When you’re in love and in a relationship, then there are two people involved, both with an equal share, both getting benefit from being together.
Both the male and female work, often with similar salary levels, so why should the man pay for everything? However, Binh, a close friend of mine who was recently involved with an English guy, sees it quite differently.
There are many other causes and there will always be cultural differences — changing or even just altering attitudes that come as a result of one’s background is, for me at least, difficult to imagine.
The only way forward in a cross-cultural relationship is to be accepting and to alter one’s mindset so as to allow for a harmonious relationship.
“For me, sex is like food and drink,” said Gill, a British university professor who I once studied with in Vietnam. If you don’t eat or drink you will starve or die of thirst. For westerners, sex is a normal demand in any relationship, no matter how casual.
Two people can come together, sleep with each other merely for satisfying certain carnal needs.
Having a relationship with someone from a different cultural background is fraught with difficulty.
Even though both the male and female in a relationship get benefit, it remains the duty of the man to pay for everything, something that in Vietnamese we call tinh phi or the cost of love.
Likewise, many mixed-race relationships break up because the foreign male sees the lack of sharing to be unfair.
They feel used and as if they are no more than an ATM with an endless supply of cash.
No-one will be in debt to anyone else and if after sex the relationship continues or not, then this is something that will be judged later.
However, in Vietnam, virginity still remains fairly important (although today, perhaps less so).