Phattaranan is not just a music video star and blogger with a following of over 12,000 Thai readers, she’s my student. Her blog and her in-class writing are a mixture of whimsical and down-to-earth. As her website tagline reads, “follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” In a chat about online dating, she told me that she had met her boyfriend “Ken,” a Korean who’s lived in New York for ten years, online. She was kind enough to share her story with us!
All the photos are from her blog. Check her out, especially if you happen to speak Thai!
Tell me about meeting Ken.
Actually, before meeting Ken, we had been chatting online for two months, before I arrived. I thought, “we are so far away. He is playing.” Many times I ignored him, but he kept sending messages. I didn’t tell him when I arrived in New York because I wanted to talk to more guys, haha! But he remembered that I was supposed to come in two weeks and said “let’s meet up!” So I met up with him.
How was that first date?
It was January 23rd. We went to a bar. On the second date I got really drunk! I could tell I liked him. We sang a song and held hands. After meeting Ken, I stopped talking with other guys. I chose Ken.
What do you like about Ken?
He’s an active guy. After a night date, the next morning he would find another thing to do. He’s polite and kind. He tells me what he can do. If today he can’t do something, he tells me. He treats me as an equal. “You’re my girlfriend so you don’t need to worry about anything.” I try to pay but he says, “no, no, don’t pay.” He’s kind. Is he funny? He’s funny… but not that funny. I’m more funny.
What does Ken like about you?
He likes that I have goals that I want to achieve in the future. I can’t stop doing something when I’m motivated. If I have homework to do, I don’t go out. I just do homework, homework, homework.
What do you two do on a typical date?
We like classical music, so every two to three weeks we go watch a classical concert. We also go get Korean or Thai food and do norebang (Korean karaoke) in K-Town.
How does dating in Thailand compare to dating in the United States?
In Thailand, if you’re on a dating site, it’s not the Thai way. Guys are really weird and try to talk with me. When we date, Thai guys don’t talk much. They don’t open up. I prefer dating in the United States.
How is it dating someone who doesn’t speak your first language?
First, I can learn English from him. I know a lot! He has been my guide. He knows the city well – better than me. I get to know the city better.
Are there any downsides?
Hmm. Sometimes I cannot express myself. He can say anything, but sometimes I cannot find the words. I say “Just give me a minute. Please.” And he waits for me, sure, of course! The most important thing is talking.
Did you consider dating Thai guys?
No Thai guys in New York. I don’t want to speak Thai!
You’re a well-known blogger in Thailand. Can you tell me about your blog?
The blog is about improving women’s lives through my friends’ stories. I have a friend who’s dating online and I tell her stories humorously. Sometimes I read books and find quotes and expand on them. Most of all, it’s about self-improvement. For example, if today I go to the Empire State Building, it makes me feel weak. It shows that everything is small. We are nothing in this world, but we can make something meaningful. What do we want to do before we die? We have to do something we can remember.
How open have you been with your readers about your relationship?
I put my experiences in my articles. I talk about my friends and compare their negative experiences with mine. For example, I had a friend who met a guy online. He said to her, “I’ll be your boyfriend. I’ll pay for everything for you. But can we have phone sex first?” She asked me, “is that normal?” I told her, “no!!” I compare it with my experience. But I don’t share his name. We’ve only been dating for four months. I want to be sure first. If some day I break up with him, I won’t have to say his name. My readers know I have a boyfriend, but not his name.
Do you have any advice for people trying to date online?
Every time my friends ask me this, I tell them that if you find someone online, it’s the same as finding someone at school or in the supermarket. You don’t know anything about him! It’s not safer if you meet someone in school. You think you know him, but he could be crazy! I think online is pretty safe. Be open! Go to a safe place. It’s fun. I think it’s fun.