The Second Phase!
Any Farang guy who has entered a relationship with a Thai girl and is serious about trying to make a proper go of the relationship in their own country needs to get their girl over to Farangland for an extended holiday. It proves invaluable to gauging how the relationship may develop and if your girl is suited to life outside of Thailand. Many points I make may seem obvious but hopefully you guys will find something in here that may help.
Usually a tourist visa for a Thai girl to western countries lasts for 3 months. Try to keep your girl there for as long as possible, ideally the full 3 months so you can spend as much time as possible with her. Show her all the local sights (if there are any) and just driving around your home town / city is interesting to someone who probably hasn’t been out of Asia before. Health insurance is also a must when bringing your girl over so try and organize it with an insurer in your homeland
Before bringing her over do some research and find an Asian supermarket or food supplier nearby or order a few basics online, as we all know Thais love their food. Simple things like this make things run a lot smoother. Living in Darwin, Australia made it easy for me as there is a large Asian population here with markets and Asian stores.
Take as much time off work as possible and spend a couple of weeks treating it as a holiday and have fun. One of the brilliant parts about this is that you will probably see your home city from a different angle which takes a bit of effort but you find yourself going to places that you take for granted. After that period try and live a normal life as you would with any other girlfriend. Yes, Thais are culturally different but the fundamentals to any long lasting relationship are very similar no matter what race you are and your Thai girl isn’t some mythical deity made from unicorn tears, but a female human!
Your girl may be shy and quiet when meeting your friends and family the first few times. She isn’t being ignorant, but is just embarrassed and probably thinks her English (or language of your home country) isn’t up to scratch. Don’t make a big deal about this or get frustrated with her for not joining in. Keep including her in conversations and eventually she will relax and open up when she realizes it isn’t an issue.
You will have to do most things for her at first which can be frustrating but remember although it’s easy for you to find your way around Thailand the chances are you have only been to the tourist areas such as Phuket/Ko Samui etc. which are all geared towards making it easy for Farangs to do things. Your Thai girl been expected to be independent in your home city at first as a western girl would be is the same as you been dumped in the middle of some outer Mongolian township and expecting you to fit in straight away.
Because you are not on holiday and you have other distractions such as paying bills, fixing the car, clearing out the garden shed etc., you are not going to be able to give your girl the 100% attention that you probably do when you visit her in Thailand. This can cause problems at first as she will think you are different to how you normally act when with her. Sit your girl down and explain although these things may not be fun they still need doing and because you're not constantly gazing into each other's eyes doesn’t mean you care about her any less! This was one of the biggest differences I found between seeing my girl in Thailand and in my home country. As the weeks went by and my girl became more confident in her new surroundings this became less of an issue.
When shopping for food Westerners tend to be different as in we only shop maybe once or twice a week whereas the majority of Thais purchase food everyday for that particular day. This can become a hassle here in the western world as obviously a typical town / suburb will have a couple of supermarkets a 5 – 20 minute drive away which we typically would dread to have to visit everyday. So as boring as it sounds try and explain that when food shopping you have to think ahead. This isn’t really a big deal but is one of those little things that is worth mentioning.
Introduce her to as many female friends as you can, as we all know women need female company and also it could save you the tedious task of having to go clothes shopping with her! The more friends she makes in your country the more she will feel like she could settle there. <Just make sure they are decent Thais as there are a lot of Thais living overseas you would not wish your darling to spend time with – Stick>
You're going to want to buy her presents and maybe spoil her. Don’t over do it as that isn’t how you would live if she was there permanently. Obviously don’t be pedantic about spending but try and promote good spending habits which will help her realize that it’s different to when you are on holiday and money isn’t as big an issue. We tend to spend like rock stars when on holiday as we are only there for a couple of weeks or so which can give false expectations. Going for a night on the town in your city can cost as much as going out five nights out of seven in Thailand!
Chances are she hasn’t come over with much money in this case give her some cash to carry around and encourage her to pay for drinks when you’re out having a coffee or calling at the local shop for groceries. This is a very simple way of helping her build confidence and getting used to her new environment.
Hopefully you’ll both have a great time and the hardest part of her trip will be the goodbye when she returns to Thailand. In my opinion if you and your girl both want to take the next step and are thinking about living in your home country having her come over on a tourist visa more than once is the best way to gauge whether she will be happy living away from Thailand without diving in and foolishly getting married too early. The more time you can spend together before you make a commitment, the better (a rule that has been mentioned countless times on this website!).
This is not a sure fire way to guarantee your relationship will work in the long run, there is no sure fire way but it is slightly stacking the chips in your favour and every little helps!
Lots of good points made.
One point you make which I question is the wisdom of buying a woman lots of presents and spoiling her. Do that in the early days and you may unintentionally set the bar very high…