Her Online Dating Experience
Meow is a foreign student studying in the USA. One day she stumbles upon a famous dating site that now has over 50,000 members. She browses through the site and finds a lot of foreign members living in Thailand. She signs up thinking it’d be nice to make some English speaking friends in Thailand so that she can brush up on her English after she returns home. Dating is not her intention but she can’t deny it is in the back of her head. She starts making herself known in the online community by participating in the Thai language forum on the website and makes friends with foreigners seeking help with the Thai language.
She talks to more and more members and becomes very involved. She knows about every active member. Gossip is fierce and, of course delicious. Men are passing around naughty pictures of female members including the famous ones who try hard to pass themselves off as proper girls. Stories are told about how girls fight over white guys at website parties dying to follow them to their places for post party “fun.” Female members cooking up stories to steal other members’ men are not uncommon. The way they do it is not even remotely sophisticated but it works every time like magic. The dating site is a perfect place for your daily dose of soaps if you haven’t gotten enough from your TV.
Meow has a young female friend who she chats with regularly. The girl’s online persona on the website is a promiscuous girl. She dates many guys. Girls hate her but guys lust for her. Meow sees her as just a teenager having fun winding people up, though she learns later that the girl is not a talker but the real thing. Her persona is not confined online but it’s also how she is for real. She would get on cam naked with other members and sleeps with guys left and right. This teenager gets a lot of attention.
There’s another young female member who tries so hard to be an object of desire. She puts up a close-up shot of a girl’s chest in a college uniform so tight that the buttons are popping. The girl becomes “girlfriend” of an English member even before they have met. It turns out later that she puts her cute cousin on cam when she chats with him, but her real self is hopelessly obese. The boyfriend was disgusted, but Meow finds this hilarious. The young attention seeker is not ashamed of lying to all the people on the website. She even receives support from male members who try to pass themselves off as white knights saving and supporting all female members no matter what. There are so many guys like this who wouldn’t hesitate for a second before jumping to every Thai girl’s defense.
It is also hilarious how members mark their territory. If you are dating or developing feelings with someone and the feelings are mutual, you’d proclaim your everlasting love on your journal entries and post the person’s pictures on your profile, even make the person’s picture your default profile picture for a clearer message to the community. This happens with female members more often than male members, unless the guy gets the most popular girl on the website and he wants to show her off. It’s even more hilarious when a few weeks or months later, they’ll be breaking up with the person and they’ll have a long series of exchange with their “ex” on their journal airing dirty laundry in the public. This is the best part she loves about that dating site.
Drinking, or to be more exact, getting wasted, is something “mainstream” female members are proud of. They’d go to a party and then post pictures of them getting wasted, kissing or feeling up other girls. Profanity and pictures of them holding up their middle fingers seem to be mandatory even among girls who call themselves “good girls.” Meow cannot make out why. A lot of white guys in Bangkok she chats with testify about how these female members would go to clubs and order drinks with their cliques then would call a guy to join them for a drink. Once the guy is there, he’d be expected to pick up the tab regardless of whether or not he drinks or how many drinks he’s had. When the guy refuse to pay, he’d be regarded as a cheap ass, of course, in public!
Guys on the dating website are equally weird. The first guy who chats Meow up is an Indian guy. She doesn’t have a picture of herself on her profile for a long time until she starts to feel comfortable with ‘the community.” This guy, however, sends her a private message. She adds him on her IM and he is attracted to her IM display picture and how intelligent he thinks she is. He has trouble admitting that he is Indian as Indian people are disdained by Thai people. We even have a Thai saying that goes; “if you run into an Indian and a snake, beat the Indian first.” Meow doesn’t care much about people’s race so she talks to him but then he has trouble admitting that he is already married. He says the usual lines about not being on good terms with his wife. This guy seems to be around quite a bit looking for girls to sleep with. Non-paying members only have a limit of five personal messages a day so you’d see people leaving testimonials to female members saying how beautiful they are and how the senders want to know them. This guy sure leaves his trail by sending all those testimonials out and girls post them.
The first person Meow decides to date is an LAPD cop. He sends her a message and they chat. He lives in Huntington Beach where she regularly finds herself studying on the beach in the sun. Her books and class materials have oil stains. She meets up with this guy for a coffee one Sunday evening by the beach.
He is cute, muscular and has no body fat. Good conversation they have. He then invites her back to his place “to sit on the balcony overlooking a pool.” Uh huh, she thinks. She has always had a thing for guys in uniform so off she goes with him. She sits on his couch watching TV with her legs crossed holding a cushion against her chest. They have been talking for a while now and she wonders why he didn’t make a move. OK, she thinks, no moves? I’m going home! She learns later that night when they chat online again that he is attracted to her but her non-verbals didn’t give him a green light to proceed. She takes a mental note to do better next time.
Meow dates him for a few weeks then one day their normal conversation turns nasty when he decides to get on his high horse passing down judgments on people who, in his words, “net f***”, as if he’s not doing that himself. The whole heated exchange starts when she tries to make her point why she doesn’t think she should agree to knock on his apartment door wearing no bra or panties underneath a thin top and a short skirt as requested by him. Maybe she is old-school and no fun, but she isn’t convinced she should lose respect for herself and feel like a whore on delivery to fulfill some guy’s fantasy. She decides she doesn’t need a guy like that and won’t take crap from him. They are done.
The next guy is a chief in the US Navy. This guy lives in Florida, only two hours away from where Meow’s friend from Thailand lives, so she takes a invitation to visit him for a weekend on the same trip to her few weeks’ vacation on the East Coast. The guy is in his early forties and has been through a bitter divorce. His ex has custody of the son who would come over on the weekends to make some extra money helping out at the place where the guy teaches racing motorcycle classes to earn extra cash. She is expecting to spend a weekend with him but it turns out that he ‘had to’ teach and couldn’t get a substitute. She ends up dropping him and his son off at work at 5am with her rental car, leaving his old beat-up POS truck at home. She explores the city during the day by herself and picks them up at the end of the day. Feelings develop over a period of time during that trip and they find themselves in a long distance relationship. She lives in California, only a few thousand miles from Florida.
Everything was good till a few months later when he says he is being sent to Costa Rica where they are in the process of moving the Navy base out of the country. It will be only for a month and there will be no means of communication. Meow sends cards to his home address in Florida almost every day in the first month. She doesn’t hear anything from him after a month has gone by. She starts to worry so she calls his cell but it doesn’t go through. It sounds like the phone is always off. She calls periodically but never gets through. One month becomes three and something doesn’t feel right so she asks her friend to call him from the friend’s phone. They put it on speaker and it was his distinctive voice answering the phone loud and clear. My friend asks to make sure and he confirms it is him. Meow’s friend hangs up. It dawns on her that he has her phone number blocked. She doesn’t want to confront him then as she’s not sure yet how to start. She goes through their old emails to look for his home phone number. She calls that number during his work hours and a girl with a Thai accent answers. Chill runs through her spine. Meow managed to get herself together and talk to the girl in Thai. The girl says she has been visiting him for a few months now and she says she isn’t aware that he already has a girlfriend. He invited her over, paid for her plane tickets, etc. Meow is not surprised when she learns the girl is also from the same dating site as Meow and the guy. The girl is apologetic and said she would “return” the guy. Meow says thanks but no thanks. The poor girl can have him.
Then there is another white guy who lives in Meow’s area. He dates her a few times before moving to Thailand to start a business. He meets with Meow’s chat friend at a website party and tells the friend how “helpful” it has been for him to date her. Of course, Meow is helpful. She carries 90 pounds of his stuff from Los Angeles to Thailand because he doesn’t want to pay for shipping and she happens to come home for the summer a few days after his flight. He goes with her to a dinner with friends because her friends were leading musicians in Thailand and he’s been looking for a band for his future club. He accompanies her to Chiang Mai just to look for business opportunities. He wouldn’t call her or return her calls unless he wants some help with translation, direction, information, etc. He goes out clubbing every night with girls from the dating site but never invites her along. He says Meow is not a good dancer and will have a hard time catching up with him. She is too naïve to realize what the real reason is. She goes back to the US when her semester starts and never gets to talk to him again until one day he pops online. The conversation proceeds and she asks if he is seeing someone. He says, “Oh, yeah! I thought I’d tell you about this salon girl I met.” Well, good luck with your “salon” girl, she thinks.
The last person Meow meets on the dating site becomes a steady boyfriend of about two years. He is also in the US. She came back to Thailand for good after the first six months they’d been together. He said he’d come and get her and wouldn’t leave her here. The first months after she came back they chat on cam every day. She would go to work early to chat with him before starting her day. Then the chat has died down so they talk on the phone. She is the one who makes the calls and pays for international phone bills ranging between 3,000 – 5,000 baht every month for a year and a half. He never calls but would dial her number so that her phone rings once or twice and he would then hang up and she would call him back. There was one time she wasn’t looking at the caller ID and picked up the phone before he managed to hang up. He complains for days about how she cost him $4 by accidentally taking the call. She would also send him text messages once every few days till one day he says, “Do me a favor, don’t text me because now I get charged 25 cents a message.” IT’S FREAKING TWENTY FIVE CENTS!! , she protests. The guy is not someone who lives from paycheck to paycheck, but he’s an IT guy in a large department store with nationwide locations. He earns about $100K a year.
About a year after Meow has been back to Thailand she Googles his favorite alias out of fun, but the results are not even remotely fun for her. They show that he has a profile on a US local dating site with a recent login date. The content on the profile sounds like some dream guy looking for his dream girl. Despite how it breaks her heart, she gives him the benefit of the doubt and keeps an eye on the profile. He logs on regularly. During that time she notices he acts different when she calls. He is a computer and electronic geek who has his phone charger by his bed but he would ‘forget’ to charge his phone. She thinks maybe he didn’t come home to sleep on his bed so the phone didn’t get charged and the battery went flat in the morning. When she calls him in during their regular calling time around 7am his time when he should be driving on the way to work, he’d pick up the phone and, instead of the usual “Heyyyyyyy, good morning, Sweetheart!” in an upbeat tone, he would say in a low indifferent tone, “Hi, Meow. Can I call you back? Thanks, Meow.” The formality puzzles her but she lets it slide.
Six months later Meow finally decides to confront him about his going back on a dating site. He gets behind his defense and says he’s annoyed that she has been spying on him. Meow is not a psycho bitch type and doesn’t normally google someone, much less her own boyfriend. She doesn’t know what made her do it that day. It was the only time she ever did that to him. Then he pulls the usual good guy lines, “I can’t let you leave your career you work hard to be with me.” She cries but doesn’t protest much as she sees no point trying to get back what’s not there. A few hours later he sends her an email saying ‘his friend’ thinks he owes her an apology. He says he’s found himself building a wall and Meow is somehow put outside the wall. He says he can’t do much when his feelings have faded. She writes back that he would’ve saved her heartache had he been a man and told her about it much sooner.
Meow looks back at her history of online dating and remembers how foreigners always say Thai girls are bad. All her experiences with foreign men she’s met are far from successful because while she was honest and loyal to her men one at a time, those guys never stopped looking the entire time they’d been with her, but she’s mature enough to know problems in a relationship do not have anything to do with races. People are people the world over. If someone makes a choice to be deceitful so be it. The people of the same race or country do not deserve to be lumped together. It’s all about that ONE person.
Though she’s seen creeps and seems to always run into bad boys from dating sites, she doesn’t think good things can’t happen. She doesn’t find anything wrong with it. She thinks it’s an easy way to meet people, just that it can be so easy that online relationships become disposable to many. Online people can always discard the relationship they have with one member and move on to the next one without feeling the need to really work at the relationship at hand, or feeling guilty for giving up so easily. Online dating would be ideal if you only use it to get to know people and have initial contacts with them to see who and if you are interested in, then take the person offline as soon as you can and learn about him or her as a person, not a virtual guy or girl who you need to be honest with or care about their feelings, or someone who can be discarded at anytime.
And once you’re in a relationship with someone, Meow asks you to respect your partner and kill your dating profile.
This is a brilliant quote. "It can be so easy that online relationships become disposable to many".
That's a really nicely put together article.
As for your description of TF, that really made me laugh!