Ask QUESTIONS

Leave a Question

And I’ll try to respond to it. . .  Thanks.

(Questions about Thai language, cross-cultural relationship concerning Thai women in general. And I’ll offer one  Thai woman’s perspective – for what it’s worth. 🙂

Special note for those asking Dear Abby type of questions, I likely will not answer specific personal relationships questions since I am not a trained relationship counselor and cannot get into specifics in your relationship. I am only willing and able to offer general information or observations regarding relationships.

On Thai language, a specific question will lead to specific answer.)

51 responses to “Ask QUESTIONS

  1. Kaewmala,

    Thank you for opening up questions. It is sure to be a useful addition (especially for those of us muddling our way through).

    Some time ago, I kiddingly called a Thai friend a toy boy. His English is good but does not cover all slang, so my other friend (female) tried to explain.

    In the west, toy boy is a playful word. But she could not come up with an equally fun Thai equivalent.

    The conversation then went on to gigolo’s, made popular in the movie – The American Gigolo. Again, the Thai word produced did not reflect the lighter western meaning.

    After that, mistress. Ditto.

    In Thailand, all three came down to a derogatory translation – prostitute.

    In any strict society (for instance, the American Bible Belt), all three of those would be looked down on. But Thailand is like any other country, with layers of classes piled up and crossing back and forth.

    So my question is this… does Thailand have more relaxed, fun descriptions than prostitute?

    Note: I won’t put them in Thai as I’m not 100% sure which translations she came up with as she whispered each one 😀

  2. Just saw your post on ThaiVisa.com, read your very interesting interview, immediately signed on as a subscriber, and am on my way to purchase your book.

    First I have one question for you (sparked by the interview): I have had two long-term relationships (two and three years each) with Thai women and several not so long. None of the women ever asked about my previous life experiences–except for information related to past marriages, children and country of origin.

    I can interpret such omissions as being disinterest in me as a person or–perhaps a better explanation–a lack of curiosity about anything beyond Thailand or anything that did not have an immediate or direct influence on them. Even while in the process of asking them about their childhood, their views, their experiences, they did not reciprocate. And I don’t understand why they would not have taken advantage of the opportunity to learn more about my life in my country and the outside world in general.

    I guess I did not actually ask a question, but it is implicit in my comments.

    Any insight?

  3. Hi,
    I wanted to ask you about the issue of financial support.
    There is much discussion about sending money (mainly amongst foreign men sending to Thai women).
    Some say they would never do it and seem happy that they have a relationship with someone who doesn’t ask for it or need it.

    Others who are happy to help out where they can and still more who seem to send thousands and thousands of Baht every month and then complain that their partners are ‘moneygrabbers’

    I know my girlfriends family all send their mum (she had 12 children in all) a little every month when they can, I send some to help supplement her income, sometimes adding a little for mum too.

    She tells me of friends who have foreign partners that send anything up to 70,000 baht every month!

    How has this come about? Is it really a traditional thing for a man to give his wife or girlfriend money every month?
    Or are we all being tricked into a ‘rent-a-wife’ scheme?

    I have to say it’s not really a problem for me, circumstances have led us to our present arrangement and everybody is much better off because of it.

    I just wondered if you could give your views on the whole ‘sponsorship’ phenomenon.

    From a cultural point of view I can see why some western people would regard this kind of arrangement as …hmmm not sure quite how to phrase this…maybe a little sordid?

    Realistically it’s no different to what goes on in many relationships, splitting the bills, arranging the finances, is all pretty normal but it seems to be a lot more emotive when it’s a Thai-Farang relationship for some reason.

  4. Hi Kaewmala,
    I had a 4 year relationship with a Thai Girl who worked long hours (up to 14 hrs everyday) in a Massage school training the blind in the mornings and massaging clients at the same place in the afternoon where I met her .Took me a long time to get to know her and the more I did the more I liked her apart from a wierd negative self destructive suicidal side to her which would pop up every now and again especially when after several weeks of things were going very well between us(this trait only surfaced after being together several times).
    she lived with me for a period of 3 to 4 months at a time and got very ill and nearly died the last time, through all this time I took very good care of her and did all the nursing I could for her and picking up the tab for all i could not.I then have to come back to my home country after spending 2.5 years with her over the 4 years and then by text meassage she says she is no longer in love with me and says she is not good enough for me.
    A mutaul friend of both of us (Thai female) has done some checking up on her and found she is now living with a farang who owns a travel shop in Pattaya and works there in the front office as she speaks a few languages (learnt a t the massage place) is petite ,has a shy demeanour is exceptionally pleasing on the eye and her voice is a delight to hear.
    The mutual friend has even checked the phone of my ex ( abit naughty I know!) and sent me after transferring by bluetooth both messages and photo’s of her .One she sent to her sister was the one that hit me was that she said she loved me like no other and I made her so happy it made her cry sometimes BUT she couldn’t stay with me as it would always remind her that she nearly died and she would never be sure that I stayed with her out of love or out of pity and she wanted to erase this period and could not do so if still with me.
    I was stunned by her message to me and nearly dropped everything and went back but common sense prevailed and I asked the mutual friend what to do as she is 100% trust worthy.
    is what the Ex has done just a female bury the past thing or is it something that Thai females do.
    She never asked me for money or anything and was always so happy when I brought her little things like if out late watching my football team at the bar with a huge telly and on the way back to the condo I would pass a shop that was open 24/7 and buy her a 200Tbht or so of school materials for her english classes and put them in her bag while she slept.
    Look forward to hearing your reply.

  5. Hello
    I work at a remote radar station in alaska and work with a thai women whom I have fallen in love with. She says she loves me too but remains very discreet with her feelings. I just want to make her happy and have to overcome some personal obstacules before we can get married. I am head over heals in love with her. Her number one priority is taking care of her family (mother, sisters) in thailand, not me. am I being too selfish?

  6. Hi Kaewmala,
    Two questions from me (today):
    1. Is there a Thai equivalent of the English language idiom ‘you don’t use a sledgehammer to crack a nut’ – as in you don’t use unnecessary force when something lighter will do the trick?
    2. I’m interested in your response to Catherine’s question of 1 March 2010 above regarding ‘toy boys’, but the link appears to be broken. Can you re-direct me to your answer?
    Many thanks and warmest wishes,
    Angela

  7. Kaewmala, thanks so much for your reply. I love the Thai idiom about ‘(not) riding an elephant to catch a grasshopper’ – it’s perfect for what I have in mind. Needless to say, I will acknowledge your assistance in my next novel.
    The ‘toy boy’ stuff is interesting, too. I have some half-formed thoughts about how language can either control or conceal socially unacceptable behaviours…but that’s for another time.
    Here’s wishing you a Happy Thai New Year 2554 (if my calculations are correct). We are looking forward to celebrating Songkran in Krabi next week.
    Cheers,
    Angela

  8. Hi Kaewmala,
    Another couple of questions from me.
    1) Is there a Thai equivalent of the English language idiom ‘to kill two birds with one stone’?
    2) What about ‘bigger fish to fry’–as in having something more important to do?
    Thanks as always for any help you can provide,
    Angela

    • Angela, sorry for such a horridly late reply. I totally missed this set of your questions.
      1) There is an exact Thai saying which undoubtedly is a translation of the English idiom which has become part of the Thai lexicon already: ยิงปืนนัดเดียวได้นกสองตัว (Kill two birds in one shot).
      2) I can’t think of any at the moment.

  9. @ KaSandraLynnLong
    truth is ‘kwaam jing’ 🙂
    The ‘j’ sound, sometimes has something of a ‘ch’ or a ‘tsch’ to it,depending on where in the country you are 🙂

    Sorry, I left my Thai keyboard in Thailand so I can’t type the Thai script for you!

    You can add the pre-fix ‘kwaam’ to words like ‘roo’ (know) ‘suk’ (happy) ‘jing’ (real/really) to get the equivalent of knowledge (kwaam roo) happiness (kwaam suk) and truth (kwaam jing) I’m sure there are others that don’t spring to mind just now.

    Hope this helps.

    Biff

  10. hi, i hope this is isn’t a bad question, but for a respectable thai girl, is it ok, in thai custom, to cum on them? my girlfriend gets mad sometimes, but ‘at the end of the day’, i don’t really think she cares cause i keep doing it. just a curious farang

    • Well, Laurence. That’s quite a question. I wish I knew. To the best of my knowledge there isn’t a Thai custom pertaining to culturally appropriate manner of ejaculation on the body of a woman–respectable or otherwise. If there is, forgive my ignorance.

      I can’t help wondering though, as you implied you girlfriend isn’t particularly in favor your ejaculatory practice and you still keep doing it, is that a nice thing to do? Would you like her to keep doing things that you don’t like?

      In my view whatever is “appropriate” in this extremely personal activity should be what both parties–meaning BOTH the man AND the woman–feel comfortable with. If one party isn’t happy about it, then how can it be appropriate and enjoyable? I hope you’ll share with her my response.

  11. Maybe you should explain that you are “not dumping your load on her body” but that your coming over her is your way of worshiping that part of her body which you give your nahmrak to!
    Tell that you find her so sexy that you like to prove to her this way as a visual demonstration of your desire
    Many Thai girls get upset if you don’t “set loeh” inside them as they consider that you don’t find them sexy enough or like/love them enough to do so
    So alternate between the two and all depending on where you are “putting” the ejaculate bear in mine the force it can come out with ,the injuries (red eye is not pleasant and normally only caddies and motor cycle taxi riders display this symptom. Many blokes don’t realise that their “nahmrack tastes of what they eat and if they drink loads of lager beer and eat a lot of fatty food, it would not taste good to the girl

  12. Thanks Kaewmala,
    and Cheers Jing-Jo.
    i like both answers. basically she likes, and i like. and as long it isn’t in public it should be ok. sort of like hanging a bra to dry – don’t do it where others can see. and as long as it isn’t in the hair i think she really won’t care (she staring,smirking at me as i am writing this). eh?
    and i am respectful, and love her parts. She is also with me. as in life you half to meet half way. you can’t always get want you want like the rolling stones say. but here in thailand- up to you?!?!?!?!?
    thanks for the answers.

    • There are many ways to say “sex” in Thai. It will fill an entire chapter in a book. But for practical purposes, Thai people in the urban centers these days simply use the English word ‘sex’ as somehow it makes it less vulgar. One common, middle-of-the-road expression can be /pai-nawn-duay-kan/ ไปนอนด้วยกัน (go to sleep together – with the word ‘go’ or /nawn/ being optional). A cute, very modern expression is /len-pee-pha-hom/ เล่นผีผ้าห่ม (play the blanket ghost). There are many, many more. Slang words are very colorful and fast changing, such as /uep/ อึ๊บ (mount) or /summ/ ซั่ม (perhaps like ‘bang’), etc. The last two are a bit crude.

      The expression you mentioned ‘pun pun’ is likely not that but ‘boom boom’, which is a slang often used by commercial or semi-commercial sex, or in subculture of Thai-farang relationships.

  13. Nice blog by the way… So my question is this: I am not Thai. I have a Thai friend. I am a guy, she is a she. Now I will try to complicate this situation … Haha. What would it mean … in terms of what would the effect of the language be … if I referred to her as “nong sao?”

    We are not romantic at this time. She is back in Thailand working and studying. I am in the states working. I am 9 years older.

    Is this okay to call her this as a casual or playful term of endearment, or will this carry some meaning that will cause some difficulty in understanding between us?

    I want to try an explore or practice using Thai words and my idea is to try this one out, as long as it won’t cause some trouble … What do you think?

    Good idea or bad idea?

    • JM, Sorry for late reply. Generally it should be OK to call a familiar young friend “nong sao” in a teasing way. But since it means “sister” it may or may not lead to a mixed message you’ll be sending. Much depends on delivery I guess. Also depends on the lady’s personality, if she is easy going and enjoys teasing she might like it.

  14. I like idioms like

    Mail hen long son mail lung man tah
    .ไม่เห็นโลงศพ ไม่หลั่งน้ำตา (hope i wrote it right) because they also show a way of thinking.

    Do you have any more/similar of these, I’m tired of the usual old men/young girl and so on sayings 😉

    BTW: You are doing a very good job, I’m following you on twitter for over two years now and have to say thanks for your tweets and your blog!

    • Thanks, Tom, for stopping by. You can find Thai idioms, proverbs and slang among the categories listed on the top right-side bar of the blog. Unfortunately, I don’t write blog articles very often but tweet more often. Most of the idioms and slang I tweet aren’t listed here on the blog. Check out: http://twitter.com/thai_idioms.

  15. Can you live in Thailand with a Thai women and not being married to her?
    Tina
    I think my Husband does

  16. I often hear in the film, thai say “ngia” “leew” “niya” but I cant find it in dictionary. Can you explain it please? I’m stuck at these words. khop phun khrap.

  17. Dear Ilham,

    These three words are particles that come at the end of an expression or a sentence. The particle แล้ว /lÉEw/ is used in both written and spoken form but the other two are used mostly in spoken form.

    1) The particle แล้ว /lÉEw/ means “already”, normally coming after a verb to signify that an action has already taken place or been accomplished. For example, กินข้าวรึยัง (Have you eaten?), กินแล้ว (Eaten already.); แต่งตัวเสร็จยัง รีบๆ หน่อยสิ! (Are you done getting dressed? Hurry up!), เออ เสร็จแล้วๆ แป๊บนึง กำลังหาแว่นตากันแดด (Yeah, I’m done already. Just a sec. Looking for my sun glasses.).

    2) The particle เนี้ยะ /níia/ or เนี่ย /nîia/ means “this”, which I believe mutated from the more formal นี้ /níi/. For example, the brother who is impatiently waiting for his sister looking for her sun glasses, sees a pair on the side table in the living room, hollers at her: แว่นตากันแดดของเธอ อันเนี้ยะป่าว (Your sun glasses, is this the pair?). His sister: เหรอ! ขอบแดงใช่มะ มันอยู่ไหนอ่ะ (Oh! The red-framed one? Where?). The brother: นี่ไง! บนโต๊ะข้างประตูเนี่ย! (Right here! On this side table near the door!). All the เนี้ยะ /níia/ or เนี่ย /nîia/ mentioned in the dialog would appear as นี้ /níi/ or นี่(ไง) /nîi (ngai)/ in the written form.

    3) เงี้ยะ /ngíia/ is a contraction/mutation (of sound) of a similar word งี้ /ngíi/ which in turn mutated from นี้ /níi/. For example, a girl is learning the art of origami – she is trying to fold a piece of paper this way and that way but couldn’t get it right, so she asks her friend: พับอย่างเงี้ยะ ใช่มะ ชั้นทำถูกป่าว (Is this how I fold the paper? Am I doing it right?). The friend: ไม่ใช่ ไม่ใช่ ต้องทำอย่างงี้ แบบนี้ไง! (No, no. This is how you do it. Like this!).

    Small and simple words often need big and complicated explanation. Hope it helps you understand them better.

    -Cheers 🙂

  18. (I first posted this as a comment on the “Durex scandal” post, then I found this place is for questions. My apologie, and you can delete my comment(s))

    Hello Kaewmala,

    I’m a new reader here (Frenchman). I am completely dazed by some figures I read in your (excellent) post about the “Durex scandal”.
    Quote: “about 30% of Thai women of marriageable age (15-45) nationwide are single (the figure is over 40% in Bangkok)”.
    Moreso, what you wrote about 30’s-40’s years old Thai women who never had sex or been kissed.

    First of all, learning of this makes me sad and irritated. Even now it is so hard for me to conceive it. I find it unfair, especially when one knows how Thai men behave, or how Thai women are perceived worldwide (bluntly, at best naughty, at worst, prostitutes).

    It makes me want to ask a hurricane of questions (I’m also a journalist…):
    I suppose these women are from upper social classes?
    Is it because of high expectations about potential lovers/husband?
    Is it for fear of looking easy if they date successively several men?
    How do they overcome sexual and sentimental frustration?
    That’s touchy, but, how is then female self sexual pleasure perceived in Thai society?

    It’s hard for me to imagine how harsh social pressure seems to be upon Thai women…Gender equality seems to have a looooooooooong way in the bedroom.

  19. One more question: if there are women in their 30s or 40s who have never been kissed, does that mean that they have never fallen in love?

    • Like men in all cultures, yes they do. Lots of nicknames, among the most common are /juu/ (stump, shrunken [thing]), /nong chai/ (‘little brother’), /chao loke/ (lord of the world), etc.

  20. Thank you! I work for a mental health agency in the U.S. and we got a request for info on domestic violence resources for women in Thailand. do you know of any resources or agencies that i could contact? Thank you!

  21. I was researching about thai culture when i found your blog/website/whatever…
    First, I would like to congratulate you for your website. It is really great to read the opinion of a thai woman in some subjects.
    Second, I would like to ask about a personal problem I am having right now in my complicated relationshin. Here it goes:
    My girlfriend told me that in thai culture it is really common for the husband to give all his money for the wife to keep it, and the wife controls it and pay the bills and everything. She said it is a question of trust.
    Actually it troubles me greatly. Yes, I am a farang, but unlike most farangs, I am not from an european rich country, I am from a third world country, and I believe that I must respect thai culture in the same way that my girlfriend must respect my culture. I see a relationship as a share, not a one-sided cultural imposing… My proposal is always to share and make the decisions together, but it seems to trouble my girlfriend greatly. She says that in thai culture the woman take care of everything.
    It would make me really grateful if you could shed some light in this matter. I know that there are different kinds of cultural behaviours in Thailand, as it is in my own country, and that maybe it is something you can´t “advice” me on, so I thank you in advance for your good will.
    Is it really outlandish to take the decisions together, and to both have control of the bank account? I don’t feel confortable in letting my partner take all the decisions alone.
    Thank you for your kind attention. Please, forgive me for my bad english writting (lol) and for my emotive questioning…

    • Dear Moskitows,

      There are no fixed rules with regard to the money issue in Thai culture. Yes, in some families the way that your girlfriend insists might be the case but by no means it’s the only way. The set up in which the wife controls the family purse strings used to happen more in the past when the husband tended to work outside and was the sole breadwinner. However, Thai women have contributed to family income; many are even family breadwinners and as a result have the leverage in the family financial decision making.

      As you are uncomfortable that your girlfriend is demanding to be the sole decision-maker in the financial affairs, i.e. in spending your money, and that ‘Thai culture’ should reign supreme in your relationship, it will be wise to give this a serious thought. Try to understand where your girlfriend is coming from culturally (family, social, education, jobs, etc.), what her motives are, what she really wants in a relationship, and whether her expectations match with yours. From a perspective of a Thai outsider her expectations seem too rigid and possibly self-serving. Thailand is not a mono-culture, in other words not always or exactly as a person may try to make it so.

      People have expectations but these have to be considered and leveled, and perhaps compromised, especially in a cross-cultural relationship. Both individuals’ points of view should be respected. I wrote a rather long article on this subject some time ago which gives more background to my answer: https://thaiwomantalks.com/2010/05/10/thai-women-and-the-question-of%C2%A0money/

      As in all things, use your good judgement and take a long good look before taking a plunge. Good luck.

  22. Dear Kaewmala,

    Thank you very much for your attention and your answer.
    I talked to my girlfriend, and I found that in her family they take the decisions together, but the women are responsible for controling the money. They pay the bills and gives their husbands the money they need.
    She is from Surin province, from a poor family (not extremely poor), and has a college degree. In her family, usually, men are the breadwinners. She works in her field for a multinational company.
    After talking about our cultural differences, and what is important for each other, we decided to share everything: both control over the money and decisions. It is was the best for me, because it is exactly what I wanted, and she was happy with the outcome.
    Once again, thank you for your attention. By the way, I will take a look at your article.

    Bye!

  23. Kaewmala, first I want to congratulate you for your wonderful website. I have received more information today than I have in a year before.
    I have a question about money as I could not find on your page. I have met a Thai woman a year ago and we got engaged now before Christmas in Thailand (12.12.12). She still lives in Thailand but will move to me in Sweden this spring. We had planned to get married before she moves, and then it came up on Thai tradition with money. That one should give money to the girl’s parents at the wedding. But now is my fiancee 47 years old and her parents are dead. She lives with her brother and his family in Bangkok. She has not been married before and have no children and works in an office and do not earn so much money.
    My question is do I pay money on the wedding anyway? I have tried to find answers to other pages and found the answer if the woman is previously married or are older so you pay nothing or little, but you pay to the parents. I would like to know what the tradition demands, I do not want to seem stingy, but I also do not want to pay to relatives who shall not have money if you follow Thai tradition.
    Then how much money should I pay if I should do it?
    Thanks in advance!

  24. สวัสดีครับ Kaewmala…

    Thanks for providing a forum for honest interaction about sex and love and Thai/Western cross-culturalization. I have a question, but (apologies) the lead-in is a bit convoluted…

    My position is that Thai women don’t really respect men. They grow up in a traditional milieu that automatically values males over females, such that the males have privileges for doing essentially nothing while the females are automatically hit with duties and responsibilities. I don’t think this is overt or direct, instead I think females grow up to harbor a lingering unacknowledged resentment against males. Thus once they get married, “all bets are off”, I.E., the Thai female inevitably starts to exercise her authority based on unexamined resentment of the male.

    Ok, here’s my next conclusion (take it or leave it)… the Thai woman has been brought up with absolutely no ability to evaluate a male based on the quality of his character, because Thai society’s default position is that the male is automatically superior. Therefore the ONLY way a Thai female can judge a male is by the amount of money he brings home. And of course, this type of assessment carries over to a farang male, only doubly so. The Thai female is brought up with a lingering resentment and inability to judge males, and so the only thing she has left by which to judge is the size of the male’s wallet. I will grant you that there are always exceptions, especially if the woman comes from a rich “hi-so” or Chinese family, but in general the vast majority of Thai women nonetheless fall into my default resentful position.

    It then becomes a stressful clash of unknown cultural assumptions whenever a farang and a Thai women get married. Unfortunately, unless the farang has infinite monetary resources as well as infinite patience, the end result will always be disaster.

    Any comments???????

  25. Dear Kaewmala,

    Your blog is excellent. And I have a question. I read recently on a different, obviously far-inferior website that Thai people actually think that “pom/chan rak kuhn” (sorry I can’t actually type Thai) is a childish way of expressing your love and that the only worse way of doing it is to use names instead of personal pronouns (i.e. “Person X rak Person Y”). They recommended saying (regardless of gender) “Chan rak ter”, if it is a genuine love.

    Does such a sliding scale of words for love, and which should be used when?

    Thank you very much

    • I’m sorry, what kind of misguided, ill-informed advice is that! There are many first-person pronouns in Thai language (in English there’s only ‘I’ for most people – unless you are the Queen of England who may use ‘We’), and while some are more appropriate to use in love profession, /chan/ ฉัน is not the only first-person pronoun that shows genuine love! Chan is an informal first pronoun used by children, close friends, (female, feminine) persons of higher status to persons of lower status in familiar context. But an adult man will rarely if ever use the first pronoun /chan/ with the woman he loves, unless they have grown up together, or been old classmates, or are about the same age. An average Thai man will 95% of the time call himself /phom/ ผม with most people, including the woman he loves.

  26. Thank you very much. Does the pronoun used for “you” (ter/kuhn) make any kind of difference either? Or (and I know this is a very sweeping question) do Thai people generally think it is less meaningful and serious to say “I love you” in English?

  27. Pingback: Ask Kaewmala | Thai Woman Talks - Language, Society, Politics & Love·

  28. Hi, I am the partner of a man who married aThai girl. They met on the internet he came to visit her and they started a relationship. After 2 years thay married, she move to Europe where he lived. She was 24y.o at that time, coming from a low class family ( no father and the older sister supported the family and make them study).She did not learnt the language and never worked, qfter few year she started to spend half a year back in Thailand and 2 years ago asked for thelegal separation – judge agreed on a monthly allowance. Now after the compulsory time my partner will ask the divorce, we live together and we are looking for a baby- so we want to fix our legal status.As soon as he advanced the divorce he became very present in his life and even say she would like to try again. When she knew who I was she became angry ( my partner and me were friends before they knew but after they married she forbid him to talk with me, according to her I was flirting with him, which was not true, and moreover I lived with somebody else and in another country) . My question is what sort of attitude and behave we should expect from her? Will she agree on accelerate divorce if we pay some money? It sound awful to say this but I am every time more persuaded that she was looking for money when he married him, when she separated and that she will not go away of our life id she does not get any financial benefit. Thanks for your point of view.

  29. Maybe you can help me. I am a tall white man, and my Thai girl and I have been together for over two years. She is very assertive and considers herself the male in our relationship. She would like me to get a tattoo or brand showing that she has ownership over me, and loves to call me her slave (tard). I love this as well, and want my Mistress/Man happy. Besides the general word for slave, what are the Thai words for “woman’s male slave”? Is there a symbol I can have tattooed to show her family that I am her slave forever when we go to Thailand? Where would you put tattoo? I love being her slave, and want her happy with me. Thanks, Rocky Neff

  30. I was in a three year relationship with a Thai woman. I’m 45, she’s 35. She’s not a bar girl or anything like that, but she works in restaurants and so is not rolling in wealth.

    I moved her to another Asian country where I live. She went to visit her sister for a couple months and broke it off with me. There had been warnings that I was not acting quickly enough to make marriage plans, and she has a valid point on that. We didn’t talk in concrete terms about marriage.. I was waiting, in western guy style, to “propose” in a sort of magic moment way. In breaking up, the key reason she wrote was “she knows I don’t want to marry her 100%.” There were other issues, but that was the main one.

    There are cultural issues here, for sure. I know Thai family tends to depend on children– and by extension, in-laws– for support. So stability and planning were more important than I realized. She says she “felt bad” about asking for money to send home.

    We have essentially been out of contact for two months. Just the other day, she responded to a short but heartfelt email I sent a month ago (saying this is a mistake, I am ready to commit my whole life to you, etc.) with one line: “I miss u so much.” I responded back — too soon, I will admit– that I missed her very much too.

    What seems to be have been going on here is not a loss of love, but rather insecurity over my failure to offer a reassuring life path. So I have written a short letter– a concrete marriage, meet-the-parents, family support plan, adding I am sorry I was slow.

    I know from a distance it seems like a negotiation. But I feel I’m rectifying some cultural mistakes I made, and I want this woman back so badly I feel it in my teeth. Is there a shot, you think?

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