In America and I would expect in most Western countries meeting and courting is similar. First, there are many ways someone meets the opposite sex with the thoughts of finding a mate. It can be through a friend, at your employment, in a social event or a dating site online.
Fist I will talk about the direct contact. In most cases, your first meeting will be face to face. You might be out in a bar or social place. Your eyes meet and you find a way to start a conversation. You talk, joke and try to find something in common to carry on a conversation. Once you find this easy conversation and some common interests one will offer their phone number and possible arrange to go for coffee or a meal.
If all goes well on the first meeting, you will offer to go out again. This basic dating will continue for months or even years. Each will invite the other to their home for a meal or an evening and can eventually upgrade to meeting each other’s family. At some point, intimacy will come into the relationship. You might spend nights at each other’s home or go for weekend get-a-ways.
With all this dating and courting, you get to see how each other reacts to life’s situations. How they control anger, happiness and how they are in private, social and family situations. You see how they handle their finances and how they live their lives. Over time, you will decide if this person will be a good fit for the long-term relationship. If not and you remove your “rose colored glasses”, you will end the relationship and start all over.
Over time if there is a strong compatibility is developed and the two decide to either cohabitate to save on money or decide to marry. If you are young, this is a natural step. If you are in your 30’s, 40’s or older there can be other complications. What if you have children from a previous relationship, if this is the case there are things to look at. Do you get along with your mates children, do they respect you and willing to treat you as a parent figure. Who does the discipline and are you both willing to give up part of your power to the other.
One thing I have learned while living here, Filipinos are not caught up with appearances as we are in America. In America, some look for hair color, height, weight and figure sometimes even eye color. You also have to remember, Filipinas either are looking for a foreigner or not. I have not heard of many that had no interest in a Foreigner husband and then met one and fell in love. If a Filipina wants a foreigner, she will sign up for many of the online dating sites. Their whole plan is to find a foreigner to marry and improve their lives. Some only want to relocate to another country and somewhat the foreigner to move here. A few do not care as long as they find a foreigner.
Now for the courting to a Filipina from an American or European man. In most cases, the man has met a woman or many women online. You start with emails and chatting online. You might have sent gifts or sent money to improve her life. Finally, you decide you need to meet this woman in person. You take your vacation and fly to the Philippines to meet. You will only come for one to a few weeks. You both show the best of yourself.
In many cases, the woman is not a virgin, and if she is, most times she is willing to give that special gift to you. With the Filipina culture and to treat a perspective husband well, she will treat you like a King. She will be loving and caring, as you have never experienced. If you visit her home city, she will show you all the sites, even if you do not find them interesting, she will be proud of her city.
In the Philippines, public display of affection is not looked upon well. If you are touching and kissing in public, it will make the woman feel cheap and others to think of her as a whore. Holding hands or arm around shoulders is fine.
In some cases, if she is young, especially if she is going to travel to a city to meet you, she might bring her mother or a family member as a chaperone. If this is the case, show her and her chaperone with respect. You will be expected to cover all costs for both. As I mention many times on this site, set your boundaries. You will look at as a Rich Foreigner. Even if you are poor in your country, you still have more money than she does. Many Filipinas will ask you to take her everywhere, eat at best restaurants and purchase her items from clothes to new cell phones. Look out for this, the more she asks for, the more it will show it is your wallet she wants and not you.
If you are already living here in the Philippines courting is not much different. Most women you meet that are interested in dating or marrying a foreigner are looking for a better life. In addition, many will see you as a way to go out and have fun without any expense. I have heard of many men who make a date and she shows up with 4 to 6 friends. They will order food and drinks and leave you with the tab. Again, set boundaries. If she asks to bring a friend, tell her you are not willing to be the sponsor to feed all her friends. If you agree on one extra person and she shows up with many, my best advice is to give her taxi fare and leave. If she really were interested in you, she would not have lied. If she is looking towards you as the banker, you did not need her anyway.