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REAL TALK: Do You Still Need To 'Make Ligaw'?

These days, a real-life love story can start by downloading a social dating application
by Marjorie Duran | Apr 15, 2016
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In a world where meeting Ms. Right can be just a click away, you hardly see guys practicing the traditional way of courtship, like serenading a girl or writing cheesy love letters to win her heart, anymore.

These days, a real-life love story can start by downloading a social dating application (think Tinder). You find your potential match, you browse through that person's photos, you swipe right, you agree to meet for for a drink, and the next thing you know you're ready to change your Facebook status from "Single" to "In a Relationship."

Sounds simple? Sure. Now here's the thing: Courtship may not be how it was decades ago, yet it doesn't mean that the tradition of panliligaw is dead. It just evolved into something that fits the time. 

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Aileen Santos, relationship coach at and author of Seduction Secrets That Really Work, says: "Before, boys need to practice the tradition of 'harana' to show a girl her value. Now, you can let a girl know you're interested in her by sending her text messages."

In essence, people use what is available in whatever generation they are in, and it's not always a bad thing.

"Of course, when mobile phones were not yet available, the suitor would often visit the girl at home. But with the access to all these good technologies, it's easier to communicate with each other and go out on a date afterwards," says Santos. 

Since courtship has been made instant thanks to cellphones and the internet, Santos notes that it's very important to remember that a relationship must learn to go beyond that. "Once you've decided to be in an exclusive relationship, it can't be all online stuff, you have to meet and get to know each other personally," she adds.

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After all, there are still no shortcuts to happy endings—whatever modes of courtship you choose. These people who are currently in a relationship are proof: 

"I believe that traditional courtship is not anymore necessary, it's what you do to make the relationship last that matters most. I courted my current girlfriend by regularly texting her and we became exclusive after seven days. The things is, it's necessary to keep on pursuing her every day—compliment her, send her random sweet messages, bring her flowers—courtship does not end the moment she says 'yes'." —Gil, 24, has been in a relationship for nine years 

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"Courtship is never lost in the dating game, it'll always be around. With modern internet dating, there's still courtship involved, it's just very simplified. This isn't a bad thing, per se. But if one wants to continuously improve him or herself, then he or she should stop taking the easy route. In this case, ditch Tinder, go old school, and try talking to people." —Chino, 30, has been in a relationship for three years

"My boyfriend and I had a short ligawan. Since we were just fooling around at first, we thought that courtship was just a phase to get over with. We lasted this long because we found out that we click on so many aspects and that we're polar opposites on some. I think ligawan is not exactly dead. It has only taken a different form and length." —Mau. 28, has been in a relationship for three years[ArticleReco:{"articles":["34125",""32499","32147","31905"]}]

"For me, formal courtship is not anymore necessary because the [good] gestures go away after you decide to date exclusively. When you are already in a relationship, that's actually the time when you will feel that your boyfriend is wooing you." —Lynette, 23, has been in a relationship for three years

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"I personally think that courtship is important because it's a test of patience. It's also important to go to the girl's house and personally ask her for a date, bring her presents and wait diligently until she says yes." —Shaira,  25, has been in a relationship for two years

"I wooed my girlfriend for one to two months with the help of technology. It made things easier because I managed to consistently talk to her. Isn't it that consistency is the key?" —Aaron, 25, has been in a relationship for eight years 

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"Courtship is still alive. When my boyfriend and I were still getting to know each other, we had a talk where he specifically told me that he wants to pursue me and get to know me more. After three months of getting to know each other, he executed this elaborate to finally ask me to be his girlfriend." —Java, 27, has been in a relationship for three years

So do you think courtship is still practiced by Filipinos?


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