Help Needed Understanding A Thai Girlfriend
I would like to share my first (and perhaps last) experience dating a Thai girl.
I read up quite extensively on the subject before taking the plunge but I still have no clear idea whether I was set up for a scam or whether the girl had honourable intentions or any shades of grey between the two. My story, though different, may be a corollary to that of James Sanuk’s (Stickman 17/9/12 – Can Any Long-Distance Relationship After Your First Really Work?) or entirely different I really don’t know.
At 60 and being fed up with my “western” style relationship with my 50 year-old girlfriend of 3 years I told her I had had enough (which she didn’t really believe) and I arranged a 2-week holiday in Thailand on my lonesome.
I joined a dating website and began the tedious process of contacting a number of girls. Readers will be well aware from their own experiences or from reading Stickman how this works for a Farang and how to avoid the more obvious traps. One girl, let’s call her Fon which is an appropriate name for a good Thai girl, attracted my attention right from the beginning – she just looked perfect to my eyes. She was 35, unmarried, no kids and had been on the website for 4 years and had nearly 80,000 “clicks” on her profile during that time. I added a click to her score but she never read or replied to my messages. Eventually I decided to send an email directly to her since the website shares email addresses between paying members. I hoped this might get a little more attention – which it did and we started corresponding.
I was reassured that Fon had been on the website for such a long time as I had reported quite a few girls who I suspected of being scammers and they were very quickly banned from the website – this meant that no-one had complained about Fon or, at the very least, she had passed whatever tests were applied. We communicated a lot via email, instant messaging, then Skype and WhatsApp (on Iphone) – perhaps 500 messages and over 25 hours of Skype. The subject of marriage came up a few times as this was something we were both ultimately seeking.
I told Fon I would be coming to Bangkok (where she lives and works) for 2 weeks and I asked her if she would like to spend the 2 weeks holidaying with me. She worked as a manager in a Bangkok company and she asked for the time off – next thing I knew she was meeting me off my plane at Suvarnabhumi.
I had booked us both into a fancy hotel in central Bangkok, which at least gave me an opportunity to check her name and date of birth on the ID card she provided to the hotel (God, aren’t we trained to be suspicious of everyone with a generous spirit). It was not long before we were showering together although I had to wait a few days before there was any sex. I am not mentioning this gratuitously but rather in order to get some context into how the relationship developed. She was an Isaan girl and after everything I had read I didn’t find anything about her behaviour particularly surprising.
The first day we lazed a lot in bed, talked a lot (including about marriage), did some sightseeing and visited her condo. In the evening she took me to a great seafood restaurant where she insisted on paying a bill that was close to 10,000 baht (live Maine lobster is very expensive).
The next day we ended up in a Chinatown gold shop where she insisted that it was customary to give gold to your future wife. <STOP RIGHT THERE, the alarm bells are screaming! – Stick> She chose earrings and a necklace that totalled 62,000 baht. Dividing the sterling equivalent by 14, I quickly came up with a figure of somewhat under £100 per day which I thought I could live with that for a friend with “favours” even if marriage as a prospect was a fairly distant one. The “favours” were granted that night.
The following day we were due to fly up to Chiang Mai but she suddenly remembered that she had forgotten to pay the rent on her condo – another loan/gift of 7,000 baht and she was gone for so long that I thought it was all over and she wouldn’t be coming back – in fact she did come back and only a kamikaze taxi driver saved us from missing the flight!
Installed that night in another fancy hotel I asked if I could see the necklace (she was already wearing the earrings) but she told me she was frightened that it would get stolen and had hidden it in her condo instead. I told her that I believed she had already sold it and there followed a tantrum typical of a Thai girl who is caught out on a lie.
Of course, we kissed and made up but that night, after making love, she fell soundly asleep and I took the opportunity to investigate her Iphone which, although locked, I had observed her entering the code several times. There were several emails over the last month from a German guy who had transferred 110,000 baht to her account and was telling her in no uncertain terms that he wouldn’t be sending any more. There was an exchange of slightly older emails with an Austrian guy asking him for money which he refused on the basis he was broke. Finally there was a text message from an American who was expecting to meet her in Bangkok that very night “same room as last time, no underwear please and I will bring you lots of dollars”.
This was disappointing but not altogether unexpected.
I tackled her about this the following day. After the usual tantrum and the objection that I wasn’t her husband and had no right to break into phone (which was true) she calmed down, confessed everything, pleading guilty only to the lesser crime of revenge (she felt she had been taken for a ride by these guys and just wanted to get even with them).
After that there was a “sea change” in her attitude. She became intensely loving (not just physically) but seemed genuinely to decide that I was someone she could respect and wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She took me to meet her parents on her rice farm in Isaan and she also told her friends and family (and her boss) that she would be getting married to me. We started to make detailed plans to get married on my next visit – this the distant prospect became pretty imminent.
I returned to the UK after 2 wonderful weeks with her and we remained in touch, as we had previously, but spent even more time than before on Skype, WhatsApp etc. Obviously one of the things I wanted to clear up on was the disappearing gold necklace and, after a half-hearted attempt to hide the fact, she admitted she had pawned it for 50,000 baht (as I had suspected) but that she would get it back the following day, which she did and she then wore the necklace every time we Skyped. She Skyped me every night, often several times, so I was reassured that she was not “playing around”. She also deleted her profile on the dating website and relinquished the title of “most clicked on girl” to the next in line.
We talked more about getting married but unfortunately my fears that she might be a scammer re-surfaced. Firstly she wasn’t very keen we should have a prenup agreement before the civil marriage. Also she wanted to bring forward the Buddhist marriage ceremony to 3 months after the civil ceremony instead of the 12 months we had previously agreed (apparently her mother asked the monk for dates). Then she wanted me to buy marriage gold for Mum and Dad and the brother (all 3 of whom still work the rice farm) – the budget for the gold was to be 500,000 baht. The sin sod, which would be given back to us after the ceremony so we could buy a home in Thailand, was to be 9 million baht (9 is her lucky number!). This was eventually renegotiated down to 5 million in a joint bank account which could be “shown” at the wedding ceremony but later she asked if she could just have half of the money in her account with the other half in mine. NO!
She was also very keen to register the wedding quickly in the UK so she could get her spouse/partner visa. This would mean we could be together even when I had to be in England.
I know that so far this all this may sound like I’m being set up as the super-scam of the century (especially after reading various accounts here on Stickman and other places) but really I just wanted to find out where all this was going to end. Also, as long as it didn’t cost me money, I wanted to see if she was at all genuine in the love and affection she had shown me. I’ve read a lot about Thai woman, face and value but wasn’t sure how my particular experience mapped onto that. Clearly she seems to have waited a long time to find the right guy and to have been very selective and maybe she needed proof of my commitment (and wealth) before we got married but equally it could also be that she spent most of her spare time trawling for potential scam victims. I just didn’t know.
Anyhow there came a point in time when I just had to make a decision and I told Fon in a long email that for many personal reasons (like my friends and family were “horrified” at the prospect of me having a young Thai bride), I would not be coming back to Thailand to marry her. Initially she refused to accept this and bombarded me with affectionate messages and tried to Skype and left long voicemail messages of undying love. As she began to comprehend the situation she offered to just marry me and to drop the Buddhist ceremony, the gold, the sin sod, the UK visa and just live with me in Bangkok. I wondered then whether all this had just been a test to see if I was serious and “valued” her or was she now making an “empty” gesture just to get me back to the negotiating table. I don’t know.
I told her it was not about the money, nor that I didn’t love any more – simply that my personal circumstances made it impossible for me to marry her and live permanently in Thailand.
For 5 days I heard absolutely nothing (apparently she was in hospital). And then began a tidal wave of messages emails and phone calls (42 one day), some saying how much she loved me; others less polite, which is still continuing. In the more loving messages she repeats that to prove I love her I should just go to Thailand and marry her and to prove she loves me she would forget all about the Buddhist ceremony, gold, sin sod and UK visa.
It is certainly confusing but possibly it’s me not understanding Thai mentality – I would readily admit to not understanding female mentality either.
Anyhow, even if there are no absolute answers here, I share what happened between me and Fon because it is still on-going and in case it helps anybody finding themself in a similar situation. It’s also possible that somebody, Stick included, can give me some insight on this one. I had a great 2 weeks with Fon, it didn’t cost me that much, at least in GBP terms, and I got close to imagining a wonderful, blissful relationship even if, in the end, I started worrying that it might be a deception.
Either way, I have left behind a very sad and unhappy girl, either because I was the cad who dumped her at the altar or because she was the scammer who invested time and energy but missed out on winning the lottery. She is still phoning me 45-50 times per day and, if I take the call, she is pleading with me to do the courageous thing and marry her.
But, at the risk of overstating my ignorance on such matters, I really don’t know what to do. HELP!!!.
From time to time a submission is published, or I receive an emails outlining a situation similar to this where someone has met the worst kind of woman, someone who is obviously a blood-sucking leech and who you would not want anything to do with. In most of these cases it's pretty obvious that the evil wench has shagged the (usually older) guy's brains out blinding him to her real intentions. However – and this is where your situation differs from many – quite often these people are not the brightest bulb in the room and all too often they maddeningly make excuses for her behaviour and try to explain it. Often their writing (and bad grammar and syntax which readers may not see as I often tidy it up) suggests that they were never going to work out what was going on. In your case, you come across as bright, successful and level-headed and I am kind of surprised that you fell for this wench. My advice is simple. Cease all communication with her and forget her. No good can come from spending more time )or effort or money) with this woman. She is poisonous. Any guy who gets involved with her is involving himself with the worst time of woman. Move on, put her behind you and forget her!