How Filipino couples keep romance alive amid inflation
Couple Migz and Gi stopped dining out at restaurants to save up to P7,000 per month. They realized they had to forgo these luxuries in an era marked by economic uncertainty and soaring inflation.
Instead of relying on takeout meals, the couple has turned to home-cooked dishes to reduce their expenses.
"At first, I thought hindi namin mararamdaman ang inflation kasi pareho kaming may trabaho, but as time goes by, nakikita namin how it affects our finances, so pinag-usapan namin na magtitipid talaga kami," Gi said.
This trend is also observed elsewhere. A Forbes Advisor survey conducted among 2,000 Americans revealed that 60 percent of respondents believed inflation had impacted their ability to afford romantic dates and gifts, with Gen Z respondents (79 percent) being the most affected.
There is no available data yet on the impact of inflation on Filipino dating habits, but some couples interviewed by Metro News Central agreed that they are finding ways to nurture their relationships without emptying their wallets as the prices of goods continue to rise.
Acts of service
Migz shared that he learned to cook so he and Gi would no longer order food through delivery apps. He also takes care of household chores while his girlfriend is away.
"Since work from home ako," he explained, "I took the initiative to cook and clean our condo so that when Gi comes home, may pagkain na kami pareho."
While giving gifts used to be his way of expressing love for his partner, Migz learned that he could still show his love through acts of service.
"Napapakita ko naman kay Gi how important she is to me pag pinagsisilbihan ko siya, not just by buying her food or clothes," he said.
Movie dates no more
Before Covid-19 broke out, Ian and Sophie used to enjoy going on movie dates. Even though the lockdown is already over, they still haven't returned to cinemas because they find it costly.
They believe monthly streaming platform subscriptions are more cost-effective than spending at least P400 on a one-time, two-hour movie in cinemas.
"Wala naman 'yan sa lugar," Ian noted. "We can still watch films or shows together kahit nasa bahay lang kami."
Joyce, who is currently in a long-distance relationship, told her Greek boyfriend Nikos to forego buying flowers for her as a romantic gesture.
She said she wanted her boyfriend to save money for their future together instead.
"Si Nikos, mahilig magbigay ng bulaklak," she said. "Nung na-realize ko na sobrang mahal na ngayon, wag na lang. Our priority should be saving for the future."
But she had asked for more video calls with him so they could maintain a strong and connected relationship despite the physical distance between them.
"These days, mahal magmahal but it doesn't mean na hindi na tayo magmamahal just because pricey ang mga bagay," she said. "We can still nurture our relationships na hindi nakadepende sa material stuff, ganun."
That is also the case for Renz, who is actively dating. He believes that emotional connection can be strengthened through quality time and meaningful interactions even without extravagant dates or gifts.
Renz said he prefers taking a stroll in the park, visiting museums, or enjoying coffee in small shops.
"I have a job now, but I don't want to spend too much," he said. "To enjoy dating, we just need to go back to basics — having meaningful conversations and just being present for the person you are dating. Doesn't have to be pricey."
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