Relationship opinions on Philippine culture and SAHMs

I'm still in the US, and I'll be here for a while, as my job requires it. I'm interested in retiring somewhere inexpensive, but that will be a ways in the future. (At least 10-15 years.)

In the meantime, I've been talking to a Filipina online for about a month (still the very early stages,) from one of the dating sites (no, I'm not a beginner for watching out for romance scams, and that's not the question.) Our conversations are great, she's very intelligent, undeniably engaged whenever we're taking, fun and full of humor and jokes, her English is nearly perfect, and she's age appropriate for me (mid 40s vs my 50.) She has two children, and says she is actually fully anulled, not just separated, and that it took about five years. She works at a little family business, gets up with the sunrise every day (and starts texting me immediately) and spends 12-14 hours per day, except Sunday, handling customers. She is open to video chatting at any time, and, from our chats, it's clear that she gets about 3-5 customers per hour stopping by the store, as that's how many come in while we're chatting.. not a lot, with the covid restrictions, but enough to take care of her family, so they're not starving. She also shares household bills with her siblings, and lives in the back of the shop. They don't have a lot, but they make it work. As best as I can tell, she's sincere and up front about things, and she's absolutely willing to call out things where we disagree, and to have serious discussions, though most of our chats are light and fun, with little bits of new information gradually filling in the gaps, as we still learn more about each other. While she lists her work as boring, I always appreciate that she has a strong work ethic, to make sure the kids have food on the table.

She has expressed a big, enthusiastic YES to the possibility of moving to the US, with her kids, and I'm more than fine with kids (mine has grown up and moved on, and hers are school age, though the older will probably have graduated before we've gotten to the point of her coming here, in 2-3 years. My salary is good (six figures,) but my savings are not, given that I raided my retirement as a single dad to pay for a much more expensive college than I'd been saving for, for my kid.) Given that retirement in someplace like the Philippines is a better choice for me given my likely budget, I'll either work here until I die, or head off to live in a tropical paradise there, with a spouse, when it's time. So far, so good... And we're both aware that this is only the goal if we decide we're a good match, that it will take several years, no rush, though I do intend to come visit as soon as tourism opens back up there, and to bring her here after that, and to make sure we have ample opportunities to be together in person, before any bigger steps are taken.

However, we were having a discussion recently, and it turns out that she imagines coming here and bringing the kids and pets to just mean that she no longer has to work, ever again. I'm aware that most Filipinas send back $2-5 hundred per month to their families, and I'd never consider that an issue, and, arguably, if she didn't have kids, it wouldn't be a problem to support her, but with her kids and likely college costs, we'll be underwater within a couple of years, if I'm the only one bringing home a paycheck with all of the additional expenses. Yes, I recognize that she wouldn't earn a lot, but some contribution to the household would be a practical requirement while living in the US, even if it only covered part of the extra expenses and didn't go towards their college costs at all. The way she mentioned it, though, it was clear that she never considered any possibility of coming here and working, even though her kids are old enough that they don't need constant supervision, and will likely be in school most of the day, so it's not a childcare issue.

I'm thinking this is a cultural difference, and it may be a deal breaker solely from a financial security perspective, and I honestly feel terrible about that, but I don't see this working out unless she's going to be a partner in helping at least a little, even if that means having me set up a small business for her to run. I guess I'm okay with giving my life partner better opportunities, a good home in a decent neighborhood, family vacations, and a devoted family life, but my American side feels like I'd never move in with someone and expect to quit working entirely and let them pay for me and my kids, and that our quality of life would not be at the level I'd hoped, with an unemployed partner and two kids.

Maybe I just can't afford to do this. If this is the norm, I'll have to limit my search to only Filipinas with no kids, which is too bad, since I'm entirely open to adopting kids (I feel like I'm too old to have more of my own, but I'd be happy to be a step dad, and help more kids grow up with a good family and better opportunities than they might have otherwise.)

I haven't had the follow-up conversation with her about my concerns, because I wanted to get a better cultural perspective before I step into it. Is it considered a huge negative in the Philippines to be a dual income family? Would that make her seem less in the eyes of her family, if that was what was required to make ends meet while married and living in the US? I sincerely want this to work, but no matter how I look at the budget, I can't quite carry that much alone, indefinitely, and I don't want to waste her time if there's no long term outcome, here.

Thanks for any perspectives you can provide.

Welcome to the forum JustAGuest.

Only an opinion but given you have only been chatting for a month online, never met in person you have already planned your future down to budgets.

Why not back off a bit at the "moving to the US" for 6 to 12 months, keep chatting and build the relationship, as the shine wears off for both of you, better and more rational decisions can be made.
When tourism opens up then come here for a month and spend that time together, that will make or break the situation.

In the mean time if you have never been to the Philippines I would suggest to do one heck of a lot of research on the history and culture, google is going to be your best friend.
Follow the expat sites as well, plenty of info available.
Good luck and I wish you all the best in the future.

Cheers, Steve.

Between advice for the Love Lorn & Where Do I Cash MY Check, they don't listen anyways.

Steve, thanks for your reply!

Some more background, for clarity: In my area, Pinays are the fastest growing Asian population, so I've wound up dating a few who were already here, just from running into them. All of them had jobs. However, they were also more Americanized by the time I met them, so it might have been a change over a long period of time.

I hear you loud and clear on the "slow down" part. Let me offer my perspective on why I'm asking the question so early on: I won't talk to "separated" Filipinas, because there's no future in that at all. In the same way, if most relatively poor single moms have the thought that they're going to just quit working when they come to the US, then they're not a group I can consider, either, and I'd rather not spend 6-12 months of daily chats and only then address the elephant in the room. Ones I've talked to who are well enough employed already don't seem to have that thought, but this one happened to have an excellent conversational connection, and was already working, even if not making so much, so I thought it wouldn't be a big thing, but it turns out it probably is. There's certainly no shortage in Filipinas who want to come overseas, so it makes sense to not spend her time or mine, if dual income is not a negotiable point, and I can certainly find folks without kids, and can afford to consider them.

That said, I have no reason to doubt her sincerity, so I want to be polite when I'm discussing it with her, and I'm looking for thoughts on how that might go, or just "sorry, dude, that's how it is. Accept it, and find one you can afford to consider." I'm definitely not making any moves quickly, but I do look at whether or not someone is a potential match, or if we wouldn't be a good fit, and I only talk to folks with whom there might be a good fit. I suspect this forum has people who are very familiar with the culture, and I'd love to get your take on whether or not this is a normal "ask" for a Filipina who hasn't been to the US.

This is omo & sincerely hope no offence is taken.
1) 50+ is NOT at too old to start afresh thats only if you have the disposable finances/savings/pension plans in place to see this through. (This is not a place to come in search for employment)
2) Sadly it seems like you may be having a budget constraint;
thats a real bummer. (Try getting that in order first before committing to anyone/anything/anymore)
3) Sadly many young woman here are just looking out mainly for saviors and not just for lovers (that hopefully can be built over time)...fyi they get more than enough love here from the local men (married/unmarried) who will then leave the scene after fathering a kid or two or when they realize they can't upkeep the family expenses.
(>90% of breakups are because of some form of money issue)
4) As bigpearl mentions "When tourism opens up then come here for a month and spend that time together" & then see how you feel living in a deprived 3rd world economy...that however does come with a pleasant dirt low cost of living.
5) Wish you the best...but this venture is just NOT meant for everyone.

JustAGuest.  Firstly WOW. I think you are putting the cart before the horse. You must be in an analytical or logistical form of employment, I am in logistics and see where you are coming from but hey, at the end of the day love and living are very different and you need to appreciate that and operate accordingly.
If you have a penchant for Filipinas or asian women why not simply look in your home country, save most of the angst?

The Philippines, its people and culture are an acquired taste when taken as a whole and while many assimilate either here or with a partner in ones own country plenty also fail, plenty succeed.

Short story: Like you, me and plenty of others. Dating sites. I was working here back in 2011/12. Online dating found 35/40 prospective candidates that was whittled down to 3 over those months, one stood out as an old soul in a young body but was 31 years my junior (Daddy rings a bell) so was at the back of the queue. (my bad) Met one while I was back in Manila before I returned to Oz, spent 2 weeks together and a no go. No 2. Employed, reputable family and back ground I sponsored to come to Oz for 3 weeks,,,,,,, 1 week was enough and I said no. Bye. Little expense from me as there was money there which showed with the princess attitude that never came across in any of our chats but I never paid for the flights or transport.

Number 3, the mature minded dark horse, colt. Working and living reasonably well in Manila, we touched base again and again, I moved here to physically meet and spend time for 12 months. Condo etc, Later.........
Better half a permanent resident in Oz, 5 years working there like me, 2 years living here in my retirement and while we have issues, pretty stable 8 odd years on and still working on what we have and know. All relationships require hard work and plenty of tolerance.

We put the cart behind the horse and are training each other every day. It works well.

As for Americanised? Do you want a donkey or a horse?

As said good luck but search long and hard.

OMO.

Cheers, Steve.

Sounds like a nice gal, but I'm with Steve on this one - you really should visit and spend some time in person rather than tying up your options so soon. Just too many variables to figure out in advance and these women can be kind of crazy.

I happened to meet my GF while traveling in the Philippines 7 years ago (she's 25 years younger, which wasn't really my preference but so it goes). It was crazy fun at first, and she was well mannered, but over the time I have known her and lived with her I realized we are pretty different people - she has a bit of a temper and is not intellectually curious. Hard worker though, loves adventures and gorgeous.

We still have a lot of fun but not sure about marriage anymore although I have had an anullment in progress for 4- 5 years anyway. She has two absolutely wonderful and respectful teenage boys that I love dearly but could not afford to put through college here in the US unless they were state colleges, so I get your concern. For now I just go there for several months at a time (retired).

I generally spend half the year in each place which works best for me. If you're not seeking a younger woman as many expats are, why not just date in the US? Not worth all the hassle going abroad for a wife in my opinion. And if they are younger you also run the risk of all the attention they will get here. No win situation.

JustAGuest wrote:

I'm still in the US, and I'll be here for a while, as my job requires it. I'm interested in retiring somewhere inexpensive, but that will be a ways in the future. (At least 10-15 years.)

Hi JustAGuest. I and my husband moved here from California to the Philippines back in 2008.  In 2008, I lost my job. We just had a newborn. Our salaries when we were both working didn't reach 6 figures, even when combined. We couldn't afford a house, and will probably be renters for life. We might have to work till we physically can't or till our last breath.

We are happier here than we were in the US. But that is because we knew what to expect. I grew up here, and I became my husband's guide. And we got a lot of financial and emotional support from my Filipino parents. I currently run a small shop which is our main source of income. We now have our own house.

If ever you are interested in retiring here, it is very important that you do your research.  But, you have a six figure income. And your kid is all grown up. If you were one of my friends back in the states, I would suggest that you talk to a financial planner about your retirement goals.  You might find that you can retire comfortably in the US, and  thus avoid the risks and uncertainties of living in a foreign country.

JustAGuest wrote:

She has expressed a big, enthusiastic YES to the possibility of moving to the US, with her kids..

Not suprising, but its rather common thy become home sick and disapointed when  they notice how  much more things cost.

If you ffinance her starting a busissiness in US, are you sure she will want to follow you to Philippines when you retire...?    :)

A back them 3 years girlfriend to a friend of mine made im - against my advice  :)  - agree to finance  let her come to Sweden to first study Swedish and start working as soon as possible.
Not long after she had arrived she CHANGED to expecting him to support her so she DONT need to work...  (No kids and prrobably to old to gwt.)
Now their "relation" is a mess if it can be called that.

JustAGuest wrote:

My salary is good (six figures,) but my savings are not, given that I raided my retirement as a single dad to pay for a much more expensive college than I'd been saving for, for my kid.) Given that retirement in someplace like the Philippines is a better choice for me given my likely budget.

Why not SAVE money instead ?     :)    So you have so you can cash your needs when you retire in Phils.
Why finance their college???   Havent USA possibility for kids to finance their education themselves by borrowing from the government?

I ffinanced my oiwn education  (although it didnt become any much by I found tenm teachin to unmodern and to slow :)  so I skiped college after one semester and started studying things by myself instead.
I will NOT even pay college for my OWN kids (if my injury get solved so I will get any)  .  Not of stingyness but to teach them to solve things themselves.  (I started my first full time businesss when I were 24yo WITHOUT assistance from my parents, except my father had tought me some about doing things effective.)
BUT Im starting a business in Phils so the kids can  get work in it if they want to.  If they show good enough attitude toi get work in it   :)   If more than one kid want to become boss in fte future, then htey will get a section each.,
In beween the plan is- when kids get a bid older - I start teaching my wife how to lead it piece by piece, so I can retire piece by piece    :)

Bw  - Cant you work at disance from Phiös so you can move sooner ?     I mean after savingg some.


JustAGuest wrote:

However, we were having a discussion recently, and it turns out that she imagines coming here and bringing the kids and pets to just mean that she no longer has to work, ever again. I'm aware that most Filipinas send back $2-5 hundred per month to their families, and I'd never consider that an issue, and, arguably, if she didn't have kids, it wouldn't be a problem to support her, but with her kids and likely college costs, we'll be underwater within a couple of years, if I'm the only one bringing home a paycheck with all of the additional expenses. Yes, I recognize that she wouldn't earn a lot, but some contribution to the household would be a practical requirement while living in the US, even if it only covered part of the extra expenses and didn't go towards their college costs at all. The way she mentioned it, though, it was clear that she never considered any possibility of coming here and working, even though her kids are old enough that they don't need constant supervision, and will likely be in school most of the day, so it's not a childcare issue.

I'm thinking this is a cultural difference, and it may be a deal breaker solely from a financial security perspective, and I honestly feel terrible about that, but I don't see this working out unless she's going to be a partner in helping at least a little, even if that means having me set up a small business for her to run. I guess I'm okay with giving my life partner better opportunities, a good home in a decent neighborhood, family vacations, and a devoted family life, but my American side feels like I'd never move in with someone and expect to quit working entirely and let them pay for me and my kids, and that our quality of life would not be at the level I'd hoped, with an unemployed partner and two kids..

Well. Concerbning husband being te money earner and wife is houewife the Philippines is parrtly as USA and Western Europe was 70 years ago, and concerning some thinking  they are over 100 years behind Northwest Europe.   Although in reality many Filipinas mothers endup needing to do both   :)  biut I guesss many of them still HOPE to get a husband who pay all...

NO WAY I would agree to any such except
in startup in my home country if we would settöe ere - which we will sure NOT   :)
and when the kids are small.   

An extra reason to say NO if living in USA is if moving to husba s home country then they te culture in that country will be te dominating
as well as Phils cuöture will dominatte when living there.  Although some things I will have as demamd  :)    to agree to marry.

JustAGuest wrote:

I'm aware that most Filipinas send back $2-5 hundred per month to their families,

Well. 500 us dollars per montth plus what the relatives earn themselves is a fortune in Phils,
Thats living standard for a doctor.
Thats why many Filipinos STOP WORKING when they get such contributions regularly...
NO WAY I would agree to such.  Except  if wife earn much by HERSELF and contribue enouh to our household. then she canm do what she want witn the rest, althouh I woud still find it stupid  :)  if it make the familu stop working. 
I LIKE to assist people - IF they do their best themselves.  (As I do now by the business Im starting in Phils adding work in a very poor region , promise the common  low salaries, which is much better than being without work as many of thenm are partly now, BUT they will get very good bohnuses if they work good.)

JustAGuest wrote:

I'm aware that most Filipinas send back $2-5 hundred per month to their families
...
Maybe I just can't afford to do this. If this is the norm.

I claim  ít  ISNT the norm - except among them who have been FOOLED its the norm   :lol:    and except when the wife is TO KIND to the family.
There is a documentary about a Filipina living in Sweden, working wit cöeaning toilets. She has given so much to DEMANDING family in Phis - who missbehave much - so she is in over 2 million Swedish kronas  (=around 240 000 usd)  in DEPT herself at EXPENSIUVE credit cards AND SUCH but her family isnt satisfied anyway!!!  NIO CHANCE she can recover from that at a cleaner salary..
But its her own fault by she dont say No enough...


JustAGuest wrote:

I haven't had the follow-up conversation with her about my concerns, because I wanted to get a better cultural perspective before I step into it.

You need to put down your foot FRO;M START.  Later its to late.

JustAGuest wrote:

Is it considered a huge negative in the Philippines to be a dual income family? .

Well., A teacher (wife) and a boss in an  office (husband DONT earn enough to getwhat they BELIEVE all Americans have....
But they try to SEEM to afford that so they are in dept...  :)

JustAGuest wrote:

Would that make her seem less in the eyes of her family, if that was what was required to make ends meet while married and living in the US?

Yes among the BAD families, which is common, but far from all.
Some very poor ae even so proud so its hard to give them anything. without tey feel bad of it, except if they can  compensate by work.
(Many in the village, where I pick my employees, are like that, they are very greatful they get te opportunity I oifer them,
while many elsewhere dont even  say "Tnank you" if get something...

JustAGuest wrote:

I sincerely want this to work, but no matter how I look at the budget, I can't quite carry that much alone, indefinitely, and I don't want to waste her time if there's no long term outcome, here.

Well. There are many Filipinas with much better attitude than that...
Specialy among single mothers over 30 yo.
E g one I know work full time in  office in Manila, have 2 x 3-4 hours travel to work AND CARRY at way home half kilometer supply to a sarisari her old mother handle plus extra turns at Saturdays.  he earn an extra salary by the neighburs are to lazy toi go and buy beer and cigaes cheaper in same supermarket she buy most in to hte sarisari    :)   And when she get home at 9 she assist her son with homework.  She is business minded. When I told Palawan "import" onios from Baguio region, then she gpt intereted direct in trying to make her brother, who handle the family farm in "Litle Baguio", to start growing onions   :)  :top:
So there are good, not lazy among the lazy ones.

JustAGuest wrote:

However, we were having a discussion recently, and it turns out that she imagines coming here and bringing the kids and pets to just mean that she no longer has to work, ever again. . . .

I'm thinking this is a cultural difference, and it may be a deal breaker solely from a financial security perspective, and I honestly feel terrible about that, but I don't see this working out unless she's going to be a partner in helping at least a little, even if that means having me set up a small business for her to run. . .

I haven't had the follow-up conversation with her about my concerns, because I wanted to get a better cultural perspective before I step into it. Is it considered a huge negative in the Philippines to be a dual income family? Would that make her seem less in the eyes of her family, if that was what was required to make ends meet while married and living in the US? I sincerely want this to work, but no matter how I look at the budget, I can't quite carry that much alone, indefinitely, and I don't want to waste her time if there's no long term outcome, here.

Thanks for any perspectives you can provide.

I grew up here in the Philippines. Both my parents worked. All of my uncles, aunts, cousins, my cousin's kids and their spouse all work, unless of course they're in-between jobs. One of my relatives moved to Australia with his new wife just before the pandemic struck. They're both working. It's not a negative to be a dual income family. It's actually looked down upon if one just sits idle at home not doing much while the spouse is toiling away. There are all sorts of pejorative labels for people like that like "tamad" (lazy), "batugan" (which is worse than tamad) and "tambay" (pronounced "tum"-"by"; it means loiterer; derived from the English "stand by").

BTW, what is the "little family business"? Is it a little general store called sari-sari? I don't think your Filipina friend is tamad. My feeling is that she is used to the set up where she lives at the back of the shop. And a lot of free time in between the 12-14 hrs work, interrupted by 3-5 customers per hour.

I'm guessing that she imagines moving to the US will be an extension of that -- that she'll be living at the back of the "shop" and doing the type of work she's used to. But since there's no "shop" and everything is part of the house, the type of work she imagines she'll do is staying at home. The problem is she might not be eager to work outside. If she does feel the need to work, the question is what type of work will she qualify for and will she be happy with it?

Thank you, FilAmericanMom, this is golden!

Yes, it is a sari-sari store, and when you put it in the perspective of that's how she's used to working, it makes sense that she thinks that moving  here is just the same as having a house without a business in it. When I asked her about what a normal day would look like to her, while I'm dealing with work related meetings from morning to evening, and the kids are in school, she said there would be so much to do with cleaning the house and gardening and maybe volunteering, which surprised me, because I did think she'd be considering her employment options, even though I'm sure it would take a while to settle in. I also don't think she's lazy, but I do think you hit the nail on the head for what she's thinking.

Her English is pretty nearly perfect (as long as you don't talk TOO quickly,) but she's spent her whole life working in a family business, so her employment options here, while not great at the start (for lack of outside work history,) are not impossible, and she certainly wouldn't have to work long days, at least. She may not realize that, even though my salary is good, it's not beneficial to have a partner who's not helping to carry their own weight, even though I know I'll be handling most of the bills.

I do agree that whatever she finds, it will have to be something she's happy enough with (well, it's called "work" because they have to pay us to do it, but we do need to be able to take satisfaction in it, or find another job that fits better.)

I'll approach the discussion from this point of view, and, as others have mentioned (along with some really good, cautionary anecdotes!) someone from the Philippines may be used to working when they have to, but not working when one good OFW can cover a whole family with their efforts, but they don't realize how much things cost when living in the US, compared to the relatively low cost of feeding a family back in the Philippines. We need to have that discussion, because, otherwise, it's not a beneficial partnership and it wouldn't lead to the best outcome for the kids.

I'll address the other replies in a separate message, but I really especially appreciated this point of view, as it cleared up what I was seeing as a strange disconnect.

FilAmericanMom gave me a ton to think about, for how to approach the necessary conversation. I'm going to run with that, and see where the conversation leads, since I don't want single-income-family to be an expectation, here.

Steve, I do appreciate what you and others are saying about "slow down, and don't limit your options early, you're putting the cart before the horse" and I won't be making any moves until I'm sure things are reasonable, nor is it a guarantee that this is the right person for me... It's certainly not love or a soul mate, if we haven't even met yet. I'm too old for fairy tales! But I do want to give her consideration as an unusually good option, up until this point (and yes, there were a LOT of options,) and I'm perfectly good with seeing what can get built from a stable foundation, and a geographically-enforced slow pace.

I also heard loud-and-clear some of the dangers many folks mentioned, like the spouse who comes with the understanding that they'd work after you put them through school, but who has no intention of holding up their part of the bargain, and the ones in private messages who discussed the dangers of your spouse divorcing you and walking off with half of your assets.

To address some questions from other replies...
Yes, financial aid is available in the US, and it's possible for kids to borrow money to put themselves through college. As a result, though, colleges have REALLY cranked up their prices to ridiculous levels, and college is no longer reasonably affordable in the US, especially for the ones with good reputations.. kids are taking 15-20 years to pay off their educations, and the debt cannot be relieved in bankruptcy, so it's a permanent drain if they can't keep up. Further, the actual value of the education is lower than the expected increase in their lifetime earnings, so it's not often a good deal, financially, especially when you consider that the money they spend on recovering from debt could be put into 401k starting at age 21. My daughter was in a specific STEM field, and since that's her life's desire, I wanted to make sure it could happen, but the financial side of student loans for her would have been crushing, for a kid starting out.

Speaking of financial: Yes, I will definitely look into settling my finances, which have been drained mostly by getting my young one through a foolishly expensive college, debt-free on her part. From my current budget, I should be back to reasonable in about 5 years, but I do think I've damaged my retirement prospects too much to be able to retire anytime soon, if ever, but it's good advice to consult with the experts to see what can be done, and I'll do that later this year.  I don't want to put dating entirely on hold while I manage this, though, as the older you get, the harder it is to find good options, so dating stateside at 55 or 60 will be much harder than dating at 50, and as I crawl out of my financial hole, things will improve, so I'd be getting someone who's able to be happy in a relationship at a moderate level, who eventually gets the benefits of a better life than they might have expected from my currently  under-whelming surroundings (living aggressively beneath my means, to climb out and recover in a reasonable time period.)

As for why not date Asians already in the US, if I generally like Asians: Absolutely. While I have dated all races (except for Eastern Indian, which is too bad, because they're attractive, too,) I do think Asians are the most attractive, but, in my local area, despite the quick growth of a local Filipino community not too far away, Asians account for only about 1-2% of the local population (when I was growing up here, it was 0.3%.)  Dating as you get older winds up having a diminishing field of available options, as most folks partner up in their 20s and 30s, and at least half of them stay partnered up, so most of the good options are already off of the playing field, and, of those that aren't, only 1 in 50 at best will be Asian (though it seems there are actually less, since I don't see so many divorced Asians here.) Since I'm not the only person who likes Asians, as the last one I was dating told me when I said hello on a local dating site, she had over a  hundred messages in her inbox before she even posted her picture. (No, mine wasn't one of them, since I wanted to see a picture before saying hello. She was also very sweet, and we dated for about a year, but her jealousy level was through the roof, even though I wouldn't have risked our relationship for anything. In the end, that was what finally ended it for me... I never questioned her faithfulness, but I wasn't up for having mine questioned at length on a regular basis, or getting 22 calls in a row if I didn't immediately answer the phone. No, that's not an exaggeration. I think trust is a necessary basis for a relationship, and if it's not there, there's no reason to continue.)

On the other hand, looking worldwide, and filtering out the incredible number of scammers, there are a lot of women who are absolutely open to coming to the US for a healthy, not super-old, reasonably well situated guy, with at least average looks, so the ratio goes from me competing with hundreds of guys for the attention of one girl, to hundreds of girls competing for my attention. That's worth some extra expense and time, in my opinion, but I did absolutely spend several years checking out the local options before considering going global. One (met by chance out in the regular world, not on a dating site,) turned into a 5 year relationship that I was sure would lead to marriage... my daughter loved her, and even my ex-wife said nothing but good things about her. But she kept on putting up hurdles to keep marriage far away... and it turned out she had a good reason to do so, as she'd been making up a LOT of stories, including the one where, despite going on week long family vacations all over the country together, and practically living at my house half of the time, she was actually married to another American (of more modest means,) and was still living with him, while telling me she was "visiting family" for extended periods, and who knows what she was telling  him.

On the same dating site that lead to my current Filipina interest, by the way, I looked only at the US for the first few months, and the only (yes, there was only one) local lady active on the site, while she was nice and hopeful and wanted a second date, also believed that COVID was a global conspiracy to gain control and keep us from ascending to our 12-helix-dna astral bodies. That was a quick "no" for me.  The second was not local, but was in Idaho, a 45 year old Chinese QA engineer, who claimed she had an older phone that she said couldn't do a video chat. (Yeah, I know, big red flag.) She sent a bunch of pictures, all of which looked much older than her profile pics, but she was still okay (not super hot or anything, but certainly date-able,) so I went to visit her in Idaho while travel was still possible (it's dirt cheap to fly to Idaho, who knew?) and it turned out that her bunch of "current" pics were at LEAST 30 years old, and she appeared to actually be in her upper 70s and pretty scary looking, as it wasn't a "good" 70s.

I'm very aware that someone halfway around the world has even more options for issues that I'm not aware of, and I refuse to make someone "my girlfriend" before having spent a significant amount of time in person with them. That said, I'm not really looking to play the field, and I don't have a huge amount of free time, so I'm open to having narrowed down the options down to one to talk to, for now, and if they don't have any deal-breakers (like an expectation for chronic unemployment while I take care of them and their kids,) I'm comfortable waiting until I meet them and give them a chance, before seeking any other options. I fully understand that if it doesn't work out, just hanging out in the Philippines means that I'll get approached regularly, so there are certainly no lack of options, but I don't want to have to juggle, in the meantime.

Oh, as for working remotely so I could go over long-term now (or when things open up,) no, the little team that I lead here all teleworks, but that's because we're spread across several states, so coming into a local office doesn't offer a lot of benefit, unless I need to show up to deal with some face-to-face time (which has been on hold since COVID showed up.) However, no one can take even our work phones outside of the country (there are special "clean" ones handed out just for that reason, if we absolutely need to have one outside the country,) much less laptops, and we absolutely cannot work from outside the US. It's a clearance thing. (Yes, this does mean that my eventual trips to the Philippines will be part of my regular re-investigation, as would marrying a foreign national, and yes, that person would be investigated in great detail, as well. However, just like my strained finances in the last few years, none of those are deal-breakers, just things to be completely candid about in the investigations. One of my co-workers, pre-covid, would go on two or three international trips every year, for various concerts all over the world, and then suffer for how many trips he had to list and discuss.) Sadly, though, there's no possibility of doing this work outside of the US, so I'm geographically limited as long as I'm still working. (I've been with the same organization over 15 years now, and I actually intended to retire with them, though have previously moved around inside it a bit, and probably will again.)

Thank you for all of your responses! You're really making it clear that life in the Philippines would be challenging, and that I need to keep my eyes VERY wide open with any possibilities.

JustAGuest wrote:

she said there would be so much to do with cleaning the house and gardening and maybe volunteering, which surprised me, because I did think she'd be considering her employment options, even though I'm sure it would take a while to settle in. I also don't think she's lazy, but I do think you hit the nail on the head for what she's thinking.

IF not lazy, she is not effective  :)   
Housewife is NOT a full time work when kids dont need careting.
I believe she has NEVER had a tireding employm,ent/own buiness work in her wholle life, so "lazy" work except when her kids were small...

JustAGuest wrote:

I do agree that whatever she finds, it will have to be something she's happy enough with (well, it's called "work" because they have to pay us to do it, but we do need to be able to take satisfaction in it, or find another job that fits better.).

NONONO.  Have you agreed to that allready ?
If so you are in big trouble   :)     because by tthat she can "NEVER" find such work even if she could find any, because she has told she want to be housewife... 
And I suppouse hard for her to get ANY work so she cant be picky...

You are much to nice, big risk you will get used, never get any ok savings and retirement pay...

JustAGuest wrote:

they don't realize how much things cost when living in the US, compared to the relatively low cost of feeding a family back in the Philippines. We need to have that discussion, because, otherwise, it's not a beneficial partnership .

Yes. The normal is Filipinos living in Phils ONLY look at the higher salaries, believing all Americans live posh, while the truth is many Americans need to work full time PLUS extra work AND BOTH spouses working to manage to pay the bills...
Filipinos get shock when I tell them what only the heating of my house cost in Sweden...

Its some funny there are MANY more Filipinos than Swedes affording a maid...    :lol:

pnwcyclist wrote:

seeking a  younger woman as many expats are, 
....however....over the time I have known her and lived with her I realized we are pretty different people - she has a bit of a temper and is not intellectually curious. Hard worker though, loves adventures and gorgeous. 

Yes there are still many good young beautiful woman here in these back water provinces...many whom aspire to "break free"...just like some of their lucky neighbours whom have managed to hook up with other senior expats & who are seen to be enjoying life to the fullest...at least in their eyes :cool:  .....thats why we the much older, 'hopefully' wiser saviors are here. (the party goes on as long as the savior is kept happy and is well taken care off & they too inturn benefit fm the financial safety nett/perks that they get out of the relationship) It should always be a win-win situation for both parties.
:kiss:

pnwcyclist wrote:

Why not just date in the US? Not worth all the hassle going abroad for a wife in my opinion. And if they are younger you also run the risk of all the "attention" they will get here. No win situation.

Yes home is for the serious stuff like round the clock work/stress/tension & other income generating investments ...not a place I could easily afford to be entertained/retired & also its just not worth the money/"trouble" being spent/"involved".
Again OMO

JustAGuest wrote:

Yes, financial aid is available in the US, and it's possible for kids to borrow money to put themselves through college. As a result, though, colleges have REALLY cranked up their prices to ridiculous levels, and college is no longer reasonably affordable in the US, especially for the ones with good reputations.. kids are taking 15-20 years to pay off their educations, and the debt cannot be relieved in bankruptcy, so it's a permanent drain if they can't keep up. Further, the actual value of the education is lower than the expected increase in their lifetime earnings, so it's not often a good deal, financially, especially when you consider that the money they spend on recovering from debt could be put into 401k starting at age 21. My daughter was in a specific STEM field, and since that's her life's desire, I wanted to make sure it could happen, but the financial side of student loans for her would have been crushing, for a kid starting out.

That's so nice of you to shoulder your daughter's college education and relieve her of the burden of paying off a large debt for years. I agree that the price of college education in the US is ridiculously high. My aunts and uncles paid for their kids' college education like you did. One of my aunts told me that even after grants, she paid over US$43k for tuition per year. That was close to 15 years ago. And that did not include living expenses like food, laundry, transportation / fuel, etc. and books and other supplies.

Back in the states around 14 years ago, I tried to apply for an MBA at UC Berkeley, in the hopes that maybe an MBA could raise my paygrade. The tuition cost the recruiter quoted was $90k (but realistically, it was more like $110k). I got the 700+  GMAT score that Berkeley "preferred" (translation: required). After I passed, I said to myself, "What was I thinking? I can't afford this. My husband and I will have to put on hold our plan of having a child." So I opted for Paralegal Studies instead at SFSU.

I can relate FilAmericanMom - My daughter will be starting Pepperdine law next month, cost is $90K a year! 🤯

Pepperdine is a great school, I completed my masters degree through their exec program 20 years ago.  It was a specialized program with travel to both Asia and Europe. Thankfully my employer paid for it.

The school and location are both excellent, it's the annual $90K price I'm complaining about 😁

I gave my kids the choice which university to go to as long as it is an in-state public university. If they wanted to go elsewhere, they will have to pay the difference. I was happy with their choice, OSU (Buckeye). And yes, I am paying it all. I wanted them to start life debt free.
Looks like we went off topic again.😂

Me too (sole bread winner for 35yrs) managed to sponsor all 3 of my kids through private (American/Australian backed) universities in Singapore. The two younger ones have completed their studies/& managed to secure decent jobs back home. My eldest daughter (the hardest working of the three) was extremely lucky as she had applied & thereon got fully sponsored by the US govt to do her doctorate studies at NYC (John Jay) & thats where she still is ....Had always wanted them to get the best possible education.

Was it this forum that a guy in the Middle East I believe was looking for a live-in housekeeper? If it was this forum you can try GreatAupair.com
It's a pay service but there are many qualified experienced housekeepers/caregivers there with credentials. Good luck!

Jackson4 wrote:

I gave my kids the choice which university to go to as long as it is an in-state public university.

Better investment to do as the parents to Parker Schnabel - Gave him the "college money" to start gold "digging" business with    :)  and he went to Yukon.   He had most of the knowledge allready by worked at his grandfathers  place plus skill at making things effective. Within a few years he became mulltimilionaire.

(I plan to do a bit similar but my kids can get a section of the family business to decide over or start an own (section) if they want to build someting fthemselves. Or they can chose to be as an employee in it so they dont need college to sure get work   :)

capricornrising wrote:

Was it this forum that a guy in the Middle East I believe was looking for a live-in housekeeper? If it was this forum you can try GreatAupair.com
It's a pay service but there are many qualified experienced housekeepers/caregivers there with credentials. Good luck!

There are still people who practice slavery....this is one such horrid local example:

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1458867/s … bused-maid

capricornrising wrote:

Was it this forum that a guy in the Middle East I believe was looking for a live-in housekeeper? If it was this forum you can try GreatAupair.com
It's a pay service but there are many qualified experienced housekeepers/caregivers there with credentials. Good luck!

Not in the least :-)  This was my question about culture and perspective for a currently working single mom who thinks she would be a stay at home mom of two teenagers, if coming to the US from the Philippines.

Though, I suppose, that would be somewhat similar to hiring a really expensive housekeeper, who takes up extra space and brings roommates along... but that's not really what I was looking for :-)

Update:

I had the discussion with her, and she "didn't remember" saying that she didn't intend to work, but she emphasized that she didn't plan to be a burden, and would do whatever it took to contribute, even if it meant being a dishwasher or a garbageman. She did think she wanted to take care-taking classes to make that an option. I agreed that caretakers could do okay, though it was hard work, and she said she didn't mind hard work at all, and that she was excited that I was thinking of the long term possibilities to help raise a family.

I pointed out that years of successfully running a small business through good times and bad actually meant that she already has a lot of very useful skills, so, while it might not be immediate, she'd actually be more employable already than most folks who come here. She's charismatic, quick witted and detail oriented, and very intelligent, so she could do well in interviews, potentially for a supervisory role. I'm did offer that I'm definitely in a position to be able to help her with resume writing, interviewing skills, and negotiations, and I floated the idea that, longer term, she might consider running a small business here (a considerable risk, with a long time to bear fruit, but potentially very rewarding, and we wouldn't be in danger of starving if it failed, since we wouldn't be depending on it unless it became successful.)

Then things took a weird turn when she decided that a reality TV show she's watching about dumpster divers was actually a good plan, which she could do as a hobby at first, but make it full time if it was paying off. I did point out that the reason that was interesting enough to be a show is because actually doing something like that and coming out making more than minimum wage for the hours invested, is incredibly rare, so that might be a side gig, or a fun hobby, but wasn't likely to be more rewarding than literally any actual employment. However, she seemed really enthusiastic about it, and went on about it at some length.  I may have accidentally dampened her enthusiasm for that, though, when I mentioned an ex who did that, and the amount of effort that went into tracking seasonal trends and making spreadsheets of the most profitable finds, searching curbs, thrift stores, etc, and filling the house and garage with stuff that was listed to sell on ebay and craigslist. (She also had spent 12 years growing a marginally successful local pet-sitting business, worked delivery jobs a couple of nights a week, and had two roommates, to make ends meet, so, despite the effort, this didn't actually pay that well, but I didn't mention the rest of that, since the conversation moved on.)

So, to be honest, I'm more than a little lukewarm about the outcome here, but at least the discussion is out there on the table, and the response wasn't just "heck no, not for me." Eyes wide open, here, and I'll be interested to see if she's actually thinking in practical terms in the coming months, because a willingness to follow a reality show isn't exactly a rewarding career path, but it sounded like it might have been an honest answer about not wanting an actual 9-5 job.

I'm sorry to say but it sounds like you're making the classic misstep of getting emotionally invested in someone who you've never actually met. This site, FB, YouTube etc are littered with such stories and rarely do they end well. I wish you good luck though but would caution you not to get do heavily invested until you've spent some time in person with this lady

Parvaze wrote:

I'm sorry to say but it sounds like you're making the classic misstep of getting emotionally invested in someone who you've never actually met. This site, FB, YouTube etc are littered with such stories and rarely do they end well. I wish you good luck though but would caution you not to get do heavily invested until you've spent some time in person with this lady

Agreed, avoiding too much investment until actually meeting, but, to be honest, if I'm not sure of the idea that she's open to actually being a partner, not a dependent, then I'm not going to be meeting this one. Which is too bad, but that's how it goes...

JustAGuest wrote:

I pointed out that years of successfully running a small business through good times and bad actually meant that she already has a lot of very useful skills,

That ISNT sure.  As I understood in earlier post, it a sarisari shop.  Them I know earning of from 9000 to has problem to earn 3000 PESOS per month.  So,metimes someone find a new product, which they earn more at a SHORT whie, because when others notice many COPY and start same CLOSE because very few Filipinos undertand even a simple basic business riöe as "Supply and Demand."
E g one earned good - a short while - in her poor messure by being first at a SMALL island to sel load..  But soon five had copied so six selling same thing at that tiny island, so prices went down much and ended up with some selling for LOWER than bougt ffor to get back any of the money.

Many Filipinos count revenue as profit!
Many, who have been given a shop and touht by foreigmer boyfriend/husband screw up by NOT RESTOCK!!!
Very few Filipinos can count percent, not even many teachers!
Uncommon with good logic thinking.
Filipinoa are GOOD at copy IDEAS, but DOINT WANT TO copy gpod METHODS even when thy are tout good method because they find tat as admiting they incompetent!!! INSTEAD they do make up something not functioning. Of same  "lose face"reason they dont want to ask when they dont know something.  I do OPPOSITE = Ask A LOT.   Thats why I know so much   :lol:
E g the business Im starting by buying wrong handled businesses to recover them, During several years I have found only two business plu s my business partner, who know a BASIC thing for such rather common business!!! Not even the specialiced college teach it!!!

Although recently I found a group with Filipinos who WANT to learn and they ask and give info  so there are good thinking Filipinos  too  :top:      Even a BOY had found out important info by research plus own tests. He  prepare to start own business when he become 18 and I believe he will succeed   :top: 

An other GOOD example group, but they have went abroad being OFW.

JustAGuest wrote:

Then things took a weird turn when she decided that a reality TV show.

Living in fantacy land   :)

Looks like reality and all that goes with it hit home, no offence to the OP but most here have tread the same path and if not have witnessed and learnt. Slowly slowly wins the day.

Cheers, Steve.

coach53 wrote:
JustAGuest wrote:

I pointed out that years of successfully running a small business through good times and bad actually meant that she already has a lot of very useful skills,

That ISNT sure.  As I understood in earlier post, it a sarisari shop.  Them I know earning of from 9000 to has problem to earn 3000 PESOS per month.  So,metimes someone find a new product, which they earn more at a SHORT whie, because when others notice many COPY and start same CLOSE because very few Filipinos undertand even a simple basic business riöe as "Supply and Demand."
E g one earned good - a short while - in her poor messure by being first at a SMALL island to sel load..  But soon five had copied so six selling same thing at that tiny island, so prices went down much and ended up with some selling for LOWER than bougt ffor to get back any of the money.

Many Filipinos count revenue as profit!
Many, who have been given a shop and touht by foreigmer boyfriend/husband screw up by NOT RESTOCK!!!
Very few Filipinos can count percent, not even many teachers!
Uncommon with good logic thinking.
Filipinoa are GOOD at copy IDEAS, but DOINT WANT TO copy gpod METHODS even when thy are tout good method because they find tat as admiting they incompetent!!! INSTEAD they do make up something not functioning. Of same  "lose face"reason they dont want to ask when they dont know something.  I do OPPOSITE = Ask A LOT.   Thats why I know so much   :lol:
E g the business Im starting by buying wrong handled businesses to recover them, During several years I have found only two business plu s my business partner, who know a BASIC thing for such rather common business!!! Not even the specialiced college teach it!!!

Although recently I found a group with Filipinos who WANT to learn and they ask and give info  so there are good thinking Filipinos  too  :top:      Even a BOY had found out important info by research plus own tests. He  prepare to start own business when he become 18 and I believe he will succeed   :top: 

An other GOOD example group, but they have went abroad being OFW.

JustAGuest wrote:

Then things took a weird turn when she decided that a reality TV show.

Living in fantacy land   :)

Yes many locals simply don't understand *actual profits being made after all inputs are deducted which should also include the effort/labour/gasoline/electricity/inconvinience costs & also the space cost which many a time can be used for other more productive uses...nor do they understand the actual hefty interest payments that need to be paid back monthly/promptly whenever taking on any local personal/motorbike/car loan... interest rates here are among the highest I've ever seen/heard off. (money lending & repossession are very lucrative businesses to be in here & so are their lotto betting kiosks (6D / is a suckers game if you ask me simple 'probability' a maths skill?)
Profits in my own small stand alone sari sari shop were always minimum/non existant for many years before my retirement...so as soon I arrived in early 2019 I stopped that business & instead converted it into my personal warehouse where I now store only my tools/food provisions (which we buy in bulk at the larger chinese owned warehouse/shops where we do get better wholesale prices with a little haggling which I've trained my better half to do & she has since become an expert negotiater always with her sexy smile...the other locals here don't seem to haggle & always stare at her not sure if its in disgust or in awe.
:/

JustAGuest wrote:

I pointed out that years of successfully running a small business through good times and bad actually meant that she already has a lot of very useful skills, so, while it might not be immediate, she'd actually be more employable already than most folks who come here. She's charismatic, quick witted and detail oriented, and very intelligent, so she could do well in interviews, potentially for a supervisory role. I'm did offer that I'm definitely in a position to be able to help her with resume writing, interviewing skills, and negotiations, and I floated the idea that, longer term, she might consider running a small business here (a considerable risk, with a long time to bear fruit, but potentially very rewarding, and we wouldn't be in danger of starving if it failed, since we wouldn't be depending on it unless it became successful.)

No offense to you or your friend or owners of sari-sari stores, but managing a sari-sari store is not that complicated.  Most are part of the informal sector. She may have useful skills, but are those skills practical enough for formal structured businesses.

I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Economics in the Philippines. After college, I went to work for my parents.  Theirs was a small business, but it had formal records keeping (log books, inventory, equipment, etc,). We had to file tax reports, supervise employees, prepare payroll. We sent out purchase orders, estimates, made phone calls, talked to customers, scheduled deliveries, wrote checks, balanced checkbooks, etc.

After 2 years, I decided to work for a bank's corporate planning department at their headquarters in Makati. It was a great experience, working with people not just from my department but also from other departments.  I  really liked my work and the people I worked with, but I resigned after 2 years because of the long and tiring commute, and went back to the family business. After a few years, I left for the US to prove to myself that I can be independent of my parents.

My first job in the US in late 1990's was as an administrative / executive assistant (a politically correct term for "secretary"). I was surprised that I was immediately hired after the interview even though I didn't have work experience in the US.  Maybe my boss took into consideration my work history in the Philippines. Or maybe it was because he had a crush on me. Many men in America find Filipino women attractive. And they do get more attention from men in the US compared to from men in the Philippines, which is why husbands have to think twice before they bring their Filipino wife to the US.

FilAmericanMom wrote:

No offense to you or your friend or owners of sari-sari stores, but managing a sari-sari store is not that complicated.  Most are part of the informal sector. She may have useful skills, but are those skills practical enough for formal structured businesses.

My first job in the US in late 1990's was as an administrative / executive assistant (a politically correct term for "secretary"). I was surprised that I was immediately hired after the interview even though I didn't have work experience in the US.  Maybe my boss took into consideration my work history in the Philippines. Or maybe it was because he had a crush on me. Many men in America find Filipino women attractive. And they do get more attention from men in the US compared to from men in the Philippines, which is why husbands have to think twice before they bring their Filipino wife to the US.

FilAmericanMom, you actually do sound like you had more than enough experience for an entry level job, so your employer got lucky to find you, and grabbed you up immediately! Also, it never hurts to be attractive, but they were still lucky.

Interesting, on your view of the informality of sari-sari stores, which is echoed by a lot of folks  here--so her work experience might not be relevant in any practical way, unlike someone who had actually worked for formal businesses. I'm feeling now that it might not matter, though, since the more I consider her reply, the more I think it very quickly went down a path that wouldn't be normal for someone who was willing to work a "regular" 9 to 5 job, especially as an answer right after her potential partner brought it up as a concern and wanted to discuss options. If my potential partner brought up worries over how we'd make ends meet if I was coming to them unemployed and bringing two teenagers to them, I'd want to give assurance with concrete answers that were rooted in reality, not dumpster diving Reality-TV, or at least say something like "I'll need to look to see what things I might qualify for," if they haven't really thought this part through yet. While writing the update above, I was actually feeling pretty discouraged!

I wondered if her interest in care-taking classes might eventually turn into a request for funds for "education." (No, I'm not going to send money to someone I haven't met, nor has she asked. I'm just looking at things more skeptically now.) And, apparently, a large dose of skepticism is warranted, especially by the story-so-far.

JustAGuest wrote:

Then things took a weird turn when she decided that a reality TV show she's watching about dumpster divers was actually a good plan, which she could do as a hobby at first, but make it full time if it was paying off. I did point out that the reason that was interesting enough to be a show is because actually doing something like that and coming out making more than minimum wage for the hours invested, is incredibly rare, so that might be a side gig, or a fun hobby, but wasn't likely to be more rewarding than literally any actual employment. However, she seemed really enthusiastic about it, and went on about it at some length.  I may have accidentally dampened her enthusiasm for that, though, when I mentioned an ex who did that, and the amount of effort that went into tracking seasonal trends and making spreadsheets of the most profitable finds, searching curbs, thrift stores, etc, and filling the house and garage with stuff that was listed to sell on ebay and craigslist. (She also had spent 12 years growing a marginally successful local pet-sitting business, worked delivery jobs a couple of nights a week, and had two roommates, to make ends meet, so, despite the effort, this didn't actually pay that well, but I didn't mention the rest of that, since the conversation moved on.)

So, to be honest, I'm more than a little lukewarm about the outcome here, but at least the discussion is out there on the table, and the response wasn't just "heck no, not for me." Eyes wide open, here, and I'll be interested to see if she's actually thinking in practical terms in the coming months, because a willingness to follow a reality show isn't exactly a rewarding career path, but it sounded like it might have been an honest answer about not wanting an actual 9-5 job.

It's odd that she thought that dumpster diving was a good plan. Both dumpster diving and caregiving are back breaking jobs, maybe even dangerous. Also, if your Filipino wife goes dumpster diving, it would reflect negatively on you.  People might assume that you are so tight and strict with your budget that your wife has to scavenge for food, clothes, etc. to send money to her family back home. Caregiving often involves a lot of lifting, like moving an elderly or disabled person from a wheelchair to the bed. Big men already find it difficult to do that. So, how much more for a petite Filipina?

FilAmericanMom wrote:

. Also, if your Filipino wife goes dumpster diving, it would reflect negatively on you.  People might assume that you are so tight and strict with your budget that your wife has to scavenge for food, clothes, etc. to send money to her family back home.

Thats Asian "lose face" thinking  :)    SOME foreigners think so too, but other foreigners think
"Great! She is economic! "    (About other than food.)
In diference from in Phils many NICE things are thrown away in USA and western Europe!!! Much WASTE   :dumbom:  Even a realy rich American business owner of a garbage business reacted at tso much nice things where thrown away so he made so they were collected and given to sharity instead to be sold in their shops.
One of my nephews is very economic and check dumpsters much. He has furnished almost all in his house by things he has found in dumpsters. No one would notice who dont know...
(Myself I seldom check in dumsters but I have saved much by buying things in "junk shops" and at cheap auctions. E g I bought a lamp for 3 dollars because I found it so funny ugly. Some yeas later I happened tto see when I zapped between TV chanels such were sold in posh antique shops for 800 - 1200 dolars   :lol:      (Then I sold mine for 500 dollars. Could have got more but some complicated with delivery by I live far from stupids who pay that much for a very UGLY industrial lamp just because it had became fashion.)

coach53 wrote:
FilAmericanMom wrote:

. Also, if your Filipino wife goes dumpster diving, it would reflect negatively on you.  People might assume that you are so tight and strict with your budget that your wife has to scavenge for food, clothes, etc. to send money to her family back home.

Thats Asian "lose face" thinking  :)    SOME foreigners think so too, but other foreigners think
"Great! She is economic! "    (About other than food.)

I'm not talking about "saving face." I'm talking about a foreigner husband being perceived as stingy, which was why the wife, who hadn't acquired yet practical skills / work experience or just wants to be a homemaker, had to dumpster dive to help family back home. 

I don't know what dumpster diving is like in Sweden. But in America, it can be dangerous. "Reality" TV is not reality. People can get seriously hurt going inside dumpsters. They can be exposed to toxic chemicals like pesticides and insecticides which are sometimes sprayed on dumpsters. Or from bacterial and mold infections. Or they can get cuts and other injuries like from a protruding rusty part of the dumpster or the dumpster cover falling on their head or other parts of their body. Or divers could get arrested for trespassing. These are realities that are not shown on TV.

FilAmericanMom wrote:
coach53 wrote:
FilAmericanMom wrote:

. Also, if your Filipino wife goes dumpster diving, it would reflect negatively on you.  People might assume that you are so tight and strict with your budget that your wife has to scavenge for food, clothes, etc. to send money to her family back home.

Thats Asian "lose face" thinking  :)    SOME foreigners think so too, but other foreigners think
"Great! She is economic! "    (About other than food.)

I'm not talking about "saving face." I'm talking about a foreigner husband being perceived as stingy.

Yes you do talk about saving face   :)   
See what I made bold.  Its about what OTHERS - not economic thinking people - would think about the husband....
So what, what such bad thinking people think ?    :)
Its a huge diference between "stingy" and "economic".    Im economic but not stingy at all, I have given much both money and  work for free to charities.  And mosty I prefer o dress as a poor farmer (although I have posh clothes, e g a bank manager type suit, which I bought second hand for 40 dollars  :)       
I just think if I would find it ok if someone ELSE would act as I do, and if ok, then I dont bother what people think about me, except the good thinkers because they think as I    :lol:

Sweden has forests and mines but a COLD climate which both cost very much for heating to survive and Swedish farmers are happy if tthey get ONE harvest per year.  In the Philippines farmers can get THREE harvests per year if they have access to water to a third, which more and more get by dam constructions.
100 years ago Sweden was very poor, specialy in parts with bad soils as e g where the founder of IKEA come from. Even after he got rich he continued going by subways and buses while other CEOs WASTE by having limousines.
Back then Swedes had to be economic to not die, so wasting people af died out  :)   so it did belong to Swedish culture to be economic and seen as a GOOD thing.  Athough some of tthe young have got destroiyed by "wear, throw away and buy new" influenses. 

FilAmericanMom wrote:

I don't know what dumpster diving is like in Sweden. But in America, it can be dangerous. "Reality" TV is not reality. People can get seriously hurt going inside dumpsters. They can be exposed to toxic chemicals like pesticides and insecticides which are sometimes sprayed on dumpsters. Or from bacterial and mold infections. Or they can get cuts and other injuries like from a protruding rusty part of the dumpster or the dumpster cover falling on their head or other parts of their body. Or divers could get arrested for trespassing. These are realities that are not shown on TV.

Earlier I wrote except dumped food.   Such I count some dangerous. 

I dont know if the IKEA founder diged in dumpsters when he wasnt to old to do that, but I wouldnt be suprised if he did   :)    Sweden is among the best in the world at recycling material as paper, plastic, bottles, metal, compost...  "automatic" by the households separate and leave sorted in collecting places which even villages has own of and the municipaly make so they eet emptied.   Many garbage dumps have got own shops with ok thrown away things nowadays, so it has become harder to find nice things for free in dumpster by it isnt ok to dig in dumpsters to such shops or dumpsters to charity shops, but ok do dig in some other.  Not so dangerous if look where to put feet, hands and head    :)

FilAmericanMom and Coach, I actually interpreted the way she bounced to dumpster diving with such enthusiasm was her way of saying that she wasn't serious about actually looking for any kind of job.

Looking to be rescued, rather than be a contributing partner.

JustAGuest wrote:

...

I apologize if this has been said.

I just couldn't read through every single comment because this type of situation comes up so often through the various countries on the Asia forum, especially those countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

It all becomes a bit mind-numbing after a while.

I truly feel for you in your situation, OP.

To a certain degree I have been there and done that and so have many of the regulars on the expat forum.

So whatever I say I hope you hear it that I want to be respectful and sympathetic and sensitive.

There is one technique or trick or whatever you--an American citizen--want to call it when getting to know someone long distance from one of the aforementioned countries on the forum.

You will get the advice from many people that it's best to say that you want to live in their country and you have no desire to live in your country any longer than possible and you hope to be happy with them in their country and with their family and with their traditions and that you don't think you would ever want to take them back to your country because you plan to be totally happy with them in their country.

Yeah I know that's the worst kind of run-on sentence, but I hope you get what I'm saying.

It's just general good advice to anyone who is trying to establish a long-distance relationship with someone in one of these countries (or even any other country, probably) that you reserve your desire to bring them back to the United States until you are 100% sure that's not what they are after.

Someone will rightly say that it's somewhat dishonest and maybe a terrible basis for a trusting relationship, but you can always "change your mind" so to speak once you really know the person well.

I wish you good luck whatever you do.

JustAGuest wrote:

FilAmericanMom and Coach, I actually interpreted the way she bounced to dumpster diving with such enthusiasm was her way of saying that she wasn't serious about actually looking for any kind of job.

Looking to be rescued, rather than be a contributing partner.

If you were a friend back in the states, I would advise you to let go, move on, and look for someone else because a relationship with your chatmate will not work out, for you or for anybody who's looking for a lifelong friend and lover who's  also a contributing partner. Sorry.

Yes I chose to live life in this dumpster province & Yes I've lost face back @ home for coming here in the first place...
a) Deprived 3rd class backwater province.
b) Piped tap water (rationed) that gives us max 7m3/mth & which runs dry at least once a week.
c) Kitchen Sink/Shower drainage system does NOT exist here and all wash water flows directly out onto vacant space in between houses.
d) Electricity/Wifi is pretty decent but very expensive (So no Aircon & only Portable Wifi)
e) A re-assembled multicab to travel around in.
f) My land parcel sits on the largest residential plot (500m2) in my barangay on which I built a simple 2 b/r s/s house which was fully perimeter fenced.
g) Overall 8yrs here of which I've lived fully retired for the past 2.5yrs with many of my friendly but totally unruly neighbours.
h) Have built a small network of expat friends (group has expanded since) with whom I spend time with almost every other week sometimes they come over to my place where we enjoy a simple laser light/flood light display whilst dancing/singing/karokeying/boozing/
smoking.
i) "My Way"
Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way
j)***Just a reminder this path is just not suitable for everyone...& remember the one who laughs last laughs the best.
:D

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