These days, every other foreign man in Thailand seems to have a Thai girlfriend.

It’s odds on that if you are a single or formerly married man and you come to Thailand to work or stay for an extended period of time, then you’ll at some point or another have a Thai girlfriend. She may be young or old, as you may be, may have never married or be divorced with a couple of children in tow.

Of course, the real situation with Thai girlfriends is simply a matter of supply and demand—one of the basic tenets of economics. Let me explain.

Some motivations of Thai girlfriends

So many foreign men have Thai girlfriends without really thinking about the educational background or social level of the women they are in a relationship with.

However, as with other women in Asia, there are two or three key types of Thai women looking for foreign men:

• the provincial, attractive, yet poorer Thai girl, who may not have had the chance to obtain a good education, or maybe is stuck in a menial low paying job (including bar or nightclub work) and is looking for a relatively rich (by her standards) foreign man to help her better herself and improve her lifestyle

• the reasonably well educated, city based Thai woman who is disillusioned with Thai men and their general patterns of behaviour; maybe she works in an office of a multi-national company and has frequent contact with overseas men

• the overseas educated Thai woman, often from a fairly rich family herself, and who may have studied in the US or the UK; she is more used to the “western” way of doing things and also the different balances a relationship with a foreign man may bring—in terms of equality and encouragement in her career for example

Having a Thai girlfriend—some motivations

Thai girlfriend and foreign man

Thai girlfriend and foreign man

As with the motivations of Thai women, many foreign men have different reasons to have a Thai girlfriend:

• if you are a younger man, the physical attractions of a slim, dark haired Thai beauty are hard to resist; most Thai women are receptive to talking with or getting to know foreigners—initially whether this be for simply friendship or to explore the different cultural ideas from others

• for professional foreign men living in Thailand or visiting on business it’s popular to have a Thai girlfriend who is more of an equal in educational level and social background, someone who becomes a partner in the true sense

• for the older man who may be reaching retirement age (maybe as young as 50-55) or who is divorced or whose wife has passed away, finding a Thai girlfriend is a pre-requisite for companionship and affection; Thai girlfriends are renowned for taking “good care” of their men, and are usually more than happy to cook and run the household with little assistance from the men folk

Whatever the reason to have a Thai girlfriend, prudence suggests that it’s worth doing some background checking on the woman in question rather than simply jump into a formal relationship.