April 24, 2013

Lao Dating 101 - Impressions - Part 2

(Continued from Part 1...)

Eat rice or even sticky rice – and like it!  If you’re reading this and you’re non-Asian, we know that non-Asians may not prefer to eat or even like rice.  However, we Lao people love our rice.  It’s practically a passion and it's generally eaten at every meal.  So get on board and if you can eat sticky rice, even better!  More points to you.  And if you don’t like rice, keep it to yourself.  The perception is that if you can’t even handle eating rice, how will you be able to handle anything else?  You won’t be dating for very long...

Eat spicy food – endure it like a son of a bitch! :)  That’s right, Lao people love spicy food and if you can show that you too can endure that hot spicy deliciousness of whatever is in front of you, well that will surely count towards your points.

Odd or weird food.  Lao cuisine definitely has some interesting dishes, some of which you may have no interest in.  Best advice on this is to at least try it.  Turning your nose up at it isn't going to gain you any points.  Consider this:  Perhaps that dish was lovingly made just for you and considered a delicacy.  The host/cook presents it to you, and what do you do?  Refuse it and not even try it.  Guess what their reaction would be or how they would feel.  Be considerate of that.

Drinking.  In Lao culture, if you’re a guy, it’s expected that you can drink and hold your alcohol well.  And indeed in social gatherings you will inevitably be offered a drink.  Do not refuse, instead accept it and bottoms up!  For a woman in Lao society, it’s preferred that they be demure (sorry if this sounds like the olden days but it’s true).  You too will be offered drinks and it’s fine if you have some but certainly don’t drink like you’re one of the guys because you’re not.  You’re a lady of timeless elegance ;).  Besides you can save the heavy drinking for when you’re out with the girls (ladies, you know it’s true!).

Chopsticks.  Like other Asians, Lao people as well do use chopsticks as food utensils (and some parents have been known to use them for discipline!  lol 555 :P kidding).  Learn how to use them correctly.  Just remember practice makes perfect.

Sitting on the floor.  Yes we have couches, sofas, and chairs but there will be many a time at Lao social gatherings where a mat is spread out on the floor and everyone is expected to be seated on the ground or floor.  This may be a test of your legs and back but you can do it.  Note:  If you're sitting on the floor in a religious setting, ex. at a temple, remember to keep your feet pointed away from the monks and the Buddha statues and sit cross legged or with both legs folded to one side.  In Lao culture it’s considered rude to point your feet at someone or use your feet in some gesturing manner.   You'll impress them with your kind consideration of this particular cultural facet - one that many Westerners are not aware of.  More points to you.

Activity planning.  General tip here:  While planning any activities, you’ll want to take into consideration the interests and hobbies of your date.  They may or may not want to do anything Lao related per se.

Final Note.  At the end of the day, your Lao date/boyfriend/girlfriend wants the same things as any other date, and that is for you to be fun, thoughtful, open and have a sense of humor.  All the cultural stuff is really just icing on the cake to us.  Keep in mind that it’s important to be respectful of your date's culture but you shouldn’t have to worry yourself over it too much either – just remember to have fun.   Honestly, we’re just happy if you even know where Laos is on a map or if you know sabaidee.  :p
P.S.  Do not expect to go all the way (whether you call it 3rd base or quite simply to sleep or have sex) with a Lao person on the first date!  Remember conservative?  We’re generally not the whore-ish types and we’ll make you work for it first...555 :)  Have fun and be safe out there.

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-  Submitted by:  VM.  Disclaimer:  The opinions and advice here are those of this contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Laoconnection.com.


  1. I've been kinda dating this male who happens to be Laos (obviously), I say kinda because truth is I don't know. He tells me "he loves me, I'm his girl", then I don't hear from him (like I would an american male). I'm confused... I Love him but I don't understand the mixed signals. BTW he has introduced me to someone he referred to as his brother but I haven't met his parents. I'm lost and would like answers... I've asked him, all I get is he doesn't show his emotions like I do because it's his cultur, is it true?

    1. Guys, in general and regardless of culture, tend to be more reserved when it comes to emotions.

      However for you, what it comes to is this: If after having a serious conversation with him about where your relationship is or about how you're feeling, and he still is distant or you don't hear from him then it may be best that you put your attention, time and energy elsewhere. That's the bottom line.

      And it sounds like you're filled with doubts. A strong relationship doesn't have (so many) doubts and questions. This is a sure sign that (1) you both need to communicate more and (2) that there could be bigger issues at hand in the relationship.

      If his behaviour continues then at some point you're going to realize that you can't keep wasting time on someone who doesn't show or return the love and affection you're giving them.

      Best of luck to you!

  2. This was an eye opener! Whoever wrote this article is incredibly clever. I wasn't even looking for a Laotian boyfriend, but I think I will definitely find one. And also eat the spicy food. Swear to Buddha.

  3. Thank you for this information! My boyfriend is from Laos and I'm just madly in love with him. 🥰 I'm so excited to say sabaidee to him next time we talk! Lol

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Best wishes to you and your boyfriend!

  4. Hi, is it true that laos women over 30, are considered past their prime? If so, why?

  5. What is considered an appropriate age gap between a man and woman. I'm 63 and she is 38. I respect her heritage and don't want to overstep or pursue if it will be an issue with her family.

    1. That is a 25 year gap - which is considerable. However, you're both mature adults who can decide for yourselves whether the age gap is an issue. In Lao culture, age gaps between two partners is not uncommon so I don't think culturally it would be an issue. Ultimately, one way to find out if it's an issue with her family is to simply ask her.