When it comes to the concept of courtship A.K.A. the "ligaw stage," many Western countries don't really entertain the idea of it as a prerequisite for romantic relationships. In the Philippines, however, wooing a girl before she says yes to become your official girlfriend is part of our culture. Our country absolutely hold this as an unspoken rule when it comes to relationships that some bear judgment towards couples who start dating immediately with no ligaw or whatsoever.
But we're in the modern times right now where people have become more vocal on their opinions and beliefs regarding a lot of things, including romantic relationships. As much as we understand why some still believe the importance of this stage, we also get why others believe that the "ligaw stage" isn't really as important as we used to make it seem.
Still, this is something that we're curious to discuss. Here, we asked some readers regarding the importance of the ligaw stage, and we absolutely got different kinds of opinions—read them down below!
"I do believe that courting someone is important. For me, this stage does not only give me and the guy a chance to know each other, but also for my family to know him personally; how big his heart is and how sincere he is with his feelings. So basically, the 'ligaw stage' is also a way to court the girl's family and vice versa." —Patrizha, 23
"Actually, in my opinion, it's a no because I feel like the connection you have with the person is more important than courting. They wouldn’t let you court them if they don’t feel a connection, right?" - Ernest, 22
"It depends, I think when you're in a 'mutual understanding' relationship like you've been friends for some time now or you're acquintances but you know each other's likes and dislikes, then the ligaw stage isn't needed. But if you're strangers who just met for the first time, like she's a friend's friend and you just got her number, then I think that's when the importance of the 'ligaw stage' comes in." - Jan, 22
"A big yes because that's where the 'manliligaw' can show if he's serious with you or not. If the guy really wants to be with you, he wouldn't waste time in making an effort to show it to you just to get your much-anticipated yes." - Ocin, 21
"I think that the 'ligaw stage' is still important because there's no rush for how long you'll be courting for. That's plenty enough time for a person to see how flawed you are and still like you regardless of those flaws. That's better than having them entertain a fantasy of you in their head and be disappointed afterwards." - Jaris, 22
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"Honestly, the 'ligaw stage' is not important at all, because during this stage, the suitor will just act in their best way to prove something to the girl and same goes with the girl acting like what they want for the boy to pursue them. You will know someone better once you are with him everyday and you can make your own decision anytime you want if you’re going to stay or not in that kind of relationship." - Pearl, 20
"I'm actually confused now if we still need the 'ligaw stage' because as what my dad said 'Gagawin naman lahat ng lalaki kapag nanliligaw. Mas makikilala mo talaga sya kapag kayo na.' But I guess since I'm raised with the idea of 'ligawan', I think I would still have to say yes in a way na you get the chance to see if the person really has a good intention and to make sure that you're not the only one he wants to get to know more, but every person you love din which is very important in a relationship. And maybe it serves as a protection also from being hurt if ever the person isn't serious at all." - Prin, 21
"The 'ligaw stage' is still important because, first, it gives us assurance or confirmation on what you and that person really are. Second, before you get along with your happy ending fantasy, you really have to get to know the person before starting a serious relationship with them and 'ligaw stage' really does the trick. Third, it’s in our culture that one must court the other person and gets an approval from each other's parents as well. In other words, I think it’s a really good stage to slow things down and really get to know each other's lives before starting something serious. Besides, it really ticks the cheaters off na the longer the 'panliligaw', the shorter their patience will last." - Andrea, 22
"I personally believe the 'ligaw stage' is only crucial when the 'nagliligawan' didn't have a kind of friendship before. The 'ligaw stage' fills in all the missing pieces of a soon-to-be relationship which will give it a good foundation. You have to know each other first before you commit. Juxtaposed to having a friendship before actually getting into a romantic one, you already built the necessary foundation so the only thing left to do is to commit." - Sheena, 23
"If you both are close enough to already know each other on a personal level, the 'ligaw stage' won't be that important considering your relationship. You can still make 'ligaw' but it doesn't need to be that long. However, if you just met and don't know a thing about each other, the 'ligaw stage' is hella important then." - Moises, 23
After asking numerous people, we have proven that this is something we can't really all agree on. We've met and seen people experience better relationships due to courting, while some are stronger despite not following this tradition. It's safe to say that practicing the "ligaw stage" in your love life works best if it's your choice rather than something you're doing because other people judge you if you don't. At the end of the day, as long as it's something that makes you more secure, then it's the best option.
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