The present article looks how intimate liaisons between Dutch women and Balinese men are intertwined in complex and sometimes paradoxical ways in regard to class position, gender ideologies and immigration policy in the contemporary Netherlands. Central to this analysis is a dialogue between Dutch women, their Balinese partners and popular discourse about Dutch women who marry 'the other men'. I examine how citizenship regulations that play a significant role in interfamilial relations of interdependency form complex gender dynamics, and how Dutch women's rhetoric about the emancipation of Dutch women and desire for a companionate marriage tend to collide with the practices of everyday life. I argue that gender ideologies in these cross-cultural liaisons are conceptualised and reconceptualised in relation to 'gender imaginings'. I suggest that the ideals of companionate marriage, favoured by Dutch women, are linked directly to ideals of modernity and individualism, in which particular scripts of gender relations are used to differentiate progressive individuals from those who are not.