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International online Thai dating is a powerful world

Friday 12th June 2015 1:20pm

The crazy and powerful world of Thai online dating

The world of online Thai dating can be richly rewarding but also contradictory and challenging. In the past 10 years it has emerged as a powerful social force bringing opportunity and love to many lonely people in Thailand and around the world.

The power of Thai online dating to alter lives and bring people happiness cannot be disputed but what also cannot also be disputed is the challenges and and even dangers that this brings with it. Growing numbers are using Thai dating sites online to find love and it is a huge success story yet the secret of finding online love in Thailand is to know about the pitfalls and push on carefully.

International community created by online Thai dating

Although there are no official figures for the numbers of Thai women living all over the world as marriage or love partner to foreign men, there is no doubt that Thai online dating has played the major part in this surge in the last ten years. Similarly there has been a growth in foreign men living in Thailand, many of them love partners or husbands to Thai women or increasingly foreigners married to Thai women who have moved back to Thailand. There is also no doubt that many of the foreign men retiring to Thailand are using online dating in Thailand to find suitable love partners or wives. Putting these communities together comes to 1,200,000 adults approximately and many of these relationships are entwined with communities in Thailand and most developed westerns countries. 'What you have is a real social movement,' says Carla Boonkong. 'Even the UN agencies are acknowledging the very real link between the internet and online connectivity and migration, the only thing is that this is very positive story creating a lot of happiness,' says Carla Boonkong, an experienced commentator on this subject who works in Bangkok and has traveled the world exploring the phenomenon.'Many of these people are positively taking action to find a new life through finding new love and a new relationship in foreign countries from a lonely place, how can that not be good?'

Research from Thailand's leading international dating site, ThaiLoveLines, shows up to 10% of eligible Thai women online in Thailand using the international Thai dating site. The dating site also reports members in every country in the world comprising 193 different nationalities. However, while online Thai dating is overwhelming a positive and inspiring story, it also presents challenges for those opting to fight loneliness and begin a new life with a new relationship.

Challenges and pitfalls of online Thai dating

'I can tell you stories of foreign men who can speak neither English nor Thai and often with limited resources finding love and a life partner that they simply could not find anywhere in the world and yet you can have a wealthy millionaire from America who ends up with nightmare situation, how do you explain that,' says Bill Mc Mahon, Security Manager of Thailovelines.com. Bill's job is to deal with situations where both Thai women and foreign men find themselves let down or abused by other users online. He is referring to a conundrum which has been identified and discussed recently online. It seems online dating in Thailand works so well for some and not for others often in a very unpredictable way. One TLL executive believes with the right approach and the right attitude online Thai dating can be made to work successfully for everyone. 'The trick is to know what online dating in Thailand is all about but then to use this resource as a tool to find new relationships with a good heart and in a spirit of honesty,' say Pranom Inthakhenee, Marketing Manager of ThaiLovelines.com.

ExPat players using online Thai Dating

Thailand and particularly Bangkok is home to thousands of western foreigners or expats as more and more foreign men from western countries opt to love abroad. Thailand as a key Asian commercial hub is a particularly popular spot with between 500,000 and 1,000,000 westerner now living and working in Thailand. A recent survey by a very popular Thai expat website forum showed that 29% of respondents lived within the Bangkok metropolitan area. 'The popular image of western expats living in Thailand is the retired old man chasing girls,' says James Morris in Bangkok. 'In fact Bangkok is home to a growing number of younger western expats who enjoy a very affluent lifestyle.' James Morris is an international correspondent based in Bangkok who writes for western media outlets.

In the last decade it has become more common for younger western men to live and work in Thailand but particularly Bangkok. Some are working for large multinationals or government organisations while others work for Thai companies bringing language and other skills need by Thai companies to develop. Many of the young men living in Thailand and some middle aged ones use Thai dating sites to meet Thai women on an ongoing basis. 'Many young and middle aged foreigners on Thai dating sites are not looking for a long term girlfriend or relationship but rather, let's say a more short term one and it must admitted that there are young and even older Thai women in Bangkok and other places in Thailand who seem only too happy to meet foreigners for dinner or a night out, many Thai women have become liberated although it is not something that is socially acceptable I would think,' says Carla Boonkong.

UK expat enjoys meeting beautiful Thai women online

Paul is from Bradford in the United Kingdom. He works as a marketing executive in a large multinational corporation based in Bangkok. He is 32 years old and even though he has had one long term relationship in Thailand he is not yet interested in an other. 'For a guy of my tender years to be living in Bangkok with a pretty good job, lots of disposable income and so many beautiful Thai women, this as good as it gets.' Paul has a superior standard condominium paid for by the multi national American company he works for in the Asoke area of the city. 'I broke up with my Thai girlfriend two years ago but things are pretty cool, I rarely spend the weekend alone. I can be watching television at home at 8pm and by 10pm, I can be sitting in the company of a beautiful Thai lady if I get the feeling to head on wout.' Paul expounds on a whole range of dating game plays he deploys so that continually meets new Thai women. He uses a Thai dating site and has a list of favorite Thai lady friends on his online Thai dating account. But does he not feel bad or guilty?

'No, not at all, I'm young and living live and so are many of the Thai women that I meet online, I do stay in touch with some,' he volunteers. He estimates that he dates at least 100 Thai women a year and has regular contact with about 20 online friends all within Bangkok. 'Sometimes one of my Thai girlfriends will ring me up and invite me to a dinner or an event to meet her friends and sometimes even, they insist on paying the bill but I like to stay independent. I feel I have many healthy relationships with a lot of Thai women in Thailand that I meet online.'

'Thai women treat me well...Sex is cheap in Bangkok'

'I don't like to hear stories of toys moaning about Thai women and money and all this sort of stuff. My experience has been the opposite, many Thai women insist on treating me well. I do meet some younger and less well off Thai girls who might sometimes expect me to pay for dinner and I've no problem with that even a taxi home if they've spent the night but I never pay for sex. Sex is cheap in Bangkok alright but it's not something I would ever do. So that's another reason why I use the online dating sites.'

Carla Boonkong is concerned however that many Thai women setting out to meet foreigners on online dating sites may be getting into the wrong sort of relationships. 'I know many young Thai women who have a little disposable income and are interested in meeting foreign relationship partners on Thai dating sites but frankly I do not approve at all of western men like this who see themselves as players and who are simply looking for cheap sex online. In the end of the day adults are adults and must be responsible but I think Thai women should exercise a little more discretion,' she says. 'These western men should realise that this may not be socially acceptable in Thailand.'

Thai Love Holiday - part of the Thai online dating experience

For many foreign men using Thai online dating sites it their first occasion to consider a trip to Thailand. This is not quite shown by usage statistics for online Thai dating sites where 65% of male users are regular users who already have a lifestyle connection with Thailand. 30% of Thai online dating users already live in Thailand. However 35% of male users of online dating sites in Thailand are new users from foreign countries seeking a relationship in Thailand. Research in 2014 conducted for TLL (ThaiLoveLines) showed that 4% of single or unattached western men have seriously considered international Thai dating or finding a love or life partner in Thailand.

'It is the only way to ultimately meet a Thai woman or Thai dating partner,' says James Morris who regularly meets foreign men beginning a search for love in Bangkok. 'But it is also the point where things can start to go wrong, it usually involves getting mired in the Thai sex environment and even scenarios online before they even get to Bangkok where guys get tempting offers online from attractive young Thai women to come and visit them in their home country. This is every lazy guys dream but it is, of course, a scam. You have to visit Thailand in 99% of time I'd say to meet Thai women unless you are lucky to meet a Thai woman who finds herself single and alone in your country, near you, I suppose it can happen but what are the odds?'

There are many reasons why a visit to a Thailand and sort of 'Thai love holiday' is desirable but it presents a challenge. 'It is the second important decision that a foreigner using Thai online dating sites looking for a relationship in Thailand must make, the first being to join one of the Thai dating sites,' says Morris.

Why a Thai Love holiday is the way forward:

In the latest 2015 relationship success survey on ThaiLoveLines, 93% of all new relationships formed involved a trip to Thailand by the foreign partner. The other 7% involved relationships between foreigners and Thai women already living in western countries and very small number of instances where Thai women actually did genuinely visit a foreign partner in their home country. It is considered highly improbable. However in the last four years of these TLL surveys, this figure is growing. 'It could be explained by a growing affluence among Thai singles particularly Thai women with employment or who own businesses. The problem in the past has been the ability of Thai women to obtain the necessary travel visas but things are changing in Thailand for the better,' says James Morris. It is still the case that for the vast majority of Thai women who do not form the elite or upper middle class in Thai society that foreign travel is something to aspire to and it is one of the key factors in driving the Thai women who are interested in exploring a foreign love partner or new life abroad.

It still remains the case that a trip to Thailand in search of love is the best option for nearly all foreign men looking for Thai love online. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Beautiful Thai women inside and out are found in Thailand: 'Thailand is full of the most beautiful women and not only on the outside but also on the inside,' says Carla Boonkong. 'Most Thai women are also pretty committed to making a relationship work as you see from stories from Thai women in the European countries, America and Australia. Yes, it is possible I suppose to meet Thai women in foreign countries given the large numbers that have emigrated to western countries over the last twenty years, but it is surely easier to find the right women in Thailand. James Morris: 'It has now become a possibility to meet Thai women in foreign countries even through Thai restaurants or massage establishment but many of these Thai women are married or have had relationships. I suggest there may also be quite a few Thai women with some baggage or what's even more contemporary today, some wealthier Thai business women who have made it big in western cities. I have met Thai ladies like this. Also from what I see many Thai women often opt to return home to Thailand if a relationship breaks down despite the economic advantages that foreign countries have to offer.' However there is growing evidence of Thai women in foreign countries using Thai online dating sites to find a second relationship although reports in countries such as Switzerland and Sweden firmly show that Thai foreigner relationships have a substantially lower breakdown or divorce rate.
  • Thai women delivery to your country: This is usually a scam and plays into the old fashioned, outdated and discredited concept of the Thai mail order bride which still exists in the thought process of older middle aged western men. One of the key drawbacks however of Thai online dating is the vulnerability to international scammers who target both foreign men and Thai women at this crucial point in their lives when the heart is open to love. One notable scam is for an attractive looking woman to suggest visiting men in their home countries. Jack (61) is from New Hampshire in the US. In 2008 he used a Thai dating site and met online a very attractive young Thai women from Chiang Rai province in Thailand. 'I had this idea that if I could just meet one beautiful Thai woman here in the US it would be so much easier. I kinda wanted it to feel more normal or natural this way. I felt uneasy about setting out on a trip to find a love companion. I met this beautiful woman online and she wanted to come and visit with me. She said she liked an older man and was more responsible herself. She was thirty years old. I thought I was just lucky or blessed, she talked about how great it would be to see the USA and she seemed genuine about living with me. But it was all a lie and I was just being a stupid old man. The woman didn't exist.' Jack paid $3,500 in total for visa fees plane tickets and fees that escalated in steps. He found out in stages that it was a sham. Two years later he finally resolved to make the trip to Thailand and now has a Thai girlfriend living in Khon Kaen whom he visits three times a year. His Thai girlfriend is thirty four years of age and just as pretty says Jack. He plans to retire to Thailand in four or five years time. His case is unusual. 'Most older western men simply give up after these things happen and that's the worst part of these crimes, they destroy hope for men who by and large have good intentions and have real prospects of finding love,' says Bill Mc Mahon who works for ThaiLoveLines security in Bangkok.
  • Experience of Thailand and Thai culture: It has been documented and discussed elsewhere how important it is to understand the very original and quixotic nature of Thai culture. 'Thailand is at a key crossroads in its development. Many Thai women want to explore and even embrace western culture. As well as economic motives, there is strong cultural attraction to western men but research study after research study shows that Thai women do not lose their very particular Thai values when it comes to family and social interactions,' says Carla Boonkong. To fully understand Thai women, any foreigner, even though using online dating as the best way to meet Thai women, must visit the country and the original environment that is home to that culture.

Planning a Thai love holiday to Thailand

The following are helpful tips to bear in mind before you plan a trip to Thailand:

  • We recommend that you spend a minimum at least of 4- 5 weeks online before traveling to Thailand. During this time your online dating experience should involve contacts on a one to one basis with up to thirty different Thai women or potential love partners with a minimum of ten contacts or more detailed interaction. It is not as easy as you may imagine to get around Thailand and meet so many women in a trip. We recommend that you meet no more than eight women while in Thailand but it should be at least five. Select these women carefully and establish for each their address, location in Thailand, full name and essential details. It may be an idea to print out these details or have them to hand.
  • Any trip to Thailand should be for a minimum of 21 days preferably 28 allowing 5-6 days to acclimatise when your first arrive. We recommend that you visit at least two centres or locations outside Bangkok and highly recommend Thailand North east Isaan region as well as Chiang Mai.
  • You should get a map of Thailand and familiarise yourself with the 77 provinces in Thailand. This is a good idea even when using your online Thai dating site.
  • It is a very good idea to buy a smartphone or if you already have one to have it opened so that it use other network chips. Even better if you use a tablet computer or similar device. On arrival in Thailand you can purchase a telephone number and data package so that you can use your Thai dating site and other services such as apps. Today in Thailand nearly every Thai woman has an online device and you can maintain contact with the Thai women you have been online when you arrive in Thailand in order to arrange to meet and to coordinate your search for love in Thailand.

Why your love search holiday in Thailand could spell disaster

'They say that you should visit Thailand only when you are older because after visiting the country you won't want to go anywhere else, I've lived here now for 25 years and even though it changes, it's still the best place in the world to live but to a foreigner from a western country on arrival it can simply be intoxicating.' James Morris as a correspondent living and working in Bangkok regularly meets western men visiting Thailand. He is talking about the elevated levels of confidence and even exhilaration that can hit foreign men when they first arrive in Thailand. 'For start it's the beautiful women, the smiling faces and then the value for money. The dollar or euro goes far further in Thailand in fact it can feel like 5 times as much and even more when it comes to booze and the good life,' he explains. The result for many foreigners is what is called the 'two week millionaire' syndrome. This coupled with the lure of the Thai sex industry can be the downfall of many well laid plans by well intentioned foreigner initially interested in finding love in Thailand. 'There are many kinds of love and what catches foreigners is the whole atmosphere of prostitution in Thailand and the undeniable fact that there are many genuine bar girls in Thailand.'

James Morris asks foreigners planning to visit Thailand to take the following pointers:

  • Avoid bar girls and sex industry workers: Avoid forming a relationship with a Thai woman working in the sex industry no matter how natural and plausible it all feels. Many of these relationships can indeed be successful but they are also the root cause of many of the nightmare stories in relation to Thai online dating. There are many and varied reasons which such relationships are more likely not be successful.
  • Research your trip to Thailand: Find out about the dangers and benefits of online Thai dating and love in Thailand. Keep a sense of balance. There are many dangers in Thailand as a visit to any expat bar will elicit. But this is also a danger in itself as Morris explains: 'It is good to take advice and be aware of the dangers of Thailand. It is a different culture and society from most western countries, a foreigner in Thailand would be badly advised to treat Thailand the same as living at home. However new visitors should realise that there are many disillusioned expats living in Thailand as well as many successful ones. The difference in the end of the day boils down to attitude. Exercise common sense but don't be either frightened or also too confident. One of the things I see often is foreigners coming to thailand and when confronted by a Thai custom or difference, they can become paranoid particularly if it involves money or an element of trust. On the other hand be circumspect and if you don't understand something remember to ask politely. Being a gentleman is always a virtue in Thailand. I suggest that any foreigner following this course move surely but cautiously and also to remember it may be just as difficult for the Thai women involved.'
  • Do not settle for second best but be honest: There are stories everywhere of foreign men who have had to make difficult choices between one, two or even three Thai women that would have made very good wives or long term partners. At the same time there are reports of foreign men who are duped or find themselves in nightmare relationships. 'From the outset, even the moment a guys enters his details in a online dating site, he is representing or marketing himself. The key is to put the best forward but always with honesty. On the other hand be honest with yourself about what you are looking for,' says Morris. The key to a successful Thai holiday trip is to have realistic picture of the type of Thai women or life partner you are looking for if you are a foreign man. It may well be that a western man who consciously decides to find the best Thai woman possible may be very surprised. 'I regularly see men from western countries with a modicum of decency and honesty outdoing themselves. They can find women in Thailand be they girlfriends or wives of such a high personal standing and integrity that it's gobsmacking for me anyhow. As well as being beautiful and intelligent, these women are often financially quite independent. This would not be possible at home except perhaps for the most fortunate. On the other hand there are foreigners who come to Thailand with the wrong attitude and guess what, they meet the wrong kind of Thai woman. It's human nature I suppose.' Thai online dating sites are extremely useful prior to the trip to Thailand in order to find more about the Thai women you are preparing to meet.

The online dating process helps to provide feedback in order to properly define this objective. Here are some further useful tips:

  • The most successful relationships are where the age difference is not acute: Thai women may appear quite forthcoming or even forward about your income and financial capabilities. This is essential practical as marriage in Thailand is viewed as an economic alliance as well or as much as a love relationship. In fact honesty about financial matters is one of the key reasons why some Thai foreigners relationships are successful while others are not. Learn at the outset to spot and dismiss Thai women or users online who are either not sincere or may pose as security threat. Be aware of security issues online in order to protect yourself. However it is also important to be patient in forming conclusions as it can often be the case that an initial dating contact may not represent accurately the person you are dealing with. When dealing with genuine Thai women or singles, explore their background and even exchange photos by posting photo galleries.
  • Involve your family or friends in your Thai love search: It has emerged from speaking to users in TLL in debriefing when leaving Thailand's largest dating site that some of the successful foreign men, Thai singles and Thai women have reported that taking the advice of family members and involving them in the love search has been critical to their success online. One Thai woman reported that her grandmother had selected the foreign man who she eventually married from his profile and photograph while an American from Fresno, California reported that his ten year old eldest son had helped him identify Mrs Right from Thailand! Both relationships are still very successful and they were formed online in Thailand over seven years ago.

Scammers and online Thai dating

The growth of Thai online dating mirrors a global growth for international Thai dating sites with Thailand as one of the most attractive destination, a unique culture and also its reputation for beautiful women making it a key target for foreign men from western countries. There has also been explosive growth in online dating in Thailand amongst both younger and middle aged Thais looking for partners. With this has come a sinister threat in the form of online scammers or fraudsters who target both Thai women and foreign men by creating false profiles. 'The most important thing to know about this threat is that once a person educates themselves about it and exercises common sense there is then absolutely no danger, ' says Bill Mc Mahon, security officer with ThaiLoveLines.com.

The problem is that many foreign men and Thai women are vulnerable while in the process of finding love or making new contacts online. 'It's so sad but it is when a person's heart is open that one is sometimes most vulnerable,'say Carla Boonkong.

An example of some of the the scams:

  • A Thai doctor, a woman who has never had a relationship, who sent B3 million to a foreign man she had never met in person. The Thai woman had been online engaging with what she thought was a gentleman from England working in Saudi Arabia. In reality it transpired to have been a man from Nigeria operating from Malaysia. The man was able to get through screening by getting assistance from a friend in London.
  • A US man who sent $11,500 to a Thai woman he met online even after she had told him that she was not living in Thailand but Africa! In a series of developments there were requests for medical expenses, visa expenses, payment of an outstanding debt and finally a plane ticket which was in fact bought but cancelled and the money refunded to the woman in Africa. In some cases these frauds are perpetrated by men posing as women.

As well as international scams, there are also a host of situations that foreign men dating women in Thailand must watch out for including Thai women who simply are looking for a foreign benefactor and Thai women who have extended relationships with multiple foreigners at different times. At the same time it has also emerged that there are foreign men posing as long term suitors who are not genuine or who abuse the trust of Thai women. 'It is hard for foreigners to sometimes appreciate that the very vast majority of Thai women are not only not sex workers but that Thai society is quite conservative and traditional,' says Carla Boonkong. 'At the same time many Thai women are open and trusting when it comes to foreigners particularly western men, so there is emotional, sexual and financial abuse in some cases. And what really concerns me is that impact this has on the national consciousness in Thailand because I believe that Thai farang relationships are essential a very positive thing.'

Extent of online dating scams is shocking

The extent of this activity is shocking and features operators from not only Africa but also from groups operating from the US, UK, Europe and locations throughout Asia. In relation to the threats from activities of some unscrupulous Thai women, the key to dating success if to follow guidelines laid down by Thai dating sites such as ThaiLoveLines.com. 'Because online Thai dating works and is successful we therefore have this problem, the key thing to remember is that these people represent a maximum 1-2% of online dating profiles and can be harmless if the dating site user is prepared but this 1-2% can be very active,' says Pronom Inthakhenee Marketing Manager with ThaiLoveLines.com. ThaiLoveLines is currently preparing a new security plan for the popular dating website including more online security facilities and more education targeted at users of the dating website.

Irony is that online scammers prove that online dating works

The ability of unscrupulous individuals to extort or con money from online dating site users proves that online friendship and companionship can develop into something powerful. In most cases this leads to positive developments but for those unsuspecting dating site users, it can lead to anguish and pain.

Best $39.99 I ever spent says Australian man with Thai wife

George Coningsby is freelance accountant with the film services industry living on Australia's Gold Coast. Originally from the United Kingdom he has lived in Australia for the last fifty years. Divorced after his first marriage in 1971, he never tried again to find love until 2008. That year at 60 years of age it was the first time George had ever been to Thailand. His Australian passport now shows over thirty stamps and within 8 days of arriving in Thailand he was married to his Thai wife Chutima.

'I couldn't believe it myself so you can imagine how shocked my friends in Australia were,' he says. Since then Chutima, his Thai wife has moved easily to living in Australia after completing all the visa formalities in 2010. Within three weeks of arriving in Australia, Chutima found a good job and as George still works part time they enjoy a pretty good lifestyle in Australia. Even more shocking is that George tells us that Chutima has been so successful working for an advertising PR company that she earns 50% more than he does! 'My friends are a bit surprised when I tell them this although I have wound things down a bit over the years. And Chutima was the first woman I met online, I can tell you it was the best $39.99 I ever spent!'

While George is 67 and Chutima 32 there is a substantial age difference. 'Yes I think I am more aware of it then she is. I know it makes me look a bit of a dirty old man but my wife makes me feel young and I feel that way too, how can I explain this, she's such a lady she can carry off anything and for all that she's loyal and a good friend.'

George contacted TLL to tell us about his a good fortune and in a telephone conversation Chutima told us confidently that she is proud of her husband. 'I am very happy to be married to George he is a good man and an educated man. We are very happy together,' she says. But do they have disagreements? 'Yes we have or disagreements and all that but the funny thing is that it is often because one of us wants to do more for the other and it is always under control. I think so much of him and he thinks the me about me,' she tells us.

George also reveals that he is concerned about Chutima's future if , as is likely, he dies before her. This is now a recurring theme among the lucky foreigners happily married to younger Thai women stemming from online dating.

Thai and Asian tradition of older men as marriage partners

Carla Boonkong has a word of caution about George's story. 'In most cases the relationships that break down between Thai women and foreign men, it is where the Thai women are significantly younger. Surely this is not surprising,' she says. However Carla points that many Thai women, like most women in Asia are happier to be married to men who are quite a few years older. In fact there is a growth in older or middle aged Thai women looking for aged foreign men. 'This is a Thai cultural thing also,' says Carla Boonkong. 'Thai women take pride in being good wives. The ideal definition now decreed by western media and feminism is not everything but I would like to see less of an age difference. I am a feminist but I don't condemn the Asian or Thai tradition as such a very bad thing, it certainly very alive in Thailand but I am happy to see it is changing among a small minority Thai women from all backgrounds who really want to emulate western women but particularly those with university educations. But it is still a very strong instinct in Thai women even among these younger women looking for more equal relationships to think about the older man.'

Australian man's daughter afraid he'd marry a Thai bar girl

George recalls that when he first began chatting with Chutima online six years ago he was a bit nervous about his age. He was even chided by his grown up daughter. 'She didn't like it too much, she wanted me to find someone a bit older. I suppose she also figured I might marry some girl from a bar. But my daughter was also quite impressed that Chutima was a senior and well respected government official at such a young age. Then after that revelation my daughter, she then began to doubt the whole thing, she felt it couldn't be true. An old git like me finding this beautiful and accomplished young woman. My dating prospects weren't too hot here, you know, like most men my age,' he chuckles. George and Chutima have even traveled to the United Kingdom together since they were married but have no plans to move to Thailand. George tells us that his family in Australia are very impressed by his Thai wife.

George also remembers that at first Chutima didn't speak English as well as she does now. 'When she began online dating she enlisted another Thai women to help her. I could detect this I recall. The interpreter sounded sweeter and Chutima was very matter of fact and serious. I feel I was being interviewed for a job,' he laughs. It may be a joke but it is the kind of twist and turn that now makes George shudder. 'I often ponder about what if I had been in bad mood or simply rejected her questions so I suppose there you have another one of the perils of online dating on one of these Thai dating sites, I could have said goodbye and thank you very much to the love of this wonderful woman if I had not been patient and understanding.' George also recalls that she would sometimes be slow in online chat conversations and would break into Thai when excited. They both used online translators even though Chutima was nearly fluent in English when translators were even less accurate then as they are now.

The success/failure conundrum finding love in Thailand online

James Morris finds the story of George and Chutima fascinating and wonderful like many of the relationships that he has seen but he has often questioned why some Thai foreigner relationships are successful and others are not.

'I have seen foreign men come to Thailand or who have met Thai women on online dating sites with everything going for them, youth, money and personality and yet the whole process turns into a nightmare. I have seen other instances of men with limited means find the most amazing women out there not only in Thailand but in the world,' he says. 'It's absolutely astonishing.' His comments echo precisely those earlier from TLL's security officer.

Mutual respect key to successful western Thai relationships

Morris concludes that part of the key to success in online dating is mutual respect as in any other successful relationships. 'To the Thai women these rich foreigners are there to give money and to help families. Some men will politely go along with it but privately resent it and that's not going to work in Thailand,' he says. 'If the relationship isn't a healthy heart to heart from the outset it's going to have problems with the Thai cultural differences and the level of family commitment that Thai people have for each other.'

Morris believes that one of the keys to success is frank honesty at the beginning of the relationship but admits that it is a lot more than that. 'I mean people in Thailand or western countries are not all that different, so then it's a matter of what we used to call 'breeding' but that's now a politically incorrect term but I believe in it, personally. There are decent people and families in Thailand but there are many who are not decent also and this applies equally to foreigners coming to Thailand. I have seen some western men particularly from English speaking countries who do not have enough respect for Thai women and frankly should limit themselves to visiting a decent massage parlour or go go bar.'

The key to success with online Thai dating

We have heard about the dangers of Thai dating and we have seen the benefits. It is essentially a personal experience involving interaction with other human beings but in a new technological environment which opens the world to new possibilities and threats.

The key to success in international Thai dating lies in having the right mental attitude. This involves making decision to use this opportunity but doing it with a plan and in the knowledge of what might be out there.

This mental attitude consists of:

  • Determination: A determination to meet potential love partner friends or companions online. It takes effort and involves more than posting a listing on a Thai dating site. Yes, you will meet some insincere, dull or even disagreeable people but this process does work and can work for everyone provided they persevere using good common sense. Be aware and prepared: Briefing yourself on the threats that lurk out there appreciating that these threats are based on the fact that online Thai dating works. This applies to Thai women using online dating to meet friends in foreign countries and in Thailand as well as men from western countries. It is worth taking time to explore these difficulties. No dating website can iron out the vagaries of human nature for you. In the end of the day this is a person to person relationship building process. You obviously must not entertain requests for financial assistance or misrepresentation of any kind but by following this command you must be sure of yourself and do not become paranoid. This is common among users new to Thai online dating when they first stumble across such users.
  • Consideration: Considering the needs and position of the other person at the other end of the online dating connection. As a Thai woman, you may want to consider the type of man you wish to meet online and if it is a man from a foreign country whether you are comfortable with this or the prospect of relocation. For a western man living outside Thailand, this may require resolution to organise a holiday or vacation to Thailand in search of love and the opportunity to meet real Thai women in Thailand. It might also mean understanding comments, questions or requests that may seem strange or even off putting stemming from a Thai woman with a different culture and indeed economic background whether this be a poor Isaan woman or an independent and determined 'Hi so' Thai woman from Bangkok.
  • Awareness: Being aware of the cultural differences between Thailand and western countries and respecting those differences. For a Thai woman meeting a western men, this involves being aware that some Thai customs may sound strange or unacceptable to foreign men but for western men visiting Thailand it means not expecting Thailand to change to your western attitudes and more importantly respecting Thailand as country and society that is different to western countries. Of course, this also applies to Thai women dealing with western men. It is also worth pointing out that such differences can be exaggerated and that many Thai women now make an effort to be more western as the internet and websites have now introduced a 'global' culture.
  • Believe it can be positive: This is very important point that everyone using online dating to find a Thai wife, girlfriend or marriage partner should consider especially. It also applies to Thai women singles seeking a foreign love partner on a dating website. In the online dating process and particularly on Thai international dating sites there is a large range of areas where a user can expect a jolt whether it be cultural differences, security threats or scams and quite often, the sheer power that such a process presents to change two lives. 'We find a small but consistent number of new registrants on TLL will cancel their accounts even Premium dating profiles after getting cold feet,' says Pranom Inthakhenee Marketing Manager with ThaiLoveLines. 'They will often send us an email explaining that they are not quite ready yet often having made dating encounters with other dating singles in Thailand online.' This is a personal choice that must be respected but if someone uses a Thai online dating site with the right preparation and a positive attitude, there is every possibility of a successful outcome. The key is to have this mental preparation before hand as one incident or event can panic a user to give up and sometimes the incident can be an overwhelming positive reaction to a dating profile by users of the opposite sex in Thailand or abroad. Regular online dating surveys conducted by TLL show this but also confirm the high level of positive outcomes at the end of the dating process for those who persevere.

Great Thai women looking for foreign men through online dating

Carla Boonkong has been commentating on the growth of Thai women seeking foreign partners for over six years. She says that the trend continues to grow upwards but that there have been some distinct changes. 'When this began it was driven by younger women particularly from Isaan seeking economic opportunities and following in the footsteps of reports from Thai women in Europe and America. Today Thai women are more informed, it is now more of an aspirational thing and it has extended into the middle class,' she says. 'Thai women are also more critical of their options, I would say today's Thai farang dating is a healthier situation than it was say twenty years ago.

Carla lists the following key changes in Thai dating regarding foreign men and Thai women in the last ten years:

  • Thai women are more connected: Ten years ago many less well off Thai women visited the local internet cafe to spend one or two hours each evening following up contacts made online on international Thai dating sites. Today it is more likely that the Thai Women is using a smartphone and many dating and social networking applications at one time. 'This is a good thing in that it allows the Thai women to meet more foreign and also Thai men. I think you must bear in mind that with greater connectivity and internet applications there has also been an acceptance of internet or online dating in Thai society. It is quite a good idea for Thai women to be out there meeting modern Thai men as well as foreigners. However the downside to this is that some Thai women may be more open to online abuse as in the past the woman may have consulted friends or even met friends during the internet cafe sessions, now she's more likely to be online alone.'
  • Thai women are more critical and selective: In the past ten years the number of foreign men dating Thai women has inevitably led to horror stories of abuse at hands of some foreign men filtering through to Thai media outlets. This has taken many forms from the case of a loyal Thai wife living with her Swiss husband for twenty years finding out she had no legal rights or had not been provided for by her Swiss husband when he died and subsequently being forced out by his family from a previous marriage to Thai women sleeping with foreigners on the first date and never hearing from them again. 'This is the kind of thing that can happen and it might surprise many foreigners to know that normal Thai society can be so shocked and upset by licentious behaviour. But it is true and very real. I think it is difficult to get it across to foreigners that Thailand is in fact a socially conservative country,' say Carla. In addition to cases of abuse often highlighted by Thai media and the police, there is also been concern over the influx of foreigners of lesser economic means into Thailand. In the last ten years there have been various reports in Thailand of foreigners sleeping rough on the streets or being picked up by police for begging. 'It comes as a shock to many Thai women that there is such a thing as poor foreigners from rich western countries. These reports have bred networking groups of Thai women exploring among themselves the behaviour of different foreigners. The myth of the rich farang or foreigner is still alive and well but Thai women have certainly been put on guard,' concludes Carla.

Some great Thai women now looking for foreign men

Carla thinks that the fact that Thai women continue to be attracted to the idea of finding love relationships with foreigners in spite of the the more critical scrutiny is a good thing. She is also encouraged by social trends in Thailand which are offering Thai women more economic and social options. 'Many of the wealthier individuals in the normal middle class sections of Thai society are often women,' she says. 'I know of many Thai foreigner relationships where the Thai woman earns more than her foreign husband or least as much.'

Carla's statement is backed by economic and social data being examined by economists studying Thailand and Asia as a whole which shows the emergence of large segment of well off women who have opted not to be married because of the expectation of finding a partner who is economically better off has not been met.

'This is a recent trend and many of these Thai women feel that the best option is to marry a foreigner. I have friends in Bangkok and surrounding suburbs as well as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and throughout Thailand who are very interested in meeting a foreigner for marriage but of course, they are looking to find a gentleman,' she laughs. 'In addition to this, there are many younger women with good jobs also interested in finding a farang husband or love partner, these are all respectable Thai women,' she claims. Carla has studied extensively the plight of Thai women from Thailand's poor Isaan region seeking foreign partners. She is aware of the dangers involving foreign men becoming involved with Thai women from the sex industry. However she believes that an open mind is essential: 'I have seen many stories of poorer Thai women and even the Thai bar girls making relationships work in foreign countries, many of the stories I have seen personally are in Europe but there is great variety of different situations and people from different backgrounds. I am pretty sure that overall, the online dating between Thai women and foreign is a very good thing for Thailand and the world.'

Thai women any man in the world would be lucky to call wife

Since online dating in Thailand first began to emerge as a phenomenon ten years ago, Thailand has seen many changes including a period of political turmoil including two coups culminating in the second coup in 2015 which seems to have stabilized the country. However ongoing economic and social changes have continued abreast impacting the social activity and the lives of Thai men and women. Thailand in 2015 is experiencing a slight economic downturn but there are many single Thai women who have never had it better and are anxious to share their love with eligible foreign partners from western countries as well as increasing numbers of Thai men using online dating sites.

The great hearts of Thai women driving Thai online dating

Carla Boonkong would like to introduce 5 women whom she has met while researching news and current affairs in Thailand who are interested in finding a foreign love partner.

'It really surprises me that so many foreign men can be so lucky when I see farang men with Thai wives in Thailand as well as on my travels around the world but what is even more shocking is that there are so many of these Thai women out there,' she says. 'Sometimes I think that it cannot be right and these women deserve so much more.'

  • Natcha (37) is a business owner who lives in Samut Prakan province just outside Bangkok. She has had previous relationships with men but has never been married or lived with a man. She has a number of property assets and can speak English moderately well. Her business is a respected accountancy practice with staff of fifteen people. 'I am looking for just the right man with a good heart and most important of all, he has to be honest and have a good word,' she has written on her profile. Natcha is thinking of joining a Thai dating site but is still nervous of taking the plunge and she feels that it may adversely impact the profile of her business with her predominantly male client contact list. She is looking to find a partner with a business background and with his own income. Natcha has beautiful home on 2 acres about 50 minutes drive from Bangkok near a key motorway.
  • Fai (34) is a professional photographer with her own studio in Samut Songkhram province not far from Bangkok. Fai is a very busy woman and works for many leading publishers in Bangkok as well as commercial clients from all over Thailand. One of her assignments bring her to Phuket for 5 weeks every year and she spends a lot of time away from home. She also owns a seaside home in Cha Am in Phetchaburi province left to her by an aunt ten years ago. She has never had a serious boyfriend but is interested in meeting a suitable foreign partner. She speaks French fluently and can communicate effectively in English. She is a beautiful looking woman and drives a cream Mini Cooper car.
  • Ning (43) is divorced nurse who lives in Chiang Rai. She is very pretty and likes to keep in shape by dancing. She goes out once a week and does the tango! She also has her own cosmetics business which she has built up over the last twenty years to supplement her income. She lived in Bangkok with her ex husband until 2003 when they divorced and has a grown up son and daughter. Now that her children are educated and employed she is looking for a partner and new husband. She is very good with money and has been promoted a number of times in her job. She has limited English skills. She is looking for an older foreigner. She owns her own home and has only a few years to go before she has paid off her bank loan on it. 'Ning is interested in finding an honest companion and also a man that looks and behaves like a gentleman,' says Carla Boonkong 'It could also be a Thai man with the right background but she has seen so many good relationships between Thai women and farang men that she is now thinking about this option. She is not sure yet about putting her name and photo on a dating site.'
  • Areeya (35) is a senior official at branch level in one of Thailand's leading banks and works in Bangkok. Her family live in Ubon Ratchathani. She owns her own condominium in the centre of Bangkok and has had two previous long term relationships with Thai men. She has already joined a Thai dating site but is unsure of her prospects. She is very attractive, speaks English but is only interested in the right man.
  • Benyapa (28) has been online for the last twelve months and uses her new Samsung smartphone to keep contact with her online dating profile. She owns her own massage shop in the Pantip area of Bangkok as well as a small fashion outlet in Pathum Thani. Benyapa is quite beautiful with a voluptuous figure. She has a five year old boy and up to two years ago she was a Mia noi (minor wife) to a government official who passed away suddenly. Benyapa has seen many of her friends with foreign husbands, boyfriends or holiday friends on Thai dating sites. She is interested in finding a foreign boyfriend or perhaps husband to form a life partnership but also has strict criteria. 'Benyapa is a very busy lady and she is a wonderful person with a big heart,' says Carla Boonkong. 'She wants to create a stable family life for her young son and though she feels that this will be difficult for many men to accept, she is still determined to find only the right man.'

'This is something often forgotten, for a Thai woman to begin online dating is like crossing the rubicon. While many says that Thailand has changed and it's not only acceptable but desirable to find a foreign partner, there are some sections of Thai society who do not approve,' says Carla Boonkong. 'I have been covering this subject for six years now and what strike me most is how industrious and driven Thai women are about finding new relationships with the foreign partner. The online thing, this internet is the way they go but what is driving the process is the great hearts of these Thai women.'

ThaiLoveLines.com is Thailand’s biggest internet dating site with over 335,000 members and growing rapidly …Begin your search for a Thai girlfriend, wife or partner here.


Thai online dating is a powerful tool now used by millions in Thailand and every country in the world
The growth of Thai online dating continues with more Thai women using mobile devices and personal computers. The internet has opened up the world to women in Thailand through Thai dating sites.
Begin your search on Thailand's largest internet dating site: ThaiLoveLines.com. Begin by looking at our Thai Women Photos Gallery
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