RT Cunningham


Relationships between Older Non-Filipinos and Younger Filipinas

Ted and Lhyla Decker - relationships One of my Facebook friends, Ted Decker, posted a simple thought: “I met a 70-year-old American guy today and his Filipina wife who’s 35. Not uncommon.”

As I write this (while sipping on a glass of Sangria), that post has garnered more than 240 comments and some of the comments are misguided, to say the least.

Old and young relationships usually have very little to do with cross-culture differences. That’s not to say cross-culture differences don’t exist – it’s just that they’re the exceptions and not the rules.

The Myth of Subservience in Non-Filipino and Filipina Relationships

The thread of Ted’s post is interesting to read. Some people truly believe what they write as a reply to the post or to another comment. Some of what they write are myths based on mistaken assumptions. They hear “some guys” say something about the kind of relationships they’re looking for and automatically assume it applies to all the “other guys” like them.

This is what’s really going on. Western women, in general, have reached the point where they care more about money and status than having meaningful relationships with men. You only have to see the statistics for the divorce rates in the United States to come to that conclusion.

Asian women, particularly Filipinas, are more concerned with stable families and relationships than anything else. I know this from my experience in an almost 30-year relationship, as well as what I’ve observed with other American men and their Filipina wives (many of whom are personal friends).

Robbing the Cradle?

People see older foreigners (usually Americans) with young Filipinas and they usually think one of two things: She’s only with him because he has money or he’s only with her because he wants a young, submissive woman.

Both ideas are the rarest kind of relationship in the Philippines. My father was 24 or 25 years of age and my mother was 15 years of age when they got married back in the 1950s – in the United States. That wasn’t unusual back then. These days he’d probably be accused of statutory rape if her parents (my grandparents) behaved the way some parents do today.

It has nothing to do with age when it comes to the women. It has everything to do with maturity (just like it was with my parents in the 1950s). Filipinas tend to be very mature by the time they finish high school. American women tend to be very immature, even after high school. Most men prefer women who act mature, regardless of how old or how young the women happen to be.

These Relationships are not Limited to Foreigners

My wife, a Filipina, has two cousins who’ve had children fathered by older Filipinos. I don’t remember the exact ages, but both women were below the age of 21 back then. One man was in his forties and the other was in his sixties.

Sometimes American men perpetuate this myth about the subservient women of the Philippines. They like to brag about how young their wives or girlfriends are. It’s just a show because I know there’s a lot more to it than that. Just ask Ted, who’s 20 years older than his wife. (By the way, I’m less than a year older than my wife – if you’re thinking of pointing an accusatory finger.)

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By RT Cunningham
February 18, 2014