Thai Girlfriend Strategies for 2012
Having lived in Bangkok for a while, and spent some serious effort looking for the "right" girl, I find that I've gained a few insights that might benefit fellow Stick readers. I've learned, most importantly, that you first need to understand the system as a whole, in order to focus in on where you can find what you want.
And before you can understand and appreciate the strategies that seem to work best, you need to understand what doesn't.
WHAT DOESN'T (USUALLY) WORK
There are very few stories I've ever read of relationships with bar girls that work out. I don't know anyone who has had this experience. It's possible, but so is winning the lottery.
One night recently, I went down to Phat Phong on a whim just to check out the scene. While there, I had a chat with 2 ladies in different bars about the bar girls in the area. Both worked in bars as hostesses, but were there more as advertisers for the bar, than for picking up customers. I asked them both the same thing: "Can I find a good girlfriend here?" (If you read Stick's site, the consensus seems to be that somewhere from 2 to 10% of the bar girls are actually suitable as girlfriends or wives.)
To my amazement, these women — who have a vested interest in keeping me around to buy more ladies' drinks — both looked at me as though I were crazy. They explained that it was almost impossible, with the implication that it wasn't worth all the associated risk and expense to even try. And you thought bar hostesses were all dishonest!
At the end of the day, I'm sure that there's a small contingent of bar girls who would work well as girlfriends or wives. Likely as not, that small slice consists mainly of girls who either just recently joined the bar scene and haven't been mentally messed up, or girls who are bogged down with children, or girls who are getting too old to stay gainfully employed in the industry. More on the first category in a bit.
I hate to say it, but I'm coming to the conclusion that the office girls are actually worse as girlfriends than the bar girls. Not, mind you, because they hound you with cash requests on a regular basis (which most don't). But because they're simply too busy. I alluded to this in my previous post. You have to understand that Thailand, and especially Bangkok, is an emerging economy in every sense of the word. There is a rising middle class here. They work hard all week, then have only so much time left for their families and themselves. You fall at the end of that list, no matter how much they like you. That would be OK if they worked part time, but with salaries as low as they are, that's not realistic for most, especially if they're supporting their parents.
The net result is SMSes that don't get returned until the next day, cancelled dates, and a massive time investment in order to simply find out if you're compatible. And those are the good cases. Probably half of the office girls have no social skills to speak of, and are too rude, self-absorbed, or negligent to forge any sort of lasting relationship. And contrary to what you might think, the "uneducated" bar girls generally speak better English.
That said, there are some truly wonderful office girls. But even if they love you, don't expect much time from them. And as you might expect, it's not too easy to keep in good physical shape while holding down long hours at the office.
Rich Party Girls
These are the rich and wanna-be-rich girls who hang out at the fancy nightclubs. They tend to be as dependent as the bargirls, and as unavailable and socially inept as the office girls. At least the bar girls don't waste much of their money on high end alcohol and overpriced fashion. These women do. Not to mention, do you really want to date girls from powerful families that might get pissed off at you for some unexpected reason? Enough said. Avoid at all costs.
It bears repeating: Do not date girls who work in the grocery store, bank, office, etc. where you go often. Ideally, keep at least a few kilometers between the two of you, in case things go south.
Everyone knows that you can meet people online. Indeed, it's not a bad idea to research some dating websites, or Facebook friends-of-friends, before you get here. But overwhelmingly, what I've discovered is that people who do this as part of their core dating strategy, tend to be constantly looking for an "upgrade" and never willing to spend much time with any one acquaintance. All this technology is making us more superficial, less contemplative, and ultimately less effective at finding good partners. (An hour reading Stick is probably worth a month wasted on online dating.) A love relationship takes focus, and these sorts of tools distract from that focus. Yes, you can meet decent girls this way. But it's excruciatingly slow. They often insist on emailing back and forth once a day, which is no way to build the sort of focus required. And they're often too afraid to meet, which makes no sense, because you could just as well have met on the street. But it's their perception, and you have to deal with that.
All in all, a serious waste of time. At best, surf through the girls and let their profiles help you hone in on the sort of girl you want, so that you'll be faster to identify them while going about your business outside.
WHAT DOES WORK
The Backdoor Bar Girl Strategy
I know at least two guys who have pulled this off successfully. They didn't even know that they were using this strategy. They just sort of ended up inside it. It was only in analyzing their stories, and from other reader submissions, that I figured this out.
Here's how it goes:
1. The slower, less risky version
Go to a bunch of a bar girl clubs, somewhat randomly. Sample different parts of town with different clientele, because you want a wide mix. Sex bars and beer bars, both Thai and Farang, are recommended. Go sit in the corner and order a beer (not hard liquor, as you need your wits about you). Keep to yourself and scan the menu, but don't be antisocial.
Inevitably, unless the bar is extremely busy, you're going to get a bar girl coming up to you. Likely as not, she'll be one of the not-so-pretty ones who attempts to compensate for that with her superior social skills. Welcome her to sit down and have a chat. If she likes, get her a ladies' drink. Remember, you want to give the bar some business, so that you're welcome there, should you need to return in the future. It also helps deflect attention from you. (Too much attention in a bar can be undesirable for obvious reasons.)
Early on, unless you really prefer otherwise, make it clear that you're not looking for sex, but you're happy to talk. At some point in the conversation, explain that you're really just looking for a girlfriend, and ask her if she has any single friends. Try to explain that you're not looking for a bar girl, without offending her. Unless she lives in a box, the answer will be that, yes, she does have single friends. From there, slowly and carefully network your way around.
Yes, you could do this on Facebook, but you'll never get the amount of focus and attention from the bar girl that way. That's why you need to actually go to the bar.
On the one hand, this is a slow method because it requires finding many bar girls to serve as your social gatekeepers to their networks, and even more filtering effort, if you meet her friends. But on the plus side, gorgeous upcountry girls know other gorgeous upcountry girls. And even though the bar girl might be a scammer, her friend might be legit.
2. The faster, riskier version
This is just like #1, but with a difference. The difference is that you actually barfine and have sex with the bar girl. But don't get confused. The point isn't to end up with the bar girl (although that is a remote, but nonzero, possibility). The point is to bind her into your inner social circle, so she will be more effective and motivated as a social gate keeper.
Sure, you could say "I'll give you a thousand baht to hook me up with a good girlfriend." But if you think about it, that's a really open-ended offer that's more likely to be met with fear and confusion, than "I'll give you a thousand baht for a short time."
Of course, some bar girls will never call you again after a short time. If that happens, let it go. But if things go well in bed, then exchange phone numbers (ideally, from your dedicated "bar girl number") and try to meet up with her and her friends on her off day. Go buy them all lunch, while still remembering to treat her courteously, so she'll be compelled to invite you out again.
You may need to repeat this process many times. Get used to it. Social filtering is an exhausting process, but quite possibly worth the investment.
The Bus Station Strategy
There are a few different forms of this strategy. Suffice to say that I've heard it used successfully enough times to compel me that it really does work, if you can be in the right place at the right time, or tip the mamasan at the bar to work the field for you. But this isn't for getting bar girls. Let me explain.
Based on my long analysis of the bar girl world, it seems quite clear to me that there are actual brain changes which occur as a bar girl's career evolves. In addition to the bad effects of excessive alcohol, poor nutrition, and mind-numbing club music, they receive constant reinforcement to suggest that all men are just transaction partners interested in swapping sex for money, but not capable of holding their own in a relationship, otherwise.
Very few bar girls seems to maintain a balanced perspective under the weight of such daily reinforcement.
One obvious circumvention to this problem is early intervention. If you can find the girl who just "stepped off the bus" into the industry, perhaps within the last few weeks if not yesterday, then you have a chance at getting a gorgeous girl who still has a potentially healthy relationship mentality.
Yes, you could theoretically wait at the bus station next to the bar. But the name "Bus Station" is more metaphorical than literal. All it means is that, if you network your way around the bars, then you can find the new girls before they get corrupted by the system.
One of my friends found his longtime girlfriend this way. He employed the Backdoor Bar Girl strategy, at first. He had sex with a few bar girls, one of whom had a friend from upcountry who was on her way to Pattaya to start work in a bar. A few phone calls later, he was able to meet her on her way into town. They're now living together and have never looked back. I met her myself, and chatted with him at length about her. While she is, in a literal sense, a financially dependent housewife, she's also very well worth her keep, and very frugal about money. She's also in her early twenties, and quite attractive. A home run, in my view!
Thailand is undergoing "female deforestation". The good girls are getting harder and harder to find, which is typical of an emerging economy where sex tourism, fast money, bad food, and pollution are wreaking havoc on the minds and bodies of would-be-great girlfriends. You need to get smarter. Much smarter.
As another writer intimated here on Stick's site, it may very well be that Cambodia is now more like Thailand of the 1980s, than Thailand of 2012. But unless you're willing to live in such an overtly dangerous environment, you'd better reset your thinking on finding a good Thai girl, while you still can.
Female deforestation is an interesting term, but you're on to something there. I have spent a few days in Pattaya this week and I have not seen so many unattractive or downright rude women. I was amazed at how many reveled in being extremely rude to customers. And with ThaiLoveLinks going downhill according to friends, the two easiest places to meet local women are suddenly not the fertile grounds they used to be!