How Do You Know If A Cambodian Woman Really Loves You?

Posted on by Gavinmac


I think I have posted before that I find Cambodian women to be unusually quick on the “I love you” draw. I recall meeting a very sweet, proper bargirl (an oxymoron, so I prefer to refer to her as a bartender) in Sihanoukville (back when Sihanoukville was only marginaly sleazy) who handed me a note about 6-7 hours after I met her telling me she loved me, telling me that “if you love me you have to marry me,” and inviting me to visit her province to meet her family. And you know what? I believe she was sincere. Now I’m sure the fact that I was a presumably wealthy foreigner did not hurt my cause, but I know we made a real connection, she was too innocent to be trying any sort of “bilk the foreigner” scam, and she teared up pretty darn convincingly when I eventually had to tell her it was a bit too soon for me to reciprocate those words and that my 8,000 mile commute might be an overly large obstacle to our fledgling relationship.

Although Sihanoukville Bartender holds the world record for fastest chick to propose marriage or tell me she loved me (who wasn’t joking or obviously deranged), there are a few other Cambodian women sitting atop that unique medal list. I guess some of them are what Mac Hathaway would have called “grey girls,” and thus everything they say should be taken with a grain of salt. Even if I don’t feel the same way about the girls, I just wish there was a reliable way to know if they really mean it when they say “I love you” or if they are just fishing for a better life with a Western husband.

I’ve seen some Western men on dates with what appear to be their Cambodian girlfriends. Often, the couples do not look like they are “in love.” Instead, they look like they are bored and struggling to make small talk, though there may be the occasional genuine smiles and bursts of laughter when one party makes a childish joke that the other party can understand with their limited common language skills.

I’ve been on dates like that with a Cambodian woman. They didn’t feel like love. They felt like work. Excruciating work at times. But she was hot-looking, and I wanted to do sex to her, so I labored on. So imagine my surprise at the end of one of those dates when the Cambodian woman tells me she loves me. I mean, why the hell should I believe it? How do I know she didn’t really mean “Well, I’m almost 25 and this boring, neurotic, open-mouthed-chewing American is probably my best chance of getting marrried to a financially stable guy and moving out of the two room hovel I share with my sister and brother-in-law, so I guess I’ll throw up an ‘I love you’ Hail Mary pass here and see if he catches it. If not, I’ll try again with next foreigner.”

I pride myself on knowing when people are bullshitting me about something. But isn’t there a blurry and at times imperceptible line between:
Attractive impoverished Cambodian girl who genuinely falls in love with a somewhat older Western man because he’s polite, he treats her well and he’s in a far better position to provide for her and her family than most Cambodian guys who express interest in her,


Attractive impoverished Cambodian girl who says she’s in love with a somewhat older Western man because she is a little desperate to get married, and the guy is polite and treats her well, and, having calculated the odds, she thinks he’s her best chance at a decent life, and she likes the guy but doesn’t really love him.
I’ve seen enough mismatched-looking Cambodan-Barang couples to conclude that, in a fair percentage of these cases the woman HAS to be pretending to love the guy in exchange for financial stability. How do you find out, before it’s too late, that you are one of those schmucks?

In contrast, you’ll usually know if a western chick loves you (invariably, in my case, they do not). You’ll know if you’re compatible, if she’s laughing at your jokes, and if a Western chick told me she loved me, that would be a pretty reliable indicator, since I’m not rich enough that too many would have a financial reason to lie about it. With Cambodan girls, I can only get a vague feeling for whether the girl tolerates me or perhaps enjoys my company, but when it comes to deciphering any more serious feelings and then aseesing the truth of their declarations of love, I’m usually lost.

Now there’s one method I know of find out if someone is lying to me, but I’ve only gotten mixed results using it in response to Cambodian chicks’ declarations of love. Cross-examination. It goes something like this:

Possibly deceitful Cambodian girl: “I love you.”
Gavinmac: “Really. Let me ask you a few questions about that. Why do you love me? How much do you love me? How long have you loved me? Isn’t it true that in this July 2008 text message, you claimed to love an Australian guy? This is your phone number isn’t it?”

Since cross-examination tends to kill the romantic mood, I was hoping someone could give me a simpler key for deciphering the Cambodian woman “I love you” code. Hopefully it’s as easy as “If she loves you, she’ll tell you in Khmer, and if she’s bullshitting you, she’ll tell you in English.” That I can listen for. But please don’t say “You can tell if a Cambodian woman loves you by how she acts in bed.” I know that one’s not true. They are totally indecipherable on that front.


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9 Responses to How Do You Know If A Cambodian Woman Really Loves You?

  1. Saroeun says:

    I’ve read a few of Gavinmac’s articles and find it useless. I’m Cambodian female did not learn anything from reading this except understanding how a person can be so bitter and always finding faults in others except his own. I’ll categorize him in the loser column of the human species.
    Anywho, when a human being is in a reduced circumstance to make a living in a country that’s in deep poverty will go any distance to live another day. To them to love is to provide. If you cared to want her as part of your life, the best thing you can give is to educate the lady into the correct philosophy. By degrading will not help either of you.

    “To say ‘I love you’ one must first know how to say the ‘I.’ The meaning of the ‘I’ is an independent, self-sufficient entity that does not exist for the sake of any other person. A person who exists only for the sake of his loved one is not an independent entity, but a spiritual parasite. The love of a parasite is worth nothing.”-Ayn Rand

    • rob says:

      Any woman who quotes Ayn Rand isn’t worth a word spoken to her. Ayn Rand is a freak and hypocrite who made up words to look smart and get a twisted right wing version of her world, out in a book or interview.

    • Daniel Morris says:

      Dear Saroeun,
      Your comments are the Best and most understanding and compassionate I have ever seen on any forum regarding SE Asia, as well as any forum regarding island nations, N. Africa, etc.
      Thank you for attempting to correct the ignorant assumptions of the many people in the “loser column”.
      You are a real breath of fresh-air!

  2. Chantou says:

    I recall meeting a very sweet, proper bargirl (an oxymoron, so I prefer to refer to her as a bartender) in Sihanoukville (back when Sihanoukville was only marginaly sleazy) who handed me a note about 6-7 hours after I met her telling me she loved me, telling me that “if you love me you have to marry me,” and inviting me to visit her province to meet her family. And you know what? I believe she was sincere.

    Your entire “logical” argument exhibits serious self esteem issues. Khmer ladies may be the last true romance artists since the European “juliet”. You are best to seek some serious emotional dependent person help for your chemical imbalance….I wish you the best.

    A true loving khmer lady who doesn’t need your masculine therapy issues…..nor does Cambodia

  3. john kerr says:

    I have had two Cambodian girlfriends and yes they are ‘true romance artists’but they are absolute compulsive liars! I sometimes think that it has an inbred relationship to Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge when everyone had to lie to stay safe. They are lovely and have a very good English sense of humour. But I would not trust one as far as I could pick one up never mind throw her !!! Hope this helps!!!

  4. Steve says:

    Hi ! I have been to cambodia 3 times and was scammed by well known Internet Scammer Thavra Pich AK Thavra Choun, It was a advanced marriage Scam with the whole family involved in this in fact she has multiple facebook accounts on the Facebook with Different names.I had legal engaged with all cultural and legal protocols witnessed by the family and community . During the time we were engaged to be married I found out she was having relations with 3 different men in the time frame . From all the internet activity of scams she does she has had multiple cars during this time frame.I was applying for a fiancee visa to take her to the US the whole things was advanced scam put on by her and her family.I hired investigators to bust her for this scam

    • Excel Pat says:

      I’ve lived here 11 years and stuck to two rules with Khmer women:

      1. Believe nothing.
      2. Trust no one.

      Never been burned or scammed and had some great girlfriends.

      John Kerr hit the nail on the head.

      Chantou is typical of the defensive response you’ll experience when a Khmer women is confronted with the truth.

      Steve, chin up. Move on son.

      We are guests in their country, and will always be viewed as fair game. If we are stupid enough to believe lies, they’ll happily oblige until someone richer and stupider comes along.

      To answer Gavinmac’s original question. Simple mate. She doesn’t love you. Never has, never will. She’s lying.

      Unless you got lucky and found the 1 in 10,000,000 who isn’t full of it.

      Which you haven’t, because she doesn’t exist.

      Better to enjoy your time in the country and experience the culture.

  5. paul says:

    I am always impressed by this kind of comment, 11 years of experience will always make the diference :)
    I have lived more than 10 years in India, I would say that Indian women from the south are getting old badly (mentally and physically) and also are not trustworthy.
    Excel Pat, do you know from which country Asian women are more trustworthy?

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