Internet dating makes meeting foreigners a good option for some Thai women
Thai dating sites offer a Thai woman real life opportunities to meet foreigners online but there are also dangers.
There has been a surge in Thai women using the internet to find love. One survey now points to one in ten young Thai women having joined a Thai Dating site.
Thailand like other Asian countries has a rapidly growing base of internet users. It is estimated that in 2013 nearly 35% of Thai people will have be connected to the internet. Up to recently most of these
have been in Bangkok and urban areas but the rate of connection in Thailand's rural areas continues. Thai women are leading the race on the internet. A survey in 2007 showed that 72% of internet users
A survey of Thai women in key urban centres throughout Thailand including Bangkok and Thailand's Northeastern provinces conducted for ThaiLoveLines, the No. Thai dating website, shows that 9% of
18-45 year olds had joined international dating sites.
One Thai woman who joined a Thai dating site in 2006 is Siriporn Inthakhenee (33). She now lives with her husband Alf (42) in Thisted in northern Denmark. In 2012 she was interviewed for a study
conducted by a post graduate student from the University of Copenhagen. Conclusions of the study highlight the growing importance of the internet to Thai women seeking love and alternative lifestyles on
The extent to which dating and social networking sites have affected the growing numbers of Thai women marrying foreigners can be seen from social studies conducted by a growing number of universities
in western countries. It is now becoming accepted that Thai women marrying foreigners through internet sites are not victims of trafficking or cannot be viewed as 'mail order brides'. This was the prevailing
opinion in the 1990s.
'The internet has allowed Thai women to make informed decisions and devise options that allows more economic and social opportunities,' says Caroline Carlsen who interviewed twenty Thai women living
in Northern Denmark for her study. This year also an extensive research project conducted by Swedish academics show that marriages between Thai women and Swedish men were predominantly happy
ones. The emergence of the Thai internet dating website concept has given Thai women in Thailand a strong new tool for meeting foreigners and finding love in foreign countries.
'If a Thai woman in Thailand wants to meet foreigners then she should begin on the internet and look for the Thai dating website,' says Siriporn. 'The Dating and social network site is really easy for the start
but then a problem is that some Thai women are still not find it easy to do this.' She met Alf on an internet dating site. 'My suggestion to Thai women looking for a new life like me here is to learn the internet and
the internet dating site. Meeting with foreigners online is easy after that.' Siriporn says that dating and social networking sites on the internet have the following key advantages:
- Thai women can meet men from all backgrounds can meet up with and interact with foreigners before taking anything much further. 'When I use the internet first it was an internet shop owned by a foreigner in
Udon Thani,' she says. 'I have to pay somebody to show me how it worked but this was too expensive, the owner of the shop showed me how to do myself. And I was successful, I find many foreigner who
wanted to marry me but Alf come to see me first and we had a good relationship.
- 'With Thai dating sites if you put a photo and a good profile you get a response for free and you can meet with foreigners and Thai men all the time, it's free.'
- Siriporn says that the biggest a advantage is that a Thai woman can control the process provided she understands how the dating site work and she is aware of the potential problems. One key requirement
is to know about security online. 'I learned about the scammer and about the chat online and e-mail,' she says. 'I only give my telephone number to Alf when he was in Bangkok and come visit me in Udon
Daeng, a Bangkok hotel receptionist, used dating and social networking sites to make friends of all sorts with men in Thailand and abroad. 'I have a just two websites and it is like a part of my life, I have meet
foreigners and Thai guys online and one or two of them are pretty good friends,' she says.
Daeng is 26 years old and works in a hotel in central Bangkok. She uses Thai dating sites on her laptop, from her office at work and on her Smart phone. 'Sometimes I give my phone number to a guy I like
if we're going to meet up,' she says. 'I like dating sites because I can find guys who are interested in meeting girls.'
Less foreigners on dating sites seek sex and bar girls
There are many different types of foreigners using internet dating sites in Thailand who are interested in meeting with Thai women. It is important for a Thai woman to understand that there are foreigners
from many different countries and backgrounds as well as foreign men who are using the site for different purposes. Here are some of the foreigners you may meet on an international dating site in Thailand:
- Expat foreigner who is interested in meeting Thai women or girls on a regular basis as part of his social life simply with a view to friendship or the odd enjoyable night out (or more).
- Young foreigners who some to Thailand for extended holidays and want to have a regular companion during the trip.
- Foreigners who regularly visit Thailand and who are interested in meeting a Thai woman or girlfriend for an extended relationship. It is common for some foreigners to have homes in Thailand and in their
home country or simply to visit Thailand on a regular basis.
- Foreigners who come to Thailand seeking a wife or long term relationship partner. Many of these men have had relationships in their home countries which have broken down due to the increasing rate of
divorce in foreign countries but there now also a growing number of younger foreign men who are interested in meet beautiful Thai women with a view to marriage or a long term relationship.
'Dating and social networking sites in Thailand cater for foreigners bit also for a growing number of Thai men and women who choose to use the internet to find; love or romance. But these websites are also
used by Thai singles seeking short term relationships or one night stands. 'In Bangkok and urban centres dating and social networking sites are contact spots for people to meet for a drink or more....' says Jonas
Coulson a foreigner who works with a Bangkok website featuring nightlife in the city.
Danger to Thai women on internet dating sites
In the last few years Thai women have become the victims of some internet scams involving foreigners posing as suitable marriage or love partners online. Many of these operators are African conmen
based in various worldwide locations.
In 2010 The Thai Customs authorities issued a warning to Thai women about the scam which involved foreigners promising to send expensive gifts and even cash in parcels. These parcels were the
subject of calls from supposed agents operating in Malaysia and the Philippines and Thai women were asked to pay large amounts of money in customs fees.
In other scams foreign men supposedly on their way to Thailand asked for help with a sick son or to pay for plane tickets. In some instances Thai women with very limited means ended up paying such
amounts. It is understood that arrests in relation to scams were made in Thailand and Malaysia but the scam continues.
The following are key points that Thai women must remember:
- Never entertain any request to send money to any member online. Report to the dating site through the Abuse reporting system.
- Be aware of such scam but do not be put off interacting with genuine users online.
- Keep communication with users on an internet dating site online within the dating or social network service until you have trust worthy relationship.
- When meeting anyone from an internet dating site, always arrange such a meeting in a public place if it is the first meeting.
Free or Premium Thai dating sites
One of the key decisions for Thai women is deciding what sort of Thai dating or social networking site to use. 'I found ThaiLoveLines when I first went online and also my cousin told me about it. Although it is
paid for web, I didn't have to pay and I got a good promotion because I had a good profile and photo,' she says. One of the key advantages of premium Thai dating sites is that they are likely to be more secure
and attract users who are more interested in meeting Thai women or Thai singles. Daeng agrees: 'I use many Thai dating sites and also social networks, I prefer to pay so that I can talk to very guy but most of
my friends use promotion or free dating webs,' she says.
It is now estimated that there are up to 3 million Thai women using international dating sites in Thailand seeking love online both in Thailand with Thai men and with foreigners.