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Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

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Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby leibo » 28 Oct 2015, 21:23

Hello everyone! :notworthy:

Im with my Taiwanese girlfriend more than 2 years now, things seemed to work out really well, but now im in a bit of confusion. We were both saving money so that if one day its needed we can buy a house.
I also know her parents and I think they dont have any problem with me. Her dad is quite traditional, so in the beginning he was careful with me, but seems over the time he accepted me as well. (invites me, gives presents)
About half a year ago her dad said he will be looking for a house for us.
Recently we were on a trip visiting my family in Europe, and a few days after we came back he said he found a house for us. My girlfriend said her dad will help us a bit to buy it and we will have to pay about 15k a month. Right after that we went to see the place and spoke about the prices.
Well it turned out its more expensive than first thought, and we would have to pay it for 30 years, so in the evening I decided to wait and not buy it.
This buying a house idea was so sudden, we never lived together, so i didnt want to make such a big and important decision so suddenly! I thought we should first rent a house and see how we can live together, thats how its usually in the west. So i also spoke about this with my girlfriend, she also said okay, and surprisingly told me that her mom already asked her about that.
But she never spoke about this with her dad before, so first have to ask for his permission. She did so, but her dad said we cant live together unless we marry or buy a house.
To me it seems weird to marry someone with whom i never lived together before, or to buy a house like this.
Is this really common like that here in Taiwan? Any advices or similar experiences?
Thanks!
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby pin2xbo » 29 Oct 2015, 02:56

Getting married before living together is THE standard of the Asian culture. Buying a house before marriage is weird IMO, unless, the marriage is right after the purchase of the house.

I think her father is trying to drive you into a corner of marrying his daughter. Buying a house is such a big commitment that marriage would be the next natural decision. He may also be trying to gauge your commitment with her daughter by forcing you to buy a house. Either way, it seems like her dad has already accepted you, and wants you to step up and marry his daughter, SOON.

IMO: As long as you two have been honest with each other, 2 years is long enough to verify your relationship. You don't have to live together. But, I'm an Asian.

Good luck!
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby triceratopses » 29 Oct 2015, 03:37

Definitely insist on renting and living together first. DO NOT GET INTO MASSIVE DEBT SO SOON.
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby Ricarte » 29 Oct 2015, 11:08

From my personal experience:

My wife and I got married without leaving together beforehand and we are very happy!
I don't think this is a requirement. What is really important is to know the other person and their highs and lows (especially the lows!). Getting married is a big decision and it's much more than just buying a house.

I must point out that Taiwanese think that the duration of the relationship is the main factor for this decision. For them, 2 year is more than enough, especially if the daughter is close to 30yo. Some even go as far as saying that if you are not ready now, you will never be.
I totally disagree. I know couples that dated for 7 years but got divorced in less than 2 months after getting married (and they have lived together for 2 years before signing the papers!). But there's also those who got married within 6 months of dating and are happy together.

The good news is that her family already accepted you in her life.
The bad news is that they want to make it official soon!

You can tell her father that you don't want to buy a house if you are not married. And that you are not ready to get married now.
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby rocky raccoon » 29 Oct 2015, 11:46

Yep, this is indeed a traditional Taiwanese father. He's using money to try to control/manipulate you to follow the plan that he thinks is best. Welcome to the family! ;)

If he's been polite and you feel accepted, then that's a good start. If he has the means to buy a house for his unmarried daughter and her boyfriend, and is willing to do so, then his heart is in the right place...according to Taiwanese culture.

But it doesn't matter if you're a foreigner or Taiwanese, I'd be extremely cautious of going down this road.

Have you considered marrying her? If yes, then remember that you'll have a relationship with in-laws to manage. For the rest of your lives. He's forcing you to show where you stand in the relationship. If you take the bait, then you'll forever be in the lowest position as far as face and status is concerned, because HE bought the house for you guys. You didn't do it on your own (or it wasn't YOUR family that paid for it which also gives you equal standing). Face and status might not matter to you, but it's a big deal to the guy you're playing poker with.

Also keep in mind that a daughter in a serious relationship with a foreigner poses a very legitimate flight risk. A 30-year mortgage (in her name) is the great way to ensure that she stays in Taiwan.

The best route, in my opinion, is for you to respectfully decline his offer. You can say that in your country it's normal for a man and woman to live together before marriage, but since this is Taiwan you respect his decision and won't live together before marriage. Just find a roommate if you need to save money.

(I'm not Asian but like pin2xbo I waited until after marriage before living together with my wife. It was a great decision and fun to get to know each other while setting up a home together. I was already in my early 30's so it depends on where you are in life...but agreed that after 2 years you should already have a good idea if you're compatible to live together, or not.)

I'm guessing that you're in your late 20's and still unsure as to whether or not you want to marry your gf. If this is the case, then the father has done a good job of helping you think about it. :)

If you're indeed uncertain then Plan B would be to communicate to the father that in your country it's normal for a man and a woman to live together, and that helps determine whether or not marriage occurs later on down the road. That at least lets him (and your gf, don't forget about her) know that you're thinking about marriage. Or at least pondering the idea.

Plan C would be to tell him that it's 2015 and this is just what couples do. No need to have any discussion about marriage. Not recommended because this will cause the most friction, but it is certainly one way to go.

Either way, all of those options let you maintain independence and give you man-to-man respect. You definitely don't want to be living under a roof that he helped pay for. But if you want to keep things positive then you need a graceful exit from the negotiation table because offering to help someone buy a house is a very generous offer. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby finley » 29 Oct 2015, 11:59

What rocky and pin2xbo said. Both spot-on.

Just to reiterate: Taiwanese parents never grow up. That is, they find it very hard to understand that, at a certain age, they're not parents anymore: they're (potential) grandparents. If (and of course it's a big if) you actually intend to marry this girl, do it on your own terms. By accepting the dad's "offer" - which isn't even an offer at all - you're submitting to his authority. Forevermore.
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby leibo » 29 Oct 2015, 20:51

Thank you for the all the replies!

Actually we are already a bit more than 3 years together, but the first year was a long distance relationship, during that time her dad didnt know about it. After that one year i came to Taiwan because of her and learned chinese for a year (my chinese was really poor when i arrived), and a bit more than a year ago i also started to work here. My girlfriend is in her mid twenties, while im getting closer and closer to thirty.

I didnt know that most of the couples dont live here together, I saw some younger couples living together in the same building where i live, so i thought its also common here.
In my country probably 99% of the young people first move together, see how things work out and start to think about marriage only after that.
Of course we were also talking about marrying one day and that we are saving money for that and I was okay with that (still fine), I was just expecting we will soon move together. Thats why the sudden house buying story made me a bit scared.

My girlfriend and I would pay most of the house, her dad would help us out with the mortgage, because we are still missing a bit of that money. The monthly fee would be paid by me and my girlfriend...well bigger part by me, but im fine with that as I have the higher payment.
I have asked for a bit of time to think about it, and later I said that we should still save some more money and buy it ourselves without help from parents. I agree with you guys, if I would accept the financial help, I would have to feel im forever in their debt. If we save for about a year then we would be able to do it.
Her dad agreed to this, he even told my girlfriend that he felt sorry for pushing me after he saw on me that im a bit worried.

In the past few days I have been thinking about our relationship, and I think we got to know each other really well during these 3 years, and her parents were also always nice to me, so believe im ready to take the next step!
So all of us agreed to not hurry and buy a house right now, instead we will save some more money and when the time is right we will marry and/or buy a house without any financial help from parents. So hopefully this will work out right!
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby pin2xbo » 30 Oct 2015, 00:33

Leibo - Her father doesn't necessarily wants you to buy a house or get married now. He just needs assurance that you are in for the long haul with his daughter. If you are set, convey that to him, and set aside a date, month or year to fulfill those commitments. When you marrying someone, you are marrying their whole family as well. Don't get jelly with other (younger) couples living together. Not true for all cases: Living together without commitments is like a stool with a leg missing. Just like when you will work harder when you pay for a class instead of attending a free one (which you might decide not to attend in the end). IMO... :)

I totally agree about buying the house all by yourself! No parents help.
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby robert the bruce » 30 Oct 2015, 10:25

pin2xbo wrote:Leibo - Her father doesn't necessarily wants you to buy a house or get married now. He just needs assurance that you are in for the long haul with his daughter. If you are set, convey that to him, and set aside a date, month or year to fulfill those commitments. When you marrying someone, you are marrying their whole family as well. Don't get jelly with other (younger) couples living together. Not true for all cases: Living together without commitments is like a stool with a leg missing. Just like when you will work harder when you pay for a class instead of attending a free one (which you might decide not to attend in the end). IMO... :)

I totally agree about buying the house all by yourself! No parents help.


Yes, you are not marrying a girl from another country. This is a Taiwanese girl, so family is going to weigh heavily in the relationship. I think her dad is quite a cool guy. Most dads here will never allow their daughters to play house before the wedding or to be stringed for 3 years without any solid wedding plans.
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Re: Moving together with Taiwanese girlfriend

Postby rocky raccoon » 30 Oct 2015, 11:56

Glad to hear that you've found a good way forward. Your gf's dad sounds like a good guy.
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