Courtship Versus Dating in The Philippines

I’d like to shed some light between the difference of courtship and dating.
According to my research (a quick look in Wikipedia and a survey conducted amongst the people in advanced years, courtship in the Philippines is the manner of a Filipino male indirectly expressing his interest and affection to a Filipina. 

It is expected for the Filipina to be demure and hide her feelings (if she has any) to the suitor while he endures the aggravating stages of courtship. Meanwhile, the suitor has to show his best, serenade her with lovesongs, recite her poems, shower her with compliments and give her gifts, which also has to extend to her family. However, undergoing these stages in courtship doesn’t guarantee that the suitor will win her heart. Sometimes, if he’s unlucky enough, there would be other suitors that you have to compete with and eventually lose from. Or, sometimes, the girl is just not into you. 
After the girl picks one of her suitors, they become automatically engaged. I’m not sure if they have to date or if it’s important at this point. 

On this day and age, I just think that courtship is a waste of time and a load of crap. If you think about it, a guy will express his affections towards a girl he’s attracted to, but doesn’t personally know. Obviously, since he doesn’t know the girl that much, there attraction is only physical. So, in order to win her heart, he has to go through the stages of courtship, which is time-consuming and expensive, and there’s too much pressure. A courtship usually lasts for months, or even years and sometimes ends with a heartbreak if the girl decides to turn him down. 

If the girl accepts his affections, they’ll be automatically engaged and wouldn’t have time to get to know each other (unless they’re engagement is a year long) because they’re expected to marry soon. 

Now, this is where the problem comes. After the wedding, they’ll find out more about each other and get to know each other better. What if they find out that they’re not compatible? They can’t undo what they’ve done, and since annulment is expensive, it’s out of question. They’ll be forced to live with each other for the rest of their lives until the guy finds a mistress (it’s not often that the wife finds another man no matter how unhappy their marriage is). 

I am not saying that couples who went through courtship will have a miserable marriage in the future; what I’m trying to say is that the couples who didn’t knew each other that well before getting married usually ends up unhappy with their partners because in courtship, they’re always in their best behavior, especially the guys. A man promises everything and say anything to win a girl’s affection, but will later on show his true colors when he finds out that his wife is not someone that he wants. It’s great if he sticks to his wedding vows, but most often than not, he’ll find another woman. 

“Pretentious,” is one word to describe courtship. 

Now, I don’t discourage young people to go through courtship, but make sure that you carry on your impressive behaviour to your married life. Guys, follow through on your promises and treat her like the princess you thought she was even if she shows her real self later on in marriage. Girls, try your best to be yourself through out the courtship so that your future husband will not regret his choice when you’re married and always prove to be worthy of all his efforts and generosity. 

As for dating, which is the “stage of romantic relationship where two people meet socially, possibly as friends or with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a prospective partner in a more committed intimate relationship or marriage.” The meaning and protocols vary from country to country. 

It has a more casual, straightforward and easy approach in finding a potential partner in life. According to my observation, the process varies from country to country and was proven to be most effective way of finding a partner. 

Sadly, “dating” gained a negative connotation because some men use it as an excuse to sleep around and have sexual relations while women use it to get eat expensive dinner for free. 

The advantage of dating is that you get can get to know a person right away. You’ll be able to tell if your date have good manners and values by not only talking to him / her but also by being able to observe his / her behaviour in a more realistic setting, like how he or she treats the servers in a restaurant and how he or she acts around friends. You’ll be able to see the red flags and decide right away if you want to be with that person. With that being said, the man wouldn’t have his time wasted and could move on to find another while the girl doesn’t have to feel she owes him something (presents and other things). 

Don’t get me wrong, though. You don’t have to make a decision right after one date; both parties can make a decision if they want to be with that person after several dates, and it doesn’t have to end up in marriage. Dating can end up in genuine friendship (it happens, trust me), but if not, you both can pretend that it never happened and just move on. 

Courtship and dating both has pros and cons, and it doesn’t matter which one you pick (you can do both), as long as you get to know whoever you decide to be with before committing into marriage. 

Let’s talk. Share your experiences in courtship and dating in the comments section. 

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