If your Thai girlfriend keeps asking you for money, then this could be a sign that she is not financially independent and needs support from you in order to pay her bills and live day to day, perhaps she simply does not earn enough money. On the other hand, it may be indicative of a romance scam, or that she could be using you for money.
Of course, for those of us that are not able to read minds, discovering your partner's true intentions can be very difficult. Hiring a private investigator in Thailand is one way to check on your partner's activity/movements in order to confirm their claims and verify whether infidelity is taking place within a relationship - there is nothing worse than being cheated on, and as Thailand's leading detective agency we are often asked to help in such cases.
Some Thai ladies have careers or businesses and are able to earn large salaries - ladies that fall into this category are not likely to need help from their boyfriends or husbands with paying for day to day expenses. However, if your girlfriend is working a menial or low paid job, then she might find making ends meet more of a challenge.
In traditional Thai culture, the daughter of the family is typically responsible for supporting her parents into their old age - many Thai people do not have high paying pensions as is common in Western countries.
If the lady already has children from a previous relationship then she will likely need to provide for her kids as well as potentially her parents. Supporting yourself and your family on a low paid or minimum wage job can be a challenge; especially if the lady also has debts or other commitments which she needs to take care of.
Many Thai ladies that are uneducated and have a family to feed will look to Thailand's red light areas for an income... Securing a decent paying job can be very difficult without relevant qualifications, and most businesses require start-up capital. Working "the game" can act as the means to an end for impoverished ladies in some cases, and infidelity involving the sex industry is something that we often observe during surveillance investigations that are conducted by us. If your girlfriend is struggling for money, and happens to live near a red light area, then the risks of infidelity occurring are clear.
If your girlfriend does not make enough money by herself, then perhaps you could support her into further education such as university, which might enable her to earn money money in the future. Otherwise you might be able to provide the capital needed for her to start a business. Before making decisions it would be wise to consider your partner's current incomings/outgoings and perform due diligence in order to make sure that she is trustworthy.
While there are obviously risks associated with choosing to invest in your partner, the adage "Give a man a fish and will be hungry tomorrow; teach him to catch a fish and you will feed him for a lifetime" is relevant here.
Sending money to a person that you have not yet met in real life is a different topic altogether.
Due to the prevalence of romance scams we encounter during our day-to-day work, if you have never met your Thai girlfriend in real life then we would not recommend sending money to her.
If you decide to support a person you have not met in person anyway, then we would recommend running a background check on her beforehand, or at least carrying out some form of investigation in order to confirm that her story is correct and not fabricated. We have observed many cases where romance scammers were able to take advantage of others' good will... Even if the lady is not a scammer, she could be involved in relationships with other men or fabricating major details about her life in order to extract money from you.
Gold is popular in Thailand, and if you spend anytime in the country then you will notice gold stores in most areas; whether you are in a small town or city, a store selling gold jewellery is never far away. In these stores gold can be purchased and sold or even pawned in some cases.
Gold in Thailand is usually 23 karat, which is 96.5% pure gold. Due to its high purity Thai gold has a distinctive yellow colour, which is different to the duller colours often seen in Western jewellery which have lower purities of gold. Due to its high purity, Thai gold is also more soft and malleable.
Gold jewellery is also relatively cheap in Thailand - the amount you will pay for having a piece of gold crafted into a necklace is not a lot more than the value of the metal itself. Gold can therefore be swapped for cash without much loss; if the value of gold goes up then you might gain a small amount (or you might lose money if the value of gold goes down). This is unlike gold jewellery in Western countries where steep fees are usually charged, which are far above the cost of the metal itself.
In traditional culture, buying gold is used by some as a way of saving money and investing it in a tangible asset. Gold jewellery can easily be swapped for cash, and it allows people to show off and display their wealth... Your Thai girlfriend might enjoy walking around with gold necklaces/bracelets/rings, in order to 'gain face' by showing others that she has enough spare cash to buy gold jewellery.
If you are considering a gift for your Thai girlfriend, then Thai gold jewellery is a good option. After all, if she doesn't like it or would like to spend the money on something else, then the item can easily be sold for cash or traded for another piece. Remember though to purchase only Thai gold jewellery - your Thai girlfriend is not likely to be impressed by a 10 karat chain from the West!
One of the reasons that Thai ladies seek relationships with foreigners may be the perception that foreign men have money and will be able to provide them with financial security. If you decide to start a relationship with a lady that is struggling financially, then you will need to help keep her head above water - just as a Thai man would, or any guy in a mutual relationship with her.
The Thai concept of 'saving face' does not always help matters when it comes to extracting information from your partner such as specific details on their finances. What do we mean by this? Well, if the lady owes money and is in significant debt, then she might not be keen to tell you about this, and it's easy to understand why. After all, most guys will not be thrilled to discover that their partner has debts or other financial commitments, and revealing this information could lead to her 'losing face'.
Due to this, understanding the true state of your Thai partner's finances might be easier said than done. In order to understand her financial situation, you could make a start by listing her in-goings and out-goings - how much does she earn and how much does she spend? Does she have any dependants that rely on her, and if so how much does it cost to support them? Is the lady in debt? Does the lady or her family own farmland for example? If so, what are the costs associated with cultivating their land?
If your girlfriend is constantly asking you for money and to make non-essential purchases for her then this might be indicative that you are being taken for a ride. Although, as we mentioned at the start of this article, discovering your partner's true intentions can be very difficult unless you are able to read her mind... Many of our clients would never have discovered that their partner was cheating on them or living a double life had they not taken the step to investigate further.