Stickman Readers' Submissions November 4th, 2008

What We Think Are Mistakes Western Men Make with Thai Women

Reading Stick’s Sunday weekly and I think I’d weigh in what I think about the same topic, so my piece is like an addendum to his. Call me unoriginal. 😛

You think if we don’t work in bars then we’re designated Good girls

He Clinic Bangkok

Some people say that they respect bargirls more than regular girls because at least bargirls are honest about what they’re up to. I can see why they say that. I have an evil habit of observing and eavesdropping conversations of Thai-farang couples.
Most of the time I find the Western guy is the one who does the talking. If someone with limited English, and you have absolutely nothing in common with, wants to date or have a relationship with you, what is the reason or motivation behind that?
Would it be her genuine interest in knowing, learning and understanding about you through her limited English? Or is it something extraneous—decent meals they can’t afford, better lifestyle, gifts, free trips to other countries,
money, passport, etc? The list goes on but it must be something.

Someone I knew told me about a girl who told him on the first date that she has lost her cell phone and asked if he could get her one. A girl told another friend on the first date after a few chats on TLL that she was between jobs and needed to pay 9,500
baht rent for that month and wanted to borrow the money from him. Needless to say those were the only dates the girl got. I’m sure there will be someone out there who believes them. These girls sound like rookies. The more experienced the
girls in the field wouldn’t do that on the first date. They’d wait. They can be more subtle and patient in getting what they want.

And juggling guys to bargain for the best offer? Yes, some of us want it all, just like your bargirls. But sometimes it’s not always about intentionally keeping you around. Even though we may have already decided who has the best to offer, we don’t
have the nerves to break it off with you. We’d hate to break your heart. We need to retake Confrontation101. We all flunk it. And on the hind side, breaking your heart is also scratching our plan B. We’d hate to do that. Burning
bridges can never be a good thing. Oh well, we’ll just leave it as it is and see how things go.

CBD bangkok

There sure are genuine girls out there but you need to use your brain up there, not down there, to single her out.

Girls with agendas are out there, be it in Thailand of Farangland. Just be careful.

Not aware of how many choices we have and want to believe you’re the only guy

Have you seen pictures of girls on dating site profiles taken by a web cam with the girls on a seat so big you can’t see past it? Those pictures are taken in internet cafés which are in every corner of Thailand now. The access can be as cheap
as 20 baht an hour. Thanks to the cheap high speed internet that we can have easy access to the internet 24/7, and chat and meet up with men from all over the world, not only in Bangkok. If we are easy to get coffee with you, what makes you think
we’d be any harder to meet with others? I had to laugh when a girl I knew from a Thai-farang dating / community website was shuffling her guys and the moment of truth came when two of the guys turned out to be friends and they talked.

wonderland clinic

As much as you guys have an enormous pool of girls when you are in Thailand, we Thai girls also have that enormous pool of foreigners in Thailand. As much as we’re readily available for you, you foreigners are equally readily available for us.
Figure that. Mr. JTG teased me that in comparison to ‘standard’ Thai girl looks, I’m short, wide and old. Even then I get checked out and approached by foreigners in restaurants, malls, hospitals, and got personal messages
from strangers on social networking websites. I turned them all down because I’m not available. The hit-on rate would be even more if your girl is a tall skinny young thing. The question is, how good is your girl at resisting the temptation?

Do you think she’s interested in you because she really knows and understands you, or just because you treat her well or have something to offer? If you are not that connected with her and the latter of the question is true, what if someone treats
her as well as, or even better than you do, or has more to offer comes along? Would she consider the offer? If she still opens her door to people, for instance, has her profile on dating web sites and gets upset when you mention it, how sure you
can be that you are the only guy? If she has strange behaviour like hiding her phone, turning off the phone when in the shower, or taking a phone call and walks away claiming that it’s loud where you are when it’s not, or wouldn’t
check her email in your presence, etc, how can you be so sure you’re the only guy?

Believe me. We have choices. Don’t completely fall for us when we haven’t proved that we’re done playing the field, or that we’re at least staying focused on a relationship with you. Test the consistency of our stories would
be a good idea. Make us earn your trust.

You let us stretch those boundaries

Girls are like three year old kids. We test if we can respect you by stretching the boundaries, especially early in the relationship. This might be a universal gender issue. We are possessive, jealous, spending recklessly your money, screaming, sulking,
crying, throwing things at you, etc. If you let us do it one time, we learn we can do it. If you let us keep doing it, we learn we don’t need to respect you and we have the upper hand. You need to be consistent on what is allowed and what
is not in our relationship. All those manipulative tools are what we’ve used and worked with Thai men. Teach us that they don’t work in a relationship with you. Show us leadership. Don’t let us lose respect for you and start
bossing you around or bad mouth about you with our Thai friends in your face. <This is oh so true. The average foreigner in Thailand is so soft that I am surprised he can get a hard on. I am disgusted at how weak THE MAJORITY of farang men in Thailand are and many even have the audacity to criticise those who are strong. (BKKSW wrote an excellent piece which touched on this a few months back)Stick>

You believe we have the same definition of Love you do

A lot of Thai people use the word “love” very lightly. To Thai people love is just a degree a bit stronger than “like” but doesn’t necessarily have that same profound meaning as in the West. Most of us never heard of
biblical definition of love. Love to a lot of us is about what we get out of a relationship with you, and not so much about what we give. We’re still confused it with infatuation, possessiveness, lust, etc, so don’t always assume
that our love is your kind of love.

I’m not sure how much Thai girls know about working at a relationship the way Western men who are after a meaningful relationship want to see. With Thai couples, there would sure be an adjustment period and I’m sure with no language barrier,
a Thai couple can sort out the relationship problems and work on their compatibility. However, I’m not quite sure about a mixed couple. Being not confrontational can keep Thai people from talking about what goes wrong in a relationship.
We can get all upset about things and then when we get over and done, we’d talk to you like nothing has happened. We’d act loving and be your best girlfriend again. Isn’t that wonderful?

I remember going out on a road trip with Mr. JTG in a rural area. He pointed out shacks with garbage underneath and said it showed how Thai people deal with problems. You sweep trash underneath the house and the trash is not “there” anymore.
In fact it still is, but just not on the surface. You just no longer see it in your shack.

We’re not a big fan of getting to the bottom of the story, to the root of the problem, trying to understand it and straighten it out from there. It’s painful. We hate analysis. We don’t believe our past makes us who we are today.
If we don’t like it, we forget about it in no time as if it has never happened. We don’t believe in talking about problems and trying to understand and fix it so that we can put it behind us. This Western way of dealing with things
is nonexistent to us. It’s not in our mentality. We’d never talk about it. If something goes wrong in a relationship, we wouldn’t try to find out why and talk it out. It might offend you, it might hurt us, or maybe we aren’t
even aware there’s a problem, or maybe we are but we don’t care. We’d just skip the talking and working part. We’d just put it behind us. “That’s OK.” Easier this way.

Despite level of education and sophistication, the idea of bringing into a relationship is not very common to a lot of us. Being with someone is all about what we get out of it–money, better lifestyle, enjoyment, security in various ways, etc. It’s
hardly about what we could, should and would give, how we can enable our partner and make ourselves better for him each day. To make someone like us understand that it takes two to tango in a relationship can be difficult even for someone with
excellent English because of a lack of understanding the concept. A friend of mine had a problem with his girlfriend. When he was so busy with work and trying to quit smoking, instead of her being understanding and supportive, she was being demanding
for time and attention. It was all about her. She’s an educated Thai girl with two master’s degrees and speaks very good English. She got all nasty and they finally broke up. At 28 years old she was not mature enough to bring something
into their relationship and make it enabling. Imagine how much more difficult it would be with someone who speaks and understands only basic English.

You give us too much leeway for being Thai

I think this is the biggest mistake you make. You try to understand us with your Western mentality, and when you don’t, you think, “This must be a Thai thing.” It’s NOT. Take the money issue for instance. It is our Asian culture
that a man is the provider of the family and woman the responder, but NOT to the extreme that you need to start supporting her financially from the moment she gets the girlfriend title. Supporting her whole family is out of the question. It’s
NOT in the Thai culture that I know. It’s a national scam. Thai people have a saying that goes something like, girls marry “out”, boys marry “in.” When a daughter is married to her husband, she moves out and
will be taking care of her husband, and husband’s parents. But when a son is married, the parents get the in-law to take care of them. The dowry is what you pay the parents to ‘release’ the girl from them. You acknowledge
the good deed the parents have done raising your woman, and from the marriage onwards, you’ll be in charge taking care of her only, not her family.

These poor families are taking advantage of you. Don’t let them. It’d be nice of you to help them if you are genuinely inclined to, but the idea of expecting someone who marries into the family to feed the whole extended family is appalling.
Don’t help us make it a new culture here. Everyone works. Period. Even though she’s working for peanuts but the idea of working is all about putting in efforts to earn something and learn to appreciate what you’ve earned.
We all know that. Sleeping with someone and getting money from the guy is sheer prostitution, however subtle you make it look. (Don’t say sleeping with someone is a way to “earn” something too!) Don’t let your girlfriend
fool you that men are expected to be responsible for the Thai girlfriend’s finances. If she’s a decent girl, she wouldn’t ask you to support her like that. If she has the nerve to ask you for your financial support, do it
because you feel sorry for her being a bargirl or working for peanuts, or so that you feel like a white knight in shining armor saving her from her dirt poor life, but just DON’T do it because…ok…that must be a Thai thing.

Throwing tantrums is another thing. I agree with Stick that screaming and throwing things are very common in prime time soaps. Soap operas here with the best ratings are those with the loudest screaming characters. It’s sad but a lot of girls have
taken that same means to express themselves and get what they want. It may be true that more Thai girls are screaming and throwing things than Western girls, but don’t let us get away with it just because we’re Thai. If we can’t
contain our anger or deal with problems like a civilized person would, we’re probably not fit to have a relationship. Imagine how we’d raise our kids we have with you?

There must be a reason why the word “common sense” is coined. It’s something not only culture-specifically common, but universally common. Believe me Thai people have common sense too, but it’s a lot of time overshadowed by
greed, selfishness, or a “muk-ngai” (literally “love convenience”) mentality. Being muk-ngai is when you do things perfunctorily, half-assed, and irresponsibly just to get it over with and
don’t care about the quality of the outcome or consequences. The consequences are to be worried about later. This mentality explains the quality of products and services you receive day in day out in Thailand. Sweeping trash underneath
the house mentioned above is an act of being muk-ngai.

You called Sony Thai to order a replacement adapter. They said they’d order from Singapore for you. It’d take a week and they’d call you to let you know when they have it. You’ve been busy and lost track of time. Two weeks
later you remembered and called them. They said it was in a week ago and you could go pick it up. They wouldn’t bother calling you like they said they would because they know you’d eventually call. They conveniently ignore their
promise and let the customer do the work. Then they asked you to complete a survey on the service quality. You gave them the lowest point and they went blank, couldn’t make it what was wrong with not keeping their words. What’s the
big deal? It’s only a 360 baht worth of an adapter.

You took your new shiny car to your Honda Patumwan dealership to get it serviced. They did a bad job polishing your car. They left what looked like scuff marks all over the car from the chemicals they used to polish and didn’t remove them completely.
You called them and were transferred to staff after staff. You ended up telling the same story five times and asked for the manager who made it sound like, what’s the big deal, just bring the car in and we’ll redo it for you. They
don’t understand it’s a waste of time and energy. They don’t understand that if they had done a good job in the first place the customer would not have to take time off from work and an extra trip sitting in traffic to bring
the car in, not to mention suffering another day without the car.

What does this rant have to do with your relationship with a Thai girl? I’m trying to make a point that if we are doing something that looks totally like nonsense to you, don’t put up with our crap or BS just because we’re so “muk-ngai
that we try to justify every stupid things we do that it’s a Thai thing, therefore it’s OK. Don’t let us hide behind our Thainess. You don’t let your date bring another six people to join the first date because it’s
a Thai thing to have a chaperone. You don’t let her ignore you for 20 minutes staying on the phone talking small talks in Thai at your dinner table because it’s a Thai thing. You don’t let yourself manipulated into sending
her monthly allowance because it’s a Thai thing. You don’t let her get away with her BS or put up with her crap because it’s a Thai thing. How many times does she give you that leeway because you are a Westerner? I’d
say none. The world revolves around the Thainess, if you haven’t realized that already.

Don’t be afraid to take us to task when we do something universally stupid. Don’t let us get away with it just because we’re from a different culture. Don’t take crap when it’s the same crap you wouldn’t take
back home. Don’t teach us that being Thai can help us get away with murder.

Hope that helps..


Brilliant! There we have it, guys, right from a Thai woman's lips! This really is compulsory reading for every foreign guy getting involved with a Thai women. The sad thing is that if a foreign guy had written this he would probably be called a racist. But it's true, all of it. It really is.

It's time foreign guys started growing balls and not listening to some of the BS from some people and on some forums where the consensus is that if a Thai said something it must be right and as we are not Thai we can't possibly understand their culture. NONSENSE! It takes only a small amount of commonsense to see that often the wool is pulled over the spineless foreigner's eyes.

Wake up, white man! You bring plenty to the table. If you don't get common decency in return, call her on it and if she doesn't agree to mend her ways, leave!

nana plaza