May 1, 2019

Dating Differences: Japanese Boyfriend's Parents

There are a lot of things that come along with dating someone from a different culture, but one of the most scary things is dealing with parents. I already touched meeting the parents in this post. This post is for talking about my boyfriend's relationship with his parents and a problem that came up recently!

Dating Differences: Japanese Boyfriend's Parents photo

My boyfriend! 

For the record, I love my boyfriend's parents, and we get along quite well. We actually go to visit them about once every month or so to have dinner together. However, recently there was a not so great situation that rose up that really had me thinking about cultural differences. Recently, I had to move, so my boyfriend and I had discussed living together. We have been together just a month short of two years and it seemed like a good time since his lease was up as well. But then, he said he would have to ask his parents. To me, that was already a bit strange since he is an adult and living in an apartment, but I figured, it's different culture.

Low and behold, his parents decided to say no. I never imagined that would be their response since we have such a good relationship and his parents never seemed like typical Japanese parents. 

Not only was I disappointed that I couldn't live with my boyfriend, but I was really hurt. Frankly, it tore me apart. I went over and over in my head what the possible reason could be. I came up with thousands of reasons, but my boyfriend insisted that none of them were correct. I hope that he was right!  

The reasoning that I finally accepted was that in Japan, it is still typical for couples to wait until they are married to live together. Therefore, my boyfriend's parents most likely have that line of thinking. Regardless with how cool they are with him dating a foreigner, they are still conservative. This situation reminded me of how conservative Japan still is, but I feel like I still forget it sometimes. 

Luckily, this has not effected my relationship with my boyfriend's parents. However, I feel like it may come up in the future since my boyfriend and I still want to live together before getting married. But, I guess only time will tell. 

Have you encountered any similar situations to this? How is your relationship with you Japanese significant other's parents?



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


  • maynestacy

    on May 16

    Hello from Yokkaichi! How`s it going? I dated my Japanese husband for 5 years before we married. By the way, if interested, you may be eligible to join the Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese or a similar organization, even if you are not married. There are lots of us, many have been here for decades, every kind of parent-in-laws, many kinds of situations. I do know that on the whole, it seems that it is better to live some distance from the in-laws!

  • ReishiiTravels

    on May 17

    @maynestacy Hello!! I would love that! How would I go about joining?

  • maynestacy

    on May 21

    @ReishiiTravels, https://www.afwj.org/