For those of you who, like me, are attracted to Asian ladies, there are a few things that can help pave the rocky road to a happy and successful relationship. As with any relationship, there are ups and downs, good times and challenging times, but these fluctuations can appear to be much more dramatic and intense with Asian girls. It can sometimes feel as if we are on a roller coaster. The ride is exhilarating, passionate and rewarding and sometimes painfully sobering. One thing that can be said is it is not boring! In this first installment, I want to examine and point out some of my observations and experiences with the lovely ladies of Thailand and hopefully help others to navigate this exotic and treacherous path.
Ahh, the thrill and excitement of being in Thailand, the weather is hot, the food is hot, and oh my, the ladies. It has been said that Thai women are the most beautiful ladies in the world. This of course is subjective and that brings me to my first and maybe most important point about dating Thai ladies or any lady for that matter. It is all subjective, personal, and unique. There can be no absolute ‘understanding’ of Thai ladies. They are all individual, unique and constantly changing. We can discuss some general knowledge about the environment, culture, and common results of how these manifest in the ladies, but we must never forget for one instant that every lady is different. This cannot be emphasized enough. The moment we start generalizing and placing any person into a box of our own conceptions is the beginning of the end. We will never be dealing directly with the other person but rather dealing only with our own limited preconceptions. While many Thai ladies have some things in common, I have found them to be quite unique individuals and I need to almost throw away everything I thought I had learned before when meeting a new girl. So please keep this in mind and it will help with all of your relationships.
The family. The first thing to understand about Thai girls is the fierce loyalty and service they give to their family. Thai girls, especially the eldest sister are bound to take care of their parents and family in any way they can. As a potential partner we must understand this deep bond and commitment. We will ALWAYS be second, and the family will be first. If we can understand and accept this, it will go a long way towards a successful relationship. To underline this loyalty and desire to repay their parents and take care of the family I like to quote a statement made by a friend of mine who works in the nightlife industry. To put it into context, I was having a conversation and trying to convince her that she should take a job for less money working at a factory and stop working in the bars. Her reply, without a moment of hesitation was ‘My body is not for me, my body is not for a man, my body is for my mother. I must do what I can to take care of my mother. This body is not mine, this body is my mothers.’ When I heard this I was floored. I was new to Thailand and Asia and it left me speechless. For all the crazy media hype about girls forced into prostitution and human smuggling, my direct experience from knowing many Thai people is that the mothers are often the biggest pimps, sending their girls to Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya or other destinations to make money. These girls often live quite cheaply, saving every Baht so they can send it home to their mothers. Don’t take my word for it, come here and interview a few ladies yourself. Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, this is obviously an extreme example but it illuminates the depth of respect and loyalty that Thai girls have for their family, especially their parents. We can only hope to be second best. We will never be a girls number one concern. If it comes down to a decision either for you or for her family, you will lose every time! Understanding this from the beginning, we can then accept it and make the best of it. This being said, the best way of dealing with this, once you are sure you want to make a commitment to a girl, is to embrace her family 100%. This is a whole other ballgame and beyond the scope of this article, but it can be an adventure to say the least.
The second point that I feel is necessary to understand is money. Asia is not the west. We often forget this and try to apply western ideals and customs in dealing with Asian people. Now I am not talking about prostitutes, massage girls or bar girls here when I say that money is very important to Asian ladies. The so called ‘good girls’ are also after money. Now now, don’t get excited. Remember we cannot apply our limited western preconceptions to life in Asia. The parents will want their girl to marry a man that has enough money, A man that can take care of her and the family. This is displayed in the old Thai tradition of ‘Sin sot’ or what we would call a dowry. It is often used as a display of the man’s ability to provide and show his wealth, or readiness to marry. I know of many cases where the sin sot was promptly returned to the man, or put into a joint account owned by the couple or where the Thai family provided either land or a house or both. Now before we get all pious, and look down upon Asians for being so materialistic and only wanting us for our money, we need to take a second and think about the average British or American girl. They also want to marry a rich man, but the way of dealing with this is not as blatant, and in my opinion not as ‘honest’. Thai girls can be very practical. If we do not put our cultural blinders aside, we can be easily put off and angered by the ‘honesty’ displayed in this regard. In Asia, there is no wall dividing sex, dating, marriage and $$-money. Girls are raised in this culture to look at these things together, as one, without the need to separate them out like we do in the west. An attractive girl will likely find a rich husband. Sexual market value and attractiveness are seen in terms of money. In Asia, this is not seen as a bad thing, or with any judgment. We cannot judge Asian people for mixing love and money so loosely if we are to find happiness here. I prefer to think of it as a more honest and open approach. So don’t be surprised if your beloved ‘teerak’ decides to leave you because you don’t have enough money. It is not necessarily that she doesn’t love you, just that love and money are not distinguished so clearly here like they are in the west. The second part of this is to understand that Thai people view westerners as being rich. We will get charged more money for the same services and goods, because the common perception is that we have more money than the Thai people. So even if you are like me, and don’t have much money, you will be perceived as rich, and expected to pay and help out, and it is likely, as said before, that a girl might leave you if you don’t soon show some ability to generate affluence. I know of situations where the girl was even in love with a guy, but here parents would not allow her to marry him because he did not have enough money or a good job. Back to rule number one; she will of course listen to and follow her parents first, and ‘dump the chump’ so to speak in a ‘Bangkok second’! It can be a harsh reality here. In this culture you cannot be expecting much success in finding a good wife if you have limited sexual market value (money). That is the cold hard reality. Now we all know of many worthless Thai guys that are 100% supported by the hard working and loyal wife. They spend the days drinking and gambling and whoring, not working, while the wife or girlfriend works to give him money, Strange but quite true. This will not happen with western men. We are farang-foreigners, and as farang are perceived to be rich, a Thai girl would lose face by having a farang boyfriend or husband that was down on his luck so to speak. Farang are often a status symbol for Thai girls and they are proud to take you back to the village and show you off. Show off the ATM fish they have landed and how they now live the good life. If you cannot play this role and need to pinch every Baht, then your prospects will be limited and short term. In Thailand, it is expected that the man is ready (has $$) to have a girlfriend or wife or he shouldn’t be trying to date. As I said before, every girl is unique and different. I have had some success with Thai girls while living here while I was dirt poor. They will sometimes be happy to go eat ‘street noodles’ (15-25 Baht) with you every day, but this is the exception, not the rule and I am sure the parents would not approve and would want their daughter to be dating a man with more money. It is the same situation as in the west or the world for that matter, just a more honest and ‘in your face’ way of dealing with it.
These two points are the biggies, the short ‘must know’ list for dating a Thai girl. There are countless other cultural and perceptual differences that can be challenging in day to day life with your teerak (darling), but in my opinion they are less important and generally not ‘show stoppers’. In fact, many of these differences you will find to be quite nice. Thai ladies can often be the most attentive and caring mates you will ever meet. In this country, Thai men live like Kings in their house. Thai girls are taught to take care of a man, and groomed from an early age on how to cook, and clean, and fold shirts, and really take care and keep the husband happy. A few examples I can think of from my previous girlfriends are things like nail clipping or zit popping on your back, or massages. I can’t imagine how impossible it would be to get the common American girl to cut your finger and toenails for you, much less pop the zits on your back! I did not know what to say when a former Thai girlfriend started doing these things for me. How many western ladies in this generation actually cook and clean and take of their man? No, they want a maid, or you should cook for them, or take them out to dinner. Not in Thailand, many ladies I have dated were very anxious to show me that they can cook, and when they visit your apartment they will naturally start to clean it up for you and fold your clothes. I remember a few years ago, walking into the bathroom one morning feeling all groggy from sleep. I walked up to the bathroom sink and started to reach for my toothbrush and noticed it already had toothpaste on it! My teerak had prepared my toothbrush for me so when I woke up it was waiting for me to use. Try to get the common bitchy feminist western girl to do that one. I dare ya! I will stand back a safe distance and watch! No, Thai girls are very smart, they know they will get what they want by being nice, feminine, and taking care of their mans needs.
So I wholeheartedly encourage you to take the plunge and experience what it is like dating a good Thai girl. I would strongly suggest not trying to make a common bargirl into a loyal wife when there are so many nice girls that are dying to meet a good farang man. It is simply not worth the hassle and heartaches, why add more problems to what can already be a challenging situation. So, keep your preconceptions, western ideals, and judgments in check, take a dose of patience, and keep an open mind and I am sure you will not regret it. The ride may be a little bumpy here and there, but it is worth the price of admission.
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