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.)

February 18, 2014


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Timothy Gott (2013)

I find it uncanny the number of similarities that we have. I never thought to ask this one; however I was born Nov 27,1970 and my wife was born June 27, 1971 ... That's just weird buddy.

Ted Decker (2013)

RT, your blog is absolutely AWESOME! You are an excellent writer and I wouldn't add to or change anything in what you wrote! Thank you so much for honoring me in this way ... and getting the word out that Filipinas are incredible!

Marina N. (2013)

You make excellent points about the relationship between men and women in general.... For a relationship to last both parties have to be committed to making it work. But there are a couple things I'd like to add. As immature as a lot of american women can be, that moniker doesn't apply to the majority of us (the ones you never hear about :-) ) and there are many immature men who actively seek these immature women who care more about their social standing than whether or not the relationship will last. I've always been attracted to older men myself simply because their maturity was similar to my own.

RT Cunningham (2013)

Hence the reason for mentioning it "in general". It used to be the norm for women to mature faster than men, but that's no longer the case.

Erwin (2014)

I hate to break your bubble but you have the WRONG "general" impression. I am Filipino-American. I have traveresed both cultures. I am fluent in Filipino and have lived in the Philippines for more than 12 years. And when I say "lived," I am talking about fully immersing myself in the culture: its mores, its language, its food, its people. It will behoove you to listen well because I know her idiosyncracies and the secrets she keeps from foreigners. I am not a tourist. I know the unadulterated version of the story not the propaganda. But before we begin, let me remind you that I am speaking in general; most NOT all. It's a firsthand account and I dont need anyone to translate for me. Do you think your guide tells you everything or that nothing is lost in translation? I am speaking from my own personal experience and the THOUSANDS of stories from real-to-life Filipinos, most I have personally witnessed again and again and again ....

The remark when you said that, in general, Western women care more about money and status and that Filipinas care more about relationship and stability. Just look at the divorce rate in America. There is a certain ring of truth to it, but not entirely, not even "generally"

Do you know why the divorce rate in the Philippines is so low? Because it doesnt exist. The Roman Catholic church does not even acknowledge it. There is annulment which is time-consuming and too expensive for the common Filipino to afford.

Here's how the story goes:

Boy meets girl thru a friend. Boy beguiles girl with cheap lies and empty promises. They fall for each other. Girl gets pregnant. Boy leaves girl to fend for hersel and the baby. The baby usually end up under the care of the girl's parents. The kid grows up not knowing his/her father. And they all live happily ever after blah blah blah.

Not to mention the gold-digging mistresses who go after married well-to-do men. Hows that for maturity? I rememeber my philosophy class and the time the teacher blatantly ask the class who amongst us has an estranged father - almost half the class raised their hands.

Most Western women actually care about personality. Its not enough that you have good looks and money. You actually need charm, character, sense of humor, and a certain appeal. For most Filipinas, you can be boring and dumber than a bag of rocks but as long as you have good looks or money you're golden. Have you ever been in a public restroom in the Philippines (aka comfort room)? Have you ever notice how the guys tease their hair to perfection like preening peacocks? They dont really have to worry about saying something witty or funny. It's all about the looks. It's a culture obssessed with superficiality.

And about the age difference. I have actually seen young girls going out with men who are old enough to be their grandfather! You think people don't notice the age difference? They do, but they wont tell you. To do so would be uncivilized. As long as you're not breaking the law or harming anyone, what you do with your life is really none of their business. The only reason that age would not matter is when the man is well-to-do and the girl is a) poor or b) wants to go abroad. What chance do you think a guy has if he tries to court a girl from an upper class family who is +20 years his junior and who could care less about living abroad? Do you think he would have a good reception? I dont think so.

I'm in my mid 30's, single with no kids. I had my eyes on a nice girl, last time I heard also single and available. So I asked a friend to introduce me to her (part of the custom, you simply just dont walk in and introduce yourself). Do you know what I was told?

"Oh, she's too young for you. She's 25."

Yes, even the Western divide-your-age-by-two-then-add-seven rule is too extreme for Filipinos. But they took it to mean that I was looking for a date so they introduced me to their "single" freind who was in her 40's - with kids. Actually, it saddens me to admit that it has happened more than once and this is why I never go on a blind date when set up by Filipinos. They dont even look for compatibility, the first criterion they check is age.

Some of these forums sell delusional fantasies. They always present the best case scenario and forget to mention that its the exception to the rule. There are always people eager to buy the pre-packaged tour. If you really want to experience reality, you have to immerse youself in it. Usually, what you'll find is not what you hoped for but something totally unexpected. I'm glad that you have found happiness and that you actually found friends with the same fortune, but for every success story that you present there are thousands of sad stories to outweigh it. A harsh reality that you seem to be sheltered from. For these forum to even suggest that anyone who marries a filipina could have a better chance of finding happiness(just like their success stories) is just ludicrous.

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