[Originally posted on catandnat.com]
I have recently found myself talking to a few of my foreign and halfie friends about the horror story that is dating in Thailand. It would appear we all have the same problems.
As a size S (and sometimes, but rarely, XS and XXS) in the US, my self-esteem takes a pounding when the shop owner here insists I try the XL-size jeans, and even more so when it turns out she is right. How do we compete with the tiny, elegant frames of (the majority of) Thai women and their overly cute mannerisms that men just seem to adore? And even though I’m half Thai, I still don’t get it.
Before I continue, I know that many of you (men, women, foreign and Thai) will argue with what I have to say and that’s fine, but you can’t ignore that quite a few people also feel the way you don’t feel.
The difficulty of dating in Bangkok has nothing to do with age. Even in high school, when teens tend to date the other teens around them, the dating pool was limited. Then in college when all those kids come back every summer, even for that infamous summer fling—same story. And now as a young adult, with somewhat broader horizons, I still find the dating pool, well, sucks. And judging by the comments made from my older female friends, I don’t think it ever improves. In fact, many foreign and halfie women have decided to move away for better chances of finding love, despite a happening social life and/or a great job here.
Just as many will argue that foreign men who come to, and stay in, Thailand will only date Thai women, the obverse holds true for foreign women, many of whom move here expecting to date Thai men. And then after living here for a while, any men. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to date a certain type of man or woman, whatever your criteria are based on. If you heard someone in the US say something like, ‘I only date people from New York,’ or, ‘I never date people from New York’ (true story), well, you might think they’re limiting themselves and perhaps are a bit ridiculous, but you don’t think much of it. So if someone only dates Thai men or women, or if they absolutely won’t, well then so what?
That being said, the sanctity of relationships is really put to the test here. Especially among foreign couples. The understanding of Thais, and particularly Thai women, is that the boyfriend or husband will cheat and will probably continue to cheat for as long as they are together. It’s not pleasant, but it would seem that it is more or less accepted. However, in a more ideological and perhaps naïve view, two people remain faithful to each other. Forever. (A scary thought for some.) But after living here, one or both might adopt this Thai way of thinking, and if the other doesn’t see things the same way, well, you’ve found yourself a new girlfriend/boyfriend while the other is off to find a therapist.
Not only that, but the wandering hands and calls from Soi Cowboy, Patpong and Nana are too much for some men to resist. And it’s these women that have no morals about stealing a husband or a boyfriend if it means he’ll provide for her and her family. But this kind of behaviour, despite what many people start to believe, is not exclusively a Thai thing; it’s an American thing, a European thing — it’s a gold-digger thing. The only difference is that here it is so much easier to get sucked into immoral behaviours. It’s the sad truth.
And really, the point is, men who come here for love are only after Thai women. And the Thai men, for the most part, don’t want to date western women. There are always exceptions to everything I’ve said in this article, but however you may feel, western women do have a hard time finding a good relationship here.
I and many others will never be a Thai size M or anything smaller than that, I will never curl my hair like curly fries and be able to look at myself in the mirror, I will never wear pink and ruffles at the same time and I can never say ‘na ka’ or ‘na cha’ and then giggle without wanting to puke. I suppose this is the curse of (half) white females living in Asia who at the very least are looking for a good date.