So You Wanna Date a Vietnamese Man? Read This First!

Let’s discover what it’s like to date a Vietnamese man from a real intercultural couple in Vietnam via this story!

Cross-cultural relationships have been on the common trail in a burgeoning country of global integration like Vietnam. The cross-cultural relationships inconceivably bring a ton of new but beautiful and eye-opening experiences. We just cannot get the full idea of it if we are never in that international love boat.

We often catch sight of intercultural couples with Vietnamese girls hand in hand with Western guys whenever we are in the bar sipping some beers up to the brim or in the middle of all avenues in Hanoi Old Quarter or Downtown Saigon. However, rarely could we find a couple of Trai Viet, Gai Tay, which literally means a Viet man and foreign woman couple. Whether you are a Vietnamese or an expat, I’m pretty sure you might wonder what it’s like to be with a Viet man or the other way round, a Tay girl. You definitely have your own taste when it comes to dating. But you tap onto this article, you are at least keen on the idea of doing so.

So what it’s like to date a Vietnamese man? What are the great things and challenges that a Trai Viet, Gai Tay couple may have? Let’s discover all through a quick but awesome interview I had with Jade T., a beautiful and friendly 25-year-old Australian teacher who has been living in Hanoi for 4 years. She and her boyfriend, a Hanoian man, have been in a relationship for over 2 years!

“The best thing is the innovation and the hardworking nature of the people, the way that hardship is met with creativity. The worst thing is the noise, the traffic and the mould in March!” – Jade. Photo credit: Jade

Now, let’s talk with her!

Could you share your “How we met” story with us? 

We met on the 13th of June, 2015, when a crazy super storm hit Hanoi. He picked me up in the taxi a minute before the heavy rain and wind hit, and during the whole taxi ride and date night we talked and talked and barely noticed the storm. We walked around later amongst the fallen trees and felt totally at ease with each other, the ‘vibe’ was so great.

Photo credit: Jade

What was your first impression of him?

Friendly, earnest, polite and with a beautiful smile that made him so much more handsome. I can still clearly remember the way he smiled at me when I walked out of my alley to meet him at the taxi. Instant attraction and all my nervousness disappeared.

When you two were together, how did your and his families react to this cross-cultural relationship?

Very early in the relationship, his parents made it clear that if he chose to marry a “Tay” they would support him. They showed me nothing but kindness, and continue to do so today. My parents love him and would never have an issue with me dating cross-culturally.

Jade’s First Tet as an honorary “Con Dâu”. Photo credit: Jade

What differences would you find between Asian (Vietnamese) and Western men as well as Asian and Western customs/cultures?

We have differing views on some topics, and I feel he’s far more traditional than me. I am a lot more liberal and open to new ideas regarding family structure and career. He was also a lot faster in saying “I love you” than expected, though I’m not sure if that’s cultural or personal. He is a lot more shy in public than I am, and it took a long time before he was comfortable with physical affection in public. In my culture, it’s very normal to kiss in public, especially when you say goodbye to your partner. Here, not so much, and depending on the situation (how many people are looking) I might just squeeze his hand to say goodbye to prevent him from feeling uncomfortable.

In the “My village” show near Hang Da market on Jade’s birthday. Photo credit: Jade

Is there any language barrier between you and your partner sometime? 

He’s lived abroad for eight years, his English is better than mine most of the time, so not really. Like any of us, he makes mistakes and asks me to correct them when they arise. It’s great to have a partner who can be your translator too, especially in Vietnam where there are many communication boundaries for foreigners.

Jade and her boyfriend’s adventure. Photo credit: Jade

Have you and your partner ever encountered misunderstandings in cross-cultural communication? What was it like? 

Not really, but sometimes he can be too ‘straight to the point’ about sensitive topics and I need to remind him to speak more gently. We argued in the beginning when he wanted to playfully ‘tease’ me and I wasn’t in the mood to joke, for example. I sense that teasing is a cute and flirtatious thing to do here, but I don’t enjoy it much at all.

Before having a Vietnamese boyfriend, did you have any predictable depictions of cross-cultural romance? If yes, how do they relate to the reality?

I’d never really considered it before, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised every step of the way. Our relationship gets easier as time goes by, I feel, and I secretly love it when taxi drivers or acquaintances say “REALLY?! You have a Vietnamese boyfriend?!” I guess most people aren’t used to seeing couples like that here. We draw a lot of attention when we hold hands together in public sometimes.

To: All people who’re considering living as expats in Vietnam. One of the best thing to live in Vietnam is to have a photo like this. Photo credit: Jade

What has been the most memorable moment in your relationship with him?

Probably the day we met, and when we surprised my family in Australia on Christmas Eve and he was able to meet my entire extended family. I felt he really fit in and was so fantastic at getting to know everyone, even though he tends to be shy. Everyone really enjoyed meeting him and they always ask me what he’s up to now.

Do you have any future plans or dreams with him that you would like to share with us?

I’m definitely comfortable with the idea of spending my life with him, so long as we keep supporting each other and helping each other grow. Babies are a topic of interest, particularly with his parents who would absolutely love another grandchild.

Photo credit: Jade

Is there anything else you would like others to know that we have not included here?

I think if there was anyone who was unsure about dating outside their own nationality, I would strongly suggest giving it a try. You’ll learn so much, learn more about the world and about humanity in general, we’re all so different but we all need love. Why not open yourself up to that?

I highly appreciate the time that Jade spent with me sharing about her true love story. My team – Maze Vietnam and I would like to take a moment to thank her very much!

How about our readers? Are you ready to give it a try? Are you ready to head all the way from up to the North through the Central then down to the South to find a Vietnamese partner?

To learn more about Jade and her days in Vietnam, you can visit her blog here

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22 thoughts on “So You Wanna Date a Vietnamese Man? Read This First!”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing with us you two amazing meeting and journey. I’m happy you two have such a strong, steadfast relationship and have worked on the differences and have the support of family.

  2. The title of this post is pretty amusing! It’s probably a good topic to cover though. There can be so many unexpected differences between cultures, but if you know more or less what to expect, you’re less likely to get hurt or be confused!

  3. With technology and especially with the sweep of the internet the World has shrunk, cultures have come closer. There is so much more cross cultural interaction and of course this gives rise to cross-cultural relationships. I think this is a healthy trend and an opportunity for the assimilation of cultures.

  4. What a very inspiring love story, i love reading a success story of interracial relationship. I am asian and married to Caucasian , it has a big culture differences but it all work out. We are now celebrating our 11th year anniversary . Cheers to all the lovers out there!

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