Everything I Know About Dating a Filipina, I Learned From This Girl

Everything I Know About Dating a Filipina, I Learned From This Girl

Love knows no distance... or nationality. Russian-American Andrey Volchanskiy writes about what it's like being in a relationship with a Filipina.

Before meeting my current partner, my dating preference wasn’t so much based on nationality as it was language. I was open to anyone who spoke English and/or Russian. The way I see it, the only hard limiting factor you actually have when considering someone to date or marry is whether or not you speak a common language.

Did I see myself dating a Filipina? Not specifically, but I didn’t discount Filipinas either. Before I started dating Marie, if you would have asked me about dating a Filipina I would have likely answered, “If she speaks English, sure!” I had very little knowledge about the Philippines prior to actually visiting and as a result I had an assumption that the Philippines and all surrounding island nations did not have many English speakers. 

Fortunately, my first visit to Manila and Cebu shattered that assumption. I never experienced any hostility, perceived or otherwise (even with all the armed guards everywhere, which actually made me feel safer, this is how we solve gun violence in the U.S. —armed kuyas!). Definitely the most easy-going nation, culturally, I have ever encountered. Values are very wholesome and reasonable. 

In conversations with my girlfriend, her family, and other Filipinos I am friends with, I found that in terms of social pressures, the Philippines shares theirs with most eastern cultures, including eastern European ones (specifically Russian, where I hail from). Having that overlap in intercultural experience with my girlfriend helps me understand her and certain problems she encounters.

I have been mentally prepared for the, “Oh she’s dating you for a green card or for the money,” line, but have only heard a version of it only once from one of my friends. While it sucked to hear that, this was after that same friend found out that I got scammed by a local girl I was trying to date. What can I say, mistakes were made, but it made it sting less because there was precedent for her being worried about the dumb decisions I make sometimes. 

My answer to her was that Marie must be the laziest and least motivated scammer ever because she neither pushes for marriage nor asks for money; in fact, she refuses money and gifts when offered.

I also heard an insensitive comment when discussing the infamous Rose and Big Ed saga with coworkers who like me love 90 Day Fiancé. Unfortunately, I discovered that while I watched it because watching cringy Americans getting embarrassed by normal foreigners is like watching a gnarly car wreck (you just can’t look away even if you want to), they actually felt bad for Big Ed. To which I thought, “Are we watching the same show?!”

Ever since the terms “litol Kuya” and “dodong” were applied to me, I have gotten comfortable thinking of Filipinos as my people and family and take misinformation about them very personally.

Long-distance challenges are very real. Discovering that a Filipino person can’t just visit the U.S. like I can visit the Philippines reveals a privilege I often take for granted. It affects how often we can see each other and for how long. It also affects our future and long-term plans. 

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I never thought that something as basic as the freedom to travel wherever you want would play such a major role in things such as discussing marriage. For example, I have never considered living outside the U.S.; however, with Marie in my life, I have come to realize that my priorities have changed—rather than thinking about where I want to live in the U.S., I am thinking about where she wants to and can live with me. Living in the Philippines temporarily or otherwise is now a necessary reality. 

With the pandemic that isn’t really quite over yet, I have come to realize that sometimes even having an American passport is not enough to see the love of my life.

This is why I have rethought my career, goals, and priorities and decided to spend a year in Cebu with her while we plan and organize the rest of our lives. If anything, I think extreme circumstances like an LDR and a global pandemic reveal how important a partner is to you. I’ve always heard the phrase, “When push comes to shove.” Well, the last two years were all shove and I discovered that Marie was more important to me than I realized because I did things for her I never thought I’d do for anyone!

A Filipina is in some ways like Newton’s Third Law, only it goes something like “For every action you take, a Filipina will respond with an equal and opposite reaction.” In simple terms, a Filipina will love you as hard as she will hate you if you fuck up. It won’t be pleasant, but the wrath will be justified. My girlfriend has never been angry with me over nothing.

On the flip side, a Filipina always notices and appreciates the effort, whether it’s to ensure that your fuck up never happens again or go out of your way to make her happy by remembering something she told you in the past. If I knew about this (I literally never did any research on Filipinas because they were never a target demographic) I could have avoided some issues (embarrassingly, my fault) in the beginning! I was definitely not prepared for this kind of intense energy but it’s very rewarding!

The nature of interracial relationships has changed largely due to the introduction and adoption of the internet, as well as the rapid evolution of technology which all literally happened within the last 10-20 years. Instant messaging and video calls have replaced long-distance phone calls, email, and physical correspondence, and have given people from all corners of the world with a cellphone and an internet connection a nearly identical ability to meet, get to know, and date people virtually like never before. 

Nowadays you can get to know someone nearly as well as you would get to know them in person; the only thing missing is the hand-holding and the physical chemistry which are easily addressed with a visit which is much less a leap of faith than it used to be.

If you look up “Violently Loyal Girlfriend” on Wikipedia it will have a picture of my girlfriend, flanked by millions of other Filipinas. Not for the faint of heart for sure, but unless you are incapable of being loyal or are allergic to perpetually making efforts to keep her happy and constantly becoming the best version of yourself.

If you catch the eye of your friendly neighborhood Filipina, thank your lucky stars because you will never have a more fiercely loyal girlfriend in your life and if you lose her, chances are it was your fault.

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