Jul 1, 2018

Nanpa!? Japanese Dating Culture

A little over a year ago I met my current boyfriend. Although, I did not meet him in a very regular way. I was walking around campus, enjoying the cherry blossoms. Then I heard a voice, a cute boy on a bike saw me, stopped, and struck up a conversation. It was not a long conversation, but the end we exchanged numbers. 

For me it was a very whimsical story, meeting under the cherry blossoms, having a chance at romance. Plus, being from the States, it is not unusual for men to approach women that they don't know, in a way like this. Needless to say I was very excited to tell my friends about what had happened.

But their reactions shocked me! All of my Japanese friends called him a playboy, or nanpa, and warned me strongly to stay away from him. I didn't understand why they were so sure of this. Luckily my boyfriend was different because I sure didn't listen to my friends. Haha... I mean, look at my dork!

Nanpa!? Japanese Dating Culture photo

After discussing it further with my friends, the explained to me that in Japanese culture, typically only playboys approach women this way. If they are serious they wait a really, really long time (at least a long time in my American perspective), become friends, and then performing kokuhaku, or confession. Which is then potentially followed by dating. 

Since this is the case, many foreign women that are looking to date in Japan face a huge hurdle. Even if a Japanese man is interested in you, they may not approach you because of the negative connotation in Japan. Or they might take a really long time to confess, which can really leave you in the dark if you are not aware. So if you are a women in Japan, trying to date, don't lose hope if you are not being approached. There is a reason. But also don't assume every man that nanpas you is a playboy, you could miss out on a really great person. Luckily I didn't.

Nanpa!? Japanese Dating Culture photo

For more about my relationship



Teacher, Traveler, Dancer -
Currently living in Gifu -
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!