Vietnamese culture and dating
With all interactions, gifts are expected to be exchanged as gestures of goodwill.
Similar to dating a woman without her family’s blessing, the man is considered disrespectful if he does not ask for permission to marry the woman and the relationship might be broken up.
Traditionally, both planning and paying for a date is viewed as the man’s responsibility, and he expresses interest by not only paying for the meal but for any activities that follow.
It is important for the man to get to know the family because Vietnamese women rarely date without the ultimate goal of marriage and a woman will want her husband to form an everlasting and respectful bond with her family.
However, because maintaining a positive reputation and showing respect for family is still highly regarded in Vietnam, etiquette rules for dating are in place to ensure that men and women find respectful, virtuous and family-oriented partners to marry.
Protocol dictates that a man introduces himself to the family of the woman whom he is interested in dating prior to asking her out.
Once both families have consented to the engagement, the couple visits each family, bringing gifts for the various members.
Although this custom is less common than it used to be, especially in urban areas, traditionally, when the couple is ready for marriage, the groom’s family sends a mediator to consult with the bride’s family to seek consent.