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How important is a knowledge of Thai culture when dating a Thai girl?
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It is very important to understand something about Thai culture before dating a Thai woman. Its very easy to ignore culture as an issue in a relationship which results in mis-understandings later on and this can quite easily destroy a relationship before it has even had a chance to start. If this happens you have wasted your time, energy and probably a lot of money if you visited Thailand. It is advisable to learn something about Thai culture before you even start communication with a Thai woman but it is very important to know about Thai culture before visiting a potential girlfriend in Thailand.
Most differences between dating in Thailand or Western countries are down to the differences placed on both family and between men and women in society.
A Thai women regards it as very important to appear modest and not ‘too easy’. You may think this is at odds with the acceptance of Thai bar girls in Thailand but its normal that things don’t appear to make sense in a westerners eyes but do fit together quite happily for Thai people. If something doesn't make sense then its probably because you don't yet understand that part of the culture. Its sometimes useful to not expect things to always make sense – just sometimes accept that things are different and over time you can learn.
A Thai girl will probably have a close relationship to her parents, closer than westerners are used to. They respect their parents wishes, including who they should date. They will also find it normal support their parents where ever possible. A Thai girl might expect their partner to also support her parents financially. This can be a very difficult issue for a westerner to understand. Here there is no easy answer, there are definitely Thai girls who play on this and might use a guy for his wealth. As a western man who is new to the culture you have a difficult job trying to decide if your Thai girlfriend is genuine. If this issue doesn't come up before then it is likely to become an issue if you are looking to get married. It is normal for the groom to give money to the brides family at a wedding. This seems an outdated idea to westerners but many Thai's like this tradition.
If you do believe your Thai girlfriend is genuine then being generous towards the parents will show them you are serious and they will look much more favourably on you.
Don't automatically think that only you have to make all the compromises. There are many subtleties to Thai culture and it can take a long time to be become accustomed to them. Therefore your Thai girlfriend or bride has to also compromise. She needs to be willing to understand about your culture. If she continues to view things only in a Thai way then your relationship is probably doomed. However maybe over time progress can be made bit by bit, patience is a vertue and patience is valued in Thai society. There has to be understanding from both sides and you need to meet in the middle.
If you put the effort in to your Thai relationship then you have every chance of having a great relationship with your Thai girlfriend and the end result whether it is love, marriage or a relationship will be worth it.
A start to learning more about Thai women is to try chatting with Thai girls on a Thai dating site. Visiting Thailand we really get you learning about Thai culture and if you can visit then do so as soon as possible, you won't regret it.