Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

A lot of expats increasingly settle in Cambodia with families and kids, or acquire them while here. This forum is a place to ask questions and discuss all things family.

Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby seidier » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:08 pm

It never occurred to me that I would ever find myself in anything but an egalitarian relationship; more-or-less equal educational and career attainment, she does her part, I do mine, we negotiate roles and avoid overlap and together we enjoy each other for what we have without being dependent on the other. There's carefree sex and going-out fun and spontaneity and hearty conversations and debate about life, politics, worldviews. As things get serious, trust, communication and compromise reign supreme. That's how dating is done by people of my generation in my part of the world. That's how I did relationships in the past.

Then I met my Khmer ex, a barely literate 25-year-old virgin who still lived with her family. We couldn't have a conversation that went much deeper than those you might have with a 12-year-old, but she had a curious mind with potential, I thought, and a childlike reliance on me for information about the world that gave me an ego boost every time I could answer her questions. Against all odds I fell, fast and hard, and found my entire psychology shifting to accompany the expectations of traditional Cambodian culture. Suddenly I'm being evaluated for my fitness as a provider; a benevolent doer of favors and gifts, suddenly paying more attention to my appearance and finding myself putting on subtle airs to impress her friends and family. Though I spent my 20s living month-to-month and flitting between jobs whenever one got boring or inconvenient, now I was going to buckle down...dowry, wedding, property, family, immigration, savings. Plans to go back to school to get a proper career. Plans to move in with the in-laws and dutifully contribute my salary into the family pot. She would be almost totally financially dependent on me but the thought didn't really bother me. Made me feel needed, really. There was a sense of security in it. And the domestic stuff; cooking and clothes and decorations - things that never interested me to begin with - I could just leave to her. Great. I had a young but good relationship with her family, we had dreams, we made plans, she adored me (I thought) - we were a few weeks short of a formal engagement.

Then it all fell apart. Hidden secrets, lies, old boyfriend and his lucrative family business dealings...they're engaged now.

I was shattered.

It's been six months and I've recently latched onto a gorgeous Khmer woman - the sort who would never give me a second glance back home - only this one's divorced and has been around the block a few times. I find myself still taking that dominant role; I take her places and buy her stuff and we can't have an adult conversation but she lets me fuck her while making it clear she's not doing this for her own enjoyment. There are no (spoken) expectations that this will ever lead to something permanent; we're just using each other until someone better comes along and have communicated so openly. It feels a bit like Western casual dating, but not really because we're doing this in secret. It's not fun and carefree, it's expensive and shameful.

I feel like I got my shit together and grew up for my ex just to be left standing at the altar. But I'm so sick of this game...the materialism, the unequal power dynamics, the manipulation, the fundamental lack of trust. I don't actually want the career I was willing to invest my future in and, you know, I would like a partner who pulls her own weight rather than putting all the pressure on me. Not to mention, it would be nice to be with someone I can hand off a good book to and argue about it afterwards. But now I'm not sure how to backpedal; how to erase the last year of mental reprogramming and become carefree and independent again; someone who knew how to casually chat up a woman without *marriage* blinking in neon lights over our heads and finding methods of seduction that don't revolve around money.

Has anyone here managed to go Khmer and then successfully go back?
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby logos » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:25 pm

Great story. I hope you will be able to dwell a bit more on the part with the former BF. If your ex was a virgin and you were quasi engaged you must have popped her cherry. Normally from that point on turning back isn't an easy option for her. If you didn't and you were serious, you didn't play your cards right.

As far as I'm concerned I don't mind western women in general and they can be good fun, even in bed. But I could never go back to a serious relationship with one as there'd soon be demands for equal roles in the house and such nonsense that made me appreciate Asian females in the first place, and an environment where traditional roles are still applied.
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Starving Pelican » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:49 pm

Logies done got fooled. The OP ain't no dude, or is at least trolling:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=22025&p=264127#p264127
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby logos » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:08 am

Fuck you're right. Too bad, the topic was interesting enough.
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby gavinmac » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:04 am

Maybe the OP is a lesbian female woman. She did say she has short hair.
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby seidier » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:32 am

gavinmac wrote:Maybe the OP is a lesbian female woman. She did say she has short hair.


Sigh.

Yes. I'm female.

For the sake of my own privacy and hers, I didn't want this discussion to revolve around me or the logistics and mechanics of a barang-Khmer lesbian relationship.

Yes, the family really knew about us. Yes, they really did give their consent for us to marry. No, it wouldn't have been legal (here) but we would have gone through all of the ceremonial pomp for community legitimacy and immigration purposes. Yes, the stigma of being in a same-sex relationship played heavily in the eventual break-up.

I was playing the husband role because it fit the dynamics of our personalities and relationship and because, for many traditional Cambodians, a romantic couple always has one masculine and one feminine partner and in order to be read as a couple, one of us had to play that role. I've always been tomboy-ish but being someone's husband was never part of my plan and this was part of the headfuck.

I'm working on trying to unfuck myself.

Now that's out of the way, can we get back to the original question, please?
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Fred Edwards » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:11 am

she sounds like cashier material being a virgin and all....
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Phuket2006 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:19 am

Duncan wrote:
seidier wrote:
gavinmac wrote:Maybe the OP is a lesbian female woman. She did say she has short hair.


Sigh.

Yes. I'm female.

For the sake of my own privacy and hers, I didn't want this discussion to revolve around me or the logistics and mechanics of a barang-Khmer lesbian relationship.

Yes, the family really knew about us. Yes, they really did give their consent for us to marry. No, it wouldn't have been legal (here) but we would have gone through all of the ceremonial pomp for community legitimacy and immigration purposes. Yes, the stigma of being in a same-sex relationship played heavily in the eventual break-up.

I was playing the husband role because it fit the dynamics of our personalities and relationship and because, for many traditional Cambodians, a romantic couple always has one masculine and one feminine partner and in order to be read as a couple, one of us had to play that role. I've always been tomboy-ish but being someone's husband was never part of my plan and this was part of the headfuck.

I'm working on trying to unfuck myself.

Now that's out of the way, can we get back to the original question, please?


Sorry I cant be bothered reading your original post and question , but did you get the short hair / pubes thing sorted out. For me I would always recommend getting a '' Brazilian ''.
Now as to sorting out your latest relationship problem ,,, Have you thought about getting a dog ?


Image

cant see a female/female relationship working in Cambodia..
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Marinaris » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:00 am

Phuket2006 wrote:
cant see a female/female relationship working in Cambodia..


I know at least one lesbian relationship in my close circle, they're khmer/khmer and it looks like a real married couple (one is playing the husband role like a traditional couple). But I wonder if they made a big phat wedding and stuff.

So it happens
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Miguelito » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:38 am

Seidier,

Thanks for sharing. The OP was well written, and unfortunately I think a lot of people will get caught up in the same-sex aspect, but it’s interesting as a general topic.

Disclaimer: I’ve never been a relationship with a Cambodian woman, so I can only share my observations of what I’ve seen from friends, etc.

First, there are no absolutes, so obviously Westerners have dated/been married to Cambodians, and then gone back to barangs. Personally, I haven’t seen it happening much in country, but once you go home it would be easier. But the things you listed are a lot of the reasons why people enjoy being in relationships here: you can get better looking girls than you might be able to at home (and that also means younger women for many of the posters here), they can have a fun and playful outlook on life, take care of mundane domestic duties, etc. Then there is the lack of intelligent conversation that you mentioned, which by no means is all Cambodians, and can also certainly happen with Western (American) women. Some men I’ve found enjoy this, and I’ve been told “I’m stressed at work all day with thinking and making decisions, so it’s nice to not have to do that at home”.

So you have to think about the relationships you’ve been in, and what you value and enjoy the most in people, and where you can find that.

There are certainly attractive, intelligent women here. Posters have a hard time meeting them, but they’re out there. That being said, it will be even harder to find a gay one though, as they’re probably more upper class and more beholden to family norms, etc.

There are some gay bars in the city - anywhere for lesbians to meet? Back in the West I’ve found the gay men and women didn’t click too well (at least in the partying scene), so I’d imagine the gay bars here are more for men?
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Alex » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:31 pm

Phuket2006 wrote:cant see a female/female relationship working in Cambodia..

I wouldn't have guessed that's your area of expertise, Richard, but do elaborate please!

And to the OP, she was a virgin when she met you but she had had a boyfriend? Seriously? Or do you mean she was a virgin (only) as far as lesbian stuff is concerned? I think it wasn't a good idea not to mention the fact that yours was a lesbian relationship. Family pressure to marry a guy was probably immense, so her going back to her boyfriend is far less surprising than if you were a barang bloke.
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Jamie_Lambo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:00 pm

Marinaris wrote:
Phuket2006 wrote:
cant see a female/female relationship working in Cambodia..


I know at least one lesbian relationship in my close circle, they're khmer/khmer and it looks like a real married couple (one is playing the husband role like a traditional couple). But I wonder if they made a big phat wedding and stuff.

So it happens


yeah i know quite a few khmer lesbian and khmer/khmer lesbian couples out here too
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Phuket2006 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:02 pm

Alex wrote:
Phuket2006 wrote:cant see a female/female relationship working in Cambodia..

I wouldn't have guessed that's your area of expertise, Richard, but do elaborate please!

And to the OP, she was a virgin when she met you but she had had a boyfriend? Seriously? Or do you mean she was a virgin (only) as far as lesbian stuff is concerned? I think it wasn't a good idea not to mention the fact that yours was a lesbian relationship. Family pressure to marry a guy was probably immense, so her going back to her boyfriend is far less surprising than if you were a barang bloke.


family is very important to Khmers ( as well as Thai's, Burmese etc)
a lesbian relationship wont produce any grand kids.
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby Jamie_Lambo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:15 pm

Phuket2006 wrote:
Alex wrote:
Phuket2006 wrote:cant see a female/female relationship working in Cambodia..

I wouldn't have guessed that's your area of expertise, Richard, but do elaborate please!

And to the OP, she was a virgin when she met you but she had had a boyfriend? Seriously? Or do you mean she was a virgin (only) as far as lesbian stuff is concerned? I think it wasn't a good idea not to mention the fact that yours was a lesbian relationship. Family pressure to marry a guy was probably immense, so her going back to her boyfriend is far less surprising than if you were a barang bloke.


family is very important to Khmers ( as well as Thai's, Burmese etc)
a lesbian relationship wont produce any grand kids.


yeah same reason why parents get disappointed when their sons want to become ladyboys
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Re: Back to dating Westerners after failed Khmer relationship?

Postby seidier » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:11 pm

Okay, let me try this again.

I used to date in a certain way. I looked down on other ways of dating. I came here...that changed. I became a totally different person in the process. But I liked it; it felt good somehow in a foreign but fitting sort of way. Now I'm single...sorta...and I feel caught in-between cultures. On the one hand I feel betrayed and traumatized by what I went through with the ex, and given the conservative norms here there's a strong possibility it could happen again if I keep persuing Khmer women. So I'm telling myself to give up on the khmers and go back to barangs, of which I could count on benefits like finding a partner who is economically self-sufficient and has an informed worldview. But it's been a long time since I've dated a barang - most of my social circle is Khmer now - and I feel like I've been irrevocably changed, somehow, after living in Cambodia for so long and playing husband to women whose primary relationship filter is material security, sexual-orientation-be-damned. Going back to barangs requires a different social skill set, different norms and priorities, different standards of attractiveness, lots of vacuous conversation and activity before it becomes okay to ask, "Is this going anywhere?" and I'm just...not feelin' it. :?

So irrespective of my gender, I would like to know if there is anyone frequenting this thread who went back to dating barangs again after being in a serious relationship with a local. Or is this a "Once you go Asian you can never go back" scenario. :-D
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