Quality Thai Girlfriend Relationships
Successful relationships come down to shared values and interests.
You can't change anyone. They must naturally have these values and interests already.
Honesty and openness are vital to a good relationship. However, they are not sufficient for a great relationship.
Other attributes such as being pretty or handsome, lovely, cute, charming, etc., are common and get the relationship started. However, over time, these traits fade in terms of motivation to keep the relationship going forward. If there aren't some strong values and interests that you both have, then the relationship is doomed to either separation or unhappiness. (Some people value a trophy wife or subserviant maid, and if that's enough for you, then disregard the rest of this.)
It's my goal in this article to address the above issues in the context of having a Thai girlfriend. I know this article has a lot yet to be written on the cultural elements, but human nature is pretty much the same everywhere, and I wish to emphasize those elements which I see as key elements over and over with guys I know who have Thai girlfriends and wives, and issues I've had over and over myself.
As food for thought, I've put together a light list of qualities which I use in rating a girlfriend or wife. You might want to think about how you would rate yours on a scale of 1 to 5, though there will be no quantitative scoring system on this website since different people weigh each of these values differently. They're not in any order... and I myself don't expect a top score in every category in a good mate. Some are basics that you could hire non-mates for, whereas others are essential to a mating "relationship".
By "relationship", I don't necessarily mean a wife. There are relationships where both sides find each other interesting and mutually benefit and learn for awhile. Some Thai ladies like to learn the foreigner ways, just as you may find Thai culture and its differences from your own to be interesting. Many Thai ladies also benefit from exposure to the lifestyle of a foreigner due to his higher spending power. They go to nice places for dining and entertainment, watch expat friends in action, and basically you're a "walking farang entertainment center".
But what's in it for you?
Homekeeping and work may be inversely proportional. If she works, then you should have a maid, though she should manage the maid if you live in Thailand.
When It Fails
The usual woman's story is that her boyfriend/husband is a "butterfly" ("chao-choo") and that's why it failed. Blame the man. Save her own face. In Thailand, saving face is very important, and even if she's not telling the whole story, maybe it's better to accept being as the scapegoat and moving on. To do otherwise, and make her lose face, may be dangerous.
However, the question is this: If the man is a butterfly, then why? Is it his fault or her fault for him being unfaithful?
Maybe he's a stupid man who just goes after young, pretty, sexy girls with little value for other traits. If so, then why does he want a girlfriend, as valuing sexual variety is incompatible with having a girlfriend. She's also made a mistake in choice of mate. Notably, I don't think that all the sex entertainment is too much of a temptation for a marriage, as a man really doesn't get quality fulfillment from entertainment girls, and if he desires to partake, he really shouldn't take them seriously, either, just a ****-and-forget fling for a couple of hours or so, and he's stupid if he's not discreet enough.
However, when it comes to a serious relationship on the side, often it's her fault for not earning her mate's loyalty.
Here is a common experience in Thailand: A man meets a lady. He gets serious because she expresses that she has common interests. He tries her out for a partner in life's daily things, and she gets an opportunity. What happens?
Once she thinks she's "got him" (after the first few weeks, maybe a month or so), she expects him to take care of her, while she does less and less to take care of him ... or herself. She sits around watching TV, yacking on the phone with friends, and reading trash magazines. On Internet, she doesn't do valuable things but wastes time on surfing elsewhere, e-mail with worthless friends and chat. Trivial fun is fine, and everyone does it themself just like everyone else. But not all the time. It must be mixed with worthwhile, fulfilling activities.
Daily life changes. The man has to take the initiative on things to do together, much moreso than her. After the first few weeks, he starts doing the following more often than her: Cooking for the two of them. Cleaning the dishes and the place. Remembering the deadlines for getting the trash out to the street. Taking care of the accounting and bills. Working (if she works for him), making most of the decisions, taking the initiatives, and then quality control of her half-careless work. What's happening is she's starting to rely on him to "take care" of her, excessively, while she slips on taking care of him.
He hires a maid, and that further promotes laziness while taking away a test of the strength of her caring. (However, if she works a job, then you should hire a maid rather than make her come home and work a second job.)
After all that, if he gets irritated, she will shape up ... for a day or two. Then back to the old ways. Sometimes she will say she loves him. He will ask her why. What does she love in him? The usual answer is that she doesn't know, she just does. He will tell her to show her. Talk is easy. No, not just a temporary physical expression.
As a farang in Thailand, I often help Thais in farang matters (carefully explaining things, translating, showing things), and ask those who I help to in turn help me out on occasion. Some do, and others find excuses not to. (Same when I help farangs.) I find the same things happen to many men in relationships with Thai women -- they help the woman more than vice versa.
I believe that this is not a general trait of Thai ladies. I just think that Thai ladies who are looking for a man mainly for financial support, security, material things and an exciting lifestyle tend to seek out foreign men.
When you analyze the relationship, there is little in regard to similar values and interests. That's why it fails.
What usually happens is that the two people get bored with each other. She sticks around for financial support. He keeps her around for convenience. But temptations pull on both of them.
One finds an alternative mate before the other and leaves. It's always easier to be the dumper than the dumpee, despite the low quality of the relationship.
Sometimes, it reaches the breaking point before the man strays. This happens when they request for him to do some things which require considerable expenditure of effort, time, and/or money, whereas they don't do the things he requests of them. After pointing this out, they will usually try to make up by smiling and being sweet. This makes some men really turn their view towards a smile and sweetness as an ugly smile and sweetness -- tricky.
I see too many farang friends who support their gold-digging Thai girlfriends and wives for neurotic reasons, in my opinion. The unstable relationships seem to outnumber the solid ones.
If you wish to avoid gold diggers, then do not shower Thai ladies with money and take care of them to where they can be lazy. That's really asking for it.
Suggestion #1: If she helps you, then help her.
If a lady helps herself and tries to improve her life, then it's good pay for her higher education, but only if she's a good student, really. Same with business. But only help people who wish to improve their life, really, and who help you improve yours. It's a two-way dynamic, both spiritually and in terms of local business/support responsibility.
Suggestion #2: Consider whether you care about your respectability in Thai society.
If you are going to circulate within the higher class Thai community, and bring your Thai girlfriend or wife, then you must have a middle to high class Thai girlfriend. Thais are much more class sensitive than farangs. The minimum would be a Thai girlfriend with 12 years education. University studies or degree would be better, and/or good business job experience. If you don't fulfill these requirements, then your business and Thai social life may fail, too.
Suggestion #3: How important is beauty in your wish list of traits in a lady?
The pretty ladies tend to be the worst. Not all, but many. Life has been easy for them, as people have treated them favorably over others. They are often spoiled. In a way, beauty can be a curse in that beautiful people have a lot of external influences and many don't learn to develop themselves internally -- "make themselves" -- in substantive ways. (When they get older, past their youthful beautiness, their happiness often goes down. They experience transient rather than substantive fulfillment in life. Beauty is superficial. Doors will be opened in their young life, but in life, the most important doors you must find yourself, with your own effort.)
A pretty, "trophy wife" can have a lot of drawbacks.
Suggestion #4: Assess her money needs, and decide whether you are willing to fulfill them.
After pretty spoiled women, next on my danger list is accountants. Again, most, not all. They tend to be materialistic and very money conscious, and thus look to milk a man and push him to work harder to make more money. I'm not a very materialistic person, and I value my free time, so accountants are not for me. However, they are a good match for other men. And some are great for family businesses. I don't want to berate all accountants because I know some real good ladies who are responsible and highly competent businesspeople, as well as great wives. However, I know a larger number of gold-diggers who push men for all they can get and just seem lacking in other qualities.
Suggestion #5: Have they matured enough for you?
University students sometimes see a guy as a sugar daddy, a substitute for their father taking care of them. They sometimes haven't been on their own long enough (if at all) and sometimes lack some of the important elements of maturity. The main attraction of some university students are intellectual vitality and an open-ended career path. They aren't as locked into many older peoples' habits of thought, and tend to be a little more open-minded. Some university students come from poor backgrounds, and the need for financial support from a farang boyfriend vs. their poor family is understandable. However, the relationship should be more expansive than just sugar daddy support.
I've hired university students to do work for me. University students often work at low paying, parttime jobs, and this job experience has little or no educational benefit. I have offered work at better hourly rates, work which is more meaningful experience for them in the business world, and which allows them more flexibility in their study schedule. This work usually consists of things such as web research (finding information on the web), English-Thai translation (which helps them improve their English as well as learn what they're translating), phone calls (e.g., marketing) where they meet and discuss business matters with entrepreneurs, and errands around town. They're inexperienced, but if they're willing to learn, then it can be a good professional relationship.
Sometimes, a university student worker has become a girlfriend. This has usually been a mistake. If a worker starts moving into girlfriend status, the quantity and quality of work usually goes down, not up. A little neglect is something I'll jokingly let slide, but a pattern of gross neglect results in getting "fired" as girlfriend, too. I will offer opportunities, but not a free ride. Blow it, and they're back to 250/day (or less) parttime work elsewhere. sex does not substitute for meaningful work and progress. (At least, not for me.)
I've also befriended ladies who work at other low paid jobs, from 4000 to 10,000 baht per month, typically girls with 12 years (high school) education who can read/write English and sometimes a little college before financial realities stopped them, or so they say. These girls often work 60 hour weeks for poor wages, but see no way up (and usually haven't started their own business...). I've sometimes tried to help them by hiring them, figuring that they were used to hard work of 60 hours/week at low pay. I was giving them a raise in pay and a cut in hours, and thought they'd appreciate what I was doing and work hard to do quality work for me. The results have usually been poor in more ways than one. Even worse, some have become girlfriends briefly, and in these cases they have seemed to expect me to take care of them, and their motivation to work and learn and do the basics went down, as if sex could substitute, just like the above. It can get unacceptably low in a surprisingly short time after becoming girlfriend. Likewise, I've sent some to computer school so they can do the basics. But some who flirted more were also the poorer performers in school. Expect them to possibly drop out if you take them in as a girlfriend.
After a very few such experiences, I can only recommend that you be very careful who you try to help, and don't expect a "company girlfriend" relationship to help in terms of work. Sometimes it will help, if she likes to help you, but don't fall for those who see sex as a substitute for work.
In general, do not mix work and personal relationships. A flirt can be a bad sign. I'm absolutely sure there are good exceptions to this rule and my experiences above, but I would bet that more people have had experiences like mine above than have had a girlfriend become more motivated to help your business succeed. So, in general, "Don't fish at the company pier."
Don't feel sorry for everyone in a rote, low paying job. If they're not working hard in rote jobs, then they will be watching TV, so their purpose in life is rote jobs for the economy. There's usually a reason they're in a rote job -- they didn't have initiative elsewhere. Maybe rote jobs just dull people out, and once they're out of school and into a rote job, they're in a rut. At first, I thought that you either get them while they're still a student, or else it's too late. However, my experience with students hasn't been much better.
Another category of ladies, bargirls and freelancers (including disguised prostitutes), is something I'm not going to discuss in this section. They are almost always bad news. The very low education is a minor issue compared to their relationship personality. This is all discussed in another section of this website.
The best kind of girlfriend to date seems to be those who have successfully completed a university degree and who have professional experience in a company. They tend to be more consistent about self-discipline, and are more mature, than all other categories. They've passed the cut. They're proven. When you develop a relationship with them, they usually won't kick back on the couch and watch TV all day.
From that subset, it's a matter of finding common values and interests.
You're unlikely to make anyone into anything. It's a much better bet to find someone who already is what you'd like. Devise a strategy on how to meet what you like.
How To Make It Successful
The most important step, by far, is proper choice of woman. You shouldn't try to take someone and change them. You should find someone who already has the trait you like.
[This section has yet to be completed, mainly Thai cultural things regarding culture, extended families, protocols, marriage, respect, etc.]
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