Readers' Submissions

Loneliness

  • Written by ABC
  • November 6th, 2003
  • 9 min read




The topic of whether farangs should marry Thais, especially those from the lower echelons of Thai society, whether they are poor Thais or prostitutes, is heavily explored on many Westerner-oriented boards about Thailand and its’ women.

These sites and boards will also explore WHY the typical farang sex tourist or expat would fall for such Thai women, which whether we want to admit it or not, really represents the lower quality, higher risk sort of Thai woman. Most foreigners participating on Westerner-oriented Thailand boards are (I would venture to guess) not married to Thai girls on par with the Thai middle class. I would farther surmise most who are married to lower class Thai women end up paying out some monthly stream of income to his wife’s family in Isaan or Northern Thailand. These wives would likely fall into bargirls, ex-bargirls, lower class Thai women, and Thai women lacking a university education. No, these groups are not all the same, but they do all share a lower social status, poverty, a hunger for money, and strong potential motivation for less than sincere reasons for marrying a rich foreigner. I believe most men participating on farang-oriented Thailand websites or discussion forums would either be involved in a relationship with such a Thai woman or know of friends who are involved with such women. The single guys would most likely be involved with such women on some level, either as prostitutes or in dating women from some lower class backgrounds.

However, those reasons rarely include LONELINESS as a motivation among the men, at least not explicitly. Let me explain how I came to this theory.

I am not commenting on this to create controversy or debate. I am only laying out what appears to be the fact of the matter, based on the experiences of most of us. It is certainly my experience, having married a Thai woman from a lower class Isaan background. She was one of the “lucky ones”, having achieved a 9th grade Thai education. It seems most are lucky to achieve the 6th grade, from her Lao region of Isaan, given my experiences in The Land of Smiles for many years before we met. Nonetheless, a 9th grade Thai education is clearly not on par with the university so many farang with means to visit Thailand possess, nor that of a Western high school education.

However, what I found myself reflecting on recently was a topic I realized few of us ever think about. I realized why so many farang men end up meeting and marrying these women. It isn’t only because we find them somehow attractive due to our “ethnocentric perceptions” of beauty, which allows us to find beauty to the same dark-skinned Isaan women the Thai men (those of good or middle class means) find unattractive. It isn’t because they pay so much attention to us, or how those of them who resort to being prostitutes play out the “girlfriend experience” so well. It is because, I believe, many such farang men are in their middle age and seeking a partner in life. Even many of the younger men are seeking a long-term girlfriend, fiancé, or wife. I believe, it is BECAUSE these Thai women (those of the lower class or who become prostitutes) are so apparently willing to enter into relationships with us, that they seem so attractive to us. Everyone wants to be liked and loved, and treating a man like he is a king is a sure way to win his heart.

In other words, the greatest reason farang men who visit Thailand, and who are seeking or end up becoming willing to enter into a relationship with a woman, end up marrying lower class Thai women IS NOT because they are more attractive physically than farang women or middle class Thai women. (This is a subjective matter, which may be true or not for each man individually.) It is because these lower class Thai girls are so open to dealing with the type of farang that they interact with. Who are these farang? Who are we? That is the answer.

Well, too many, from my experience, are middle-aged (nothing wrong with this) AND seeking a long-term relationship. They have problems meeting a farang woman who is interested in them, while others are not willing to accept those who will pay attention to them. Some of these men are overweight, balding, and generally unattractive compared to the Western men they must compete with for available younger and middle-aged farang women in the West. Some simply are unwilling to compromise and live with a Western woman, either because they consider Western women dominating or because these men are actually expecting more attractive women than their own looks would justify.

It’s this group of men I believe so often find lower class Thai women so attractive. They do so, BECAUSE THEY ARE LONELY and they don’t want to be alone. And here in LOS they have found women who seem so willing to find them attractive, despite all their flaws (as interpreted by farang women). These Thai women “say” their older age is respected, that it’s ok to be fat, that they have “good hearts” and will fold their clothes, clean up after them, and cook for them. What man wouldn’t understand such desires? I am only pointing out how it is. Please don’t think I am criticizing the desires of these men, nor supporting them.

Some would say these men are traditionalists, others would say they are chauvinists, while others would say they are simply sick of the Western feminism found in farang women. I think the truth lies somewhere in between.

However, the bottom line is that many of these men are either in their 40’s having either never married (and are quite lonely and longing for a wife), have failed marriages (often multiple ex-wives, along with all the financial problems associated with them), or are unable to compete for farang women they find attractive in their Western nations. They are lonely, and that is such a common state in the West for all Westerners. So for these men, the notion of marrying below their class and education seems easy, given how nice and open these women are with them initially and on the surface.

How did I arrive at this conclusion? Only by looking through my personal experiences with farang men I’ve known in Thailand who married such Thai women, and more importantly in delving into my own marriage to a Thai woman. I was in my late 20’s when I met her. I remembered how I ended up married, how free I felt walking around LOS and America before I met her. Before I met her, I had transitioned from single to engaged for 3 years, back to single again. I remembered how I was engaged for many years in the West and how, like many younger men, I had decided to break it off for many reasons, one of which was my inability to give up being alone. I remembered the so common feelings of being suffocated, stifled, and complete lack of privacy having a regular girlfriend can bring with it. I remember being shocked by how so many men in LOS seemed to love being single too, but why they all seemed to willingly give up this freedom I had found once again. I observed this strange sacrifice of freedom for a years (during my trips to LOS) before I met my wife.

Sure, in the beginning, after being “single” again, it was a bit lonely. However, that loneliness was nothing compared to the freedom I had lost and found once again. And that loneliness is just an internal state one can outgrow and the external state of loneliness can rarely exist if a man can stay socially active both with women and with friends. I cannot see how so many men give this freedom up “willingly”!

I fell into marriage, because I fell in love with a Thai girl and commitment is what women want and I didn’t want to lose her. However, I had to struggle to give up my freedom. I fought through depression and learned to become a married man. In the end, it was only my being in love with my wife that made me willing to drudge through the emotional turmoil of making the necessary changes in my mind. It is not in a man’s nature to give up freedom until a certain age, if ever.

However, as I continued asking why so many farangs would intentionally give up this freedom, it occurred to me that many of these men are middle-aged or older, while some are “more mature than their age” mentally. They are all seeking out marriage, seeking a way to avoid loneliness.

Many farang end up marrying lower class Thai women, because they are ready and in a hurry to marry, and these are the women in a hurry to get married to them for varied and often dubious reasons. They find each other, apparently compatible on the surface, but rarely so once they get to know each other past the initial niceties.

I am sure everyone out there may have their own theory of how they are different, their wives are different, or how their relationship is different. Before you jump emotionally to this conclusion and dismiss my idea, please ask yourselves these questions.

What is your wife’s economic and educational status in Thailand, relative to other Thais? Be honest. How long did you two really “date” (in person and not in sex for money context) before you decided to marry her or move in with her long term? Is this what you would have done in the West, rationally speaking? Is she poor? Is/was she a bargirl?

How old are you? How old is she? Do you really see such age difference (whatever that age gap may be) among normal Thai or farang couples? Don’t include the mia nois with their Thai sugar daddies, because that’s not much different than what we would find in Western nations.

If your answers don’t show a longer dating period, a smaller age gap, and a similar economic/educational background, than you may very well have married each other because both of you were in a hurry to get married. Perhaps one for reasons of loneliness and the other for reasons of “escape from poverty” (a clear financial motivation).

The answer lies in your age, your past dating history in the West, her social standing, her economic standing, your social and economic standing, and how quickly the two of you decided to marry.

To close, of course there are guys who had no problems with women in the West who marry poor Thai girls. However, are you really one of them? In the end, only you and the Thai woman knows, but if the situation looks suspect, it probably means someone was a bit motivated for company (perhaps you), and someone else was perhaps hasty to find wealth (or “financial security”) (perhaps her).

Stickman says:

Great stuff!