How should you behave while dating in Thailand? This is a guide to proper etiquette.
The culture that practiced in Thailand for dating is very old school. For them, the man pursues the woman. The women are shy and soft-spoken. Once you go on a date, however, you have a long way to go before even getting to the second date.
This article is meant to guide and might help one try to understand the dating culture in Thailand and maybe even take part and prosper in it.
Culture and Society: how it affects dating life
Thailand is well known for maintaining its culture. The women are usually shy, timid, virgins and very protected by their families and friends. The man is the one who approaches the woman. The woman then decides whether they would want to continue seeing the man or stop his advances entirely based on how their first date goes. In this case, most of the effort applied in dating will be from the man.
Some tips that may help in this journey are:
What You See
Appearances give people first impressions and normally, anyone would want to make the best impressions that they can on the first day. In Thailand, image is a big deal. The typical two-piece attire most men wear on their casual normal day, of a shirt and pants, does not excite the women from Thailand. They want a well-groomed man who is good looking at what they have on them. They want effort that is visible as it shows that one is organized, neat and can work on something if they choose to invest in it. A good look will say a lot about you and your personality without you having to say anything at all. Being in a well-put-together outfit instantly makes you more attractive. It may even have a causal effect of having some of the minor things that are part of you and are not so pleasant being overlooked.
The Early Bird
Time management is important in any setting. Getting to the date on time shows that you have good organization and time management skills. An organized man shows they have their life together and can segment their life without stopping their living. In Thailand, you have a leeway of 30 minutes before you are considered late. Therefore, if you tend to be late to locations, now you know how much of a margin you have.
“We don’t do that here”
In Thailand, it is expected that the man picks up the woman from an agreed location or they meet at their final location. If you are picking them from their home, there is an unwritten expectation of seriousness. You will most likely run into the family when you pick them up. Introduction at home for them is a big step and is almost interpreted as a potential marriage. In Thailand, when you marry a woman, you marry her whole family in their entirety. They came in both good and bad so you cannot choose a side or fail to acknowledge their importance.
Once you pick her up or meet her where you had decided, she may come with a friend. This is very normal for Thai women. As mentioned before, they are shy and timid. Their friends come for support and/or security. She is meeting a stranger after all and does not know whether they may have sinister intentions towards them. So when she comes with a friend, do not get mad. At least she showed up.
Location, Location, Location
The ambiance of a location can greatly influence the whole direction of the date. Seeing how the women are, a public place works well for them for their sense of security. Thai people are known for their exquisite cuisines. Choose a location that shows you appreciate their culture. Choose a location that even makes you look good as you show her how you learned their table etiquette. A place where you can show them how you know that you should leave a little food on your plate because clearing it means you are not satisfied. A good location makes you look good.
Go Ahead, I’m Listening
During a date, communication is very important. It is what will determine whether the date will stop, go on or even getting a second date. During the date, showing interest in the conversation makes the woman feel appreciated. Ask about their interests, their culture, their favorite foods from home, their traditions and even their dislikes.
Thai women are very soft-spoken. Do not talk over them. Let them finish their statements. Do not go too hard too fast. Just take your time. They love that they are not being placed under too much pressure.
You can even contribute your thoughts on their responses in an appropriate way building a foundation of exchange and appreciation of information between the two people on a date.
You Can Only Look
The physical aspect of any relationship is very intimate. Intimacy is very private and between two or more people knowing each other very well. The first date is one for strangers to get to know whether they are compatible or not. In Thailand, physical intimacy is seen to be very private. Public displays of affection are frowned upon by a large part of their society.
Holding hands in some areas is even looked at as immoral and should not be open to the public. On the first date, avoid being physical as it pushes the woman away. The grabbing and holding of the arm and shoulders that people would normally do during conversations are not acceptable in Thailand.
However, some women are open to being physical on the first day. Since most women are against it, it is advised that if you would like any sort of physical connection, you ask the woman. Whether her response works for you or not, you have to respect it.
After You, My Lady
Being a gentleman never goes out of style regardless of the geographical location. In Thailand, a gentleman goes a long way in the pursuit of a woman. Imagine a man who is polite to you and the people around them, a man who is clean, a man who puts you on a peddle stool, a man who appreciates you for who you are, a man who puts you first and a man who listens and reacts as opposed to blindly giving opinions only thinking they are right. Imagine all this is one man. The virtue of being such will help you during dating, in Thailand and all over the world.
In Thailand, footing the bill is considered to be the man’s responsibility. Going Dutch is a concept that is almost foreign to them. They believe the man carries that responsibility of footing the bill as it equates them to be responsible, resourceful and generous all in one.
Shall We Drink?
In some countries, drinking on the first date is very normal. It is thought to loosen up one’s nerves and enable them to be a little more open than they would be on a normal occasion. In fact, some people insist on it because they are socially uncomfortable or naturally introverted.
In Thailand however, drugs and alcohol are not as elevated as they are in some places. On a first date, it is their tradition to be as sober-minded as possible to interact with their normal selves so to realize their compatibility. They have stringent rules when it comes to alcohol and how and where you can enjoy it. Coupling that information with the consent of your date when it comes to you wanting to indulge will definitely give you a one-up when you are trying to date in Thailand.
Do We Pray Like This?
Thailand has 95% of its population practicing Buddhism. Buddhism is a spiritual preference that has a very strict lifestyle attached to it. It is founded on selflessness, purity, inner peace, clarity and non-defiance of the body and treating it as a temple. Having that in mind, it is important that while trying to date in Thailand, one should be aware of their practices as a movement to avoid offending your date.
Respecting their preferences in terms of how and when they worship, their normal day-to-day response to some issues and their mode of worship shows your ability to understand, consume and practice where necessary.
In the end, it shows you are open to trying to understand another religion apart from your own and respect it enough to incorporate it in your date as a way to accommodate their preference without prejudice.
Yes, I Knew That
Thailand is widely known for many things including its sex tourists, buyers, and prostitutes. When meeting someone for the first time, it is not easy to decipher his or her real intentions with you. Sad as it is, the world is not made up of all good people. Realizing a person’s true character takes time and shared experiences.
In some parts of the world, sex on the first date is not a big deal. Some people even equate it to a compatibility test. If the first time was concluded as great, then they say they are physically compatible. If not, some of them decide to stop the whole process of pursuit stating futility due to the lack of Chemistry.
In Thailand however, since a huge demographic is what society terms as good girls, sex on the first date would most likely lead you to be asked for payment after the fact. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule because some women willingly initiate the idea and are unafraid to conform to their societal expectations. The key here is communication, so to avoid cases of misunderstanding. Resultant consequences may just be worse than you would expect.
So What Next?
To say the least, dating in any country can be tricky but once you embrace information, it is made much easier. Tradition, religion and lifestyle knowledge will have you in a very niche position in the dating world in Thailand so get informed.
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