Stickman Weekly  

The 10 Biggest Mistakes Western Guys Make With Thai Women

Western guys like Thai women and Thai women like Western men.  We might not quite be in vogue like we were
several years ago, but the average Thai woman will still consider a foreign guy, even if she is not one of the so-called
farang hungry women.

So with foreign guy / Thai girl relationships so common these days, why is it that we hear far more tales of woe than we
do fairy tales?  Of course Western men and Thai women are very different, but what I see are the same mistakes
being made over and over again.

I believe that more happiness or more misery comes from your relationship with your other half than any other aspect
of your life - so it really is important to get it right!  What follows are some of the most common mistakes I see Western
men making in serious relationships with Thai women.


Taking the "easy way" to meet a life partner

Clearly the most common mistake so many guys make is taking the easy route to meeting a woman.  In other words,
they look for a wife in a bar.  The easiest route usually ends in the biggest disaster as guys who attempt to turn a
prostitute into a wife find out.  Sure, some make it, but the vast majority crash and burn, only those guys who have
near endless pots of gold are able to navigate the minefield that is a relationship with an ex-prostitute.  If there was
one theme that runs endlessly through this website - and has done since the site's inception - it is that marrying a
prostitute is a recipe for disaster.



Moving her in

If you are genuinely contemplating marriage to your current darling then move her in.  Otherwise don't!  It's as simple
as that.  The only reason to move a Thai lady in is if you really think you'll be putting a ring on her finger.  Later
discovering that she was not quite as suitable as you first thought and finding yourself in a situation where you have to
move her out can become a nightmare.  A lady being told to move out can become manipulative and may attempt to
demand a "settlement".  Failure to cough up can result in theatrics the sort you just don't want to experience.  Drama
with an hysterical girl in your condo is no-one's idea of fun.


Settling down too fast

Do a survey amongst your Western friends married to or engaged Thai women to ascertain just how many got
engaged or even married because of threats she would do a runner if marriage was not agreed to.  It is so common in
Western guy / Thai girl relationships that sometimes I think it is almost the norm.  (Real life examples (and two nicely
written stories) can be found here and here.)  Stories abound of guys getting engaged to women they have known
less than two weeks.  "But I talked with her online for months and months", he says.  What is she like at that time of the
month?  What are her friends like?  What does she do in her free time?  What is she like when she is under
pressure?  What does she really think of you insisting of watching every All Blacks test and in her mind, putting your
love of sport before your love of her?  There is no substitute for spending a good amount of time together.  A few
weeks just is not long enough to know what a person is really like.  And if it was while you were in Thailand on holiday,
the proverbial two-week millionaire, she is going to have some lofty expectations...


Speaking Thai

Language and culture are inextricably linked.  Communication is critical and if your Thai is better than her English then
Thai becomes the language of the relationship.  Speaking Thai is all very good and well but you will find that you tend
to do things the Thai way.  That means that the norms of Thai relationships will become the norms of your
relationship.  Try arguing with a Thai that you are not prepared to pay a dowry or not willing to support distant lay
about relatives.  If you're arguing in Thai it isn't easy.

I don't think it's any coincidence that when she speaks very good English and thus the language of the relationship is
English that the chances of long-term success are much higher.  Besides, and this really is as an aside, I think one of
the best things you can do for her is to get her English up to speed.  By doing so you open up the world to her.


Agreeing to things you really don't want to agree to

"But it's the Thai way" she claims and you foolishly try and rationalise that this is Thailand and you don't really
understand everything that is going on around you and oh so begrudgingly give in.  You really don't want to do it but
failure to might result in the relationship going south...  Too many guys agree to things with their Thai girlfriend that
they really would not agree to in their homeland.  Sometimes it can be packaged in such a way that failure to do so
might result in a premature end to the relationship.

If you're constantly told that you do not understand Thai culture or you do not understand Thai women then run, run
as fast as you can and never ever look back.  It's a card that many play...


Meeting her family for the first time...on your big day

It's an old cliché but you really do marry the family when you marry a Thai woman.  With this in mind, one should take
a close look at her family - and long before the time that many foreigners meet their bride to be's family, either on the
wedding day, at the occasion of the engagement ceremony or at the dowry discussion.  Believe me, the Thai family will
examine you closely and they will ask all sorts of personal and impertinent questions.  These are the people you will
be spending time with over holiday weekends, the people who may visit you unannounced and expect to stay with you
for days on end and from whom there very well may be requests for assistance of some sort.  Are they decent folks?  
Do they have a sustainable lifestyle?  Are they people you would be proud to introduce your parents to?  I find it quite
appalling the number of Westerners who have said to me that they love their in-laws to death and how they are decent
people and the salt of the earth and they would do anything for them.....but no way in hell would they ever introduce
them to their own parents!  You have every right to ask all of the same questions to your dearest about her and her
family.  In fact you would be foolish not to.

Perhaps I ought to add that two of the guys I know who have genuinely happy and successful relationships as best I
can see married orphans.  There *is* something in that!

Marrying a moron

The average IQ in Thailand of 91 is a lot lower than the average IQ in Western countries (Canada 97, USA & Australia
98, England & New Zealand 100) - and I am told that the difference between say 91 and 100 is actually quite
significant.  Many guys may claim that they do not get their emotional needs from their wife.  They have plenty of
mates who satisfy their intellectual needs.  That is all well and good but we simply cannot overlook the fact that some
rural Thais have not had anything like the opportunities the average Westerner has.  The reality is that looks fade and
(sorry to alienate the female readership here) few women look that attractive after menopause.  If it was looks that
attracted you to her initially, I sure hope she has a bit of substance to her or something about her grows on you over
time because looks don't last forever!  If you married a simple girl you might find she is unable to stimulate you
intellectually.  You may find her simple nature appealing, uncomplicated and perhaps even cute, but will it remain
endearing forever?  In terms of simple compatibility, is it not preferable to have someone with a similar education to
yourself?  When you face difficult times, be it external such as a job loss, or something within the relationship itself, it is
much easier to work through things with someone who thinks beyond what their next meal will be.


Revealing too much too soon (if at all)

I have always lived my life with the philosophy of not telling everything to anyone.  Not the other half, not my parents,
not even my closest, most trusted friends know everything about me.  As one ages, one realises more and more the
vulnerability in letting any one person know too much about you.  Friendships go sour, people fall out and if you're
really unlucky the person you once called your best buddy is now mouthing off about you to all and sundry.  Your
deepest, darkest secrets and some incredibly embarrassing moments are now in the public domain.  Fortunately this
sort of thing doesn't happen in the West so much.

But it does in Thailand.  If you asked me to give you five adjectives to describe the Thai character then "vindictive"
would be one of them.  Should things go bad between you and your Thai other half then don't be surprised if she gets
nasty.  Many Thai women feel hard done by when a relationship with a Western man goes bad - whatever the reason!  
They often feel aggrieved and it often seems that 99% of the time they get it in their mind that it was all your fault.  
Expect pay back, perhaps even revenge.  The best way to minimise any damage is to ensure that she doesn't know
too much about you.  Be prepared.  For example, I would not reveal my place of work or the company I worked for if I
was dating a lower class Thai woman with whom I felt the relationship wasn't going anywhere.  For some, their
vindictiveness knows no limits.

And a reminder about making your Thai wife the sole beneficiary of your estate.  Doing so inadvertently makes you
more valuable to her dead than alive!  Not if but when the inheritance question comes up, tell her that it is split
between her and your closest family members, whether that be the case or not.


Supporting her ad infinitum

Each partner has a role in a relationship and once you have reached the point where you're living together, it is
perhaps time for these to be defined.  Allowing her freedom to do as she pleases while supporting her handsomely will
reinforce the message that having a foreign husband is a ticket to a sabai sabai (comfortable and easy) life.  By all
means support her if she is playing housewife and / or raising the kids, but if she isn't - even if money is not an issue
for you - get her doing something.  Thai women married to Western men who don't have kids yet lay about the house
all day doing precious little are the absolute scorn of expat society.  A woman gainfully employed or pulling her weight
in a relationship carries herself with pride.  Woman who are supported, sleep for half the day and do previous little of
any value have a very different air about them.


Letting her get away with murder!

The Western guy's amazing ability to overlook the most heinous behaviour in a relationship continues to bewilder me.  
How many guys have forgiven their betrothed after she has slept with a former flame?  How many are blind to the
obvious clues that you're not the only one in her life?

I heard a classic the other day.  A fellow was walking along the road with his girlfriend when she made him duck down
behind a car as a motorbike whizzed past with what she described as her brother riding it.  Clearly she came from an
incestuous family.

Thai soap operas propagate tantrums and seem to reinforce to the local woman that if things don't go their way then
they should scream and shout and start destroying property as a mechanism to change their boyfriend's / husband's
behaviour so that they do manage to get their way.  Never does a week go by when I don't receive a tale of woe from a
reader whose Thai girlfriend has thrown a wobbly.  It starts with the destruction of property with remote controls, cups
and the 21st century favourite, the mobile phone, all learning, totally unsuccessfully, to fly.  A bad sign and you need
to review things at that point.  But it gets worse.  Next is the threats to harm herself, usually with a knife, possibly to
jump from the balcony (a favourite when she realises that you want to call the relationship off), or perhaps even to
harm you.  When it gets to this stage, it's time to walk.  Don't think that a woman who is capable of pulling a knife on
you is not capable of castrating you while you sleep...although with that said, Thai women tend to slice the meat as
opposed to the vegetables.  Whatever, we're talking semantics.  You get the point.



There's no reason why you can't have a fabulous relationship with a Thai woman.  Take the time to choose the right
one, take the time to get to know her and don't accept anything that you would not be prepared to accept in the West.  
A Thai woman can make a fabulous life partner but if you choose badly, she can end up a real nightmare!
Don's Life In Thailand
The 10 Biggest Mistakes Western Guys Make With Thai Women
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