Mother goes online to find husband for daughter

By Hai Hien   November 19, 2023 | 02:32 am PT
Her 35-year-old daughter was apathetic about marriage, so Do Thi Ly created a social media account to find a good match and instruct him on how to win her over.

The 63-year-old Mekong Delta dried fish seller in Mo Cay Nam District, Ben Tre Province, was thus able to find a husband for her daughter after two years.

Ly admitted that on their wedding day, she was the happiest person after the bride and groom.

Do Thi Ly (C) with her daughter Le Xuan Dao and son-in-law Tran Thanh Phong on their wedding day, October 2020. Photo courtesy of Ly

Do Thi Ly (C) with her daughter Le Xuan Dao and son-in-law Tran Thanh Phong on their wedding day, October 2020. Photo courtesy of Ly

Ly and her husband have two children, with Le Xuan Dao being their eldest daughter. Prior to her marriage, Dao had been in a few relationships before, but after they all went nowhere, she decided to focus on her work selling dried fish at the Mo Cay Nam Market and online.

As the first person to sell dried fish through livestreams in her hometown, Dao earned 3-4 times higher than her family had earned using traditional sales methods. She was swept into her work and often fell asleep at the market after ending her streams late into the night. It was also because of this that Dao almost forgot about marriage altogether. She had planned to save up more money before thinking about starting a family.

Ly disagreed with her daughter’s thinking. She gradually became anxious seeing how her daughter only cared about work. Whenever she asked about finding a man to marry, she was panicked to hear Dao say, "If I’m still single by 40, I’ll go on TV to find a husband."

She had put a lot of effort into introducing potential suitors to Dao, but to no avail.

"The older my daughter got, the more I worried," she said.

At the beginning of 2019, by word of mouth through her in-laws, Ly came to know of Phong, a 44-year-old single father who is the owner of a phone store in Thanh Phu District, 35km away from her house. After hearing many people talking highly of his character, she decided to find out if he was right for her daughter.

At first, she asked someone else to create a social media account and look at Phong’s posts to get to know his personality and situation better.

Phong lost his wife a few years ago due to illness, and he became the sole caretaker of his young son and elderly father. Though he was often busy with work, he still took great care of his family.

One day, Ly decided to go straight to the point and messaged Phong to introduce herself. At first, she pretended to want to buy a phone to approach him. The more she talked with him, the more she came to like his politeness and understanding personality.

Afterward, she told him her true intentions and showed him how to approach her daughter, starting with ordering through her livestream.

Over time, Dao began to open herself to Phong and warmed up to the kind, hardworking, and caring man. When Ly saw her daughter’s changing attitude, she told Phong about wanting to have their two families meet.

However, Phong thought that she was inviting them to a proposal ceremony. He showed up with his relatives, offerings, and a piece of paper that clearly noted the best day to have a wedding.

Dao was shocked to see all this, and when she read the paper, she stood up and addressed everyone: "Please stop the party. I’m not ready to get married so I can’t decide the date."

"At that moment, I was absolutely embarrassed," Ly recalled. "But even so, I had to keep encouraging Phong to not give up." She even joked that perhaps in the future Dao would be so in love with him that she would not even require a wedding to marry him.

It was not hard for Ly to notice his sad smile.

After the botched proposal ceremony, Phong listened to Ly and did not give up on pursuing Dao. Every day he would visit Dao after he finished work. After months of this, Dao was finally swayed and agreed to marry him.

Do Thi Ly during the Lunar New Year holiday with Dao and Phong’s daughter, February 2023. Photo courtesy of Ly

Do Thi Ly during the Lunar New Year holiday with Dao and Phong’s daughter, February 2023. Photo courtesy of Ly

On the day of the wedding, Ly woke up early to welcome the guests. She would talk to everyone about her respectful and loving son-in-law.

After the wedding, Phong continued his work at the phone store, and at night he drove to Mo Cay Nam district to help his wife with livestreaming. It has been a few years since their wedding, but they have yet to have a fight. Phong is also very attentive to his mother-in-law and frequently buys gifts for her and throws parties on her birthday and special occasions such as Vietnamese Women’s Day.

The couple have a daughter together. Both the daughter and Phong’s son are treated and loved equally no matter whose child it is.

Ly always encourages Phong to think of his wife’s family as his own, as a group of people he can be comfortable around. She never interferes in their lives and only gives advice if they need her help.

"If we treat each other with kindness, we’ll receive kindness back," the 63-year-old woman said.

Currently, Ly feels grateful and content that her children are happy. She also believes that she made the right decision in finding the right person for her daughter.

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