As I begun another year in Thailand, the idea of meeting alluring new women — whom I run across seemingly every day — has powerful appeal. But will there be room for them amongst the many special “friends” I already have? With little experience juggling even casual female relationships, I certainly don’t want to risk launching too many balls into the air. There are frightening stories circulating about involving cheated-on Thai women cutting their foreign ex-boyfriends down to size, so to speak.
It’s therefore a sense of self-preservation more than my inherent neatness that has inspired me to take a look at reducing my “harem”, which in truth is but a loose collection of Thai ladies I have met and befriended to varying degrees. As it turns out, there are some sound reasons to cut back beyond my aversion to becoming a sudden soprano.
Background: My first Thai girlfriend, whom I officially broke up with over two years ago. But despite repeated efforts — including a couple of blunt requests early this year — I’ve never been able to persuade her to leave me alone. Instead she tries to stay in touch via friendly emails until the next financial crisis hits, whereupon I feel obligated to step in and provide a cash infusion. While her misfortunes are not a result of greed or foolishness, this type of relationship is unhealthy.
Action: Early in July, I provided a very generous sum of money; enough to pay off the remaining debt on her house, send her daughter to the U.S. to study English for a few weeks, and cover the tuition for her son’s remaining three semesters at the university. With this being well above the call of duty, it seemed a good time to cut the strings. To remove myself from future calamities, I’ve deleted my old gmail account so she has no way of summoning me anymore.
Background: I had thought things were all hunky dory between us. But she has not responded to my last two text messages inquiring if she was available for the evening. I have no clue as to what’s going on.
Action: None required since it appears she has pulled the dumpster lever first.
Background: Was one of the waitresses at Hustler’s Pool Hall, whom I first saw back in February. We’d shared plenty of laughs playing Eight Ball late into the evenings and it had become one of those rare instances where I found myself liking a Thai lady without really being interested in sleeping with her. (Will wonders ever cease?)
The trouble could be traced to a day just prior to my departure to the U.S. Fern came to me wondering if I could help pay for her year-old daughter’s day care. Knowing I was leaving the country for a couple of months, I decided to shell out three months’ worth of “support”. But instead of using the money for that specific purpose, she ended up quitting her job four weeks later, then began anxiously awaiting my return in hopes that I would sign on to be her boyfriend. What I had intended as a simple act of assistance had nudged the relationship into “serious” territory.
Action: For someone like me, supporting a young Thai with her baby has all the appeal of a two-decade prison sentence (though with presumably better sex). But I cannot share this insightful metaphor with Fern. The tactics will need to be more subtle and less likely to cause a loss of face. For example, not returning her phone calls and avoiding any visits to Hustler’s for a month or two in the event she returns to work there. Yes, this will hurt her feelings, but I don’t wish to inadvertently give off the wrong signals. I am emphatically not interested.
For Thai women, money and love are often hopelessly intertwined. To avoid this stickiness, perhaps I would be better advised to re-direct my financial generosities towards the local charities rather than my female admirers.