By Nave Cake
I have to write this because I am a little fed up with hearing all the negative things that people are saying about western / Thai relationships, it seems that the general thought is that in 9 out of ten cases it is doomed to failure (some have said it can never work).
I am not going to start harping on about the suitability of prostitutes and their customers because that’s all we seem to hear about and like many have said before, you wouldn’t date a prostitute in your own country, why? You know why.
My story is different. I lived in the UK and met my Thai girlfriend through friends whilst she was studying there. Because of her initial shyness with English, I decided to meet her halfway and start learning Thai. In any relationship communication is very important and even if she speaks great English or you speak good Thai, there are always going to be things you can't get past, so by learning each others' languages it cuts down on the amount of misunderstandings greatly.
We eventually became a couple over the next few years and had a very happy time together. She is a fairish skinned lady from a wealthy Bangkok background and we are roughly the same age. I have never felt that anyone in my country ever looked at us with any distaste, I think this is mainly to do with the lack of age difference but also the fact that most people in the UK couldn’t care less about what you do and who you do it with, I love that and so does she.
Anyway, we had no trouble at all getting fiancé visas etc. In fact the home office in UK were always helpful and never gave us any trouble. Due to the nature of my work I am able to spend a lot of my time in Thailand, which helps the relationship as well (you can’t expect your girlfriend or yourself to separate from family 100% and be happy, it’s all about compromise). I have now learned Thai to a very high standard and have no trouble in Bangkok at all, except we are not as comfortable together as we are in UK because of that dreaded “face” thing. I don’t care who sees us together or what they think, but she being Thai still feels uncomfortable when people look at us together and make assumptions.
I know more than 10 couples where the man is from UK and the woman is from Thailand, some live in UK and some in Thailand. All the ladies are from non prostitute backgrounds and most of us guys are from average UK ones. Some of these relationships have been in excess of 15 years, all are happy with none of the distrust, lies and cheating we hear so much about. I also know of some that failed, but for the normal reasons that relationships fail anywhere else. The bottom line is that Thai / Western relationships can and do work, you just have to find the right person (as you do in any country), respect each other, learn each others languages and cultures and try to make it work. I can only echo what others have said here when I say that trawling bars in Bangkok is not the ideal place to find a nice Thai girl although never say never. But the best tip ever is to learn to speak good Thai (not just a few phrases), you will be overwhelmed with the response you get from good Thai girls in shops, offices and on the street and will have no trouble meeting and making new friends, some of these modern girls will be quite bold in asking you for a phone number.
If a good relationship with a nice Thai girl is what you want, just don’t sit around waiting for it to happen, get learning and get looking, they are out there and I know loads of nice Thai girls that would love to have a western boyfriend (not pissed up football shirt wearers).
Yep, speaking Thai opens up a heap of possibilities.