This Frowback first appeared on Sweet3Mango….or maybe it was BKKNites, I can’t remember. Anyway, it was requested—sort of—by a reader that I tackle the minefield of dating-slash-marriage in the Land of Smiles, which I’ve done on several occasions but this time I took a different tack. It’s part of a series of 10 lists of Top 10 tips covering various topics. This one’s about…well, you read the title. Happy Friday.
“Hello again, long time no see. I’m Seven. I live the dream in case you can’t. Behold the next installment of Seven’s 10 Top 10. It’s a doozy.
So, as you may know, Thailand is many things to many people. It’s got gorgeous beaches, a rich culture, and a population of kind, delightful people. And, it’s both a playground for those seeking adult pleasures and a hunting ground for men seeking a lifelong companion. Which makes for an eclectic mix of wide-eyed foreigners frantically searching for what will fill the empty space within. For those in the latter group, who want more than anything to find “the one” and have come to this glorious country to do just that, here’s a short list of tips to maybe hopefully keep you from going off the rails. 1 through 5 focus on the topic of a Thai wife, 6 through 10 on a girlfriend.
- Go slow. Many men—mostly retirees or very unattractive men, though there are always exceptions to the rule—come to Thailand to find a wife. They’ve heard that Thai women are less picky about aesthetics, and no woman in their home country will pay them the time of day, so they embark on an epic quest to land a gal in the Land of Smiles. And a lot of the time, it works out. But there’s a lot to consider. For this reason, it’s important to take your time. Don’t wed the first girl to pay attention to you, or the first girl to agree to a 2nddate. For some, there might be a sense of urgency, as if no other woman but this woman will show any promise. That’s not the case. Take a deep breath, be patient, and move slowly. Even if it means leaving and coming back a few times. There’s no need to hurry, Thailand isn’t going anywhere, and it’s filled to the brim with sweet, lovely women.
- Be wary without being suspicious. Yes, some are after your money. But if you regard every woman as though they’re just waiting to pick your pocket, you’ll end up looking like a jerk and never get past square one. Don’t come off as untrusting, but don’t behave like a dupe, either. Find the middle ground. And if a girl brings up money, don’t automatically assume she’s only after that one thing. Thai girls are after money because their families are large and the offspring are charged with caring for their elderly parents AS WELL AS any children they themselves might have. So money is a justifiable concern. Find out if marrying her means supporting her extended family, and discern whether or not you can afford to do that. If you can’t, find a lady who was orphaned.
- Your married life will be Western, not Thai. Thai men are typically not ideal husbands. They cheat, they’re sometimes cruel to their women, they’re often lazy—all of which is attributable to the patriarchal society in Thailand. But your Thai wife will expect you to treat her like you would a Farang wife. That’s why she married you. So no polygamy, and no misogyny.
- Make sure she wants to live where you want to live. Some women will expect you to relocate to Thailand permanently, so she can remain close to her family (and so you can care for all of them as well as for her). Some will expect to be taken back to your native country to live how you live when you’re there. This should be a topic you discuss in length and come to an agreement about before you put the ring on her finger.
- If you give your Thai wife an excuse to stab you, she probably will. Thais are very emotionally explosive when it comes to infidelity (part of the Thai double standard explained in a different list), and while a girlfriend might merely get angry, a wife will turn downright homicidal. And in her estimation, and in the eyes of all of her friends and relatives, she’ll be justified. So if you cheat on your Thai wife, do it in Cambodia or Hong Kong or somewhere she can never find out, or risk waking up one night to the sight of her and a butcher knife raised above your chest.
- Your girlfriend has already met many farang, and what she’s learned from those experiences is, you lie and you cheat. So if you want to have a Thai girlfriend, realize and accept ahead of time that she will never ever trust you.
- Most women in Thailand are NOT bar girls. The notion that you can get off the plane, quote a price to the first woman you see, and take her to your hotel room is a myth and an insult. The majority of Thai women are straight-laced, conservative, traditional, and demand respect. In fact, even bar girls are worthy of respect. I’ve known bar girls that married one of their customers, settled down, and became wonderful wives. You can’t tell from meeting a girl what she’s really like deep down, so suspend all prejudgments and commitments regarding your girl until you’ve really taken the time to know her.
- Your girlfriend will rely on you for money. Thai women are not gold-diggers for the most part, but they do equate security with love. If you take care of her (monetarily and emotionally), she will reciprocate by taking care of you (physically and emotionally). Thais don’t place much value on the warm romantic “feeling” that Westerners tend to ascribe to relationships. Most Thais are more realistic, and see your effort to provide as a true act of love.
- Your girlfriend will have many hot friends. The double-edged sword of Thailand is the vast number of amazing, gorgeous, wonderful women that abound everywhere, and the further you get away from touristy areas, the more they tend to abound and the more sought-after you will be as a farang. So if you see yourself struggling to remain faithful, do yourself and your girlfriend a favor and break up. And never ever get with any of her friends, even after the break-up. Thais are incapable of keeping secrets, so your girlfriend will inevitably find out and stab you.
- No matter how old she is, your girlfriend will be emotionally immature. The Western idea of “love” and “romance” have only recently made their way into the culture here, through music and movies, and so Thais are still trying to wrap their heads around the idea and ideal of farang love. For this reason, many display the characteristics of love-struck teenagers (even the middle-aged ones!). So be prepared—there will be no Dr. Phil moments, no couples therapy, and very little cold calculated logic. Instead be prepared for lots of emotion, excitement, a bit of danger, and a few headaches along with the fun, joy, and fulfillment that come with a Thai girlfriend. This is what you’ve signed up for.
The main point you should take from this list is, if you’re coming to Thailand thinking it’s going to be easier to get a woman here than in your own country, you’re right—it’s just that once you’ve got her, life will be no easier than it would be with a lady from your home country.”
Quick update: I’m not sure why anyone would take my advice on this subject, seeing as how I have neither a wife nor a girlfriend, and spend all my time in the company of former gogo dancers. See you back here on Sunday for the weekly. Cheers everybody.