Monday, May 25, 2009

Understanding Your Thai Bf/Gf - The dishonesty thing seems endemic to Thailand

I've been living here for a few years, and I was a tourist previously. It's a whole different ball game living and working here, and you learn a lot- some things you might not really want to know.

The age difference is not by itself an issue- because a lot of the guys here are REALLY looking for someone older (I've been told several times I'm too young!) But it does mean that personality, expectations, etc. are different. And if you expect anyone under 25 in Thailand to be monogamous you're just fooling yourself.

The dishonesty thing seems endemic to Thailand- I'm not afraid to say it. They don't LOOK at it as lying, and there are a lot of "cultural coping mechanisms" to disguise it from themselves as lying, but basically, it's lying. The best ones will merely try hard to avoid expressing things they'd rather not express, and if you read between the lines to see what they're saying and don't pressure them to lose face, you can get the information you want without upsetting anyone.

For example, I started dating a guy recently and I almost immediately realized there was a financial problem- the guy had more money than he should have for his occupation/age. I approached it somewhat indirectly (after I saw he had the compaq portable computer!) and told him there were some things I would have to know about him if we were going to get serious, and did he mind if we discussed them- and he replied that it would be better if we didn't talk about those things- which gave me my answer and avoided any direct embarrassment. We're still friends and still date, but I don't let myself get too serious with him, and I'm grateful for his relative "honesty."

I've heard some amazing stories here, though, and there are both real stinkers and real angels out there.