Stickman Readers' Submissions February 21st, 2013

In Response To The Recent Posting ‘Thai Girlfriend Advice’ By Anonymous

I feel compelled to write in answer to this recent posting as I have had gained some experience now with Thai-Chinese hi-so (High Society) girlfriends and their families! I have dated two hi-so girls now on separate occasions for a few years and here’s what I think.

First, my overall advice is to stick with it for now, but set a deadline in your mind for making a decision to finish things or not. Unfortunately that might be soon because of your university term, but set a date regardless.

I am a big fan of hi-so girls and their families, but there are pros and cons.

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1. Hi-So girls are generally well educated and have been to university. This is a must for me as I have two good degrees myself and I would get bored with a girl with little education. Also hi-so families often allow their children to study abroad now, so their daughters are generally a bit more worldly and may speak very good English.

2. Their friends are usually also smart, well educated, speak good English and are interesting to hang out with. Compare that with the guys who are landed with some rice farmer's daughter out in a small village in the countryside.

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3. The family have cool holidays, maybe travel a lot, probably have a second home somewhere. Also they like good restaurants, spas, travel and fun things to do.

4. The brothers (if she has any) will likely belong to the top golf clubs and if you like golf (I do) it’s good fun playing with them.

5. They have money and it’s easy for them to travel abroad to visit you (I am based in London)

6. The girls just seem smarter, have stronger opinions and a bit more ‘up for adventure’ than their poorer brethren at times.

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7. They don’t have an agenda of ‘must find Farang who can take care of my family’.

8. Also you have something to offer them, which is escape. I find many hi-so girls look at a confident, good farang and see the opportunity for a different life to the one prescribed by a Thai husband.

9. I find them generally very honest and loyal.

10. I know this varies greatly by family, but the hi-so families I know aren’t interested in sin sot payments and all that. They have so much money they don’t care.


1. The family really lock their daughters down in so many ways! The parents have complete say and control. For example it is normal that the children have to live at home, no matter how old they are. Also it is a major sin for them to have a boyfriend who is not officially sanctioned by the parents. In both cases, I had to ask my girlfriend's parents' permission to date their respective daughters. They only said yes after several days of checking me out. During this time I was living in their family home and spending all my time with them so they could form an opinion of me. Also one family later sent a family member to London to see my home, job, etc. and to confirm my situation there.

2. I could not have a holiday with my girlfriend in Thailand, say a weekend in Phuket, without a family member coming along as well.

3. It’s normal for the parents to find ‘appropriate’ Thai men for their daughters as potential husbands.

4. The parents think they can tell their children what to do, no matter how old their children are. If she marries you, it will subside but not go away.

5. Any public displays of affection are a no-no. My ex could not even hold hands with me in public, let alone the smallest kiss. Absolute zero. The fear beaten in to them is that they would been seen as a slut. Especially with a Farang as they know many are sex tourists in Bangkok. Forget about living together outside of marriage. Strange exception to this is if the girl lives abroad with you. Out of sight out of mind, no loss of face for the family.

6. The girl can be a real princess. She has never experienced hardship or poverty and was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. So they are a bit spoilt and can throw tempers easily if they don’t get their way. Also they tend to just spend money as it’s given to them, long-term saving has never been a requirement for them.

7. Their obsession with brand name handbags is legendary. If it’s not Prada, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, etc it’s not worthy. I have been out with girlfriend and her friends and they all have these damn bags. Nothing under £2000. Also Rolex watches are almost mandatory. It’s like a uniform.

Just as a caveat, I know there are some hi-so girls who live on their own, go out to clubs, get drunk, mess about with farang men, do what they want etc. But I’m not writing about them here.

So back to your story…

First, is she living at home? She should be. If so, she doesn’t need any money from you, her family pay all her living expenses and they don’t mind.

Second, not displaying affection with you in public and the sister acting as a chaperone, yes that happens.

Third, I am not quite catching the bit about her mother requiring you to have a degree before allowing you to marry her daughter. I am nervous that is really a proxy for your job is not good enough in their opinion or they think you don’t make enough money.

Forth, your girl is 28, which is getting on for a Thai girl to still be unmarried. Her mother may well be looking around her social network for a suitable Thai husband. So it’s time to either get this working or just go.

Also in Thailand, the office employers such as banks can work their staff long hours six days a week. Keep that in mind.

So, it seems you may have won the girl over, but not the parents perhaps? So you must decide, are you keen enough on her to take that on? If so, here are some tips.

You must ask for permission to be her boyfriend from her mother and/or father. That’s step one. Tell your girl you are going to do this, and if she agrees, then do it. If they say yes, this gives you permission to date her and to spend time with the family. Don’t jump straight to intentions for marriage yet, that comes across as weird. Spending time with the family will include driving around to markets, restaurants, shopping or what ever with different family members. They are checking you out and in turn you are getting to know them. They may take you on weekend trips. Your girl will be with you, so you get to spend more time together, albeit not on your own.

As her parents are the older generation they probably don’t speak much English. You ideally should learn the basics of Thai to provide them with a degree of respect and courtesy.

Don’t forget to wai the parents once each day – when you first see them. Also refer to them as Khun Mae, Khun Por and say ‘krap’ at the end of your sentences when speaking to them. It's polite.

I’m not sure how rich your girl’s family is. This can matter, as the wealthier they are, the more fussy they might be about your earnings and job. Another way of saying ‘are you good enough for their daughter?’ You will have to judge that situation, but I don’t think sending your girl some expense money each month will make any difference. They are looking for a good man with a good job, owns a nice house, wears good clothes, speaks well, is polite, owns a good car, stays in nice hotels, is respectful to them, treats their daughter well…you get the idea.

Make sure you display public demonstrations of gift giving. Buy nice, thoughtful presents for the family. Good romantic gifts for your girl she can ‘show off’ a bit to friends and family. Occasionally take the whole family to a good restaurant and pay. Don’t confuse this with the ‘low-society’ spongers often referred to on this website. In my experience my girlfriend’s family normally paid for me, for everything, unless I stepped in and paid.

If things work OK, then the family will actually become very accepting of you, and treat you like another member. They won’t mind if you take your girl out together on your own. After a bit, marriage would be an open door.

Also remember all this is a two-way road. If it’s not working for you and you don't like the situation, well think about that, you need to be happy. There are other girls in Thailand. Actually, there are a lot and marriage is something you want to get right.

So, it may seem like a hard road what I’ve written here, but personally I think it’s worth it if you have found the right girl and she comes from a good family.

Good luck!

Stickman's thoughts:

There's some really good advice here for anyone getting involved with a Thai lady from a high-society family background. I do think it should be noted, however, that the lady referred to in the original submission almost certainly was not from a high society background as the family did not appear to have money, more that her family was very conservative and traditional. Still, there is a lot of overlap between dating a girl from a high-society family and a conservative / traditional / background.

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