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25 January 2008 ~ 493 Comments

Why Do Thai Girls Marry Older Foreign Guys?

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Several weeks ago I wrote a post “What Do You Want to Know About Thailand” and I got some very good questions. I know I’ve gotten a bit sidetracked since then and I still have a few questions hanging out there so I want to finish answering those and if anyone else has any questions about Thailand or Thai culture please go back to that post and leave a comment or contact us with your question. I’ll be posting all of the answers here at Thailand Musings so don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss any of the great questions and answers.

Here is another question regarding Thai culture and the willingness of Thai women to meet and marry significantly older western men. I find this a particularly good subject because it is exactly the question that Golf asked me when we first met on a Thai dating website. I think her question went something like “Why do so many old guys try to chat the young girl on here”. Needless to say I took this a bit personally and felt it necessary to explain. The rest is history.

Question about age differences: Let’s face the facts, I am a 55 year old guy talking with a 30 year old Thai woman. I am well aware that I could produce children. But I may not be still around past age 75, who knows? And I could have ten year old kids when I reach retirement age. I do not want to put a woman and kids at risk, and can certainly make provisions for their support after I am gone. I’d be interested in any success or failure stories you have encountered regarding this. Of course, here in the US, this degree of age difference in marriage is relatively rare, and perhaps even somewhat scandalous. Not that I am ungrateful, but why is a large age span seemingly so acceptable for many Thai women?

Stories regarding Thai women and western men meeting and dating or marrying are very common on the internet and will run the gamut from wildly successful to depressing failures. Do a Google search for Thai women + foreign men and you’ll find hours of reading material. For success stories go to the testimonials of ThaiLoveLinks (where Golf and I met) or simply read about Golf and I. The International Herald has a good story about this subject as well. For failure stories you’ll find plenty, but most of them involve Thai bar girls. By meeting a good Thai girl you can avoid a lot of the common pitfalls you find on the internet.

The reason a large age span is acceptable is often very personal to the girls and I hate to generalize, but if I have to do so then there are several commonly accepted reasons that Thai girls date and/or marry foreigners so much older than themselves.

First, many Thai girls are looking for stability, both financial and in the relationship, and older foreign men are typically able to provide both. They are in general financially well off, especially by Thai standards and this is viewed as a definite positive. They are also more settled and less prone to wander than their Thai counterparts. Add to that the western cultural ideal of monogamy and they become even more attractive to Thai women who are used to seeing Thai men that are promiscuous and prone to having mistresses.

Thai Singer Tata YoungThai’s also value white skin very much and in fact those with darker skin are perceived to be of a lower class in Thai society. Typically children of Thai/western marriages tend to be much lighter skinned and thus more accepted in society. The Thai’s even have a name for such children of mixed parentage which is ‘Luk Kreung’ and literally means ‘child half”. You’ll find many famous Thai actors and models are luk kreung including pop singers Tata Young and Lanna Cumming.

One aspect that is often overlooked by westerners is that traditionally Thai marriages were often arranged by parents, not on the basis of love, but for mutual benefits between the families such as a property tie up or business merger. Westerners don’t understand this type of arranged marriage and often don’t consider this aspect of Thai culture yet it is very ingrained and accepted in Thailand. Because of this Thai women can sometimes view their bodies as property (Thai men view them this way as well which is a reason Thai women don’t care for Thai men) and as such have no problem using it to gain a better social or financial standing.

In the beginning the Thai girl may not even like her husband much, but over time a love and mutual respect grows. As the two get to know each other better an assimilation of each others culture begins to occur and the bonds between a Thai woman and her foreign husband can grow very strong. It’s good to understand these dynamics better, but I think we older western guys should just be thankful for our beautiful Thai ladies and not question too much. After all, it sure beats the alternative.

Posted by Steve Walters () in Thai Girls

About the Author

Steve Walters started Thailand Musings in 2006 after meeting and marrying Golf on the site Thai Love Links. The site was started as a way to share information about Thailand, it's people, culture and traditions and has grown substantially since that time. As a long time visitor to the Kingdom Steve hopes you enjoy his thoughts and observations about Thailand and it's culture. He can be contacted here.