Love truly does bloom in the oddest of places; from romance over bananas to an unlikely bond over business correspondence, and cultures colliding in the western hemisphere. While Valentine’s Day might have come and gone, as we bid farewell to the month of love, we look back at three society couples who share with us their stories of romance, relationships, and their key to ever lasting happiness.
There are two kinds of love birds. You have the couples who are near-drunk on the joys of young romance, and then you have those who’ve been through everything and more — and, older and wiser, know that they’ve found the one. Duangpatra “Dang” Bodiratnangkura and Evan Lysacek fall into the latter category. A true power-couple, some will recognise Evan Lysacek as a renowned American figure skater — the 2010 Olympic champion, to be exact. Dang, on the other hand, hails from a highly revered bloodline, and is the great-granddaughter of the late, great Nai Lert Sreshthaputa. She has also spent the last 15 years in LA, and has garnered a reputation as the prolific developer who has bought up some of the best properties in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Santa Monica and more, with a portfolio of state-of-the-art homes. We sat down with the two to discuss their rather remarkable love story — and the journey to their ultimate “happily ever after” today.
Timing is Everything.
While happily married — having tied the knot in December 2019 — Evan and Dang’s love-story has not been a simple, linear one. The two actually met ten years ago, but timing wasn’t always on their side. “I remember a friend of mine returning from Thailand one day and saying ‘I’ve met your future wife’ and that friend really knew me quite well,” Evan muses. The two had been introduced over dinner at an Italian restaurant in LA, and Evan — without so much as a second of hesitation — describes it as love at first sight. “We tried to make it work, but it wasn’t the time for us,” Dang explains, looking back on how the two had to go separate ways due to time and geographical constraints.
Two years ago, the couple finally reconnected again, and the flame was rekindled so strongly that it could no longer be put out.
Prioritise Those who Matter.
Though they’d spent time apart, Evan recalls never really forgetting about Dang. “I remember training so hard most days and always thinking of her when I was back in New York.”
It was a sudden unfortunate occurrence, however, that prompted Evan to reach out to Dang once more. “I lost a friend to a truly terrible car hi-jacking accident. I had lost loved ones before to cancer and such, but never like this, never so abruptly,” Evan opens u, “I realised how short life could be, and how things could end so suddenly. I started calling people very close to me. Dang was one of the people I called straight away. I had a sudden impulse to fly to LA that weekend just to see her. She tried to talk me out of it,” he confesses, to which Dang responds with a laugh, “Well, my parents were visiting that weekend!”
Evan ended up joining Dang’s family for dinner, which he describes as being “great, although something felt different.” After their goodbyes, he soon received a text from Dang. It read: “Do you think it could work?” Naturally, his response was yes.
When you Know, You Know
“When you know, you know,” Dang tells us, and one look at her knowing eyes, one can’t help but believe her wholeheartedly. “I’m 41 and not easily swayed, but our connection is beyond anything I could ever have imagined. It’s the only reason I would ever marry, true love,” she says simply. Evan agrees, “Love is commodified to the extremes in our world. But really, true love can’t be imitated, faked or manipulated.”
When asked about their honeymoon — which was spent at Chiva Som in Hua Hin — the two look at one another and laugh. “Honeymoon? Define honeymoon? Every trip we take is a honeymoon,” Dang tells us lightheartedly. While many would think the cultural differences would work against their relationship, the worldly duo — both of whom have travelled extensively — prove that it really doesn’t. “I am half American, and Evan is half Thai, that’s what we decided. And we take our interest in each other’s cultures very seriously, dedicating time to visiting each other’s families. We spend time visiting Chicago, Atlanta, Arizona, London and, of course, Thailand.”
The two will be in Thailand for another month before they return to LA, where they both plan to settle in to work and begin the next phase of their lives. “We’re going to start developing commercial projects together. I really respect Evan, so I know we will make a great team.”
Find out more about Duangpatra “Dang” Bodiratnangkura & Evan Lysacek in our February 2020 issue, available in all leading bookstores nationwide.
Photographer: Vatcharasith Wichyanrat
Videographer: Prach “Mega” Khananuruks
Location: Lady L, Nai Lert Park