Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Courtship Games

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

People get amazed when I tell them that I was already 23 years old when I first went out on a date with a guy. Dumbfounded, some look at me with that are-you-crazy look on their faces; some give me those full of pity, were-you-that-ugly glances. How do I tell them that I simply didn’t want to be bothered with the usual bullshit that typically goes with courtship as practiced here in the Philippines? The clumsy ways guys make their intentions known to girls made me want to roll my eyes; the flirty evasiveness mastered by girls to make boys drool made me laugh. I was verging on what many perceive as the sad age of spinsterhood when I came across a guy who dared to do without the courtship games and, surprisingly, did not get intimidated with a girl who detested the politics of dating and veered away from the conventions that ineluctably go with it.

Cecille Lopez Lilles gives a succinct description of the “traditional female codes of conduct that have been reinforced through successive generations”:

Acceptable female behavior within the domain of Filipino courtship dictates that women play “hard to get” and remain passive, always waiting for the man to make the first move. They must allow enough time to elapse between the period of pursuit and acceptance — a period that has considerably shortened over the years. What used to be a mandatory cease-and-desist on amatory activities lasting several months or even a year is now reduced to several weeks. Apparently, women still view the requisite several-dates-of-withholding-affection period ideal. In the meantime they are encouraged to “mislead” the men: leave them clueless as to their stand in the game, thereby pushing them to work harder for that coveted spot in their lives. It is believed that the more invested a man is in a prospective relationship, in terms of time, money and effort, the more he will value what he is set to reap. (The Politics of Dating, The Philippine Star, 3 October 2007)
If I have to put up with such crap, I’d rather not enter the dating scene was how I looked at it. The courtship games that men and women have to go through for that elusive, you-have-to-work-really-hard-for-it “YES” that heralds the “legitimacy” of a relationship, I find completely pointless. Can we not dispense with the games and the tedious process of pursuing then dodging, persisting then relenting, and just rely on candor and sincerity? If you like me and I like you, why waste time with all the bullshit?


Sinta said...

AMEN! Especially the: "the flirty evasiveness mastered by girls to make boys drool made me laugh." But I guess the sentence was right. They're -girls-. I'd rather handle a relationship as a woman.

Anonymous said...

'Ineluctably', a smashing word! And you are correct about the tradition being crap. The reverse applies mostly in this side of the planet and it's not healthy for sure.

Mature adult behaviour is however to be lauded.

Agnes said...

Anything can be made complicated I guess, LOL

Kayni said...

some people do love to be chased and others don't but you're's better to be direct - then work from there.

Anonymous said..., that sounds like a matadores enticing a bull for a kill...straight to the heart.

you think your country's ways are tedious...just visit Kenya...I don't even know how my uncles met their wives....they give off the impression of being profoundly unromatic, allergic & ignorant of dating...

but you know candor & insincerity are anchronistic values nowadays....

Anonymous said...

i thought you and howard were lovers when you were 18 years old. :)

Angeli said...


correction, honey: howard and i were 'lovers' when I was 16. and i was the one who pursued him, not the other way round. hahahha

@blessingboats, unstranger

if different cultures have various courting conventions, what can be considered universal when it comes to forging relationships?

@kayni, agnes
like in anything else, lack of clarity and openness always lead to making things really complicated.

@sinta, unstranger

but i've seen adults acting like (or even worse than) teenagers sometimes.

thank you all for visiting and leaving a comment.

witsandnuts said...

Girls playing hard-er to get. Hahahaha.

ekstranghero said...

"If you like me and I like you, why waste time with all the bullshit?"

--couldn't say this any better.

Anonymous said...

'Society' orders the conventions. Each 'Society' differs, people however don't.

It's part of the process of creating civilised behaviour. That's how societies form and develop.

Each to their own seemingly.

Anonymous said...

irrespective of geography...reciprocity is the universal language that pulls a lonely soul toward another, the impetus for an affinity for another. I think :)

Anonymous said...

hahahaa! i remember a friend telling me about this in highschool. i was totally baffled!

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