Dating in Thailand for Single Expats: How and Where to Meet Single Thais

a man flirting with a woman in an office

Let’s get one thing out of the way before we begin: this isn’t going to be one of those articles.

Plenty of people come to Thailand looking for love and end up looking in all the wrong places. It happens.

If you’re one of those people, there are reams of literature, both in print and online, that cover these horror stories.

This article is for the rest of us: hip, young (or not-so-young) singles looking for other singles to date and maybe move into something long term.

Despite the seedy impression you may get from English-language media that covers Thailand, plenty of young, professional locals and expats date in Thailand.

But going out and meeting people is easier said than done, especially if you’re a new arrival and haven’t built up an extensive social network.

Also, the language barrier and the hectic pace of life in Thailand’s larger cities conspire against you.

Then there’s the myriad of cultural issues to navigate if you choose to go down the path of dating a Thai person.

In this guide, we’ll run through the whole dating process, from making the initial move to that all-important first date and beyond.

Dating in the West and Thailand

Cinema, flowers, chocolates, and dinner. Those are the symbolic images of the first date in the West.

A man holding flowers behind his back while a lady greets him.
A typical Western first date.

By the second date, you’re supposed to know if you like the other person enough to meet their friends or family.

In the West, dating creates the platform for a relationship, so you need to get it right.

If you come to Thailand and focus on your Western views of dating, you’re going to hit problems.

Dating in Thailand is less serious. You won’t feel the same pressures of finding the right person so you could tick off all your life boxes before you’re thirty years old.

Dating in Thailand is fun, dramatic, rewarding, and depressing. You’ll date some really interesting people and have great experiences. But you’ll also be disappointed and try to finish a date early.

Overall, with a bit of know-how you can have better experiences when it comes to dating in Thailand.

Foreigners Dating Thais

Foreigners are becoming more interested in dating Thais. There are many reasons for this.

Recently, foreigners have become more interested in Thai culture. The access to Thai music, sports, and movies have made foreigners more interested in Thais.

With the rise of foreigners coming to Thailand to study at Thai universities, intercultural dating also rises.

Thailand is a growing hub for professional expats. As more and more foreigners come to work in Thailand, the cases of intercultural dating also increase.

For these last two reasons it’s common to see relationships between people of similar ages and between all social classes. There is less thought that the Thai is only looking for money or a visa.

Thais Dating Foreigners

You may be wondering what kind of Thai person dates a foreigner. There are lots of reasons why Thais date foreigners, some good, some bad.

We all know the bad reasons so there’s no need to go over them again and again. So what are the good reasons?

This article in the Bangkok Post details a lot of the “whys.” But it seems to boil down to just two when you talk with a lot of Thai women dating foreign men: maturity and assurance.

Some Thai women claim Western men are more mature than Thai men. Other Thai women like to fell assured that they are beautiful just the way they are.

Thais place a lot of value on appearance and sometimes Thai women feel they need plastic surgery and lighter skin to appeal to Thai men. Foreign men, they say, like them for who they are.

Dating Across Age Groups

A common idea about dating in Thailand is that there is a big age gap between partners. This isn’t always the case. Many couples nowadays are the same age.

Dating someone around your age, lets say +/- 5 years, carries a number of advantages.

You’ll be stared at less. With a closer age range people in Thailand will think you’re dating rather than think you’re in a financial situation.

As language and culture can be an issue, being a similar age means you’ll have more in common to talk about.

It’s uncommon for foreigners to date someone much older than themselves. But dating someone older than you does have benefits.

First, they are likely to have had more experience, especially with foreign culture. Older people may be more open-minded and able to talk about worldly topics.

Second, they may be better established in their careers. This means you and your date can share the costs of dating.

Dating Across Social Classes

There are many benefits to dating someone in the same social class. You’re more likely to have similar tastes, hobbies, and places of interest.

Things can be difficult if dating someone from a different social class though.

If you live a middle-class lifestyle in Thailand, some lower-class Thais may call you snobby if you refuse to eat street food.

Or some upper-class Thais may call you cheap if you refuse to shell out 4,000 baht on sushi.

In the end, if you date someone who expects more or less than what you’re willing to pay for, this may lead to problems down the road.

Dating someone in your social class will ease these issues.

Dating Across Education Levels

Your education level and the education level of your date could make a big difference in how compatible you are.

If you date someone with the same educational level, you’ll find that you’ll have similar skills, experiences, and be more compatible.

Dating someone who has just finished high school, or maybe didn’t go to school, may prove difficult.

It can be challenging to connect over meaningful conversations since less educated people are less likely to speak foreign languages or have experiences with foreign cultures.

There are also the “career students” who seemingly never stop studying and are less likely to have real world experiences.

You might find it challenging to date Thais who are more educated or more financially well off than you.

Upper-class Thais might prefer to date Thais or other affluent Asians because of the strong cultural influence from South Korea and Japan.

Or if they are from an upper-class family, their parents may put more pressure on them to date Thais. Especially if their parents are traditional.

Gender Roles

Traditionally, women have been the homemakers in Thailand, whereas men have been the money makers. But things are changing.

There’s a joke in Thailand that shows this shift in gender roles:

Back in the day Thais used to say that the men were the two front legs of the elephant, and the women used to be the two backs legs of the elephant, following the men wherever they went.

Nowadays, the men are still the two front legs of the elephant, but the women have now moved to the top of the elephant, controlling where it goes.

Gender roles may be changing, but when it comes to dating, tradition still holds true.

The man is expected to pay for the first date. And men are expected to make the first move when asking for a date.

But these days women are starting to share costs and even ask for dates, especially in the younger generations.

Although gender roles are still important, they aren’t set in stone when it comes to dating in Thailand.

Where to Meet Singles

As a single in Thailand, you have many places to meet other singles looking to date.

Work

Finding a date at work carries positive and negatives.

You can find out ahead of time how much you have in common and if you’re both interested in dating each other.

But if things don’t work out between you and a coworker, things can get awkward fast.

Richard McCully of Life in a New Country, who helped contribute to this article, once dated someone from his job, and despite trying to keep it a secret, everyone found out.

“It created a lot of gossip and drama and I was brought before my boss to explain what was going on,” McCully said.

At some companies, foreign staff may be told not to date Thai staff. But there are some cases where expats and Thai staff hit it off, date, and go on to marry.

If you’re looking to date for fun, avoid dating anyone you work with.

If you’re looking for a long term partner, and you feel 100% sure the person you work with is right for you, give it a shot.

But be willing to look for a new job if things don’t work out.

Friends

As a foreigner in Thailand you’ll likely hang out with a diverse group of people.

Your friends can set you up with a date. But be aware that conservative Thais might be less likely to agree to this.

Sometimes, getting set up by your friends can work out really well. Your friends know you and can recommend suitable matches.

But, like dating at work, only do this if you’re serious. Don’t use this option for a hookup as it could cause drama.

Events

Thailand has many different events and special occasions throughout the year.

Thais and Westerners outside spraying each other with water during Thailand's New Year celebration, Songkran.
Thais and Westerners outside spraying each other with water during Thailand’s New Year celebration, Songkran.

Valentine’s day is growing in popularity and is a big event.

The most romantic day for many Thais is Loy Krathong in November.

Songkran, or the Thai New Year, and the international new year on December 31st are also causes for celebrations.

Songkran in major destinations in Thailand offers a good opportunity to meet someone.

Most Thais have at least three days off work and go back home for the holidays. But the younger generation will party at places like Silom, RCA and Khao San Road in Bangkok.

Many of these celebrations involve large parties in which you can meet new people.

Places

There are many places you can meet a potential date in Thailand.

A lot of Thais are interested in Western-style events such as wine tasting or watching sports.

Shopping malls are a hub for many Thais on their days off. When the weather is hot the mall becomes the busiest place in the town.

Bars and restaurants are also filled with many middle-class Thais on Friday and Saturday nights.

Online

There’s relatively little social stigma about meeting people online in Thailand, particularly with 20- and 30-something year olds.

Online dating was once looked down upon as the last refuge for the terminally unwanted in the West.

But if you use dating sites and apps in Thailand you might be surprised at the number of sane prospects.

Online dating lets you cast your net further than you would in everyday life.

You can see pictures and exchange messages. You can also search for preferences in terms of age, nationality, height, education, and many other variables.

The one-click ease of approaching new people is appealing to traditionally shy Thais, who might be embarrassed by approaching a stranger.

But, as in Western countries, always be wary of who you’re talking to online.

Get to know your potential date well before you meet, and always agree to meet in a busy public space that you both feel comfortable with.

Dating sites, as opposed to the smart phones apps listed below, are usually used by women in their mid-thirties and up.

Some women you find on these websites may be single. Some may be divorced. Some may have kids from a previous marriage.

The most important thing to know about dating sites is how to weed through the profiles that may not be looking for a date, but rather a means to a visa or financial stability.

It’s not easy to do this through online chat, so take your time and really get know someone before you invest a lot of time in dating them.

When using any of these sites below, look for potential dates who have steady jobs and their own income. Look for dates who have their own car and condo.

But don’t date anyone who hits you with a sob story right away. It could be a good sign they’re looking for a financial arrangement.

OKCupid

OKCupid is one of the largest dating sites in the world, boasting some ten million new monthly users.

The OK Cupid dating website logo.

It’s broad international appeal makes it a great place to meet fellow expats, as well as Thais.

OKCupid is free to use, with an optional A-List upgrade that gets you a few extra features, like message read receipts, advanced search features, and so on.

OKCupid uses survey questions to find your matches. Some of those questions range from Do you cook your own food or order takeout? to Do you enjoy meaningless sex?

You can answer as many or as few questions as you want, but the more you answer the better OKCupid can match you with someone with the same wants.

One you’ve found a match, you can message your potential date or favorite them for later.

Thai Cupid

ThaiCupid is another major site, boasting a membership database of some 1.5 million.

The Thai Cupid dating website logo.

The focus here is on foreign male/Thai female dating, although that’s far from the site’s only purpose.

Like many other dating sites, ThaiCupid allows you to either browse matches or search for specific profiles using a number of search criteria.

ThaiCupid does offer free membership but it’s restrictive. You’re limited to just one message every 15 minutes, and some profiles remain locked behind a paywall.

Paid membership is divided into Gold, and more exclusive, Platinum plan.

Since ThaiCupid has been around since 2002, they are one of the more established dating sites.

You’ll find a lot of profiles of single Thais who work in nursing, education, marketing, or finance.

Thai Friendly

ThaiFriendly is another site boasting around 1.5 million members.

The Thai Friendly dating website logo.

Once again the focus is on foreign male/Thai female partnerships, although ThaiFriendly’s user-base tend to lean more towards casual meet-ups than serious relationships.

Standard membership is free, although there is a paid option offering things like a live-chat feature.

Success on Thai Friendly is likely if you play your cards right. You can find mixed experiences on this Thai Visa thread.

Apps

Apps have also become another way to meet and date in Thailand. But most of the profiles you’ll find on dating apps are held by younger people, possibly in their 20s and 30s.

Here area a few popular dating apps you can use to meet people in Thailand.

Tinder

With an estimated 50 million users, Tinder is probably the world’s most popular dating app at the moment, and in Thailand it’s no different.

The Tinder dating app logo.

In case you’re not sure how it works, you make a profile, put in your preferences, and then get matches in the surrounding area, with their picture and a short bio.

You can then choose to either swipe right if you’re interested or swipe left to continue searching.

If both you and your match like each other, you’ll receive a notification and you can start messaging them.

Tinder is easy to use and popular, making it a great option for meeting people, even outside of a romantic setting.

But when using Tinder, keep a few things in mind.

Thais on Tinder will not have a lengthy conversation with you. Their one or two word answers and lack of question asking may lead you to believe they are not interested in you.

But this may not be the case. Thais love to use Line app and stickers. That’s not Tinder’s strong point.

So don’t think a potential date isn’t interested in you because they answer in one-word responses. You may just have to take the conversation to Line.

Skout

Skout gives a row of matches based on your search parameters and you can contact any of those matches that tickle your fancy.

The Skout dating app logo.

Profiles show pictures, as well as recent activities, allowing you to gauge whether you’d have a connection with a potential partner or not.

Although there are fewer people on Skout, the option to search for a partner in a separate city makes it more useful when looking for a date outside of your immediate area.

Facebook

Facebook may not be the first place you think of when it comes to landing a date, but it’s an excellent networking tool and means of expanding your social circle.

The Facebook website logo.

As anyone who’s used Facebook in Thailand is no doubt aware, befriending two locals can quickly lead to befriending ten locals as friends-of-friends make contact.

Plus there’s the option of joining the many social groups available on the site, which can be a great way of connecting with fellow expats.

Of course, do be aware that the majority of people aren’t using Facebook as a dating service and may not appreciate aggressive flirting, especially if they’ve never met you in person.

Interestingly, Thailand was one of just two countries selected for beta testing of Facebook’s forthcoming dating service late last year.

It’s still a little early for it to be a viable option as of this year, but it’s something for singles dissatisfied with the other dating apps to keep an eye on.

Other

The sites and apps listed above are just your starting point. If you want to go where single Thais are, use the dating apps they use.

This thread from Pantip reviews the apps Thais use to date. And although the review is in Thai, you can use the list of dating apps they review as a starting point for your own search.

Some of them include:

Language Barriers

If your date doesn’t speak English or you can’t speak Thai, simple things like having a conversation are nearly impossible.

You and your date might spend the entire time talking about how delicious the food is.

You might also find it impossible to even arrange your date or understand what time to meet.

If you date someone who’s been to university you should be able to have a decent conversation in English.

And many Thai people who want to date foreigners know they must speak English. So you don’t really need to be fluent in Thai.

But if your date can’t speak English and you’re interested in dating them long term, you could learn Thai.

Be forewarned as well. Some Thais might want you to become their personal English teacher.

It’s okay to help your date with some English here and there, but make sure your date is interested in you and not just looking for a free English class.

In the end, English proficiency shouldn’t be the only deal breaker when dating someone in Thailand.

Flirting

A lot of foreigners in Thailand feel they can flirt everywhere they go.

A Thai girl holding up the peace sign.
Thais and Westerners flirt differently. You have to know when and how to flirt in Thailand.

Confident Thais are happy to flirt if they really like someone. But a lot of Thai people are private with their feelings.

Thais love to have fun, so this means you can laugh and joke in many situations. But try to flirt in an office with a senior colleague and you’ll probably be fired.

One of the ways that do Thais flirt is through stickers on messaging apps such as Line.

You have to learn what each sticker really means, and then you can tell if a Thai is being friendly or flirting.

Below is a translation of the main Line stickers. There are thousands of others, many with Thai writing next to them.

Opening a Conversation

Sometimes you’ll find it difficult to approach a Thai person you like because of language and cultural issues.

Try to start things simple if possible in English or Thai. A few sentences to introduce yourself will go a long way.

How you do this depends on the situation. If you’re in a bar or restaurant, go and speak to someone while their friends are at the table.

If you’re in a shopping mall, approach the person with a big smile and say hello.

If language is a problem, consider having a card with your name and Line ID on it.

Overall, when striking up a conversation keep things very simple and don’t worry about being rejected.

If you do strike up a conversation and things seem to be going somewhere, get their Line ID. This will give you time to chat and arrange a date.

And if the person’s English isn’t great then talking over Line might boost their confidence when talking with you.

First Dates

Once you approach someone, get their Line ID, and find out their interested in a date, what should you do next?

You’ll have to figure out where to go, how to dress, who’s going to pay, what to avoid, and much more. So let’s get into it.

Where to Go

The options for where to take your date are endless if you live in a major Thai city.

A coffee shop in Thailand with outdoor seating and a whiteboard menu.
Thailand has plenty of unique coffee shops where you can get to know your date in an informal setting.

Talk to your date beforehand and find a place you’re both likely to enjoy.

You might find the local stamp collecting museum fascinating, but your date is likely to be bored to tears.

Here are some common dating locations, as well as the positives and negatives of each

Bars

Positives: Alcohol is a great social lubricant.

Negatives: You’re more likely to say or do something stupid under the influence of alcohol.

As a general rule, if you’re dating a Thai person you’re not all that familiar with, a bar is a poor choice for a first date.

Thais like to drink socially like anyone else, but the last thing your date wants is to end up drunk and vulnerable with a stranger.

But if your date is a drinker and keen to meet up over beers or a cocktail, be sensible about your choice of venue.

Gogo bar? Your sleazy local dive bar? Unlikely to impress.

Find somewhere popular, but not oppressively loud or busy, somewhere like the Taproom or a cocktail bar is a good choice.

Coffee Shops

Positives: Lots of choices. Inexpensive. Casual.

Negatives: Most close relatively early for evening daters.

Coffee shops are a great option for a first date in Thailand.

They’re everywhere, they’re usually cheaper than a bar or fancy restaurant, and they’re a great place for those important getting-to-know-you conversations.

If you’re in Bangkok and really want to impress your date, choose one of the city’s many quirky independent coffee shops such as Nana Coffee Roasters in Chinatown or the Porcupine Cafe in Ari.

Restaurants

Positives: Who doesn’t like eating? Huge variety of venues to choose from.

Negatives: The inevitable awkward debate over what and where to eat. A bad meal can really put a damper on the whole date. Mind your table manners.

Meeting for lunch or dinner is the classic first-date activity, and where better to do so in a country world-renowned for its food?

You don’t even have to stick to Thai food.

Bangkok is inundated with top-quality restaurants serving up just about every cuisine on the planet, and other major cities in Thailand are quickly following suit.

But you do need to put a little thought into which of the country’s many thousands of restaurants to take your date to.

Stick to somewhere you know to be good. Getting a bad meal or dealing with bad service can suck the energy out of a date.

Make sure you check that your date isn’t on any special diets. If they’re a vegan, an all-you-can-eat beef buffet suggestion is unlikely to go down well.

Malls

Positives: Has something for everyone. Nice and cool.

Negatives: Might show a lack of imagination?

If there’s one thing that people in Thailand love, it’s a mall. They’re cool, clean, fancy, and modern.

You can do your shopping, grab a coffee or a meal, watch a movie, go bowling, try your vocals at karaoke, or even go ice skating.

And it seems like there’s a new mall opening at least once a year in Bangkok that promises to outdo all competitors.

Sure, it’s kind of a generic choice compared to, say, your favorite obscure little backstreet tea room that only you and three other people know about.

And you’re unlikely to impress your date with your travel-savvy.

But there are plenty of options for malls, from the quirky airport-themed Terminal 21 to the marble opulence of the EmQuartier.

Each mall is so expansive it’s unlikely you won’t be able to find a place you’re both happy with.

The Movies

Positives: Sitting silently in a dark room for two hours is great for the socially awkward. Gives you something to discuss afterwards.

Negatives: Not much getting-to-know-you time.

Cinemas in Thailand tend to more spacious, more comfortable, and cheaper than their counterparts in the West.

Thais are respectful moviegoers too. You’re unlikely to get the back of your seat kicked or your viewing experience ruined by a nearby phone conversation.

But as a date option? Not so sure.

The primary aim of a first date should be getting to know each other, and it’s difficult to get to know someone while everyone else in the room is shushing you.

But if the cinema does tickle your fancy, you’ve got everything from the 4,000 baht per ticket tapas-and-wine screenings at Enigma in the Paragon Cineplex to the homely art house venues like the Bangkok Screening Room, plus everything in between.

Parks

Positives: Relaxing. Healthy. Lots of outdoor activities to choose from.

Negatives: Unpredictable weather. Sweat. Lots and lots of sweat.

If there’s one thing Thai cities are lacking, it’s parks. And in some ways, it’s not hard to see why.

Thailand’s climate and heat can make spending time outdoors in the daytime rather arduous.

Still, when the weather is nice there are few things more pleasant than taking a stroll or paddle boat ride in some of the country’s scant areas of green space.

Besides the popular Chatuchak Park and Lumpini Park in Bangkok, you’ve got the well-maintained Rama IX Park on Srinakarin Road.

For a more active date, try cycling in Bang Krachao or kayaking at the Nong Bon Water Sports Centre.

Other Options

There’s no need to stick to traditional dating locations, of course. Here are a few more unconventional ideas:

Dress Code

To put it simply: dress well. Thais put a lot of stock in appearance.

If you can’t dress yourself, how does that bode for the rest of your relationship?

You don’t necessarily have to wear an Armani suit or Chanel dress, but do ensure that your clothes are clean, pressed, and free from holes or stains.

Don’t neglect personal hygiene either. Have a shower beforehand, shave, and run a comb through your hair at the very least.

Time

We all know about Thai time. We know that schedules can be somewhat fluid in Thailand at times.

But dates are the exception.

Showing up on time is simply good manners, and even in Thailand showing up late on a first meeting makes a terrible impression.

Conversation

The general rule of thumb for any date is to avoid politics or religion (unless they bring it up, of course), so that’s a good start.

Here, you can add Thailand and Thai culture to the mix. You won’t impress your date if you spend your time together insulting them and their culture.

Save your grumbles for the local expat bar.

Thais are proud of their country. And even if your date isn’t, nobody really likes being told how awful their country and everything about it is.

And of course, avoid criticizing the royal family at all costs.

Gifts

If you bring a flower or small cuddly toy or something similar your date will almost certainly appreciate it.

But don’t worry, if you don’t bring anything it doesn’t mean your date will be turned off.

Paying

Traditionally, on a first date in Thailand the man pays for everything.

In reality, especially among younger middle-class Thais, there is a willingness to split costs. It is up to you to decide whether you want to accept this or not.

If on a group date, then you can offer to pay for your date, but don’t feel obligated to pay for the rest of the group.

Richard McCully, puts it like this:

Personally I am happy to pay for the first date. I feel it is the right thing to do. If I asked someone out on a first date I wouldn’t dream of asking them to pay.

Paying for a date can show you are serious and have financial stability.

On following dates I have no problems with splitting or sharing costs. I will normally pay a higher portion.

For example, at the cinema I’ll buy the tickets and my date will get the popcorn, or at the park if my date wants to buy us a couple of sodas then no problem.

In the end I feel it is about being sensible and knowing what is reasonable for someone.”

And Patrick Taylor, another of our contributors, puts it this way:

In dating, that traditionally means the man pay, so don’t be too put out if you’re a guy and your old-fashioned Thai lady date gets all coy when the bill arrives.

But many modern, professional Thai women are keen to assert their financial independence and may instead offer to split the bill, or even pay it themselves.

In short, wait until the bill arrives and read the body language.”

Chaperones

Thai culture is more conservative than other cultures and it’s possible that your date will ask for a chaperone to come along.

This is more likely if you’re a man dating a woman.

One of readers was on a date with a Thai woman who was an engineer, had a Master’s degree, and spoke good English.

Midway through his date the Thai women stood up and invited the lady from the table next to them to join. It was her mother.

She hadn’t told our reader about this before and needless to say they never dated again.

You need to decide if chaperones are a deal breaker before going on a date.

Group Dates

Not all Thais have regular contact with foreigners. If you met online or your date can’t speak English then a group date might put them at ease.

This normally means that your date will bring one or two of their friends along to join you. You might be asked to bring your mates too.

Group dates are more like hangouts rather than dates, but it gives your Thai date the chance to get to know you before a one on one date.

Group dates can be good if you’re prepared for them. Just approach it like hanging out with a group of friends.

Public Displays of Affection

If you read up about Thai culture and dating you’ll read about many taboos, like kissing and holding hands in public.

Occasionally Thai people will instigate hand holding or even kissing in public.

But as a general rule, Thais lean conservative when it comes to dating. Think of it more as courting.

Learn to read body language and take things slow. Don’t be too upset if your date doesn’t immediately jump down your throat, and avoid being too pushy.

You rarely, if ever, see Thai couples locked in passionate embrace in your local Starbucks, so avoid anything that might embarrass your date.

The last thing you want to do is make a move that your date isn’t prepared for.

Obviously everyone is different, and some personal judgement is required here.

Staying in Touch

You and you’re date will know how you feel after your first date and decide whether to stay in touch.

If you get good vibes from your date, use Line to stay in touch.

You can even use Line to check that they got home okay, chat during the week, or set up another date.

Don’t be afraid to stay in touch if your first date went well.

Communication is really important here in Thailand. Make sure you set up a second date within 24 hours after your first date.

If you play hard to get, your date may get the wrong idea and lose interest.

Green Lights

There are a few ways to know if a Thai person is into you.

If they ask for your Facebook or Instagram then you’re being welcomed into their personal life.

Also if you’re tagged in posts it’s another positive sign.

If you’re asked to meet their family this is a very positive sign that your date likes you.

Everyone appreciates honesty. If you’re also interested then tell your date, but also let them know if you aren’t.

Respect your date and their culture and understand that dating rules from your home country may not apply here.

Don’t expect your date to come back to your place straight away.

Red Lights

You should also be able to know if your date isn’t that into you.

If they spend a lot of time on their phone then chances are they aren’t enjoying their time.

But some shy people might use their phone to hide or just keep friends and family updated.

If you feel that the conversation is just one way then chances are they are just there for a free meal.

Normally, Thais are quick to respond to messages so a slow reply after your date may mean she isn’t interested in you.

Sometimes your date is into you but it could be for the wrong reasons.

If they tell you they love you very early in your dating that is a big sign of problems.

If conversations are usually about your job, money, or finances then beware.

If your date asks you to take them to fancy places every time it could be an issue.

Finally if your date doesn’t offer to pay for the smallest items while out, then watch out.

If you feel your date isn’t into you or likes you for the wrong reason then end things.

There are a lot of great Thais out there who are kind, generous, and interesting.

You shouldn’t date someone with bad intentions if you have the goal of a relationship.

Sex and Dating

This article is not about hooking up to have sex with Thais.

However, sex is part of dating so let’s look at the topic in more detail.

Foreigners in Thailand are perhaps a bit surprised at the attention they get.

After this initial shock they can think sex is easy to find here. But when it comes to dating it isn’t always easy to find someone with the same outlook.

Despite an international reputation as a sex tourism destination, the majority of Thais are conservative when it comes to sex.

A lot of online dating profiles specifically say, “NO SEX.”

Sex is a touchy matter for many Thais. If you’re dating then don’t expect it quickly.

You might need to wait several months to reach the right moment.

Breaking Up

If things aren’t going well, breaking up is necessary for both you and your date to move on with life.

There are many good people in Thailand so don’t feel you need to make things work with the first person you meet.

Breaking up also means that you free that person to be with someone better for them.

Because of language and cultural issues, you have to be clear that you’re breaking up. You need to use direct phrases such as:

  • “It’s better for us to be friends.”
  • “We should break up.”

Don’t feel this is rude because you’ll cause confusion and pain if you’re not clear.

If you don’t want to see someone say exactly that. Don’t add fluff to your messages.

Committing

Commitment in the eyes of Western people means being with one person. And commitment may only begin when dating has turned into a relationship.

A Western man and Thai woman cutting the cake on their wedding day.
Marriage is the next logical step after committed relationships.

A lot of foreigners in Thailand are not committed after one date. Many people will date more than one Thai person before deciding on the one they like the most.

This can make it hard for Thais to take you serious at first. They may think you’re hear for the short term and just looking to have some fun.

But the longer you stick around and the more effort you put into it, the more your date will take you serious.

This can cause friction if your Thai date finds out.

Thais tend to be more committed when dating. If they are serious about dating they usually date just one person.

The more committed attitude of Thais can lead to issues if you want to date more than one person.

After one or two dates a Thai person might think things are close to a relationship.

It can create an awkward breakup after a few dates.

The definition of a serious relationship is similar in Thailand and the West.

Both cultures expect commitment to a single partner. Both cultures require people to be faithful to their partner and honest with each other.

The difference occurs when one partner is not committed to the relationship.

If all you’re looking for is sex, your relationships may not last long.

Likewise, if your Thai date is looking for money or a visa then the relationship won’t be strong.

If your date asks you to meet her family consider this a big deal, and not something to be taken lightly.

Chances are that if your date likes you, and things are working out between the two of you, she’ll want you to meet her family.

But keep in mind this could turn into talks about marriage. To back out now will result in a major face-loss for your date and her family.

Of course, if both of you are happy and ready to take the next step, getting the invite to meet the parents is a good thing.

But if you’re not ready for commitment, be up front with your partner beforehand to avoid a great deal of awkwardness in the future.

Now, on to You

Do you have experience with dating in Thailand? Drop a comment below and let us know how you get on when dating in the Land of Smiles.

Photos courtesy of cm_john, oxlaey, and [email protected].

1 comment
  1. Excelent and very detailed article as usual. Thanks for your hard work.

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