If you want a Thai girl to love you, you have to love her family. Thai women are close to their families, so close in fact that, if push comes to shove, they will usually choose their family over a boyfriend or husband – even over you! So, if you fall in love with a Thai woman and plan on marrying her, it’s imperative that her family not only likes you, but respects you too.
For western men, this is often difficult as, like most westerners they don’t really worry that much about their in-laws. In Thailand, though, there is no choice. You must not only worry about your in-laws but take care of them too. If you’re in love with a Thai girl but don’t know how to make her family like you, just follow these few easy tips and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Understand Family Comes First – The most important thing to a Thai girl is her family. So much so that, if you have a date, but something comes up with her family, she’s 99.9% sure to choose to do the thing with her family before the thing with you. And, if she doesn’t, she’s probably not the nice girl you think she is. The first thing to understand if you’re in a relationship with a Thai girl is family comes first. Every Thai guy understands that and expects it. As a westerner, if you can understand and accept it, it’ll go a long way to making her family like you even more. Plus, think about it this way, while she’s off with her family, you’ve got a good excuse to spend time with your mates in the pub.
Buy Gifts For Her Family – If you want your Thai girl’s family to like you, when you meet them and every time you visit, make sure you take a gift. Most Thais, when they visit the home of friends or relatives, they take food. A gift of some nice fruit (imported is good!), Thai snacks, chocolate or cookies will give the right first impression to a Thai woman’s family. If you show up with nothing, you will automatically be known as the ‘farang kee nok’, roughly translated as ‘bird shit westerner’, meaning someone who is very cheap.
Don’t Keep Their Daughter Out Too Late – One big way to make sure your Thai girlfriend’s family likes you is to be respectful to their daughter. Many Thai women are virgins before they got married (and, if they’re not, they certainly don’t want their parents to know). Most Thai women also live with their families so, if you’re out on a date, make sure you take your girlfriend home at a reasonable time. Showing up at her family’s home at 3am with both of you drunk will make absolutely sure your Thai girlfriend’s family will never like you.
Help To Take Care of the Family – If your relationship with your Thai girlfriend is serious, it’s always nice to help her take care of her family. Most Thai men, when they marry, move in with the girl’s family, as property in Thailand usually goes from family to daughter. In this way, Thai men work to support their wife’s family. Western men are no more likely to move in with their wife’s family than they are to grow wings and fly. So, it’s only polite, to help take care of the family financiall insteady. A few thousand baht here and there as a gift is a nice gesture as are small gifts like electronics – a DVD player, a rice cooker, a TV etc.
Thai men will do this quite often so a Thai family doesn’t understand when a western man doesn’t – especially because they think most western men have more money than most Thai men. Plus, think of it this way, a $50 rice cooker or living with your wife’s family – I know which one I would choose!
Pay a Dowry When You Get Married – Every Thai man in Thailand expects to pay a dowry when they marry, and a western man should be no exception. Because westerners are perceived to be much wealthier than most Thais, the dowry is also expected to be higher. Plus, because you’re not going to be living with the family and supporting them that way, it’s only natural you would want to pay a higher dowry – at least that’s what the family will think.
A lot of western men have a problem paying a dowry but, seriously, if you can’t follow he cultural norms, then you shouldn’t be marrying a Thai girl in the first place. Suck it up, pay the dowry and hope they give some of it or all of it back to you after the wedding (returning part or all of the dowry is becoming more normal in Thailand, unless your wife is a poor country girl in which case you’re very unlikely to see that money again