Before I begin..
This is based on my experiences and those of some of my friends. This is by no means the definitive guide to Thai men and I am not so ignorant that I don’t recognise that there are good and bad men and women in all cultures. I know, as I’ve dated my fair share of the bad western ones! So I’m hoping many western women have had wonderful relationships with Thai men and have not experienced any of the issues commonly found in Western/Thai unions that I am about to discuss. I haven’t any of these women in my 2 years here, but I live in hope!
So this is why I personally wouldn’t I date a Thai man again! Take it as you will.
I’d watched so many friends get burnt before by Thai guys, I’d listened to their stories and never thought I’d leave myself open to such madness. But I did. They are very good at hiding their crazy ways.
The most fake of all fakers I have ever known was my Thai man. I’d known him for 4 years on and off as a friend and he seemed like such a sweet, kind, thoughtful man with the biggest smile I’d ever seen and a good understanding of western culture. Truth was that he knew just enough about western culture to exploit it. If you think you’ve found the rare Thai guy that seems to have a western sense about relationships and how to treat a woman, do your homework and make absolutely sure he’s for real or you may get burned. Like I did! And remember I knew the guy for 4 years previously! Goes to show you never really know people.
First off… meeting a Thai guy in a bar is a huge big no no.. This just shows that he most likely has a drinking problem (which is rather common and extremely hard to deal with) and also that he has learnt enough English to try to grab himself a trophy farang to show off to his mates. In a drunken stuper my Thai guy told me that this is exactly what it was about. Learn a bit of English and sweet talk the western girls. Kind of a sport they like to play, maybe perhaps because gambling is illegal here.
They will tell you romantic comedies are a favourite of theirs and learn how to romance you by studying the cheesy movies girls just love! How cheesy, but we fall for it, god dam Hollywood.
I was bombarded with sweet messages in broken English, fruit and flowers magically appeared on my doorstep, he’d giggle like a school girl around me and watched my every move in a group situation making me feel like the only one in the room. They sure know how to stir up some chemistry and they also know how to spot the weak girls that have their guard down. Perhaps like me their previous western relationship hadn’t worked out (I’d been cheated on) and it leaves you feeling a little insecure and venerable to attack.
Don’t be that weak girl. You’re like a sitting duck.
Once operation romance is complete and they get into your panties, things make a dramatic change. It took about 1 month before he was discussing the possibility of a ring!! The only ring I could think of was that of alarm bells.
Suddenly they want to OWN YOU.
Now this does not usually come to light until a bit later in your Thai relationship. It seems that at the beginning of most relationships you spend as much time as possible together.
It’s when you’ve grown tired of the language barrier and need some mother tongue chat (usually when you start speaking Tinglish and missing out words) that the true Thai nature explodes like dynamite and if you are not careful you could be battered by the blast.
Most Thai’s (in my opinion) suffer from extreme jealousy. Not just the men but women also. Its pretty hard to build a friendship with Thai girls with boyfriends because they are insecure and highly suspicious of you. They will send you “back off” vibes and then because you don’t want to keep trying to be friends with someone that thinks badly of you, they see your lack of friendliness as cementing their suspicion which makes them think they were right and you really were trying to steal their man. You really can’t win.
In my experience with my jealous Thai guy, if I so much as smiled near another man I would spend hours trying to explain something I didn’t even remember doing. I was given the cold shoulder for days after he would sting me with some hurtful, spiteful comment but stubbornly refuse to tell me what was wrong. Understandably this gets frustrating. One time I was ignored because I was asked directions by a western male backpacker. Another time I got an automated sales call in Thai and hung up just as he walked into the room. He was convinced it was my ex even after I showed him the phone and I received another cold shoulder day.
Jealous Thai men and friendly western backpacker women … DO NOT MIX
Which brings me to a previous point.
The language barrier.
Now it’s hard enough communicating with someone from your home town in a relationship, so having a boyfriend who’s English is limited creates chaos.
Oh it seems so cute at first, but then the most innocent of conversations turns into a constant battle to be understood properly. This takes a phenomenal amount of patience, understanding and trust. 3 things in my experience many men (of all cultures) don’t have.
One very fine example is the word “funny”. Now we (native English speakers) all know that funny has more then one meaning depending on the context right. If I say “Its funny that in Thailand the Thai first name has no link at all to their nick name”.
I meant that it is strange to me being a westerner as mostly our nicknames are an abbreviation of our real name.
A Thai will hear this as “the way Thai people make up nick names is a joke!”
This happened to me and I was again brutally ignored, and received spiteful, hurtful comments. I had no idea what I had done that so deeply offended and he refused to give me any clues.
2 days of this and I finally find out what the matter was and laughing (as its so silly really) I went on to explain that I would never intentionally laugh at anyone’s name and went on to further explain that “funny” can mean strange/weird or that its something that makes you laugh. You know funny ha ha and funny strange.
4 Days later after total torture and repeating the same thing over and over, I can’t take anymore. I tell him that clearly he thinks I’m a rude nasty western b**ch and maybe it’s best we go our separate ways. Only then, when the fear of loosing you and loosing face come into play, only then do they give in. So along with the language barrier came the stubbornness to see something for what it is and the reluctance to listen. Instead choosing the more destructive path of thinking he knew everything (he said this a lot) making things up himself and rolling with some wild story using it as an excuse to be purposefully rude, spiteful and hurtful. He could have just asked and discussed like adults. No chance. He loved the drama too much and wouldn’t back down as this means loosing face.
Common sense , stubbornness and loosing face
I forget sometimes that what westerners see as common knowledge might not have yet reached the masses.
A good example is nutrition. Kids are taught this in school back home. We know its bad but exercise free will as to whether we want to eat it or not.
I once made the mistake of exercising my free will, not to be force fed his Granma’s home made, crispy, deep fried, pig fat. He became instantly angry saying that he basically lived off them as a child and he was fine. (Never mind his weight problem) I explained that test’s have shown that deep fried anything is bad for your heart and cholesterol. He wasn’t interested in my explanation and I quickly understood the total lack of nutritional knowledge in Thailand and that I was at risk of making him feel defensive and dumb. I was right and his anger and ego made him see it as a direct attack on his ole Gran. I did try to explain that this was unknown years ago so his Gran would have had no idea. But alas, it was too late. I’d rolled on those egg shells again! Another 2 days of spiteful and rude behaviour for no real reason.
His fear of loosing face really took the fun element out of the relationship. You have to be on your best behaviour and be very careful what you say in case they misunderstand. Should you slip up in front of someone and your man looses face, you have just crushed the persona they worked so hard to create for themselves. Anyone even jokingly making fun of them is on their poo list. Loosing face is something I really struggle to understand. Why pretend to be something your not and then go nuts when someone calls you on it?
Which brings me to my next point…
My Thai guy was such huge great big hypocrite. And he didn’t seem to understand what it means or how unfair and misleading this feels.
Thai’s like their chilli. I am western so 20 chilli’s is about 18 too many for me. But my guy refused to change his chilli addiction and then became deeply offended when I couldn’t eat the food he made. Saying that he won’t bother anymore, that I should cook my own things, how ungrateful I am and that I should just eat what I’m given. Then when I cook a roast dinner, pasta or other yummy western dish, he lets it go cold while he fries a damn egg to put on it. Then declares how horrid it is pulling a face and going off to cook his own dish. This was highly annoying.
Now most men know that girls take longer to get ready then guys. Well in my case I could be ready in 5 minutes although that never seemed quick enough. (they are extremely impatient) So while I’m being impatiently rushed (even though he said we were leaving in 15 minutes) I panic, forget things and end up taking longer and feeling a little stressed out by the time we leave ready for a long silent bike ride to town.
Now I am an incredibly patient person. I wait around for as long as he needs to talk to his army of Thai friends, get himself sorted, or most annoyingly when they leave you somewhere while they “pop off for a minute” for over an hour to “sort some things out” (they will never tell you what) while you are expected to sit there smiling at their Grandfather who speaks not a word of English and can’t hear you even if you did happen to speak fluent Thai. Yes this happened to me.
But if I take 1 minute too long logging off of the internet I get the “you need to think about me and my time and what I need to do” lecture. Yeah I can think of over 1000 things I could have done rather then feel awkward around Grandpa while your off doing Buddha knows what.
But if you were to do the same, all hell breaks loose. The lack of anger control is terrifying to say the least. Clearly the meditation he was taught when he was 14 when he spent 3 compulsory months at the temple, really didn’t help him. And this terrifying temper mixed with alcohol? Well this is something all cultures share. But my Thai man hid his true self behind his smile and religion. Just because he studied the teachings of Buddha didn’t mean he practiced it. In fact the most he would do is give an offering to Buddha and consider his sins forgiven. Much like the Catholics and confession. Like western culture he knew enough about Buddhism to exploit it.
He was very much the “do as I say, not as I do” variety. We already mentioned the jealousy but that mixed with hypocrisy is baffling. He would accuse me of taking a shine to every man out there, while he would drive around shouting “hey sexy” to a friend of a friends girlfriend” and happily shagging half the town safe in the knowledge that they have you tucked away at home, far away from the men like them.
Most Thai men cheat. It’s just the way things are here and you’d best be prepared for it. Ask any Thai girl. They don’t seem to be able to help it, maybe they see it as their right as a man. This is something I have seen time and time again much to the sorrow of my poor Farang friends who dish out all their backpacking money, only to end up going home with their tail between their legs wondering why he didn’t love them when they get caught out with some other unsuspecting backpacker. But you have to admire their acting and lying skills. Most Farang never find out till it’s too late.
So, you’re at home while they are out and when you want some freedom it can turn into a battle. “Where are you going?, when will you be back?, who are you going out with?”
Wow my guy needed to control a woman and he didn’t seem to know the meaning of the word trust. Word of warning! It’s the ones that can’t trust and who get jealous that are like that because they can’t trust themselves. This applies to all cultures.
But you are not allowed to ask any questions at all when they go out. Women can’t control men in man world. Why they think they can control a western free spirited woman is anybodies guess. Most of the controlling mothers we are now half a world away from can vouch for that. Try to control most western women and you are left controlling your frustration when they leave you.
It can get so bad that they may even start to try to dress you and style your hair. Now I have a deep respect for other cultures and at my age I don’t prance around in mini skirts and boob tubes. So you can imagine my surprise when we go to the market and I have unintentionally employed a personal shopper who hasn’t the foggiest idea what I like.
Annoying. I began to feel like a little dolly being dressed up and shown off to his friends.
Whenever I tried to say anything I was told I talked too much!
Thai men still to a degree view women as inferior, no matter how much they make you feel like a goddess in the early stages when they are trying to get into your panties. This is why we struggle to mix well with them. I mean there was no bra burning going on over here. Western ideas on equality in relationships are slowly creeping in but the men appear to still fight it. We’ve come a long way in the western world but Thailand, beautiful as it may be, still has it’s darker side if you decide to sample what the men of this country have to offer.
After all, was it not Buddha himself that said that women can only hope to be reincarnated as a man because only men can be enlightened? Says a lot doesn’t it!
My experience ended with me fleeing like a fugitive amid death threats when I refused to return to such madness. I vowed never to return to a place that I loved, as I wasn’t about to find out if the death threats were empty or not. Unsurprisingly Thai guys have lost all appeal to me.
I was still being harassed and receiving threats daily by email (his only way to get in touch) months later and I was forced to change my email address and loose contact with good friends for fear that he will track me down somehow. Even though I seemed to annoy him and make him crazy jealous, he strangely thinks he loves me and we have to be together forever! Very fatal attraction and I seriously feel he would benefit from a stay in a mental hospital. Of course I understand that this should be a rare story and that maybe I was just unlucky, but when I moved into my new neighbourhood and shared my story I discovered my little hiding place had been a safe house for many other western girls fleeing their crazy Thai ex’s.
So apart from the misunderstandings, the hypocrisy, the drunkenness, the cheating, the spitefulness, the death threats and the controlling side of my Thai man. I can highly recommend them.
But this one was way too spicy for me.