Stickman Readers' Submissions April 29th, 2013

Response to Second Chance in Life

I just finished reading the second installment of “Second Chance in Life” by Average Older Guy (AOG) and thought I have
some experiences of my own that might be useful to share with both the author of that submission and also with other Stickman readers who are interested in this topic.

AOG has found difficulty in finding a Thai girl via either on-line dating sites or an introduction/marriage agency. I guess this doesn’t surprise me too much. A lot of the girls looking via these methods are from lower socio-economic backgrounds and as AOG highlighted, simply want someone to take care of them. This is a common expression that I noticed when browsing on-line Thai dating sites. I do believe that some decent girls can be found as well on these sites and not all of the decent girls would be averse to an age gap. I do know of several friends as well as some friends of my wife who have dated or have married older partners (although not always a foreigner). This doesn’t just apply to females either. I can think of one example off the top of my head of a Thai male who for a long period dated a work colleague who was 15 years older than him. Why they do it… I really struggle to say in some cases. It isn’t always money (these people range from reasonably to fabulously wealthy themselves). With some, it may be daddy (or mommy) issues. For others, I am still scratching my head.

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The latest example that pops into my mind should provide some hope and comfort to AOG and others who are in their fifties (or even older) and still looking for a partner who isn’t working off the usual criteria of “take care of me”. One of my wife’s best friends has shacked up with an Aussie guy and I suspect that based on certain recent events, wedding bells will soon be ringing. She is 34, has good overseas qualifications and a professional job. The guy on the other hand is close to 60, is semi-retired, and although he is above average in terms of wealth, her family is definitely much wealthier. You are all therefore asking “well… what’s the catch?” I don’t think there is one. She is an absolutely gorgeous girl (she easily would have been my next choice had I not married my wife), very well behaved and her only downside is that she can be a little bit of a tomboy in the way that she dresses (eg jeans and Nirvana style jumpers). However, she is naturally beautiful so it doesn’t really matter.

You may be asking what she sees in this guy… she has had other boyfriends, but I suspect that this guy was an early boyfriend of hers back when she was studying her masters, and she has kept in touch ever since. She has now reached an age where she is feeling pressure to marry (and start a family) and I suspect one of her criteria was she wanted to do that in Australia. This guy just happened to be in the right place at the right time and she had a hard time finding anyone else suitable that she felt she could trust (very important) and that she knew she could get along with.

To be honest, if I was in AOG’s situation, and looking for a Thai girl in her 30s that wasn’t in the “you take care of me” category, I would give serious consideration to getting a job (or even better, enrolling) at a Western university or college that received a large number of graduate Thai students (don’t go for undergrads, as they are far too immature). Being on campus would provide an excellent opportunity for meeting Thai girls that have some money, have gotten used to living outside of Thailand, have better English skills, and to be honest, tend to be a bit more promiscuous while away from home and out of sight of their parents. In fact, I met my wife while she was studying her masters in Australia.

On to Stick’s repeated comment that most relationships between Thais and Westerners don’t go so well, I agree. I am married to a Thai. My dad is also married to a Thai. My dad’s marriage has to be classed as being successful. It has had its ups and downs, but it is now just over 30 years since they met and the marriage is still going strong. I would also class my marriage as successful, although it certainly isn’t without its issues. You may laugh at this, but the biggest problem with my marriage is that I am culturally very Thai (Thai stepmother plus I grew up in Bangkok in the 1980s) whilst my wife has thoroughly adopted Western culture and she is becoming just a little too much like the Western girls that I despise. I certainly have not had the cultural issues, sin sot bullshit, you take care of me crap and all the other complaints that I often see on this site, and which I associate with hooking up with someone from a lower socio-economic background.

I also know of a lot of other Thai/Western marriages and I can report that most have failed. Actually, with the Thai woman, it is normally her first marriage to a Westerner that failed, but in a number of cases, the second marriage seems to be going a lot better. I suspect that by the second marriage, the lady has matured more, gotten used to living abroad, and learned to become at least a little financially independent in her Western country. The second marriage in such case then becomes more about finding a partner and companionship rather than financial support. Perhaps it is the financial support aspect that is the real relationship killer. I know it put a strain on the early days of my dad’s marriage.

However, it is not only Thai/Western marriages that are difficult. Looking at my Western friends, many are now divorced (some multiple times, and they haven’t quite hit 40 yet). Others are still married, but having some serious difficulties. There are others where everything does seem peaceful most of the time, but who knows what is going on behind the surface. Oh, and Stick… don’t think it is just the Thai/Western marriages where philandering is going on. The bigger difference is that in Thailand, it is much easier to do and for some silly reason, Westerners in Thailand (or those who did their philandering while in Thailand) feel a need to brag about it, while philandering done in the West is usually kept very secret and discrete.

If I ever did get divorced though, I would be sorely tempted not to re-marry. I think that post-divorce, there would be a strong temptation to follow the lead that AOG is now proposing, and simply stay single but avail myself of temporary companionship. I am not sure if I would go for the pay for play scene or if I would perhaps prefer to take advantage of the on-line dating scene instead. However, I think I would need to set up some rules and stick to them regarding this scene though, or else before I know it, I I would be married again (or at least stuck with a live-in girlfriend).

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I have occasionally thirsted for such a lifestyle choice, of being single and enjoying all of the variety that is available. This is what AOG has now suggested, and it certainly has a strong attractiveness. A friend of mine who recently visited Thailand for the first time (and who is married to a Western lady, but they have no plans for children) made the same comment about a more enjoyable lifestyle and made the comment that he now deeply questioned the whole point of being married. I had a little chat to him about this, and I highlighted that the thing that always concerns me on this point is that a temporary girlfriend doesn’t provide the companionship that I thirst for in life. If I was enjoying the pay for play scene, then it would presumably be a different girl each night (or every two or three nights). Conversation would presumably be very shallow and there isn’t enough time to get to know much about each other. For the on-line scene, if it was a different girl each week, then once again, there isn’t enough time to really build up to a good conversation. No short term relationship could ever provide that, as you need time, in order to build up shared experiences, learn how we each think and react, learn each other’s little idiosyncrasies etc. To be honest, I think it could become a fairly lonely existence, and the accompanying drinking that goes with the scene wouldn’t be a good lifestyle choice either.

Whilst I suspect the early retirement/pay for play scene may currently appear to be the better option to AOG at the moment, I suspect that he would eventually get bored of this, and that lack of companionship would put pressure on finding a longer term companion… either a wife or live-in girlfriend. My suggestion is to keep looking, but don’t let that stop you from having some fun in the meantime. Perhaps be a little bit more creative about where you look for love and keep in mind the demographics you are actually targeting versus those you want to target.

Stickman's thoughts:

It's nice to read such brutally honest thoughts from a married man who admits to occasionally wondering what it would be like to enjoy the "online experience". This touches on a view of mine that variety is important in most aspects of life.

I've recently returned from a holiday to my native Kiwiland – and I loved my time there. Would I want to live there? Well, I'd be quite happy if I was there, that's for sure, but then in a few years I'd probably lust after Thailand again, or perhaps somewhere else. I guess it's the same for many who are married, as well as those who do the internet thing. You get bored of what you've got and crave something new or different. If you're missing out on variety, you crave that. If you're not getting companionship, you may crave that. I hit internet dating hard a few years back and ThaiLoveLinks was very good to me. But you do get bored of meeting lots of ladies and yeah, you're absolutely right, it tends to be ladies from a lower socio-economic background. When you realise that much of the reason they drop their knickers on the first night is in the hope that they will become your girlfriend then you start to feel bad about it and lose interest. Or at least I did. I guess it helps to mix things up. That's not easy when you're married, of course.

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