Dating a Vietnamese woman is a little like stepping back in time. You will be expected to take things slowly like a true, old-fashioned courtship. Whilst younger Vietnamese women are catching up to their western sisters, they are still more demure and less assertive.
It is your job to do the asking and arrange the date. Choose a slightly up-market coffee shop. This should be a low-key affair and don’t be surprised if your date brings a friend or two. It may seem awkward, but it’s quite normal. You will be expected to pay for everyone.
Keep to safe topics such as family and childhood. Listen carefully to ascertain what she might like to do on a second date. If she mentions that she likes parks or zoos or boat rides, you can invite her to do one of those things.
Vietnamese women like small tokens of your affection such as a stuffed toy or a favorite snack. You don’t need to spend a lot of money but it’s important to show that you are thinking of her. Simple gestures such as putting her photo on the desktop of your phone, or changing your settings so that your phone has a special ring when she calls will be greatly appreciated.
If the lady’s family live in the same city, you will almost certainly be invited to meet them. You will need to buy very particular gifts so consult your girlfriend to make the best choices. Even a basket of fruit, for example, must have a particular brand name or come from a certain region. It is very important to show respect by doing this correctly. Expensive foreign cigarettes will always be appreciated by the males in the family so make sure to buy some when you pass through duty free. Expect the lady’s family to discuss marriage with you. Dating is taken very seriously in Vietnam.
Vietnam has a certain reputation for its seedier side and women who are easily available in bars. Perhaps because of this element in Vietnamese society, most women are very careful to remain chaste and not appear to be sexually active. It is a great shame for a Vietnamese girl to be seen dating many men so take care to respect her personal space in public.
There are rich, young, urban girls frequenting western bars and nightclubs who are not escorts. These girls are extremely high maintenance and are likely to have equally rich Vietnamese boyfriends with bodyguards.
The majority of Vietnamese women in mainstream society are hard-working, loyal to family and quite conservative. Do not base your impressions on the women you find in the bar streets of District One in Ho Chi Minh.
Be polite, patient, decent and act like a gentleman. You will surely find a way into your Vietnamese lady’s heart.