Dos And Don’ts, The Rules
For all of you who come to Thailand for the first time and lose your heart, please follow these rules so you don’t lose your wallet and / or your mind also:
1- Don’t give a woman you meet in a bar any substantial amounts of money for any reason whatsoever:
a- Don’t give her money if she says she is sick or has had an accident
b- Don’t give her money if she says her family (father, mother, son, daughter, cow or buffalo) are sick
c- Don’t give her money to fix her house or tractor
d- Don’t give her money to buy land or gold
2- Don’t open a bank account for her; don’t give her an ATM card and don’t give her any passwords of yours.
3- Don’t marry her, either in a western or Thai wedding, if you have only known her a short time. If you do marry her (Please don’t), for God’s sake don’t pay any dowry to her family. Dowries are not a requirement and if she truly loves you she will not ask for one. Sometimes, dowries are paid and the money is then immediately returned.
4- Don’t believe her when she says:
a- I love you
b- You are the only one
c- I don’t go with other men
d- I have only worked in bars for a short time
5- Don’t believe her if she says she is pregnant with your child
6- Don’t bring her to live in your country. Thai women do not perform well away from their family / friends and TV dramas.
7- Don’t send her money for language lessons, beautician school or to open a massage parlour. Don’t send her money directly for anything. If she needs money, speak to the vendor and pay the invoice yourself.
I could give you a thousand explanations for the above rules. A thousand stories. A thousand broken hearts. But I won’t. There’s no point. Trust me and follow the rules.
If you don’t believe me:
8- Read every single reader submission to Stickman. Don’t believe that your girl is different.
Those are the Don’ts. Here are some things to do:
1- Check her Thai ID to make sure of her sex (and age).
2- Spend quality time with her. Take her out of the bar and to a nice restaurant, a temple, the movies, a supermarket. See how she acts. See how she looks after your money.
3- Spend quantity time with her. A lot of time. 6 months or a year (face to face. Skype is not a substitute for a relationship).
4- Check her phone for messages from others. Check her email if you can get the password. Assume she has a second account. (Yes, I know this is immoral. So what?)
5- Spend a lot of time in her village with her family. If they ask for money, just smile and follow the Don’ts above.
6- Get her a real job or send her to a real school. Insist on seeing her report card and attendance record. Pay the bill yourself after speaking to the person running the school. Ask for her performance review (every Thai gets a written review 3 months after they begin work.)
7- If anything seems unusual, or disturbing, like strange phone calls, or she turns her phone off when she is with you, or you think she is not where she says she is…if anything at all doesn’t feels right, run away.
8- Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it is not right.
9- If everything is perfect, do nothing. Wait a year. Wait another year if you can.
10- Print this out and put it in your wallet. Read it from time to time, preferably every day.
This may seem cynical. It is not. This may seem callous. It is not. There are many wonderful Thai women out there. I am in a long term relationship with one of them. I have been with her 5 years and every year I trust her a bit more. I still don’t trust her 100%. I know people who are happily married to Thai women. But I have been going to Thailand for 20+ years; and others live there.
It is different if you are just coming for the first time, or only come once a year. You need to spend significant time on the ground with a Thai woman before making a commitment, financial or emotional. Thai women can be the most wonderful, thoughtful, caring, appreciative, warm, responsible, people.
They can also be the opposite.
You are a buyer. They are sellers.
PS: I wrote this to serve as a warning to others. Feel free to send me your comments and additions and I will update this as more thoughts come in.
It is prudent to err on the side of caution as there are so many stories of guys having troubles.
Probably the only thing I would disagree with is the checking of emails or messages on someone's phone. I would only say that you consider doing that if you have agreed to be exclusive to each other but have since found strong evidence that something is up…and even then I am not sure about it!