how to avoid dating drama in the philippines

How To Avoid Dating Drama in the Philippines

We will look at dating in the Philippines from the two major approaches; the first being Recreational Dating and the second being, Dating To Find A Relationship.

If you’re single and thinking about dating in the Philippines, I’ve got some advice for you. I began dating in the Philippines in 2012 and trust me, I’ve learned a few things. It’s up to you, you can learn the easy way or the hard way.

First of all, let’s be real – drama is rampant in the dating arena, and in the Philippines the stakes are high. The last thing you want is your apartment trashed, legal issues or her angry brothers hunting you down. So it pays to avoid doing the things that are almost guaranteed to bring drama into your life. It’s not that most men don’t want a relationship, but we don’t want to feel trapped in one without our consent. And in the Philippines, the first thing that catches men off-guard is how quickly a Filipina can move from that first date into what she perceives is a ‘Relationship’. Worse yet, an Exclusive Relationship when your mind is still figuring out if there will be a second date or not.

Recreational Dating – Not Seeking A Relationship…

If you’re an expat, you’ve got a bit of an advantage when it comes to dating Filipina women – they’re often attracted to us simply for the fact that we are foreigners to their country. The very fact that we can afford a plane ticket to their country communicates to them that we are much more financially stable than most of the local options. So you’ve got that going for you.

But if you want to date without all the drama that can come with it, here’s the first thing you should keep in mind to avoid drama: try not to date more than two women at a time. Currently, you may be alone in the dating desert of your home country. But when you get to the Philippines, you are suddenly a hot commodity. And over the years, as I have counseled so many new expats out of the messes they got themselves into, the first big mistake they made was dating too many women at the same time.

When you first arrive in the country, try your very best to only date two at a time. Most guys can handle the time management required for that. With time, I’ve found that three is the maximum. Juggling more than that can get pretty complicated. I’m not saying that you can’t have casual relationships with more than three women at a time, but if you’re looking to avoid commitment and drama, it’s best to keep it to a manageable number. And three is the maximum. Here is why.

You only have 7 days in a week. With three women you are taking out on dates or inviting to your apartment, that means you only have 2 days buffer to schedule them apart midweek. Friday to Sunday, all three will want to be with you at the same time. The moment you tell one of them, “Oh, Friday I’m busy but I can see you on Saturday, but not overnight because I’m busy in Sunday“,… you are already in hot water. Filipinas are very possessive and hate competing with other Filipinas. The moment she figures out she does not have access to you on a moment’s notice, she will know you are dating other women and respond in one of two ways.

  1. Her most likely response will be the ultimatum. Either you only date her or she’s gone.
  2. The second likely response is she will try to plant herself in your life and make any contact with any other Filipina a living hell for you. She may search for that Filipina to get rid of her. (usually through Facebook). She may insist on moving in with you. She may leave some of her clothing hidden around your apartment for the other Filipina to find. And if all else fails, she will hound you on the phone all through the day and night to make sure you are not with another woman.

Trust me. Start out dating one or two at a time. Don’t start with a third one until you have made it clear to one of the others that you won’t be dating anymore. Try to end it on a good note, but make it clear that there won’t be any more dates. Then you have an opening to date someone new. I highly suggest you do not even attempt to date three women simultaneously until you’ve spent six months in the Philippines. Otherwise, you are inviting overlap into your schedule and you won’t have a moment’s peace until you clear your calendar and start over.

When Dating in Search of a Long-Term Relationship…

Now, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship or for just one quality girlfriend to stick with for a while, you’ll want to do the opposite and only date one Filipina at a time.

Remember what I just mentioned. Filipinas do NOT want to compete with another Filipina for your time. Most Filipinas are looking for a serious relationship. (except for those trolling for money on dating sites.) And because of this, having that second date means, to them, that you are interested in them and taking things further. But as an exclusive relationship. Which means she will not date anyone else and expects the same of you.

If you find a Filipina that you see the potential for a stronger relationship in the future, let her know that. Be honest. Let her know where you stand and that you want time to get to know her better. That is all you are asking for, time together to see if the two of you together is a good thing, mutually, or not. When you first date her, she is a total stranger. Remember that. It takes at least 3 Months of dating in-person to even begin to see the real person with their guard down. Anyone can ‘fake it‘ for a few weeks. But in my experience, 85% of new dating relationships don’t even make it to the 2nd month. Within a few weeks, it becomes clear that either the good you figured you saw in them is truly genuine (with consistency)… or, their negative true character begins to show itself.

how to avoid drama in the philippines

During these first 3 months, keep your dating to a minimum. She should not be profiting to any great degree by being with you. Far too many expats make the mistake of showering a new relationship with money to solve her financial problems or constantly providing a ‘honeymoon experience‘ of resorts and adventure. This sort of practice at the beginning does two harmful things;

  1. It sets a high bar for the remainder of the relationship. Island hopping becomes the norm and eventually settling into “normal, everyday life” becomes a downgrade in her eyes. So keep your dating activities simple with a focus on having time to actually spend time talking, and learning about each other. Learn about her background, family, her belief system not just on religion but on life in general. Discern if she is a postivie or negative person. How does she handle stress? Boredom? Can the two of you resolve differences in a productive manner or not? Is she jealous to the degree it is a problem? (most are jealous to a degree, so just accept a bit of that.) Far too many guys make a commitment with either a baby, buying her a house or marriage before the 3-month probation period… and THEN they find out the answers to all these things after they are neck-deep in commitments. Don’t be that guy.
  2. I’ve said many times; “Do not shower a new relationship with money.” This is a huge temptation for most men because (a) we are wired to solve problems and (b) we feel it is a way to show we love a woman. But if you start handing a woman who hardly knows you the equivalent of a month’s wages ($200+) you may never know the answer to the question; “Is she with you for YOU, or tolerating you for the sake of the money?

For this reason, I have employed the following, graduated scale when it comes to how much money goes from your pocket to her purse in a new relationship;

The first 2 months… no more than $20 in a month should go from you to her. Most Filipinas are struggling financially. Even though a jeepney to cross town and meet you is only about 15 pesos (30 cents).. that is money she usually doesn’t have. So, instead of putting her into a difficult situation in order to meet you, $20 in a month will cover her transportation and even phone load so she can keep in contact with you for videochat, etc.

‘If’ she is still a viable candidate for a great relationship, with no red flags after 2 months, by this time you’ve got a better bead on who she is. At the 3rd month, you can bump it up to ‘about’ $50 a month. Resist the urge to give her beyond that. You don’t want to become her ‘job’ and you don’t want to create a dependency because 3 months is still very early and for all you know it may all fall apart quickly.

If at 6 months you see what I call a, Consistency of Character.. and she truly is a good, decent, loving person at this point you should be looking at a serious candidate for a solid, ongoing relationship. At this point, you can begin thinking, “Maybe this is someone I want to build a future with. Maybe.At 6-months you may then want to have a conversation with her and communicate, I want to help out with your finances a bit. And I don’t want to put you in the position of having to ask me for money, so.. once a month I will give you $150 and you decide how you want to spend it. Help your parents. Put it into the bank. Use it for your expenses, but it’s up to you.”

Now, it’s worth noting that many Filipinas do not have an official ID or a bank account. At 6 months, you can be of great help to her by helping her get both an official ID and her own bank account. Not a joint-account. Her own bank account with only her name on it. A Postal ID can be obtained from any PhilPost post office. She can also get a National ID or a TIN (taxpayer ID number). These will be necessary for her to get her own bank account. Personally, I recommend either BDO (banco de oro), Metrobank or BPI (bank of the Philippines islands).

Finally, there is the 1-Year milestone. Personally, I will not spend more than 1 year figuring out if the relationship is going toward marriage or not. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Call me traditional, old-fashioned but I believe that by the 1-year mark of spending time with a woman in a relationship, she deserves a SOLID, non-vague answer to where the relationship is heading. Now, I’m not saying to get married in a year. I’m saying, know if that’s where things are going or not. If all you’re offering is a non-committal, “shacking up/playing house” arrangement after a year, without any promise of marriage… let her know that. And yes, she may leave. But she deserves to know where you stand so she can make an informed decision. In short, don’t lead her on. Don’t waste her time. Be a man and have the courage to be honest with her.

During this progression over the first year, you will want to focus on items such as communication, trust, and mutual respect. But if you want to have any hope of building a relationship towards anything serious, you must limit yourself to an exclusive relationship by dating only that one Filipina. Be faithful. If somewhere along the line it falls apart, then you are a “free agent” again and can resume your search.

Summary… Recreational Dating

If you want to date recreationally without drama do not date more than three women at a time. It’ll save you a lot of headaches and heartache in the long run. If you can’t control yourself, you will only have yourself to blame when the drama hits the fan and life suddenly gets complicated.

Because you will be limiting yourself it is very important to be picky about who you spend time with. Only go out with women that you’re really interested in. Don’t date women just to fill in your week. It’s easy to bring women into your life in the Philippines. But getting them ‘out’ takes longer. So be selective.

Once you’ve found someone you want to spend time with, make it clear from the start that you’re only available to see them once or twice a week. This will help set the right expectations for both of you and will prevent any misunderstandings about the nature of your relationship. And remember, since you are dating recreationally.. since you’re not offering any kind of fidelity, don’t expect it from her either. What’s sauce for the goose is good for the gander. You can’t expect her to only date you while you’re out dating other Filipinas behind her back. Without exclusivity, she is still a free agent to date other guys.

Be careful about what you say to your dates, especially when it comes to making promises. Avoid any hint of commitment or exclusivity, as this can lead to drama and misunderstandings. And most importantly, don’t get caught up in defending yourself or making excuses for why you can’t see them every day. Just be honest and upfront about your availability. This will help you avoid any unnecessary drama and will make it easier for both of you to enjoy your time together.

In short, if you want to date without commitment or drama, be picky about who you spend time with and be honest and upfront about your availability. This will help you have a drama-free and enjoyable dating life.

Also, it’s important to be careful about meeting the parents of the woman you’re only dating “for fun”. This is your sign she does not see your dating as just a passing thing. I highly recommend you turn down any invites to family gatherings if you are not interested in a deeper relationship. Doing so will only send her a mixed signal that will result in drama later. Remember, drama is born from disappointment. So it’s important to avoid misunderstandings by being clear about where you stand.

Summary… Dating For A Committed Relationship

If you are not looking for the, “chixboy experience” and instead want to cultivate a healthy, solid relationship with a future… remember to (a) Take it slow, and (b) Do not build the relationship on money at the outset.

It is in rushing into a commitment and showering a Filipina with much money at the beginning which I consistently see as the common denominator among men who find themselves later both heartbroken and suffering a big financial loss. It is sad to see and I don’t want that to happen to you.

Even more so, be selective before you start down this path with a Filipina. Don’t get serious with a woman until you’ve weighed out your other options. And once you’ve decided to begin this one-year process of vetting her character, keep things focused on one thing; getting to know each other.

Your dates should be in a way something of a test run of what life would be like as an ordinary day, ‘married’. Yes, go to a few nice places once in a while and have some fun. But also go on simple dates like grocery shopping together. Cooking a meal together. If you don’t know how to cook, just be there to help cut vegetables and prep things. Take walks together to get some simple bbq down the street. Take walks on the beach and have conversations.

And the day you want to be ready for is the day you two disagree on something. That is inevitable with any two people. It is NOT a red flag. What is important is ‘how’ the two of you resolve your differences. If you can resolve things as adults, that is awesome. If it turns into a childish screaming match between the two of you, you have to ask yourself the question, “Is this the sort of life I want in my future?

And most of all, don’t lead a woman on for your own convenience. Be a man of your word. Have an answer by the end of a year together. Be a man with a plan. That is what a woman wants. Be a man who says what he means and means what he says. She can’t respect anything less. Be conscious of what you are doing. It’s your job to lead the relationship into a healthy place for both of you. If she is cohesive and desiring of that, you two have a shot at a great future together. If she has some other agenda that does not include mutual love and respect, end it and continue your search.

And finally, expect that a long-term relationship with a Filipina will mean you need to be open to learning new things in life. You will need to learn to adapt to her culture. And also to adapt to her as a Filipina with the very specific ways she views and deals with life. If she is younger than you, do not expect a 20-something Filipina to have the maturity or life experience of a 45-year-old. You will need to bring her along and teach her things you’ve already learned about money, trust, and handling problems. And if you commit to a Filipina in her 40’s+, expect she may have kids or a career that you will have to make time for as part of the package.

If you employ these items I’ve shared with you here, you will greatly improve upon your experience and success in finding what you are looking for. I wish you all the best.

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Author: Reekay V.

Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam. Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures. — Reekay