Vietnamese culture and dating
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.Initially, it is recommended that the man takes the woman to a public place with a group of friends before later taking her on private dates.During the group dates, the man and the woman are expected to refrain from showing each other physical affection, as it is looked down on in the Vietnamese culture.If the family deems him acceptable, he then takes the step of requesting their permission to go out with her.Traditionally, few romances occurred between older couples because women were expected to marry before the age of 20, though men were allowed to be a few years older.Young couples have also adopted texting as one of their primary means of interacting, both because it's relatively inexpensive compared to phone calls, and because many young people, daunted by the social rules governing personal contact, find writing an easier form of communication.
Protocol dictates that a man introduces himself to the family of the woman whom he is interested in dating prior to asking her out.
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.
The woman expresses her affection by accepting this.