How do you know you’re a couple?

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My daily routine consists of waking up at 5:15 AM to drive either of my 2 daughters to work or school by 6:15 AM. During one of these trips, I was caught in traffic at Ortigas Avenue for at least 30 minutes. What to do? To distract myself from the stressful traffic, I take this as an opportunity to chit-chat about anything under the sun. As always, the topic was men. This time, I was curious about how guys and girls these days know they are a couple. I often hear the phrase “she asked me out” or “he asked me out” and that’s it.

I asked Lauren, how is it done these days?

I told her that the first guy who courted me in the mid-seventies asked me “Can you be my girlfriend”? And all I had to do was bat my eyelashes and utter a “yes” or “No” but not after giving the guy at least 2 months of hardship. And all that courtship is done inside the house under the watchful eye of my mother. I was not allowed to have guy visitors if there was no chaperone in the room.

I often begged my younger brother, Ruben, to play with his marbles a few meters away from us . Sometimes I’d bribe him by giving him 5 pesos.

I was not allowed to have dates either. My first date was with my husband and that was when I was 20 years old , on my last semester in college. But my ex-boyfriend didn’t ask me “will you be my girlfriend?”. Instead he smacked me on the lips and yelled for all to hear, “I have the most beautiful girlfriend in UP”. I am is his girlfriend?. haha. I was too shy to contradict him. Besides I liked him a lot. Now you know where Lauren got her unconventional ways. I still envisioned long courtship days, chaperoned visits and flowers.But I was in a dorm and my parents were miles away. They wouldn’t know. I just went along with my boyfriend’s idea that I was his girlfriend.

So I turned to Lauren “so how?”

“Well, usually, when the guy and girl have been going out for quite a while, the question arises …where is this leading to? ” or something along those lines.

Oh really? If I were a single girl in this day and age, I doubt I’d ever have a boyfriend . I doubt I’d ever have the guts to pop that question. I still prefer the old-fashioned method to save me the embarrassment. Or maybe it’s just me.

Do you prefer the old-fashioned way ? Or it’s really a thing of the past?

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1354 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • A lot of women still do it the old fashion way. The Maria Clara types who insist that men have to make the first move, that they have to go through gauntlets, and the trenches of courtship warfare…

    Although it’s probably more telegraphed these days, and younger women aren’t as coy about letting the other guy know their feelings, it’s still a rare sight indeed that the woman will attempt that first move…

    In the end, the guy needs to ask…

    It can be as quick as asking the girl out on the date, and asking her if she’d like to be his girlfriend…

    Or if it can be several dates, after the guy will ask..

    But, he’ll ask nonetheless, the mind is usually made up during that first date anyway..

    Just my point of view..

    I have a niece who tells me these things too, and she had her first boyfriend when she was in her 2nd year of high school, so it’s definitely not just the older crowd (not that I’m old)

    (whew, that was a long response)

  • Me? Old-fashioned way definitely. Marc had a peculiar way of asking me, but it was still “old-fashioned” in a sense 😛

  • Old fashioned! Like you, I can never ever ask a guy about it. Eeeep!

  • I can’t ask a guy out straightforward. But I can make some ways so that we could be put in a situation wherein he might just ask me out. Hehe. I don’t believe in long courtships, though. Being in a relationship is already a long courtship. Why put a long prelude to it?

  • I agree Prudence, I mean come on.. Men are not mind readers, in fact, we’re idiots at knowing what are in the minds of women.. 🙂

  • I’d still prefer the old fashioned way but that doesn’t include the long courtship. Para ano? Paabutin ang courtship ng taon at maging mag-bf lang for not even a month? You see, men are totally different during the courtship. Ika nga “walang nanliligaw na hindi mabait”. But once nakuha na ang “oo”, madami ng excuses. So why invest emotions during the courtship hehe!

  • This is a difficult question, although the answer seems so easy. I like the old-fashioned ways, but I’d never blame the woman who, seeing that the man doesn’t have the guts to ask the question, takes charge. Love is a puzzle and when two people love each other, there’s no room for “who asked first” or rules and borders. In my opinion the lovers already know where everything is going. The rest is just social norm.
    Would I ask the question? Probably not. Probably I’ll take the decision and I know my boyfriend will agree. When you are ready for it, you just know it. And you’ll do what feels right. In this situation both the journey and the destination matter, but along the way you have to know how to overcome all borders. 🙂

  • i cringe for the old fashioned way..eekkk 🙂 . I’ve had one of those, the guy never said a word during one of those home visits. although he became my boyfriend for 3 years. he looked like Richard Gomez… LOL

    with hubby and i, we started talking on the phone first. after a week, we met, had a date with another couple and after that we turned into a couple. and I think 2 weeks after that date he said “I Love You”. in English and Tagalog..hehe. so yeah, we were a couple even without the “L” word. which pretty much how modern relationships go these days 🙂

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  • @nick- I think most women like the guys to make the first move . The difference today is that girls are not shy to ask if there is something going on between them. I was too shy to ask.

    @gail- peculiar? hehe unique yata

    @aileen- old fashioned ways work for me

    @Prudence- I guess that’s also another way without being too forward.

    @mitchteryosa- I think the courtship part just gave me the thrill. I thought that once he becomes my boyfriend, courtship starts. Of course I was wrong

    @Dexie- well it worked out for you. I guess it is also a culture thing. We’re supposed to act a certain way. ahem among filipino guys.

  • Riz

    I’d say old fashioned way. But that doesn’t happen a lot these days now. Hehe.

  • I think a little of both will be okay with me – like being old fashioned as to still have the “blessings” of our parents, i.e. they’ve at least met and interacted with the guy and can then make an impression (judge the person would be too strong a word). (I found out that mothers really knows best ;))
    But at the same time it would be nice to go out a few times just to see if something’s there before we commit.
    We all know that during the courtship stage it will always be the best foot forward. Going out on several occassions will certainly expose both parties to situations where they can more or less see for themselves what the other one is made of and can therefore a) take the relationship to the next level OR b) just be friends.Somehow though it’s the mystery, the “kilig” factor that we look for. And so we drag it on during the early days.In today’s world though it’s a waste of time sometimes to focus attention on one person only. Young people know there are lots of options for them now and girls/women are more brazen than before.
    Sorry, long post. 😀

  • I’m still for the old fashioned way of courting. I believe women should be wined and dined. Doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Even cheapo stuff, as long as its heartfelt, can mean so much.

    It’s funny, my husband was just telling me that he knew that I was the one he would be with forever when I did the dishes at his first townhouse. He noticed that I mixed the dishwashing liquid with water before using it. At that moment it dawned on him, I would be the one for him. And all because of that dishwashing liquid moment. He still can’t understand it, but it was “the moment” for him. 🙂

  • Chi

    I’d be a phony if I would say I prefer the old-fashion way since I know that I’m not too keen on waiting for the first move. But having a daughter changed my perspective. I would want her to actually be patient and be a little more old-fashion than me.

  • i guess you just know when you know :)..

  • KK

    Very cute story on how you and husband started out as a couple. He used a persuasive tactic 😉 .

    I had my first boyfriend at 18 and received an ultimatum: college or BF? I’m glad that I have chosen college. I met some guys in college but even if we had the same age, I felt older in terms of maturity. I started chatting and met interesting characters. I wasn’t into the traditional ligawan system because I didn’t want to limit my choices to those who comes knocking at the door. I met my husband through the ‘Net and after two years of communication, I chose to accept a job offer within 3 hours away from him. The poor thing would drive 3 hours to and from to have dinner with me. So I knew that he was really serious.

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  • jom

    i think naman na lahat ng girls gusto unconventional. gusto flowers chocolates etc..

    minsan, parang may mutual understanding,, friends friends muna tas ayun theyll just fgure out themselves. the boy will ask muna siempre saka sasagot si girl.

    ako naman, me an pj would hangout together, eat sa labas ek ek… then one day, he popped that question kung mahal ko daw ba xa…. haha grabeee… naloka ako that time, hindi pa nga nya sinasbe na mahal nya na ako… nagpakiss naman ako.. hahhaha. ayun.. kame na..

    • elvie

      I STILL PREPARED AN OLD FASHIONED WAY. MAS ROMANTIC KASI AND MORE SUPRISING DI BA 😉