Jun 30, 2018

Dating in Japan--Cultural Differences 1

Since I am new to this website, many of you may not know, but I have a Japanese boyfriend. We have been dating for over a year now and during this year I have noticed many cultural differences. I thought I would make a series talking about some of the differences as I notice them!

Dating in Japan--Cultural Differences 1 photo

Today's cultural difference has to do with weddings, or even just with interactions with your partner's friends. I noticed it because many of my friends have been starting to talk about marriage and weddings. 

Here it is--you don't go to weddings as a couple!!!!

For me this concept is totally strange, in America you typically go with your partner to weddings, but in Japan you do not. I asked my friends and my boyfriend why this is the case. Apparently, it is because the people getting married don't know your partner, or at least not well.

I guess in theory this makes sense, but I still think it would be quite uncomfortable to go to a wedding by myself. 

The reason all boils back to the main difference that in Japan you don't really meet or talk to your partners friends. This is even true in my case, the most I have talked to my boyfriend's friends (with one exception) is just greetings. 

If you are dating a Japanese person, and you don't know this and can become a concern. At least for me, after about 3 months into dating, I finally asked my boyfriend why I had not met his friends, I was worried that he was hiding something, because that is normally the case in America. But he just looked at me with a puzzled face. Then explained the culture to me. 

I decided to ask my friends about it too. After thinking about it, I had not met any of their boyfriends/girlfriends either. While in America, I have met all of my friend's partners. Most of them said they would not introduce their boyfriends to their friends. When I pushed for a reason I got two different types of answers. 1. It isn't normal/There is no reason to and 2. They think that their friends might try to steal their boyfriends/girlfriends. This lead me to question if that is really a true friend then, but that is an entirely different discussion. 

Moral of the story: don't worry if you haven't met your spouse's friends it's normal and you probably won't!

Happy dating!

For more about my relationship



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


  • Ok, I'm not alone. Thanks for posting this, I feel so much better now. Lol.

  • ReishiiTravels

    on Sep 20

    @AnnaAbola Haha! Glad you liked it! :)