Thai people are naturally very reserved in public, and often frown upon public displays of affection by foreigners. Whilst it is becoming more common to see teenagers messing around, holding hands, and being affectionate towards each other, you are very unlikely to see this amongst the older generations. Thais who have foreign partners may be a little bit more relaxed in popular tourist areas, but in rural areas public displays of affection are very much a no no. Shows of affection are typically reserved for in the privacy of the home and out of the public view.
Thais also place greater value on taking care of and looking after their loved ones rather than grand romantic gestures and intimate moments. This can often make Thai relationships seem rather cool and clinical to an outsider.
Here are five ways to express your feelings in Thailand:
You can tell somebody that you love them in Thai. The personal pronouns for male and female speakers are different, so a male would say “pomme rack khun” and a female would say “chan rack khun”. The gender of the subject is immaterial therefore the rest of the sentence remains the same. To tell somebody that you miss them you can tell them “pomme / chan kittern khun” and to say that you like somebody you could say “pomme / chan chorb khun”. Obviously the written form would be in the Thai alphabet – these phrases have been spelt phonetically for ease.
Without too much physical contact, a gentle touch here and there can speak volumes without any need for words. When sitting in a restaurant or a bar, walking around the shops, or doing a spot of sightseeing, a light lingering touch to your loved one’s arms can mean so much. Speak kindly to your beloved – Thais do not like confrontation or harsh language.
Show that you care about your partner by making sure their needs are met. For example, if they are carrying heavy bags, offer to help them (whether you or they are male or female). If you pop into a shop to buy a soda, buy one for your partner too and let this small gesture show that you thought about them. There are many such small ways that you can express your feelings in Thailand, simply by showing someone that you thought about them and care about their needs and wants. This also extends to family members – the family is very important in Thai society, with greater respect often being shown to parents and elders than in Western countries. Extending your care to the family unit will help to express your feelings for your partner.
Speak with your Eyes
Whilst physical contact is out, eye contact is very much in. Hold the gaze of your romantic interest for slightly longer than normal, and smile. Your eyes will also smile, and will say so much without you needing to utter a single word.
Thais do not like excessive shows of emotion, whether this is affection, anger, ecstasy, and so on. One way to completely repel someone, however, is by becoming loud, angry, and aggressive. Thais often think of people who start screaming and shouting, and also those who burst into tears, as being irrational, foolish, and slightly mad! Think about not only the words, but also your tone, volume, and facial expressions.
With these five handy ways to express your feelings, sail along in lovely bliss with your Thai object of amour. If you’d like to extend your knowledge of all things Thai – including the language – send us a quick enquiry to get the ball rolling on your Thai fairytale.