Vietnamese dating culture

MODERATORS Chu soon tied the knot again but nevertheless brought another 14 "wives" into his household over the next half-century. I seem to have been born with this flirtatious tendency," he told the Cong An Nhan Dan People's Police newspaper last week. Marriages are regarded primarily as a social contract and traditionally they were arranged by the parents through intermediaries.

The parents' choice was influenced more by considerations affecting the welfare of the lineage than by the preferences of the participants. Today, although arranged marriages are technically against the law many marriages are still arranged by parents, often with the help of matchmakers and sometimes before their children have reached puberty.

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To go against their wishes is considered dishonorable. Marriages have traditionally been arranged by parents with the help of go-betweens and the strong influence of elders. Partners were selected on the basis of family connections, wealth, social status, religion and village. The mother of the girl has traditionally been very sensitive to the possibility of being dishonored and went out of her way to make sure everything checked out before agreeing to the marriage.

The final decision was made after consulting a fortuneteller who made sure the horoscopes of the boy and girl were compatible and auspicious. The arrangement was formally sealed with the payment of bride price to a fund controlled by the village or community where the girl lived. Parents are interested in securing a good mate for their child out of concern for their future. It is not unusual for parents to desire a mate of high status with a career that will be lucrative, such as doctor or lawyer. Though rarely given absolute choice, family still bears heavy influence over the decision to marry.

Astrology is an important consideration in choosing a marriage partner among ethnic Vietnamese. Compatible mystical affinities among bride and groom will allow them to marry in keeping with the harmony of the universe; incompatible readings indicate discord which will result in serious martial difficulty. This question of mystical affinities is based on the Chinese concept that three essential factors must be considered: The five major planets with a significant influence on human lives and the items that represent them on earth are: Each of these elements can build up or destroy one another according to this theory.

That is to say: Fire helps soil but destroys metal while soil helps metal. Wood destroys soil while water helps wood. Water destroys fire while metal helps water. Metal destroys wood while wood helps fire. Since individuals at birth come under the auspices of at least one of the above planets, it is imperative to make sure that two which oppose each other are not united. A man born under Venus marrying a girl of Mars would find arguments, unhappiness, etc. Similarly, if the man is of fire influence and the wife of water, countless arguments, poverty and perhaps divorce is their predetermined fate; but if man is under influence of fire and the girl of wood, they will have many children and prosperity.

If both are born under the influence of the same planet or its earth representation, things begin to get complicated.

Many books and "authorities" have to be consulted in order to determine the exact situation. However, astrology is only one of the three major factors which must be pondered in considering marriage. Strange to the western ear, the thought of romance is not a major factor, if considered at all.

In fact, several lovely Buddhist young ladies informed the interviewer that the question of love would not be discussed inasmuch as marriage is a family affair and not the personal affairs of two people. One of them speaking for the group said that she would marry whomever her mother chose for her regardless of what she might think of the groom. She added that it would be better to be married to a poor man, an ugly man, or a bad man than to bring unhappiness to her mother.


How different are the ideas of many young women in other parts of the earth with which we are acquainted! The cyclical calendar of the Vietnamese is used in choosing marriage partners. Now while some of the animals can live on good terms together, others cannot: Yet most of these cyclical animals cannot stand one another, and according to the matchmakers guidebooks, this animosity is expressible in four degrees of difference. These degrees are luc sung disagreement , luc hinh argument , luc hai violence or harm , and juc tuyat kills. The first of these degrees of continuous disagreement is between: The third degree of inflicting physical harm of the first to the second is: The fourth and most permanent degree is that of killing of the second by the first: Analysis of these tables makes it apparent that a man born under the auspices of the tiger might find happiness with a girl born in the year of the pig.

He should avoid marriage, however, with a girl born in the year of the serpent, the monkey or the cock. The tiger-serpent alliance would be quarrelsome; the tiger-monkey would result in fisticuffs; and the tiger-cock union might result in death for the girl. While Communism might well have begun to make changes in the thinking of the Chinese in Red China, the consultation of a "learned man" or fortune teller is sought in much of rural Vietnam, and perhaps even in the cities more than generally admitted.

She says he is the only man who would accept her "just the way she is. Huong, however, is not the only one who has started thinking this way. Like other traditional societies, Vietnamese society too is in the throes of socio-economic and cultural changes. The shift to a market economy in the early s improved material life of the people in general. More and more women in urban Vietnam are also discovering the value of freedom in their relationships.

Some feel that the new generation of Vietnamese men, especially those who spend time in the West, are better equipped for equal relationships. Others seek different options. Hong Anh, for instance, married an Indian man, Hari Chathrattil, because as she says there is no way she would have put up with the "ridiculous petty minded demands" that a Vietnamese man makes on his wife or girlfriend.

Ba's work as a freelancer for WWF takes her away tom home, which she says would be a big problem for a Vietnamese man. Open-mindedness is important in the list of qualities that women, in Vietnam are seeking in men. Thu Ba's husband Chathrattil, who teaches in a local college, was even asked by male students in his English class to explain why some Vietnamese women preferred to marry foreigners.

While men traditionally live with their parents even after they marry, this custom is also gradually changing. In the past, economic constraints prevented couples from setting up an independent establishment. But more and more Vietnamese women are a part of the work force, and continue to hold their jobs even after they marry and have children. The number of day-care centers, referred to as 'semi-boarding' schools, that are springing up in the cities is evidence of this new phenomenon.

At the end of the day, if they do not get what they want from a man, more Vietnamese women say they would rather stay single. And being over thirty and single is becoming more and more acceptable. Most single women are comfortable with their status and living arrangements. Twenty nine-year old Bao An, who works as a leading salesperson in a pharmaceutical company too is happy being single.

She and her two siblings moved from Vietnam's central province to Ho Chi Minh City in to have access to better education and good jobs. While she would like to have a boyfriend, Bao An is against living together outside a marital situation. Keeping this clanged position - and thinking - of women in mind, the National Assembly agreed last month that the Marriage and Family law, passed in , needed to be made more specific and progressive, even while it continued to preserve the traditional and moral values of Vietnamese society.

After five days of deliberations, many fundamental principles on marriage and family were adopted. These included "voluntary and progressive" marriages, monogamy, spousal equality, lack of discrimination in the treatment of sons and daughters and the right of a single woman to tear a child. Officials in Dong Nai province are reportedly turning a blind eye to the indelicate scenario. Mr Hung recommended they divorce and remarry their new spouses, however. In Vietnam girls are often carefully chaperoned. It is important for women to be virgins on their wedding night. By contrast many men have had sex with prostitutes before marriage.

One blogger wrote on xuvn. In Vietnam, dating is considered an adolescent issue. Traditionally, Vietnamese males and females are not allowed to date. Women of Vietnam are ordinarily non-assertive and are raised to be quiet and dainty. They simply grew up in their family until age 18 to Youths who have affections for one another may carry their relationship in secrecy, but eventually, and dutifully, yield to their parents' wills.


Dating is believed to undermine traditions, encouraging sons and daughters to defy their parents' wishes and thus bringing shame to their family. Public displays of affection by couples, including holding hands, touching, kissing, are still considered impolite and must be done privately. His date does not. By accepting his gifts and flowers, she is officially accepting his love. But however deep her love, she is expected to remain a virgin until they are married. Females in Vietnam are more withdrawn and shy and usually do not make the first move in starting a relationship.

If a young man finds someone he likes, he must formally introduce himself to her family and seek their approval before he can date her.

How to Describe Vietnamese Love Relationships

This usually requires him to meet with her parents and family members in their house several times. After several regular visits, when he has gotten to know her family, he may finally ask her parents for permission to date her. As of , many of these traditions of dating etiquette are still practiced but expectations vary from family to family due to changes in the country. Expressing proper etiquette when trying to date in Vietnam is necessary to avoid offending the family of the person you are courting. Let your intentions be known by asking her for the chance to meet her parents.

Gaining their permission to date their daughter is a traditional and respectful way of getting a Vietnamese girl to date you. Take your time, and bring gifts of wine or flowers to the girl's family to further gain their acceptance, as it is customary for a man to participate in activities with the parents multiple times before asking the woman out on an official date.

Subsequent Dates And Relationship

Dating a Vietnamese man requires patience, virtue and class. Initiating a date as a woman is often frowned upon in Vietnamese culture, and therefore the proper etiquette would be to wait for the man to approach you. Coming on to a man is a sign of an "easy" woman in this Asian tradition and speaking loudly is also looked down upon. The blogger on xuvn. Taking a Vietnamese woman to a movie on a first date is traditionally unacceptable and is a cultural sign of an immoral woman.

Vietnamese and their families:

A traditional first date of a walk in a park or cup of coffee is a low-key and respectful way of initiating a relationship in Vietnam. Keep the first date at a platonic level, because the first date in Vietnamese culture is often a date accompanied by mutual friends. Avoid initiating physical contact whether you are a man or a woman, because Vietnamese culture looks down on premarital affection and public displays of affection. Playing hard-to-get is a tradition of Vietnamese women, and it is expected they do not show immediate interest in the man they are dating, to assure that his feelings are moral.

Asking permission in addition to presenting a gift to her parents is necessary to continue the relationship in Asian culture. Avoiding the girl's parents is considered a great act of disrespect and can result in losing a relationship. Arranged marriage is rarely practiced in modern Vietnam as of , but it is still a tradition in some families. Waiting too long to express your intentions, as a man, can result in missing out in this type of situation. Vietnamese women are expected to remain silent when it comes to arranging a marriage between her suitor and herself, whether it is a prearranged marriage or a result of a mutual courtship.

Vietnamese relationships pass in several stages, usually lasting for a long period of time. An engagement, for example, often lasts for several years and as far as marriage is concerned, it is viewed as a lifetime commitment. Often the starting point of a relationship is a friendly date. The couple will go out together in public places as friends only and will be accompanied by other friends.

During this stage of courting there will be no public displays of affection, the man has to be discreet and friendly or he will be accused of being too arrogant.

Dating Etiquette of Vietnamese People!

It is too early for kissing or holding hands at this point. That is the second stage of Vietnamese courtship and now couples may go out together without the company of their friends. Again, the keyword here is "discreetly". A Vietnamese girl never shows her admirer that she is also in love with him immediately.

Playing hard to get is one way by which the Asian can measure the sincerity of the man interested in her. It also lets her show the man that he has to work hard to win her love. At this time they will inform their family and friends about their relationship. Every man who wants to be taken seriously by a Asian is obliged to visit her family and introduce himself formally to her parents.

There is a tacit rule here that says: Following this rule will help you earn her respect by entrusting her family with high regard. If you have any questions regarding which traditions you should observe, you may discuss them with the older siblings. More about this tradition and those following it you can find in our article "Vietnamese Wedding Customs".

When courting a Vietnamese woman you will find that she is shy and reserved even when holding great feelings for you. This is a part of her culture and even for a Western man there is no way around that. You should treat your Asian with respect, lead the courtship with your heart and you may find a lifetime partner that will enrich your life as you have never imagined. Asian women live in a culture focused on the community, with the family as the core social unit. Here faithfulness to the family is a tradition. If a man wants to be taken seriously by a woman, he has to visit the latter's family and introduce himself formally to the parents of the girl.

It is rather inappropriate to court a woman and formalize the relationship without informing the parents of the girl. Their desire is to make their parents' life easier. If you are capable and refuse to help support her family who may need help, she may not say anything, but she will neither respect you nor understand. Sometimes the family is more important than you. There is an Asia saying, that is accepted in Vietnam, "You can get another wife or husband but not another mother or father". This family loyalty is also apparent in the fact that Vietnamese families keep elderly such as grandparents instead of sending them to any institution.

They are so by choice and because of their cultural needs. When you marry one you marry the family at least the mother and the father, the siblings too usually. That is trite, indeed, but true. If you can't deal with that let it be known from the start of your relationship with your Asian. If she is a "true Asian", the relationship may not develop.

If it does she may not be happy in it, but you will never know. Sexuality in Vietnam is distinguished by a double standard that expects women to remain virgins until marriage while men are allowed to enjoy sexual freedom. Young women who lose their virginity before marriage, whether through rape or in a relationship, diminish their chances for a "good" marriage, while young men can "sow wild oats" with abandon and be even admired for being so "manly".

The culture and the family lets the girl know it is her responsibility to keep her virginity as soon as they are old enough to understand what virginity is. Vietnamese men are reluctant to marry a non-virgin even if they are the one who took the virginity! Vietnamese woman may not even be forgiven if she is raped. Dating culture in Vietnam self. I was wondering what the dating culture in Vietnam amongst the youth is like. Is it still traditional where you must go meet the family before engaging in anything or is it more freely like in the US?

Also is PDA still tabooed?

I think it all depends on the girl's circle and her background. It's true that girls that never leave get married somewhat young, and demand more commitment from the beginning of a relationship, but at 18 or 20 i'm assuming that's the age range of your dates i don't think it's much of an issue. I honestly can't think of anyone i know that wanted to get married that young I'm Viet and in my mids. They want to finish college and have fun too. I know nothing about your background or personality to say, but I have a lot of VK friends and for them, it's hard to date traditional girls here.

They want strong girls who can hold an intelligent conversation while most Viet girls are socialized into demure cuties. I feel like this current generation is one generation behind the rest of the world.

Traditional Vietnamese Love Relationships

I always see couples near the river or at parks or lakes at night time, kissing and cuddling together but very rarely do I see this during the day. I still think the parents don't like it since they have old school thinking and the generation after this current one will be more westernized and PDA will be more widely accepted. One problem I see is that Viet girls really think of marriage first and dating as a way into marriage. I don't date here because if you accidentally get a kid, it seems like you will be introducing your entire female side of your new family into your apartment.

Everywhere I go, I see like 10 people in 1 apartment. This would drive me crazy. That being said, I like Viet girls because they are very caring and affectionate soft and well mannered when they are young. I see a lot of older Vietnamese women that are totally opposite. I don't understand why they change. I have let my intentions be known from the start, and all these girls just want to "be bad" for a change with a western guy. I say I don't want to date, I can't be your boyfriend, but when im with you you'll be treated like a princess and laugh a lot.

They think about it for a day and decide that sounds awesome I have friends who do the same. Not that tough if you can talk to girls well. I'm a white Brit heading over there soon hopefully, to either Hanoi or Da Nang, and I was wondering what dating would be like for westerners and whether we have an advantage in the dating game? DO you have any wise words of advice? I'm decent with girls, though not the smoothest, but I'm confident enough to ask a girl out.

I've heard some guys say you don't have to, girls will come to you, but then say these girls are OK to be with for a bit but not date. What do you think? As a Vietnamese-American, I speak of experience of others. Yes, they will approach you like flies to poo; as a Westerner visiting, they assume you have money. They assume that you are coming for the Vietnam experience so that you would want to come again. She treats you nicely so that maybe you can rely on her when you need help. You would feel reluctant to pay for a dinner or two well it's cheap right?

Maybe she asks to exchange information so she can contact you when you go back home. This can, but not always, lead to her taking advantage of you for a green card in the future if you keep in contact and then ditching you after she steps foot out of the airport. That's sort of the reason why they're better as one night stands because if you don't shake them off, they as well as other in similar economical countries will become leeches.

I totally agree with you. Theyre very caring and affectionate for instance my recent trip I drank too much Hanoi vodka while at karaoke even though I can barely read Vietnamese once I got home I felt like death and threw up everywhere. The girl that I was currently "into" took the best care of me while I threw up for 3 hours straight and made me some limeade which im pretty sure brought me back to life lol. No just dont drink two bottles of it in the matter of half an hour lol plus I was already drunk off of beer.

The silly decisions you make when youre already drunk you pay for later or the next day. I decided to pay up early and throw up everywhere lol. It's more open now, you don't have to meet the family first let's your girl friend decide it don't fucking care about it, when she feel it time she will ask , and don't be a rapist when a vietnamese girl say no she mean it. However becareful with who you are going to date with, you are a walking ticket for the green card.

You sound like my parents when you mentioned the greencard bit haha. But it's the truth. Hell the vietnamese here in the US still try to get greencards here by marrying off friends of family or whatever. Happened to my girlfriend. Her mom asked her if one of her friends would marry the cousin to get a greencard.

Her cousin is a fucking prick too. That usually involves a good sum of money. My family once had a friend who was supposed to do it but she never did and ran off with like 30 grand or something like that. Theyre no longer friends btw haha. There's websites for vietnamese brides. They pay you a couple few thousand and you let them into your country as a fake wife. There's a certain unsophistication, for lack of a better word, and we're talking about a culture were marrying young and having children young is the norm, unlike America where that is considered slightly strange and not normal.

I've a lot of female Vietnamese friends who are in their late 20's and already considering a life as a spinster. Which is odd and fascinating from an American perspective, where late 20's is prime single time. These are professional career people, but if you look at the photos on their phones, it's all photos of other people's babies mixed in with those corny photos of boyfriends of days past that are put in heart shaped frames with some lame app.

Ive spent some time with a girl in my past trip a couple weeks ago and I know shes really into me cause she left her boyfriend douchebag to spend time with me before I left. We still text and what not but what scares me is she was constantly talking about marriage and what not until I told her im not really trying to listen to that right now. Is it normal for a young woman to be already talking about marriage?

I mean I hate generalizing, and it's a especially uncomfortable thing to do since I'm white, but that's been my experience. Again, it's cultural, it seems they marry very early and have babies very early. It also seems that it variates between the social classes slightly. And once you get involved, it's a rabid sort of dedication that you'll be on the receiving end of. That has its pluses and minuses depending on what you are into. Also, the more you can offer, the more rabid that dedication is. It's slightly higher in urban area, slightly lower in rural areas. One thing is for certain, VN women got your back regardless of the situation.

They truly espouse the hip hop image of "Ride or Die chick". My parents always tell me that a Vietnamese girl will always take care of me and what not unlike American girls who will use and abuse me haha. What I really want to know is if there is actually love involved in these relationships or is it just marriage. I see my cousins who are married and I dont see a lot of affection shown.

Cross-Cultural Dating

The girls here do expect you to lead. She is taking a week off work to show me around and wants me to meet her daughter. Previously marriage was influenced by Buddhist theology and Confucian philosophy. Similarly, if the man is of fire influence and the wife of water, countless arguments, poverty and perhaps divorce is their predetermined fate; but if man is under influence of fire and the girl of wood, they will have many children and prosperity. A system that has worked for thousands of years. The girl that I was currently "into" took the best care of me while I threw up for 3 hours straight and made me some limeade which im pretty sure brought me back to life lol. These betrothed children, unless they move from the village for work or some other reason, almost always end up marrying the person their parents pick.

In the US youll see couples holding hands,hugging,kissing and what not. I dont see any of that in VN. I've met all kinds of Vietnamese women from all different backgrounds, and I've met as many honest women as I have dishonest. Each woman is different and really get to know her before you get in too deep. Extracting one's self from a relationship with a VN woman is one of life's more challenging adventures. I dunno, my girlfriend is VN and she's super affectionate inside and outside the house.

The first few months, she used to walk behind me when we were outside but that didn't last long. Every time I head back to NYC, she has a total meltdown at the airport. When I first asked the girl for a hug she wanted to do it somewhere not easily seen.

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Vietnamese culture has a well-developed system of morals and social rules dating back thousands of years. Tradition places men and women in highly. I was wondering what the dating culture in Vietnam amongst the youth is like. Is it still traditional where you must go meet the family before.

So we sat on this random porch and I held her after I told her that I was leaving tomorrow. Hopefully things change when I go back in a month and we can be more public about it lol. If not I respect her decision regardless. I think it depends on the culture. But they show their affection in different ways and there are tender moments between them. I think cause we are raised in the US, we're so used to seeing PDA that when we don't see it we think something is wrong but it's just different.

OK- There's 3 types of girls in Vietnam. The first is your conservative girl.