Being in a relationship with a Vietnamese could bring you valuable insights about the locals’ intriguing culture, traditions, cuisines, and lifestyle. Here are some things that you can learn when dating a Vietnamese.
Vietnamese Greeting Culture
Compared to Western countries, the greeting culture of the Vietnamese tends to be more complex in communication. In English-speaking countries, using first names is a norm, but Vietnamese families use names in limited ways. Vietnamese only use the name to address those of lower status or younger in the family.
In fact, when dating a Vietnamese, you should present yourself well in front of family members of your loved one, especially the parents, when visiting her or his house for the first greeting. So it would be considered impolite and impertinent if you call their parents, grandparents, or even brothers or sisters directly by their first names in the first greeting. Conversely, her or his parent will be greatly impressed if you, who are foreign, try to use vocative like “Chao Bac”, “ Chao Chu”, “Chao Co”, etc. These mean hello uncle or aunt, depending on their gender.
When dating a Vietnamese, you would be lucky to have the best chances to discover delicious street and traditional dishes. Vietnamese women generally like cooking at home, so if your girlfriend is Vietnamese, you will likely enjoy home-cooked Vietnamese dishes daily.
Going on a Date with a Vietnamese
Because of the vibrant food culture in Vietnam, a date with a Vietnamese will mostly likely involve food. It could be dining at a fancy restaurant or enjoying a street snack. A coffee date is another common in case you want to ask a Vietnamese person out. The Vietnamese would typically take it slow, and it can take up to 10 dates before deciding whether to make the relationship official.
Vietnamese Drinking Culture
Dating a Vietnamese, you are expected to hang out with family members and friends on many occasions. Drinking is one of the favorite activities for bonding – both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. A meet-up over coffee is pretty casual, but the alcohol drinking can be a little bit intense. They might push you to drink more but you can find ways to politely deny, and make sure you have a safe way to get home afterward.
Vietnamese Family Relationships
In Vietnam, most people choose to live with their parents until they get married. Even when they get married, the couples are more likely to move and live with the husband’s family if the husband is the only or eldest son. There might even be two or three generations living under the same roof. Everybody usually has a meal together to keep the bonds in a family, especially at dinner.
You can learn more about Vietnamese family values to understand the culture and avoid conflicts where necessary.
Other Tips for Dating a Vietnamese
- Know the general dos and don’ts in Vietnamese culture on respecting the elders
- You will be asked blatantly for personal information like age and income, even at first meetings
- Affectionate gestures, especially in public and in the first few dates, are not common
- The meet-up with Vietnamese parents is vital as they may expect you to be moving toward a serious relationship from the first introduction.
You may also want to know about Vietnamese wedding rituals.
Summary of What You Can Learn from Dating a Vietnamese
By dating a Vietnamese, you can learn about the culture, cuisines, and family relationships and values. However, keep in mind that our tips are based on generic observations only. City people, for example, might have a different outlook to dating compared to traditional people from a small town. Therefore, do take our suggestions, but make sure to use your judgments to make the most suitable first moves.