You initially referred to him as an AFAM, as in “A Foreigner Assigned in Manila”. But in an unexpected turn of events, you now call him your boyfriend, sweetheart, babe, other half, significant other. How do you deal? Here are six things that would just send anyone saying the struggle is real:
1. You have to explain the Filipino culture almost any chance you get. Filipino quirks, old sayings, urban legends, pamahiin, and all—sometimes, they’d get it; sometimes, they won’t. But perhaps as long as you get each other, then it’s all that matters.
2. Nosebleed much? It’s probably easier for when the couple can both speak English with enough fluency. But how about those who are a little more challenged or those who couldn’t find a middle ground language-wise? Well good thing, there are so many ways to express your love other than words. And if you keep the relationship longer, you’d even notice the “nosebleed” gone in no time.
3. Your KTV days get numbered. Filipinos are known to be such huge karaoke lovers. If you happen to have someone who enjoys it as much as you do, then good for you. If however, you were able to snag someone who isn’t much of a fan, then say goodbye to your weekly or even daily dose of karaoke and leave it to your shower time.
4. You have different standards for everything. Sort of like a cultural barrier that can simply be explained in a statement: What’s normal, acceptable, or funny for you may not necessarily be the case for him all the time. So before you say you can’t understand him, try to understand their culture first because that might just solve it.
5. Settle down, where? When all things run smoothly and you get to the stage of moving in together, here comes the question, where do you settle down? Would it be his home country or yours? Who moves in with who? Who needs to give up his/her job? We say there’s nothing a good talk can’t figure out.
6. You have to weather a handful of stereotypes. You’re in it for the money, a chance for a greener pasture. You’re in it because you’re exotic and they’re the only men who can appreciate your beauty. The list of horrific stereotypes just keeps getting longer and somehow, dating a foreigner makes you an easy target for all those. Have the courage to simply shrug it off, and keep spreading the love.
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