There are reasons why I write this article. There are lots of articles out there about Westerners dating Japanese women and what to expect. However, there are very few about dating the Japanese man and what to expect. After being in a relationship with a Japanese man I think that I know why. Very few Japanese men are willing to date Westerners. They are considered a rare breed in Japan. The Western man and the Japanese lady are far popular. This article was illustrated by myself.
1) They Like Us, But They Don't
So you are standing there in a bar and you see that really cute Japanese guy. You are really hoping that he will come over and talk to you, and then suddenly he disappears. Where did he go?
Well, if he was giving you the eye, then he probably did like you. However, that could be as far as you get. Most Japanese men think that the European and Western women are very beautiful. That is definitely true. Only a few men will actually come up and talk to you. These men are the rare exception.
One of the things that I learnt from dating a Japanese man for nearly two years, is that they perceive European and Western women to be outspoken, loud, and bolshy. Yes, some of that may be true, but not all of us are like that. Like we would, they put us into a very stereotyped category. They may also be afraid that they would have to speak English.
What a Japanese man would really want is a shy, timid, not very outspoken, not very confrontational woman, who dresses in a reserved manner. Everything that they want in a European and Western woman that they can find in Japanese women.
If you are interested in that Japanese man, then go up to him. Try to speak Japanese. You should ask for his number, or line, etc.
I got lucky. The man I dated came up to me and spoke to me. I asked for his line, and he asked me for a date.
2) The First Date
The chances that he will ask you on a date is next to zero. Put it down to ineptness, lack of social experience, or scared, the chances are slim. Save the waiting game. You will have a long wait. Do it yourself, but not forcefully.
3) Work is Priority
Alas, again the work is priority comes up. In European and Western countries the work in most relationships is second. In Japan it is very much the opposite. The Japanese work system is so strict, and it's drilled into them from kindergarten that your job is the most important thing in your life (visit my two "Work in Japan" articles for more information about that) and that everything else is the bottom of the list. It is sad to say, but the men are bread winners and women are just considered baby making machines. Although recently people in Japan have started to marry for love, so the times are changing, but very slowly.
I had to learn that I had to be supportive and understanding of him. I had to wait. Whilst it can be increasingly frustrating, you just have to accept it, or move on.
4) Payment for Dates
In Western and European countries women like to display their independence and at least pay for something. Here though, it is the other way. Japanese men want to pay for everything and can be confused if women want to pay.
For me I got quite lucky. My boyfriend respected the fact that I wanted independence, and I came from a country where it was given to me (thanks to the Suffragettes chaining themselves up), so he opted to let me have it. Not all the time, just some of the time. So occasionally I was allowed to pay for everything. He always paid for coffee shop visits, and really expensive meals. Other times he let me give a contribution and not the whole bill.
5) P.D.A (Public Displays of Affection)
P.D.A only stretches to hand holding. Everything else is a big no no. I guess this is not so shocking.
This I learned quickly. They hate confrontation. They will not argue, and they will not tell you if you have done something wrong. Now then, not everything is sorted via an arguement. I once told my boyfriend that it is really important to say to each other if we get upset by something, but to no avail. If you can let it go, then do that. It will be a waste of time giving the silent treatment or shouting, because he will not apologize (unless he really has to) and he will not fight back.
7) Being Pyschic
Japanese men do not communicate. They expect you to be able to read what they feel. That is always the way it has been in their society. Don't talk about their feelings, just expect the foreigner to know. That is near impossible for us to do that. Japanese women can because they too have been brought up that way.
8) Keeping it Quiet
This can be a huge problem. Japanese men prefer to keep the relationship quiet. This is because Japanese men are expected to marry Japanese women and it would be an embarrassment for them to be seen dating a foreigner, much less than Japanese women. It is hardly surprising, because the first foreign acceptance arrived only around sixty - seventy years ago in Yokohama.
I remember asking my boyfriend at the time, "Why am I not allowed to meet your parents?", to which he replied, "It is because you are my personal life. It is my business and they will ask too many questions." To me that said a lot.
Not all relationships end well in Japan. Have you ever heard of ghosting? For the Japanese it is socially/culturally acceptable. Ghosting is where the person who doesn't want the relationship anymore suddenly stops contacting you. The reason why they stop contacting you is because they hope that it will be "easier for you", they will be sparing you from "the pain" and that you assume you just "grew apart". In actual reality it is the reverse. What they are doing is making it easier for themselves, sparing themselves the pain, saving themselves the confrontation, and the guilt of having to be the one to call it off. This is how most relationships end here. Painful to recipient of the ghosting and easy for the other. For a foreigner it is not good emotionally and psychologically.
There are many other points. Mostly good. I have mainly just highlighted the parts that we would consider a little irritating, and maybe a little subjective. Do you have any experiences that you would like to talk about?
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