Dating in the Philippines: Then and Now


Convenience is the perfect word to encapsulate today’s dating scene. Gone are the days when young men could not speak to young women without the formal introduction from the parents! Do you agree?


Read further as I illustrate the contrast between dating then and now.


Three Distinct Generations


There are distinct differences in the dating platform between three generations – the Baby Boomers, the Gen X, and the Millennials.


The Baby Boomers covered the years between 1946 to 1964. When it comes to dating, time is of the essence. This is why most Boomers get hitched at an early age without proper preparation for matrimony. Recall your grandmother’s stories as a basis. I, for one, had grandparents who settled down at the age of 18. They had three kids by the age of 21 and this circumstance was completely accepted then.


Dating in the Gen X-sense is another story. Individuals from the Gen X were born from the middle of the 60’s until the early 80’s. They had the privilege of seeing the Internet progress across time. It is important to point out that they were the first participants of the online dating sites and chatrooms.


However, the biggest downside was having too many options. It was initially challenging for them to choose between the potential partners of the offline and online world.


Filipino Courtship Before & After


The last generation at hand is the Millennials. Dating rules do not apply when it comes to this generation. Born between the late 80’s until the early 2000’s, Millennials embrace casual group dates and other unstructured dates. Couples are open to spontaneity and are in constant communication with each other. However, the “unofficial” couples are more likely to experience ghosting. A survey found that about 78% of Millennials were ghosted.


Ghosting is not a supernatural phenomenon. Instead, it is a dating phenomenon where your previous lover disappears without proper closure. No calls, no emails, and no social media posts were left for the unsuspecting lover. Some millennials engage in ghosting to avoid the complications of breaking up.


These main differences in dating manifest the significant shifts that can happen due to the advances of time.


Pinoy Style Of Courting


Let us move on to the specific differences in the courting strategies of the Filipinos then and now.


Classic films centered in the man’s dedication to win the Filipina’s heart. Eager suitors accomplish difficult household tasks such as filling pails of water and chopping firewood in order to prove that they are deserving. Doing all these seems silly today. Sending flowers, chocolates, jewelries, and electronic messages are more popular gifts.




The next difference can be observed in the latter stages of courtship. There were limited dating options in the yesteryears. Couples frequented public places such as the park. Modern couples are not tangled by this constraint. You can choose to go on a date at the cinema, theatre, coffee shop, sports arena, paintball field, theme park, and so on. Moreover, you can take your lover on an overseas trip.


The last main difference is in the communication style. Before, suitors need to visit the woman at her home while the parents watch close by. Playing hard to get or the “Maria Clara attitude” was highly encouraged before. This is why the old-school courting primarily occurred in the woman’s house.


firewood chopping


Nowadays, suitors can simply drop a Tweet or a message on Facebook to show their interest and sincerity. There is minimal interference from the woman’s parents as the dating process is relaid privately on social media or mobile phones.


The traditional Filipino way of courtship and dating were more conservative and indirect compared to our Western counterparts. It involved several phases that the suitor must pass. As time passes, the dating culture in the country evolved was influenced by the Western culture. Dating through social media, mobile apps, and websites became accepted.


It is crucial to understand that you do not have to swing with the tides of time. You may still keep your traditional views or fuse it with the contemporary views. Being yourself is enough to be loved!

Anna Agoncillo

Anna is a Registered Psychometrician and a graduate of Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. Earning a bachelor's degree with honors in Psychological Studies, lead her to a career of writing and teaching. She is also the author of the new book entitled Psychology of Love, Money, & Life.

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