Green Star Readers' Submissions January 23rd, 2007

The 10 Biggest Mistakes Westerners Make With Thai Girls


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There is no doubt that Thai women are among the most beautiful in the world. They are a magnet for Western men, who, perhaps feeling underappreciated and unloved in their own countries, come to Thailand in search of love. These Western guys become deeply
attracted to the Thai ladies’ femininity, grace, beauty and, I use this word very explicitly, charm. Charm is an influence with magical connotations, and there is many a Western guy
who has fallen under the magical spell of a Thai lady.

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The relationship that results can be an intense, emotional roller-coaster ride. It can be, and often is, the happiest time in a guy’s life. Thai women can treat their man like no other woman can. They can be the best and most caring lovers in the
world. A relationship with a Thai woman can be the most wonderful experience you will have in your life – it could also turn out to be your worst nightmare. The main thing is to try and keep it a positive and happy experience.

This document is written in the spirit of helping Western guys get the most from their relationship with a Thai lady. It can be difficult and mistakes will be made, hopefully this text will help you avoid the most common ones.

10. Looking in all the wrong places.

The first mistake that guys make is looking in all the wrong places for the girl of their dreams. Give me a dollar for each guy who’d ventured into the naughty nightlife venues and lost his heart to a scheming gold digger and I’d be a very
rich man! No, you are unlikely to find the girl of your dreams trawling the bars and massage parlours of Bangkok. But there are countless guys who attempt that very thing.

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The Internet can work sometimes, but only as a way of initially meeting the girl. It is not a suitable means to conduct a relationship from afar.

The way to meet Thai girls is to go to Thailand for an extended period, at least a year. Stay away from the bars. Learn the language, learn the culture – just get your feet wet in Thailand. You will meet Thai girls very easily almost every day.
A friendly smile is all you need sometimes to meet a nice girl – in the shopping malls, in the little coffee shops, in the road-side restaurants.

Here’s a tip for you – if you want to meet a nice girl stay away from the venues that Westerners usually frequent. Girls of less than wholesome intention will specifically target Westerner’s favourite haunts. By all means enjoy those
places, just be cautious of girls you may meet there.

9. Giving her money.

If your English or American girlfriend asked you to give her an allowance of 1,000 bucks a month you’d tell her to take a hike. But when it comes to Thai girls, guys are falling over themselves to give their ‘teeruk’ their hard earned
cash. I think that says a lot about the charm of Thai girls. Usually sane and intelligent guys lose all reason when their darling gives them her dazzling smile, the scent of her perfume
and the light touch of her soft brown hand! It’s enough to make even the most jaded cynic cough-up at times. But resist the temptation.

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Money is important in Thailand and a Thai girl can often feel unloved if you aren’t splashing gifts and money on her – but then you have to survive too.

If she needs some money for a very specific purpose and you think it’s justified and you don’t mind helping then that’s a judgement call. Beware though because you will be regaled with tales of how she lost all her own money paying
for her dying mother’s operation (despite the fact her Mum at 55 looks fitter than most Western women twenty years younger), her Dad’s kidnap by terrorists dressed as monks, and that perennial classic the sick water uffalo. Sometimes
the stories can be so far fetched as to be highly amusing, and all in an attempt to relieve you of your hard-earned cash.

So my advice is, treat your girl well and spoil her from time to time, but don’t become a walking ATM. If she really loves you, she will respect you all the more for it.

8. Failing to heed the red flags.

Very often a love-smitten farang will go into a curious state of denial about his Thai girl. “She is different”, “My girl would never do that” are common phrases you will hear. The truth is in Thailand you would be surprised
at what can sometimes go on.

Yes in the West there are extra-marital affairs, two timing and so on, but in Thailand it’s on a whole other level. When I was a Thailand newbie I commented to an long term expat in Bangkok that I wasn’t aware of many famous Thai people (with the exception of Tata Young of course J) such as scientists, novelists, inventors or Nobel Prize winners, his curt reply was “they are all too busy having sex”. While maybe a little churlish there is a grain of truth in it.

Relationships in Thailand can be fragile and volatile. Even by their mid- twenties most Thai girls will have had their hearts broken badly by a Thai man and tend to adopt a “never put all your eggs in one basket” approach. This is particularly
true when they are in “husband hunting mode”.

Let’s face it there is no shortage of guys (Western and Thai) in Thailand, but finding a good husband is very difficult for a number of reasons (which I won’t go into here).

When you have just started dating a Thai girl and she is swearing her undying love to you, accept it graciously and take it with a pinch of salt. Enjoy the relationship for what it is, but don’t get too excited just yet. You need to give it time.
Keep observant and the clues will start to come. The furtive phone conversations, the little (and big) lies, the unexpected trips to visit the sick water buffalo. Very often the hazy evidence of a “background boyfriend” will materialise.
I have even unwittingly been one myself.

All’s fair in love and war, and never more so than in Thailand.

Watch for red flags carefully, assess them logically. Just don’t pretend they never happened.

7. Going for Long Distance.

If you are expecting to maintain an “exclusive” long distance relationship with a Thai girl over a period of many months then think again. As one American expat so neatly put it – “time to wake up and smell the coffee”!
You are setting yourself up for heart-ache if you think otherwise.

If you do meet a Thai girl via the Internet (not really recommended) and you genuinely want to pursue the relationship then it is imperative you get to Thailand as fast as possible for an extended stay.
By that I mean a minimum of 6 months and ideally a year or more. There are lots of reasons for this. Very often a Thai girl will say she doesn’t have a “boyfriend” (and she can be vague about the actual definition of boyfriend
as it suits her too) – however, it his highly unlikely that she doesn’t have at least one guy lurking in the background. The truth may be more along the lines of she has a couple of
“friends” but is looking to upgrade, or catch a guy more suitable for marriage. By being on the ground you have more chance to push these guys out of her life (but don’t count on it) and at least you will be able to more easily
determine the presence of other suitors. It’s almost impossible to do this from afar.

When you are in a LDR, and she is sending you her glam shots, it’s very easy to conjure up an image of a “perfect person”. She might seem perfect at long range, but the reality
may be very different. You need to be “on the ground” in Thailand to make a proper assessment.

A lot of guys who meet a Thai girl on the Internet put from their minds the less than wholesome realities. Thai girls are highly sexed and they are unlikely to “go without” for more than a couple of weeks – let alone a couple of months.

The other aspect is that there are huge numbers of other Western guys on the Internet (not to mention Bangkok itself) and some of them may very well be chatting up your ‘teeruk’ and several may be shortly about to land in Bangkok International

As you can probably tell, I’m not a huge fan of LDRs with Thai girls. It’s much better to get to Thailand and then start looking. It is also possible to find Thai girls in your own country (if you know where to look). This can be a great
solution, but competition is fierce for these girls and all of the same “rules of engagement” apply.

Do yourself a favour, don’t strike up a “serious” long distance relationship with a Thai girl. You will have fewer grey hairs as a result.

6. Failing to wear a condom.

I really shouldn’t have to say this, but it looks like I do.

Guys are opening themselves up to a potential world of hurt by not doing so. Right now in Thailand there are guys having unprotected sex with bar girls, let alone good girls. They are then surprised when they get hit with the “you got me pregnant
scam” and haven’t a clue whether they, or some other Western or even Thai guy is the father.

Quite apart from the physical health implications of not wearing a condom (AIDS/HIV is very much present in Thailand), do you really want to risk getting a girl you don’t really know pregnant? Yes, she may look like an angel and butter wouldn’t
melt in her mouth, yes you may be both madly in love, yes you may be on cloud nine, yes she might claim to be a 32 year old virgin, but wear a condom anyway.

Thai girls can have a laissez-faire attitude to using protection, so you have to stand firm, so to speak.

The wise man always wears a party hat. Enough said.

5. Not setting some ground rules.

You may have a very clear idea of what constitutes proper behaviour in a relationship, but a Thai girl’s idea may be very different to it!

So that there can be no “misunderstandings” it often pays to be upfront about what you expect from your girlfriend fairly early on. You can also point out to your girl what will happen if she does overstep the mark – you will find
someone else. This might sound a bit heavy handed, but it can work. If a girl then steps over the line you’ve both agreed on, you can be sure that it won’t be the last time (and probably wasn’t the first time either).

So draw a line in the sand and if she crosses it hit the highway.

4. Not breaking cleanly on game over

There is a very curious fact about Thai girls that you should be aware of. When a relationship finishes with a guy, he goes into “suspended animation” as far as the girl is concerned. From time to time she will “ping” the suspended
guy to make sure he’s still breathing, usually via a text, email or phone call. At some point in time, determined by the vagaries of a Thai girl’s love-life she may attempt to reanimate said guy. This may or may not be a successful

I have known of relationships with Thai girls that have “ended” and then actually soldiered on in various states of reactivation for many months, and on one occasion years!

It’s usually best to finish as cleanly as possible with a Thai girl when you realise it’s not going to work out long-term. It’s the fairest thing to do. Once you’ve made your decision, don’t change your mind and don’t
let yourself be sucked back in – you’ll typically live to regret it if you do.

3. Not getting to know her friends and family

One of the best ways to really get to know the reality (rather than the projected image) of your Thai girlfriend is to meet her friends and the later on her family. She may initially be very cautious about introducing you to her friends, but I think it’s
something worth pushing for as soon as possible, as it can be highly informative. When you do meet them observe very carefully and note your general impressions.

Meeting the family, in the family home can be even more revealing – but this isn’t likely to happen until you get to the “serious” stage.

The above two situations deserve an article in their own right. The main point to remember is try not to let her keep you lurking in the background too long – getting into her closer circles of friends can be fun, and very revealing.

2. Getting too serious, too quickly

This one really bugs me. I’ve known guys who meet a girl online, fly into Bangkok and who are literally married and on honeymoon within a week. If it does work out then that’s fine. But personally I believe this is an extremely reckless
thing to do. It just isn’t possible to really know any girl, let alone a girl from a completely different culture, in that sort of time frame. I believe it takes a lot longer than that to really know the true nature of a Thai girl.

Here are my general suggestions. The dating period should be at least 3 months assuming you meet up twice a week. If you are getting serious about the girl and thinking of something longer term, I would suggest living together for at least six months
before thinking of getting married. You may determine long before that she isn’t right for you. If you are a complete newbie to Thai girls, Thailand and Thai culture, then you might want to consider spending a year in Thailand, dating various
girls, before living with one.

There are lots of reasons for taking it slow, not least because it can allow time for various “worms” to crawl out of that beautiful brown woodwork – if indeed they are present.

A word to the wise – the truth will always come out. It will, but very often you need to give it some time to do so. Never rush into a relationship with a Thai girl – or any other
girl for that matter. It’s particularly vital to adopt this slow and steady approach in Thailand as you will need time to adjust to and understand that things aren’t always as they first appear in Thailand.

1. Underestimating the culture gap.

“Please mind The Gap” is something that should be stamped on your forehead as you pass through immigration at Bangkok International Airport.

This is the big enchilada, the numero uno, the Big Daddy of all mistakes that Westerners make when they go to Thailand.

Most farangs go to Thailand with the impression that Thai women are small, brown, cute versions of Western women. It is most definitely a wrong impression. Thailand is so different in so many ways, and Westerners so different to Thais in so many ways.
I guess that is part of the attraction of Thailand.

The most common mistake that Westerners make is to underestimate the differences between the two cultures. Thai women have different attitudes to many aspects of life including, but not limited to, relationships, sex, love, marriage, money, and morality.

You need to understand that the Thai brain is wired differently to the Western brain. In the West we tend to think in a very binary way – on, off, true, false, yes, no. In Thailand things tend to be true to “a lesser or greater degree”.

Remember in Thailand there are many shades of grey.


So, remember there is a beautiful Thai lady awaiting you in the Land of Smiles – but the right one will not be so easy to find. Take time to learn the language and culture and enjoy relationships early on without becoming too involved, at least
until you have found your way in Thailand. Remember too that all that glitters is not gold.

Stickman's thoughts:

While what is written here may seem obvious, the truth is that many, many Western guys seem to forget these basic rules of engagement. For me, this was a really excellent submission, and another in the must read pile for guys who are keen on entering into a relationship with a Thai woman. GREAT STUFF!

The author be contacted at:

nana plaza