And our contestant is…

Dating a Vietnamese woman is like being a contestant in a game show.

A game show you have never watched before and for which you only have the vaguest of notions regarding the rules. A lot of the time is spent winging it and going with the flow.

Two Vietnamese women in traditional Ao Da dresses

Image for illustration purposes only

If your grasp of the other’s language is shaky, and vice versa, there is inevitably going to be a lot of body language and charades going on. Often, though, this is part of the fun. But occasionally it can lead to frustration when communication breaks down. Add in Google Translate and you could end up phoning a friend to clarify matters.

Love finds a way as they say. But you do need to expend extra energy and effort into ensuring you understand each other. If in doubt, go the extra mile to find out what your significant other is thinking and feeling. Don’t let things go; it will only fester and create far greater problems later on if one of you has the wrong end of the stick.

Communication – and not using idioms – is key. By taking the time to get things right it shows you care and are taking things seriously.

I am probably the last one to be giving relationship advice admittedly, but the secret, like most stuff in life, is learning from the mistakes of the past and making a conscious decision not to repeat them.

Be aware, too, that making the same mistakes again is not bad luck or chance. Most likely it is learnt behaviour that you can break out of with a modicum of will power and self discipline.

Easier said than done. But acknowledging that you are heading in a familiar and errant direction is the first step in changing course.

Like game shows, destructive behaviour can be told: “I have had a great time, thanks. But I have decided to go home.”

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