Spirit of Thailand

Spirit of Thailand

Culture, Relationships,
Thai Massage, Traveling

Relationships in Thailand part 10

Paid Relationships in Thailand

Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes. Your definition of a good relationship may be quite different from those of a different culture. We all assume that our way of thinking is the only correct one.

But this assumption can be shaken severely when you travel to other parts of the world. The concept of paying for a relationship may not agree with your way of thinking, but in Thailand this is quite common.

Putting the kids on the spot

I live in Thailand, and I am married to a Thai woman. She has two teenage children from a previous marriage. When someone finds out that their step father is a “farang”, a foreigner, typically the first (and mostly last) question is: “Is he rich?”

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Relationships in Thailand part 9

How to communicate effectively with your Thai partner

Say you found a girlfriend or prospective wife in Thailand. You live together and get to know each other. In almost all cases your English will be much better than hers which makes communication easier for you.  Here is a checklist of things you should not assume:

1. Don’t assume your partner understands you just because she smiles at you as if she understands you.

Thais rarely if ever say that they don’t understand you. They will nod and smile even if they have no idea what you are saying.

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Relationships in Thailand part 8

How do you find a girlfriend or wife in Thailand?

Let’s be honest, millions of westerners have come to Thailand for that very reason. There are lots of websites promoting such relationships, and there are many dating sites where Thai women are actively searching for western men.

There are stories about Thai parents literally selling their daughter into prostitution or arranged marriages. Although such cases do exist, and not only in Thailand, they are a tiny percentage compared to the voluntary relationships which are the norm and which are the subject of this article.

It is not my intention to focus on some cases of abuse in Thailand or to launch a moral campain against prostitution or judge age differences between men and women in relationships.

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Relationships in Thailand part 7

Why are Thai men generally not interested in relationships with foreign women? And why don’t western women care much about Thai men?

After all Thailand is known for cross-cultural relationships and men come here by the tens of thousands to find female Thai partners. Why is this largely a one way street? Why do you rarely see Thai men with western women?

Who follows whom in the relationship?

Thais are shy people compared to most westerners. Culturally it is not acceptable to show strong emotion, get angry, yell at people, confront someone head-on, or have an intense argument.

On top of that in many Asian cultures the woman traditionally follows the man much more compared to the total equality concept that is prevalent in the west. And here we have a major sticking point.

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Relationships in Thailand part 6

What’s prostitution and what’s a relationship?

In Thailand it is not always easy to distinguish between prostitution and legitimate relationships.

Here is scenario number one:
Let’s say a foreign man hires a woman to be his girlfriend for a certain amount of time – quite a common scenario in Thailand – and pays her a fixed salary. That must be prostitution, you would think.

Here is scenario number two:
What if that same man gets involved in a real relationship with a Thai woman, lives with her permanently, but still pays her a certain amount of money every month? What if she expects those regular payments from him, and she would not stay with him once he stops paying?

Is it still prostitution under those circumstances? There is no clear and easy answer, since the second scenario describes a high percentage of western man/Thai woman relationships.

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Relationships in Thailand part 5

The Art of Extracting money from Western Men

In this section of the series I want to focus on the part that Thai women play in the relationship arena. There is a wide range of behavior and attitude among Thai women.

Especially outside the large cities you find many very conservative and traditional women who will not touch any man with a ten foot pole without the approval of the parents and the blessings of the monks.

At the other extreme you find women who know every trick in the book to extract money out of the “farang” (Thai name for westerners of caucasian origin). Many make a living with their skills. They work in the major tourist centers as bar girls, dancers, girlfriends-for-rent, or prostitutes.

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Relationships in Thailand part 4

Why do many Thai women prefer a western man over a Thai man? What do the Thai men have to say about that? What is a second wife? Are women exploited in Thailand?

I have lived in Thailand for many years and I have never seen or heard of a case where Thai men are upset or jealous over relationships between Thai women and western men.

The reason is quite simple: They are not looking for the same kind of woman, and they understand or at least assume that the Thai woman is after the money of the foreigner which is a perfectly acceptable scenario in their mind.

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Relationships in Thailand part 3

In Thailand it is very common to see older Western men with young Thai girls on their arm. Are they prostitutes, girlfriends, or wives? Often the answer is not so obvious.

Does paying for a woman make her a prostitute? In the western view, mostly yes. In the eastern view, not necessarily.

It is a fact that it is very easy to ‘rent’ a girlfriend for a period of time in Thailand. In all the major tourist centers like Bangkok, Pattaya, Ko Samui, or Chiang Mai there is a lively scene where foreigners connect with Thai women. Many times there is money involved.

The focus of this article is money in real relationships, not prostitution, between Thai women and western men. The problem is that the boundaries between the two cannot be clearly defined, as you will see.

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Relationships in Thailand part 2

Why are there so many relationships between Western men and Thai women? Why hardly any Thai men and western women? What do Thai women see in those men and why do so many men fly half way across the world to find a bride in Thailand?

We discussed some aspects of those relationships in my first article. Here we are going to get very personal. Why do so many Thai women want a relationship with a foreigner?

Of course not all of them do, but in my many years in Thailand I have heard the same statement from countless women: “I am looking for an American (or western) boyfriend”.

Many times I have even been asked if I can help make a connection. If you have a hard time believing this, just look at one of the many Thai dating sites and read the ads by Thai women.

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Relationships in Thailand Part 1

The female attraction factor of Thailand

Thailand travel is popular  for many reasons: the warm weather, beautiful beaches, friendly smiling people, good value for your money, interesting culture – and last but not least –  WOMEN!

Thai women have a reputation among foreign men of being beautiful and ‘easy to get’. How justified is this reputation?

Most men would  agree that many Thai women are attractive. They generally have soft facial features, slender bodies, and a graceful appearance combined with natural and beautiful smiles. You won’t find many men arguing with this statement.

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