A Thai woman married to a UK men for twenty years hopes her Thai daughter marries her Thai boyfriend instead of a finding a partner in the UK.
A recent survey of Thai women from the North East of Thailand rated men from the United Kingdom as the most popular choice for Thai women seeking a foreign lover or life partner.
Each year it seems like more and more Thai women are opting to meet foreign partners from the United Kingdom and other western countries particularly in this region of Thailand known as Isaan.
While it has become accepted, there is a growing belief that all Thai women should be more aware of foreign cultures. Internet dating has meant that Thai women are getting involved in relationships with
foreign men in increasing numbers. Many are from western countries. However with the growth in the numbers of foreign men seek relationships in Thailand; it is become an issue of some importance to
make sure that these men are of the right kind.
Twenty years ago, Piyawan from Chiang Mai met her UK husband at a restaurant where they were introduced by friends. Piyawan had a five year old daughter and her only relationship with a Thai
man had ended shortly after her baby was born. Today her daughter has been educated in the United Kingdom, returned to Thailand to live and is now dating a handsome Thai man who has bright future
ahead of him with a large company in Bangkok. 'I'd like to see my daughter marry a Thai man even though the love I found I life was with an English one,' she says.
Piyawan is very concerned that many Thai women may not be as lucky as she was and should be careful to find out more about life in the United Kingdom and English men before forming a life
changing relationship or seeking marriage with an English man.
'I think the prospects for the Thai man are improving all the time, there are no more opportunities in Thailand but of course only for those with a good education. It is true that English men with good work
earn more money but it is so expensive to live in England and not all Englishmen are the same,' she says. 'The internet has made it so easy to meet foreigners and it is most important that the Thai woman
knows who she is dealing with before getting involved.'
Stereotypes of Thai men and English men needs to be questioned
Piyawan feels that the current stereotype of the irresponsible Thai man needs to be questioned. 'The Thai man who I first fell in love with was not a bad man, it was simply the circumstances. My
husband has been a very good man for me but he has his failings also,' she says. 'I think Thai women should know that it is not all milk and honey on the other side of the world. I am so glad I met my
husband Charlie and went to live in England but I have some regrets too. We should be careful not to make such generalizations about human beings.'
Key Differences between UK men and Thai men
Piyawan offers the following commentary on key differences and comparisons between Thai men and English men for Thai women:
Financial: It is definitely a lot easier living with an Englishman with a good job. Piyawan's husband has a good job with the English Post Office but she says that it would be very different living
with a UK man without stable income. 'I think people are happier living in Thailand if there is any financial worry. Now many English men have job worries and financial problems, so this might not be the
best option for a Thai woman.'
Politeness: Without doubt Thai men are more polite and easier to live with but they can often keep secrets and keep things in. 'My Thai boyfriend was so easy to get along with and attentive. But
this was a mistake; we should have faced up to things more. My husband in England would sometimes get annoyed or upset. At first this made me very nervous but then I learned to understand him. I think
I was able to teach him to be polite and make a joke out of some problems.'
Temper: Piyawan says that undoubtedly UK men tend to be more aggressive and lose their temper although she has learned that if controlled and understood it could be a good thing. 'I think
Thai men keep things inside too much and sometimes will drink or breakdown without control and at the wrong time. Like everything, the best thing would be a balance. When I lived with my husband first,
sometimes this could be a bit uncomfortable until I learned that English people are more open and sometimes a bit blunt.'
Honesty: Piyawan agrees that the cultural representation of the English man being prim and proper is true and that also includes honesty. 'Good English men are very honest and believe in
honesty but from living in England so long and understanding the culture, I know also that there are a proportion of English men that are anything but honest and quiet wicked. My fear is that some of this
type will be those arriving in Thailand seeking Thai women!'
Piyawan agrees that Thai men and Thai culture place great emphasis on politeness and sometimes this can be at the expense of honesty. But she does not agree that Thai men are less honest
compared to English men. 'I think that most Thai men are honest and genuine, it's simply that they will sometimes ignore unpleasant realities in the interests of saving face for everyone. I think this can often
be a better option. For a Thai woman thinking of living with an Englishman, she must learn to make sure everything is always right and open. I learned this quickly from my husband.'
Faithfulness: Piyawan agrees that English men are more likely to be faithful but curiously she warns that here some English men can be decidedly less honest than Thai men. 'For older Thai
men and I think less so for younger and more educated Thai men, it was accepted to have a girlfriend or mistress. But women are women and I think most Thai women really do not like this. At best it is
accepted. But some English men have affairs also but only the lesser ones, so it is important to find a good Englishman. I would prefer a bad Thai man to a bad Englishman any day from what I have seen
in my life in England.'
Balance is the key for Thai women seeking love
It should also be pointed that many Thai women seeking foreign partners as a way of having a broader experience in life. Piyawan believes that this is a good thing and that many Thai women are
stronger than women in the United Kingdom. 'I am an old fashioned Thai woman but I like to see Thai women and English women having a better life. However some old fashioned ways are best. I have
tried to teach my daughter old fashioned Thai values as well as the modern ones she knows from her life in England.'
Piyawan believes that the Thai approach to marriage where the woman plays a supporting role to her husband is the key to a successful marriage but there is a catch. 'All people are different but a
Thai women must not just look for an English man but she must look for the right man for her whether he is an English man or Thai man. Only that way can she be strong.'