities I've read about for Vietnamese women. They all wanted me here for Tet and it allowed me to meet even more of her family. I did the red envelopes with her family too, and they gave me as much as I gave them. Her father is warm and friendly, as all her family members, and he worries a lot about my gf.  He's worried about me bringing her to the US and her not coming home much, and he's been worried about me just having her as a vacation wife.  She spends time learning to sew clothes. She bought a tambourine because she loves to sing, and she fashioned a pouch to carry it in instead of buying one.

One of her sister's is married to a banker, and they own a gas station and a pharmacy. So they are definitely not poor, and based on how they live and this, they are for sure middle class.

unionjack :

If you have the cash why not treat her & her family to a better life even although as you said they are Middle Class. Taking all this into account my advice for what its worth would be to send her 30 million a month cos the food bill alone just eating Pho is 9 million & after that there is beer for her father & brothers etc so 30 mil should just about cover everything.

please tell me this bit wasn't sarcasm though ?

basically :
unionjack :

To be honest I think you have found a one in a million there & lucked right in man. Now I feel I know a bit more about your situation I think you are OK with this girl & her family. At 21 sounds like her family have given her a good grounding for life as a good wife. In my opinion you really don't want to jeopardize the relationship over an issue like money.

This is honestly what it feels like.  She couldn't see me after dark initially, and we can never travel alone since her father won't allow it. She has all the good girl qualities I've read about for Vietnamese women. They all wanted me here for Tet and it allowed me to meet even more of her family. I did the red envelopes with her family too, and they gave me as much as I gave them. Her father is warm and friendly, as all her family members, and he worries a lot about my gf.  He's worried about me bringing her to the US and her not coming home much, and he's been worried about me just having her as a vacation wife.  She spends time learning to sew clothes. She bought a tambourine because she loves to sing, and she fashioned a pouch to carry it in instead of buying one.

unionjack :

If you have the cash why not treat her & her family to a better life even although as you said they are Middle Class. Taking all this into account my advice for what its worth would be to send her 30 million a month cos the food bill alone just eating Pho is 9 million & after that there is beer for her father & brothers etc so 30 mil should just about cover everything.

please tell me this bit wasn't sarcasm though ?

All depends on what your take home monthly cheque is. 20K USD  a month, 30 mil vnd is not gonna hurt much now is it. 10k USD 30 mil vnd still does not make too much of a dent in it either. But if your job dont pay much say 5k usd a month then 30mil a month might hurt you a bit depending what your outgoings are in the USA.
But what I can tell you is that if you did give her 30 mil vnd a month as far as her family & relatives are concerned you will be the dogs bollocks, she will be queen of the village & everyone for a 5 mile radius will know about it & her family status will be ramped right up the social status.
The end result after all this & your concerns & requests for guidance .........its up to you & from what I read you have already decided & convinced yourself what to do.
Go with your heart as they say!!

basically :
unionjack :

If you have the cash why not treat her & her family to a better life even although as you said they are Middle Class. Taking all this into account my advice for what its worth would be to send her 30 million a month cos the food bill alone just eating Pho is 9 million & after that there is beer for her father & brothers etc so 30 mil should just about cover everything.

please tell me this bit wasn't sarcasm though ?

It sure struck me as sarcasm.

THIGV :
basically :
unionjack :

If you have the cash why not treat her & her family to a better life even although as you said they are Middle Class. Taking all this into account my advice for what its worth would be to send her 30 million a month cos the food bill alone just eating Pho is 9 million & after that there is beer for her father & brothers etc so 30 mil should just about cover everything.

please tell me this bit wasn't sarcasm though ?

It sure struck me as sarcasm.

Thats cos you are an x teacher & got no sense of humor like all x teachers & always got an opinion on everything ! :o

unionjack :

.its up to you & from what I read you have already decided & convinced yourself what to do.
Go with your heart as they say!!

I'm struggling with this which is why I made the post in the first place. I'm looking for reasons to justify her asking because obviously I wouldn't be talking to her about marriage if I wasn't into her. I had my Vietnamese friend from America come and meet her family, and she thought her family is great. She was surprised she'd asked me for money however (shocked actually). She's coming over from HCMC to meet us again tomorrow.

It's not fun to be in a situation where you're concerned what's going on with a loved one. She's super caring, and the money ask (the high amount) is the only oddity about a lovely person.

basically :
unionjack :

.its up to you & from what I read you have already decided & convinced yourself what to do.
Go with your heart as they say!!

I'm struggling with this which is why I made the post in the first place. I'm looking for reasons to justify her asking because obviously I wouldn't be talking to her about marriage if I wasn't into her. I had my Vietnamese friend from America come and meet her family, and she thought her family is great. She was surprised she'd asked me for money however (shocked actually). She's coming over from HCMC to meet us again tomorrow.

It's not fun to be in a situation where you're concerned what's going on with a loved one. She's super caring, and the money ask (the high amount) is the only oddity about a lovely person.

There is a good chance that its not her asking for the money, but a family member is presurring her to get money from you.

Years ago I helped a poor girl in D 10 with her English, she was about 15 years old at the time. I used to visit her family home, which was very modest and her father was your typical, unemployed drunk that exists so often here. One night she asked me for money, I was shocked as she was such a sweet girl. She told me later that her father put her up to it and she was very embarrassed and started to cry.

So, sometimes there are others involved without you knowing.

colinoscapee :
basically :
unionjack :

.its up to you & from what I read you have already decided & convinced yourself what to do.
Go with your heart as they say!!

I'm struggling with this which is why I made the post in the first place. I'm looking for reasons to justify her asking because obviously I wouldn't be talking to her about marriage if I wasn't into her. I had my Vietnamese friend from America come and meet her family, and she thought her family is great. She was surprised she'd asked me for money however (shocked actually). She's coming over from HCMC to meet us again tomorrow.

It's not fun to be in a situation where you're concerned what's going on with a loved one. She's super caring, and the money ask (the high amount) is the only oddity about a lovely person.

There is a good chance that its not her asking for the money, but a family member is presurring her to get money from you.


So, sometimes there are others involved without you knowing.

Thing is if they are a middle class family like Basically said in his post, why would they even ask for money in the first place. They cant be short if they are Vietnamese middle class that's for sure! Any Vietnamese family in that class range are not short of cash & would not want to be shamed if that got out. I have met poor & very poor Vietnamese families who only want to give, not to take. Like I said before, in my 2 long term relationships here I have never been asked for money. My wife,s family (first relationship) was what I would consider as Middle Class (certainly financially) & they never ever asked me for money on the contrary it was all about giving with them & pride. My partner now comes from a poor family but she has a good job & again neither she or her family have asked me for money, any money was freely given after the relationship was established & without any pressure on their part. Like 3 million a month & happy with that!

basically, sent you a PM.

I was hesitant to put a "dong figure" on the amount because it is truly a personal decision.  I knew that some would think 10,000,000 as a minimum was too much.  Others will think it's not enough.  In MY personal opinion, if $440.00 a month is going to put a damper on things one should get out now.  I look at if this way, if I'm really going to marry this girl, this is as cheap as it's going to get because now that we are married it's more than that! LOL

basically :

Hi !

I've been talking to a Vietnamese girl for just shy of 2 years and we met for the first time 1.5 years ago. We're very serious and have been discussing marriage.  She's a pharmacy student living at home.

What's the cultural norm for helping out her out financially here ?  Is it normal to help her? Expected at this stage of our relationship ?

I don't have the long-term experience in a relationship here as have the other respondents.

However my sense is that you've already received a lot of good advice based on the experiences had by the different posters.

If you don't mind, I'd rather turn the camera on you for a moment, because (based on my limited experiences here) there is a lot you can do to prepare yourself for a relationship with a Vietnamese woman without having to disregard your own cultural values.

Since I'm not an expert on your values, I'll share what I've learned that's been of benefit to me:

I personally didn't come here looking for a "relationship".

I had in mind a comfortable life in retirement with the assistance of relatively inexpensive domestic help.

However, soon after I arrived I realized I might be able to have both in one person: a dedicated woman who really wanted to do everything for me that one could ever ask of a maid/housekeeper/cook/butler while also being my loving companion.

I realized I needed to do an updated personal financial assessment, since I could see that many prospective matches were also going to be assessing my financial stability, even though they might never be the type to ask for money.

When I made the two-year transition to leave the USA, I had liquidated and spent most of my accumulated wealth.

Here I learned that many women assume that an American owns a house and car and other things back in the states, partly because they don't always believe it when an American man says his intention is to live here for the rest of his life.

I'm suggesting it's a good idea to decide how much you want a woman here to know about your total financial picture.

My advice is that any foreigner man always downplay his personal wealth and projected income.

Not that a man needs to lie, but he can save some revelations of his financial picture to be revealed later as the relationship becomes a more serious commitment.

UnionJack's funding figures might sound sarcastic, but they are actually quite sound when it comes to a committed relationship with certain (not all) women here.

If you had an all purpose, full time domestic helper, her salary would probably be between about ₫3 million VNĐ and ₫7 million VNĐ per month, depending on where you live and various other factors.

However, if you have a girlfriend who does a lot of domestic work for you while also in an intimate relationship with you, then it's not unheard of to give her between about ₫3 million VNĐ to ₫4 million VNĐ a week, or about ₫10 million VNĐ to ₫15 million VNĐ per month.

(I personally advise against this, as the lines between the two relationships are too easily blurred).

Should you become deeply committed to each other with definite plans for marriage, ₫30 million VNĐ isn't unheard of, though I know a lot of guys who would say that's crazy.

I'm just saying that crazy love makes crazy guys do crazy things, and for some of the more materialistically-minded Vietnamese women, those levels of support are what they expect from a Western boyfriend.

If you do end up getting married, those same women will sometimes want EVERYTHING.

No worries; you would almost certainly get an allowance for beer and coffee (maybe cigarettes too).

So decide ahead of time how much you will ever want to reveal about your total financial picture.

If you wait to make that decision until you fall in love with someone here, you've likely waited too long.

Also, from HER perspective, keep in mind that she likely feels SHE is giving YOU everything she has, so if a future time comes when she discovers you've been hiding assets from her...

:dumbom:

I have personally decided to keep two figures in mind for what I want to spend on "domestic help" and "entertainment".

Not that I deserve to be 'entertained' by women here, but when I have a figure in my mind I'm less likely to break the bank for a woman.

Until I ever know a relationship is truly serious and committed, I will only give salary or support weekly.

That's just me being very cautious because I've been betrayed by women on three different continents 😉

You are 43 and she is 21 (based on your figures) and that's probably a lot more hopeful than it might be if you were 73.

But it sounds like you are going to stop working when you come here; correct me if I'm wrong.

No matter how much money you bring to the table, you'll find that most Vietnamese women hope you will continue working.

If you are a college graduate, you could start now qualifying for a legal job as an English teacher.

You'd probably only need to work for an hour or two a day to satisfy your woman that you are not lazy.

Good luck and I hope it works out for you both.

colinoscapee :

I can tell you that after living here for 12 years and being married to a local, being asked to give money is a red flag to me. If you offered thats fine, but her asking is not a good sign.

[at]basically, I am going to give it to you straight up from my experiences, locally and from VN in America.  I have been there and done what you are doing.  Here are my comments:

1. Agree with colinoscapee, asking for money is a red flag and is a problem.  Why?  The only people I know, experienced and have been told that ask for money are the uneducated, selfish and lazy people that think foreigners are stupid and will believe that it is "normal" because they tell you so.  But that is not the "norm".  Yes, there are foreigners who fork over the cash, a lot of them are retired men who appear to have no issue with it and that it is understandable because they have their retirement and can do it.  The VN asking for money will even go to great lengths to try and make you feel bad, don't fall for it.  Also, I doubt your GF wanted to ask you and that family members put her up to it, seen it many times. 

2. What did I do?  Well, I never had the problem because my GF now wife never asked for money, despite some extended family tried to convince her otherwise.  But my position was always this, do not treat her any different than any other GF you would meet.  That meant, if she ask for money, relationship is over and move on, period.  I told my GF at the time that if her extended family wanted a foreign ATM, I am not that retired westerner so they need to look for a retired guy.  During our courtship, I was looking for red flags from her, but to my surprise, I never got one.  Why?  She knew that I was serious and looking for a wife and a family and that if she was serious, asking for money, she knew without me telling her, I would have ended it.  VN women are smart, they know what they are doing.  For example, my wife worked for a large multi national in VN and 1 time she had to go to travel for work to Cambodia.  I was suspicious, but she sent me videos and we video chatted while she was at work because she knew that I was curious, even though we never talked about it.  Then, she was asked to go to Thailand for a grand opening of a new store and she flat out refused and told her boss she was not going.  Why?  Because in her mind, she was worried that I would think wrong about her and she showed me the tickets and said "i am not going".  I can give more examples, but hopefully you get the picture.  She never gave me a red flag, not one.

3. Family gamblers and debt.  You are big trouble mate.  I have seen it.  You and her are the ticket to gambling heaven.  The money you give her is going straight to the gamblers and I would also bet they borrow money from loan sharks that they have not paid.  Your money is going to fund their gambling and loan shark debts.  Before you met her, she had a life and so did her family without you.  They don't need your support. 

4.  You have only been to VN 4 or 5 times.  Your crazy if you fork over your cash, unless your are wealthy and don't need it. But I bet you your cash is going to be used as mentioned above.  It is your money, but it all comes down to your motives and what you want.  If you are looking for a serious marriage, family etc. BOTTOM LINE - do not give her money.  A VN woman that loves her husband will stick by you, even if your poor and broke.  She will work hard to take care of you and your family and motivate you to do better.  Money is the root of evil and do you really want to have money be a part of your courtship? 

5. I never gave her family a monthly stipend.  Don't think I did not give gifts, like at christmas and TET, I did because it is normal.  The only time I gave money was after her father died and we moved to the USA.  We provided some money to help the transition, but it was only a few months.  Yes, extended family now talks bad about us and we are the devil etc.  So what?  I could care less.  They are really mad now because we have a baby and she is not working (which means they cannot extract money from her). 

6.  Family members are nice to you.  Of course they are, you are the western ATM.  There was one Aunt who seriously thought that at some point, she was going to get a million a month from us and laughed about it.  Once these lazy and selfish extended family members realized I was not buying their con game, I became the bad man.  So what?  They are mad because they failed and I am smarter than they thought.  I could care less.  Yes, the wife agrees, not a problem for us, but she is so disappointed in these people. 

7.  15 million?  That is insane and extremely disrespectful.  I would be so offended, seriously.  Way to much let alone it is wrong to even ask.  You are sending 4 to 5 mil monthly now?  Your money mate, but realize they will expect it forever.  If I were you, I would stop it before you get drained. 

8.  My advice.  Stand your ground, don't let them make you feel bad.  You know what is right, treat her right, no different than you would any other GF.  Life is hard enough and we all work hard to make ends meet.  Tell her you have your own expenses and debts and it is hard just like people in VN have expenses and debts.  No monthly stipend, but if that is what your family wants, I am not that man.  You need to look for a retired man. 

Please don't take it the wrong way, I am guessing she is a good woman, but getting pressure from family.  You need to have a serious talk with her and understand who she is and her motivations. 

If you want to talk offline, send me a PM.

Well said Sir

Great posts. Very informative

My gut feeling is that if you have to ask for advice then there are already some cracks in the potential outcome. I have lived in Viet for the best part of 12yrs although I do wander off at times. I have a Viet wife and although only married relatively recently we have been together for over 10yrs. I have never once been asked for money even though, as with most women, supporting the family is important to them. I have however, entirely of my own volition, changed their farming practices, switched crops to a more viable income, modernised their farmhouse etc etc and generally tried to bring the base family unit up to modern standards. All of this has been my choice and all I have expended has been returned via a percentage of the crop. In other words, the relationship I have established with the family is strictly business andI have a return on my investment that more than covers my outlay. I guess, for me at least, I have the opinion that I am not a charity, but am open to viable ideas for income. Any husband and any wife in any country, irrespective of culture or race, should share their expertise when it comes to money. In the same way I have turned down several proposals from various members of her family as being unviable. I do not see how living in Vietnam is any different to anywhere else. If a project is viable then so be it, but to ask for money for the hell of it is a definite No. If the wife/girlfriend doesn't like the answer then I guess you should go find another one.

Indices :

My gut feeling is that if you have to ask for advice then there are already some cracks in the potential outcome. I have lived in Viet for the best part of 12yrs although I do wander off at times. I have a Viet wife and although only married relatively recently we have been together for over 10yrs. I have never once been asked for money even though, as with most women, supporting the family is important to them. I have however, entirely of my own volition, changed their farming practices, switched crops to a more viable income, modernised their farmhouse etc etc and generally tried to bring the base family unit up to modern standards. All of this has been my choice and all I have expended has been returned via a percentage of the crop. In other words, the relationship I have established with the family is strictly business andI have a return on my investment that more than covers my outlay. I guess, for me at least, I have the opinion that I am not a charity, but am open to viable ideas for income. Any husband and any wife in any country, irrespective of culture or race, should share their expertise when it comes to money. In the same way I have turned down several proposals from various members of her family as being unviable. I do not see how living in Vietnam is any different to anywhere else. If a project is viable then so be it, but to ask for money for the hell of it is a definite No. If the wife/girlfriend doesn't like the answer then I guess you should go find another one.

I concur.   

"Any husband and any wife in any country, irrespective of culture or race, should share their expertise when it comes to money. In the same way I have turned down several proposals from various members of her family as being unviable. I do not see how living in Vietnam is any different to anywhere else."

Some additional points to my OP.

1. I know a VN family here in the USA, both husband and wife born and raised in VN.  Now living here and own a very profitable business, have teenagers and live in a 4000+ square foot home on acres of land.  They fight every month because the wife wants to send money to her family.  Guess what they fight over, 2 million dong!  So the point, it will be a problem in your marriage, do you really want to deal with this?    I told my wife flat out, if anybody from VN ask for money, tell them you have to go and end the call, period.  2nd, don't mention it to me, I will not discuss it.

3. She wants to come to the USA.  I would bet it is her family that wants her to come to the USA and you know why?  She is their western monthly ATM ticket.  You better have that discussion before you get married and make plans to live in the USA.  Are you going to be ok with this arrangement?  Think about it, your wife is going to be sending money back to VN every month, forever.  The more she makes, the more they are going to request.  Ask yourself this, look around the family, are people starving?  Unemployed?  How did they survive all these decades without you?  I am sure people are working because it is no different in VN.  People are expected to work and earn a living, especially men.  Where are the men in her family?  Why are they not providing?  If they are working, they can manage their own money.  If they cannot, that is not your problem.  I am sure you know people like this, those that spend more than they make and no matter how much money they have, they are always broke.   They do not have a revenue problem, they have an expense problem.  If you really want to upset them, tell her "are these men in the family not embarrassed and ashamed they cannot provide for their families?"

2. Your wife is young so I would give her the benefit of the doubt.  I will bet she is stuck in a tough position because she does not want to offend you or disrespect you, but the pressure from family, she has to deal with it and not upset them.  Realize, she is just now becoming an adult, she is very impressionable from her relatives, telling her she knows nothing and they know everything.  You need to make a decision in both your heart and your mind, is your GF the real deal?  My wife was so sweet to me all the time and extended family pressure drove her crazy and yes, it made her upset some times.  Did it bother me?  Of course it did and 1 time I told her, "I am out of here, I am going to stay in a hotel."  She was shocked, but I asked her to come with me and explained why.  This is not normal, these people are crazy.  How can people live like this day in and day out.  She agreed with me and knew I was right and begged me not to go.  But I knew her well enough that I knew she was the real deal because of the way she treated me day in and day out.

3. Are you planning to have a family with her?  She is young so I am sure she wants a family with you.  Having a baby makes the family stronger and I highly recommend it.  However, you are going to have to care for children now and she is going to work?  For my wife, the answer was and always will be NO.  So if she is working, gets pregnant, what are you going to do if she was sending money to VN?  You better believe they will expect it to continue.  Despite the expensive costs of daycare etc., not important to these people because hey, it is the USA, money grows on trees!   For example, my wife is not going to work, but some of these extended family members still ask her "when you going back to work?"  You can guess why.

SteinNebraska :

We met when I was coming here for work for two weeks every two months.  I started sending her support every month after a couple of months of talking and after my second visit with her.  The reason was somewhat doing the right thing and somewhat selfish because she worked six days a week and made little money and with the time difference with the US we couldn't talk every night because she was at work or vice versa.  So I brought enough money each visit to cover her expenses and she quit working.  Then we could talk every night.  I moved here fulltime after making 4 or 5 trips in January of 2019 and we married in April.  We are going back to the US on a CR1 visa in a year and a half or so when it gets approved.

As far as support, if she lives with her parents and is going to school it's hard to say how much would be appropriate.  I'd guess enough that she doesn't have to work while going to school so she can concentrate on studies and enough to pay her classes and a little help to the parents for her room and board.  Hard to quote a figure because that figure is different for everyone but 10,000,000 would probably a minimum and be enough to get by.  Average factory worker makes about 6,000,000 - 7,000,000.

I ended up doing the exact same for the same reasons as SteinNeb
Ended up reimbursing her for not working, about $300 USD a month, sometimes less.

She has house and son so a bit different than your GF.
However a generous gift at Tet is appropriate.

Also did K-1 route (CR-1 route is cheaper in the long run btw).

Good luck

Wxx3's response made me think why my situation was different.  My wife (then GF) never asked me for money.  I offered it so she would not have to work so we could talk.

SteinNebraska :

Wxx3's response made me think why my situation was different.  My wife (then GF) never asked me for money.  I offered it so she would not have to work so we could talk.

:lol:  :rolleyes:

unionjack :
SteinNebraska :

Wxx3's response made me think why my situation was different.  My wife (then GF) never asked me for money.  I offered it so she would not have to work so we could talk.

:lol:  :rolleyes:

I meant different from the OP.

basically :
unionjack :

.its up to you & from what I read you have already decided & convinced yourself what to do.
Go with your heart as they say!!

I'm struggling with this which is why I made the post in the first place. I'm looking for reasons to justify her asking because obviously I wouldn't be talking to her about marriage if I wasn't into her. I had my Vietnamese friend from America come and meet her family, and she thought her family is great. She was surprised she'd asked me for money however (shocked actually). She's coming over from HCMC to meet us again tomorrow.

It's not fun to be in a situation where you're concerned what's going on with a loved one. She's super caring, and the money ask (the high amount) is the only oddity about a lovely person.

During my stay in Vietnam, I used to laugh and chit chat with the reception desk ladies about a lot of things.
Regarding marriage, I was told that the Vietnamese women do not get married till they are in their 30s.
Here is a woman, you was about 19 year old on  a online dating site and now asking for money.
Does that raise any red flags? Let the expats answer this.

The topic of financially supporting a girlfriend depends on your ability to do so, but more importantly, your desire to support her.

What happens if the relationship ends after 2 years... 24 payments of 10 million is a lot of cash in Vietnam.

Now she is a student... But she will be working very soon. Right?

If you were married.. and she was working... She is certainly young enough to be still (?) working....then financial help would be needed why? You'd be living together I would assume. But if you start paying now.. It might be money for nothing in 4 years.

This happened to a freind of mine in Mexico... and he really began to resent helping her.. Because her bank account was fatter... His thinner and still no marriage.

Love and money. Not always mutually exclusive.

I wish you luck

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