Filipinas: beautiful, lively, traditional, loyal, less regard for age differences. Great! But there’s a flipside to all of these – there are pros and cons to dating a Filipina (woman from the Philippines). Foreign men all too easily overlook the cons when they fall in love with the pros. Knowing these differences can be critical.
Filipinas bring a rich cultural heritage from the Philippines – a diverse country made up of over 7,000 islands. Understanding key aspects of Filipino traditions and norms provides an important context for knowing what to expect in a relationship with a Filipina girlfriend or wife.
Filipinas are raised with a defined set of virtues centered around caring for others – especially family. They also compete intensely for male attention and affection due to beauty standards that value being petite, slender, and light-skinned, even though many Filipinas, by diet and by nature, are none of the above. This can make them seem very into you and very attractive.
But differences in communication styles and values can also lead to cultural clashes with Westerners. And when you invest a greater amount of time and money into her, you may be in for constant unpleasant surprises.
Here, we’ll let you in on the major pros and cons of dating Filipinas so you can decide whether entering an intercultural relationship with a woman from the Philippines is right for you.
- Pros of dating a Filipina
- Cons of dating a Filipina
- Conclusion: Is dating a Filipina right for you?
Pros of dating a Filipina
Filipinas’ beauty, femininity, loyalty, passion, caretaking abilities, and other attributes are attractive to Western men seeking traditional relationships. But realizing the pros also requires navigating differences in values, communication styles, and family obligations inherent to Filipino culture.
Filipina beauty standards and competition among women
In the Philippines, there is intense pressure for women to conform to high beauty standards. Filipinas are judged heavily on physical appearance, with qualities like being petite, slender, and light-skinned being seen as ideal. This leads to fierce competition among women for male attention.
Having a beautiful, stylish girlfriend or wife is a source of pride for Filipino men. It’s a sign of status and masculinity. As a result, Filipinas invest heavily in their looks – whitening products, cosmetics, clothing, etc. Their Facebook and Instagram accounts often showcase glamorous selfies. Even in more rural areas, girls aspire to city fashions and standards.
This focus on aesthetics starts young. Pageants are hugely popular, with girls competing in contests organized for children as young as 5 years old! The Miss Universe pageant has had four Filipina winners. Celebrities and beauty queens are major role models.
While these intense beauty standards have downsides, they do mean that most Filipinas are very attentive to their grooming and style. They work hard at looking put-together and feminine. For a Western male partner, you can expect your Filipina girlfriend or wife to always try to look her best. Vanity pays off in this sense.
An added benefit for Westerners is that they often prefer girls with a “healthy tan,” as they prefer it on themselves. They find dark-skinned Asians to be a very special mix indeed. This offers benefits when most Filipinas are naturally dark. Western men love them for the very reason that their countrymen may lose interest. One man’s treasure…
Notions of femininity vs. those of Western women
Filipinas prize traditional notions of femininity that can seem outdated or non-progressive to Western sensibilities. They are expected to be loving mothers, dutiful daughters, and subservient wives who always put their family’s needs first. Independence or assertiveness is discouraged. These rigid gender roles are instilled from a young age.
Filipinas are an appealing alternative for foreign men who feel Western women have become too focused on careers, overly assertive, or have lost their feminine charms. Filipinas seem less driven by feminism and more content in conventional roles as homemakers, mothers, and helpmates to their husbands. In fact, they romance the idea. It’s an “old-fashioned” trait shared by many other Asian women, irrespective of income and economic development, including Thais and Japanese.
Filipinas will typically handle domestic duties, child-rearing, and catering to your needs without complaint. They pride themselves on their hospitality and caretaking skills. A Filipina will likely embrace that dynamic if you want an “old-fashioned” partnership where the man leads, and the woman follows.
Family is the centerpiece of Filipino culture. Loyalty, closeness, and enduring bonds between relatives are highly valued. Filipina women are raised to care deeply about family – not just their immediate family, but extended relatives too.
Cousins, aunts, uncles, godparents, and others are treated like immediate family.
This family-focused upbringing makes Filipinas devoted to their own families. As your girlfriend or wife, she will treat your family as her own and become a loving daughter to your parents. She will want to care for you, your children, and your entire family circle for life. Her caring nature comes out strongest for her family.
Just be aware that her family will remain a major priority even after marriage. There will likely be obligations to send money, host visits, or lend assistance even long-distance. monetary requests from family back home may arise. But for many men, marrying into a close-knit, loving family is a big plus.
Loyalty and commitment
Once in a committed relationship or marriage, Filipinas typically demonstrate high loyalty and commitment to their partner. They value longevity in relationships and avoiding divorce due to the stigma still associated with it.
Flings or casual dating is frowned upon. A Filipina who is serious about a man will devote herself to him. Usually, she’ll expect monogamy in return, and loyalty is highly valued. Her faithful, one-man nature often lasts a lifetime.
Filipinas can be very protective of their partner and committed to making the relationship work. Sometimes, they may even overlook infidelities if they feel the man is a good provider overall. Of course, this loyalty must be earned and matched too. But many men do find Filipina’s devotion and long-view on love a wonderful trait.
Caring and nurturing qualities
Dating a Filipina often feels like having a nurturing caregiver as well as a girlfriend or wife. Raised to manage households and family needs from a young age, Filipinas excel at TLC.
Your Filipina partner will likely handle domestic chores cheerfully – cooking savory meals, tidying up, and doing your laundry. She will pack your lunch and make sure you wear a warm enough coat. Little acts of service come naturally.
In a culture of deep Catholic devotion, self-sacrifice, and martyrdom are even seen as virtues. Filipinas smooth over conflict to keep things cheerful. This nurturing, giving nature makes them wonderful partners – but it also means you need to reciprocate care and not exploit their giving spirit.
Passion and emotion
Unlike stereotypes about Asian women being reticent or passive (and there’s plenty of truth to those stereotypes), Filipinas are actually quite demonstrative, lively, and emotionally expressive. Displays of affection like hugging, kissing, and saying “I love you” frequently are normal and expected. This is distinct from most other Asian cultures.
Filipinas get quickly attached when dating and fall hard when in love. They have no qualms about showing their feelings through tears, affection, gifts, praise, etc. Their natural warmth and unabashed expression of emotion are refreshing for many Western men used to more reserved women. Just be aware that this passion flows both ways – she may become very emotional in arguments, too!
The Philippines has the 3rd largest English-speaking population in the world due to its history as a U.S. colony and English being taught widely in schools. As a result, many Filipinas speak at least adequate English and avoid the language barriers common with Asian dating. But you also need to keep in mind that even when speaking English, they’ve developed their own ways of using it, intonation, and connotation.
Moreover, English skill is far more common among those at least with a complete high school education and in urban areas.
Proficiency in English also allows Filipinas to assimilate quickly in Western countries. If they’re sufficiently educated, they can work professional jobs and navigate bureaucracies that confuse many foreign spouses from other cultures, especially Asian cultures.
For men who want a global partner able to thrive in both the West and the Philippines, and communicate easily in English, Filipina girlfriends and wives master this balance well. Verbal and written exchanges, even long-distance, are often easier than with other Asian women.
Less concern for age differences
In Filipino culture, dating older men isn’t taboo or seen as undesirable as Western women may perceive it. Between partners, age gaps of 10+, 20+, or even 30 or 40 years, which would raise eyebrows in the West, are commonplace. Often younger Filipina wives even seek out older foreign husbands deliberately for stability.
Due to this cultural norm, you’ll likely enjoy greater flexibility regarding age differences in your relationships when dating Filipinas. A younger woman won’t rule you out automatically for being many years her senior if you’re established and decent (and sometimes even if you’re something of a jerk or physically undesirable to most women).
While huge age gaps have risks, you can find real compatibility and openness about this issue with Filipinas.
Respect their men
Filipinas are taught to respect authority figures from childhood – parents, elders, and most especially, husbands. Questioning or challenging the man’s decisions is deeply frowned upon. This deference stems from centuries-old power dynamics in the Philippines that cast the man as the breadwinner and authority figure.
As the Filipina’s partner, you can expect a degree of obedience and respect that may seem surprising compared to Western interactions between men and women. Of course, you must earn her respect and steer clear of exploitation or abuse of this cultural tendency. But for many men, a more traditional gender dynamic in the relationship has appeal.
Cons of dating a Filipina
Despite the pros, Filipinas present cultural challenges as romantic partners that foreign men must consider. Navigating language barriers, financial obligations, jealousy, and white lies requires patience and understanding from Westerners unaccustomed to Filipino norms. Lonely guys can easily overlook these and find themselves in emotional and financial pain.
Cultural differences and language barriers
While many Filipinas speak English, if you date a woman from a rural area or lower socioeconomic background, language gaps can still persist. Miscommunications and misunderstandings are common. Some Filipina slang and phrases don’t translate cleanly into English, either. For example, a Filipina might say she feels “nosebleed” to mean dizzy from overthinking.
Also, English fluency doesn’t equal cultural fluency. Dating a girl raised in the Philippines means big differences in worldview, tastes, humor, and more. Adjusting to spices, foods, impromptu karaoke sessions, and frequent family events may take patience as her culture’s uniqueness reveals itself day to day.
Tampo and distance
One unique cultural trait that can disturb Western partners is what’s called tampo. This is when a Filipina expresses hurt or anger through withdrawal, ignoring her partner, or coldness/distance. She is too non-confrontational to express upset verbally, so silence and sulking become her tools to signal feeling wronged. Or maybe she’s just really immature or insensitive.
The tampo response seems immature for straightforward Westerners, but it’s deeply embedded in Filipino communication norms. Learning to anticipate, apologize for, and reconcile after causing tampo reactions in your partner is essential. Don’t pressure her to talk it out on your timeline. Give her space and make amends in a way she accepts.
If tampo’s become an issue for you, or you want to prepare for it, read this extensive article we did on the topic.
Financial expectations or obligations toward family members
Family ties come with deep-seated expectations of financial help and obligation in Filipino culture. It’s common for relatives to ask for assistance starting a business, paying for education, or covering big expenses like medical bills. Saying no is often not an option.
As a Filipina’s foreign boyfriend or husband, you may suddenly find yourself fielding requests for money from her parents, siblings, cousins, and more, both in the Philippines and abroad. This can strain budgets and expectations. Establish boundaries, but realize some level of family financial support is part of marrying into a Filipino family.
Lying or at least stretching the truth
While Filipinas have many wonderful traits, honesty isn’t always one. They are prone to telling “white lies” or stretching the truth to avoid conflict, gain an advantage, or protect someone’s feelings (often yours). This can be anything from fibbing about her age or past to covering up spending.
Part of this stems from wanting to be seen in a positive light by her partner. Another factor is fear of consequences. But whatever the motive, many Filipinas’ casual relationships with truth-telling can undermine trust.
Have realistic expectations that your girlfriend or wife may not be totally forthcoming. Check facts independently. Listen to your gut. And emphasize gently but firmly that lying erodes a relationship. A dose of patience helps, too – she may be learning to shake this cultural tendency.
Or she might just flip on a dime and come at you with the mouth of a trucker if you so much as hint that she’s not being honest.
Dating a Filipina accustomed to intense competition for men’s affection can unleash jealousy toward any woman she sees as a threat. Female friendships, colleagues, and even waitresses talking to you may spark possessiveness. She may demand passwords and frequent check-ins when apart.
Filipinas are raised to please men and “keep” their affection at all costs. Your eyes straying will be taken hard. While some jealousy shows care, extreme envy, and accusations must be addressed, or they’ll poison trust. Reassure her of your devotion, but insist on mutual respect. The green-eyed monster can’t run your relationship.
Her history – Can you trust her?
Your girlfriend’s past could include relationships with men that make you uneasy. Many young Filipinas have children, and many get married, some would say, prematurely. In a country where divorce is illegal without long and expensive legal proceedings, she may call herself “single” but only be separated.
Then there’s the “paying for it” issue. If you’ve spent any time on Tinder or PinaLove, you’ve found some Filipinas cut straight to the chase and named a price, even when you were not interested in that sort of thing. Casual and more formalized systems of paying for it exist widely in this country. Many “good girls” will feign ignorance about it.
For a country with such a strong presence of religion, this may seem contradictory to you. Many other men come specifically for that sort of this.
So, don’t be so dazzled by her current devotion that you forget to vet her background.
Ask tough questions. Look for red flags around evasiveness, excuses, and stories that change. Don’t ignore gut doubts. While not all Filipina women have been involved in unsavory transactions, healthy skepticism about poor girls suddenly dating foreign men keeps you grounded. Let her build trust slowly. Time reveals her true colors and motives.
Centuries of colonialism and poverty have engrained a mindset of scarcity and survival in some Filipinas. They may have grown up in deprivation most Westerners can’t fathom. That background shapes worldviews and habits – frugality, sending money home, hoarding, etc.
As her partner, you may feel you are bankrolling her entire extended family. Or find her obsessed with get-rich-quick schemes. Financial values will likely differ. Patience and empathy for her background are essential for a Filipina to let go of survival mode. At the same time, resist truly exploitative behaviors firmly. Find the line between supporting loved ones back home and being taken advantage of.
Is it just for the money, visa, etc.?
It could be. Some Filipinas date foreign men solely for material gain rather than authentic connection. With immense poverty in the Philippines, marrying a Westerner is seen as hitting the jackpot. Some women pursue foreigners expressly for visas or to send money to family back home.
Watch for signs she is more enamored with what you provide than who you are – constantly asking for gifts, priorities money in choosing dates, resistant to prenups, etc. Take it slow. Observe if her warmth fades when you are stingy. While finances will always play a role, a Filipina focused on love and not just lucre does exist. Dig deeper to know what truly drives her.
Conclusion: Is dating a Filipina right for you?
Dating a beautiful, family-oriented Filipina intrigues many Western men. Their devotion as girlfriends or wives matches their alluring looks. But cultural differences also bring communication gaps and value clashes requiring compromise.
Ask yourself if you are truly ready for the commitment involved in an intercultural relationship. Reflect on your motivations and temperament. Adaptability, empathy, and perseverance will be required at times from both you and her.
If conducted with realistic expectations, mutual care, and respect, dating a Filipina can be tremendously rewarding.
Love between two sincere people transcends culture. But inform yourself, take it slowly, and listen to your instincts. Ensure you are embracing each other’s whole self, not just an idealized fantasy. An international partnership is a serious endeavor with immense rewards for those willing to work hard.