Japanese Dating Culture | Back to Japan
May 21, Dating in Japan is not the same for foreign men and women. And even those who haven't seem to accept that there are cultural differences. Sep 28, Finding a partner in Japan takes some extra planning, cultural I started dating with very poor Japanese skills and raged against any thoughts. Aug 27, How a love of Japan led me to stop dating its women . Send your views on cross-cultural dating in Japan — and any other comments or.
But actually I am going to argue the reverse: I admire the grace and beauty of Japanese women and am more than aware of their considerable diversity, from demure kimono-clad Kyoto ladies to the unfettered, boisterous personalities so associated with Osaka. I realize you can find everything in Japanese womanhood, from power-dressing politicians and brilliant authors to tech entrepreneurs. If my circumstances in life were slightly different — if, say, I was living in a Western country working for a Western firm, or if I was looking to form a bridge to Japanese culture — I have no doubt that having a Japanese partner would add a fascinating extra dimension to my life.
The reason, however, that long ago I found myself seldom aspiring to be in a relationship with Japanese girls has to do with the manner in which I connect with Japan itself, a culture in which I have always searched for a version of personal freedom. Somewhere in the cultural differences between Japan and the West I felt that I could define my own personal sense of self.
How a love of Japan led me to stop dating its women
Having a Japanese partner, I repeatedly discovered, unbalanced this sense of freedom. No longer was I in control of my relationship with Japan; now I tended to feel more like a prisoner in a relationship with a foreign culture from which I could not escape.
The only way I could truly enjoy and develop my love for Japan, I concluded, was by excluding my love life from that cultural relationship. Let me take you back to the beginning, though, when in my mids I came to study and live in Japan as a graduate student. Like so many other Western men in Japan, I soon discovered that at the age of 25 I was dating a drop-dead gorgeous Japanese girl of such loveliness that I had to pinch myself to believe she could be interested in my shabbily dressed self.
Having endured undergraduate years in England where I was barely able to find a girlfriend of any description, this sudden transformation of fortunes should perhaps have been enough to have immediately made me seal the deal with the heavenly Japanese girlfriend, who was only too keen to settle down together.
Love In Japan: 6 Do's and Don'ts On Your First Date - Savvy Tokyo
But somehow I dithered, feeling correctly that my romantic career was only just beginning. There were several reasons why I started losing interest in dating Japanese women, but the main one was my deepening involvement with Japanese culture.
By then I felt quite comfortable — indeed, slightly bored — in an exclusively Japanese world. I was spending all week in university libraries, taxing my brain, reading Japanese books. I wanted to head off to the bars and clubs of downtown Osaka and hang out with exciting girls from all over the world.
Japanese culture and dating
And there were so many of them! My feisty Korean girlfriend was a constant source of cultural bewilderment to me, exploding into a fury if I did not fulfill her strange demands — she once took off a stiletto and hurled it across a train station foyer at me — and yet suddenly switched to mawkish tenderness.
After all the excitement of these girlfriends, my periodic return to the arms of Japanese girlfriends seemed like interludes of Zen-like stillness. And yet pursuing a relationship with someone from another East Asian country was never really an option — I was too devoted to my studies in Japan to have time for another major cultural commitment.Japanese Dating Culture - No Sex in 3 Months?!
I found my New World girlfriends exciting and stimulating and yet never mentally tiring or a distracting cultural commitment. I enjoyed halcyon years of flying home to the U. The New World girlfriend, I concluded, was the perfect match for me.
I found that the nationality of the girl I was dating greatly affected my mental mood and how I thought about things. Japanese girlfriends, for example, were nearly always quite keen on the idea of moving back to the U. But I, in contrast, was always keen to remain firmly established in Japan.
I lived with a very generous host family for part of that time, and to repay their kindness, I determined to understand and appreciate as many facets of Japanese society as my brain could possibly absorb. Five years later, it's still a work in progress, but I've definitely come a long way. My strange and unpredictable path in life has intersected with many different aspects of Japanese culture. And, as a member of Generation Y, with unique and, to put it politely, not altogether conventional dating habits, I have had relationships of varying length with a number of women representing a long list of different nationalities, careers and backgrounds.
I hope this is something you won't judge me on.
I am not a womanizer or a playboy. On the contrary, I've loved and appreciated every individual I've been involved with. I find myself wishing that, like the Eskimos with their plethora of labels for snow, we had far more numerous descriptors for that feeling you get when you know someone has left an indelible mark on your life and that you will always cherish them for it.
In the absence of these, love will have to do, and I'm sure you'll agree with me that it's an indispensable, yet completely unpredictable, hopelessly complicated aspect of life. That said, I won't purport to dispense dating advice with this column.