Life in Japan

All You Ever Wanted To Know About Dating Japanese Men

After publishing the article “The Truth About Dating In Japan As A Foreigner” a lot of female readers asked me what it’s like to date a Japanese guy.

Many seemed to be interested in cultural differences and resulting problems in the relationship between a foreign woman and a Japanese man.

Although I’ve been in Japan for 6 years now, I totally lack that kind of experience. smilie

Instead I asked friends and fellow bloggers, who have had Japanese boyfriends or are even married to a Japanese man, to share their personal experience with us.

It was an interesting journey and I want to thank all of the participants for taking the time to tell us about their own unique story. smilie


Name: Zia
Nationality: Puerto Rican
Age: 24

First, let’s hear what Zia has to say. She’ been in Japan for many years and had to go through a lot during her time here already:

I moved to Japan when I was 18 and have been dating Asian guys ever since. I’ve never dated Western guys, though. I often hear girls who long for Asian boyfriends say that Western guys are dogs, and I can confidently say that Asian men are no different. Just like with any place you go, you have your good guys and your bad guys.”

Dating Japanese MenZia, I think we can all agree with that! smilie

“During my first couple of years here, I encountered a lot of guys whose interest in me came purely from the fact that I was foreign. They wanted to know all about Puerto Rico and always brought up the fact that one day, I’d return to my own country.”

I wonder if that’s generally one thing that might prevent Japanese men from dating a Western girl. They’re afraid that one day she might leave Japan again? Hm.

“Now that I’m older, I still come across a lot of men who seem interested in dating a foreigner for language reasons. These are the types of guys I feel we foreign girls encounter most. Amongst them, the good guys are hidden!”

I think that’s generally a big problem – not only when trying to find an “honest” relationship, but also true friends. I’ve heard from many people that they were just “used” as an opportunity to get free English lessons (or whatever their native language was). I bet it’s difficult to filter the ones who are truly interested.

Not only that, but also stereotypes seem to be an issue:

“There are a lot of stereotypes and some girls use them for their own personal gain. Those that stand true to who they are seem to be the ones who find solid relationships. In my case, for instance, men are quick to bring up the topic of bikinis and love hotels the minute I mention I’m Latina. They expect me to put out whenever we’d go out. For a long while, after the loss of someone I planned on spending my entire life with, I gave in to that stereotype and was unable to get involved in a serious relationship.”

Zia is pointing out a few problems in her current relationship due to cultural differences:

“Now, I’m in a happy relationship with an older man who doesn’t speak a lick of English or Spanish, which is my main language. We come across a lot of problems. For one, I’m very passionate in my way of moving and speaking, and I sometimes forget to respect personal space. I’m not at all intimidated by physical contact. He’s the opposite. What we consider common sense is very different.”



Name: Jen
Nationality: British
Age: 27

Jen has dated a couple of Japanese guys and is now married to one. She has experienced issues in her relationship because of cultural differences:

“When I first started dating my husband he was embarrassed to hold hands with me in public. This applied more in Japan than when we were in England, although now he seems completely okay with it. In general, Japanese men are likely to be embarrassed about showing affection in public – even things like putting an arm around someone’s shoulders, or hugging, never mind kissing. Very touchy feely Japanese couples are definitely NOT the norm.”

As another big problem Jen states:

Long working hours and overtime are common here in Japan. My first Japanese boyfriend would go for weeks without contacting me because he was working late every day. Also, a general lack of e-mailing, phone calls etc. seems to be normal. Although I don’t think that this just applies to Japanese men!”

In the previous article we were already discussing the language issue that cross-cultural couples might have. Jen says:

“If you can both speak the other person’s language, there are probably going to be disagreements about what language to speak. My husband and I have a system where we swap languages every day – so today is an English day, and tomorrow is Japanese. At first, we went through periods where we would only speak English (which I didn’t like) or when we would only speak Japanese (which he didn’t like). Obviously we change it according to the circumstances (we are not going to speak in English to each other when out with a lot of Japanese friends!), but this system really works for us. I think this is an important thing to sort out!

Dating Japanese Men

Jen and her husband on vacation in Korea.

Jen’s advice for overcoming or dealing with cultural differences is:

“I think in general, it’s important to be very open about what you are expecting from the relationship. If you need a lot of hugs and affection, make sure that he knows and don’t just get annoyed that he’s not automatically doing it. As long as you’re both honest and open about things, and actually communicate properly with each other, it should be okay!”

If you are single like me, you probably wonder about how to approach a Japanese man. Jen suggests:

“Even if you are shy, if you like someone you should be proactive about it. There is a good chance that he will like you too, and just not have imagined that you could possibly be interested in him. A lot of Japanese men seem to have an inferiority complex (many of my Japanese male friends have told me this), so they might not imagine that any non-Japanese woman would ever be interested in them. So if you like someone, go for it!”



Name: River
Nationality: American (USA)
Age: late 20s

River is a young American who has dated a few Japanese guys before marrying one of them. About her first Japanese boyfriend she says:

“He was just a gaijin-hunter, so that didn’t go to well. He wouldn’t learn any English and it was really frustrating to communicate only in Japanese. At first I was happy about this, because I wanted to speak Japanese. However, the deeper things went, the more difficult it was to understand each other. Even when we broke up it was long and drawn out and he wanted to ‘stay friends’ which I’ve heard is what most Japanese guys like to do. Even after we’d been broken up for a few months he’d still write to me and ask what I was doing and how I was …”

After dating a few Japanese guys she finally met her husband. They seem to have issues caused by cultural differences, but they were able to overcome some of them:

When I started dating my husband, I didn’t really feel that we had any cultural barriers. I guess because by then I’d been in Japan long enough that I knew my way around and I had lived with two Japanese host families, so I have a good sense of Japanese manners and customs. We only spoke in Japanese with each other for a short time before he started to learn English, so he could communicate with me better. We eventually stopped speaking Japanese and now I’m actually unable to speak Japanese in front of him (shy, embarrassed … I’m not sure). I actually forget that he’s Japanese and that he can speak Japanese.”

Although they’ve found a solution for some of the problems, River says:

After we got married we had some trouble with things like housework and money, but I’m not sure if that’s just him, a Japanese trait, or normal married life. He doesn’t expect me to cook Japanese food and he doesn’t measure me by my miso soup making skills (I’ve gotten told by MANY people that my husband will basically judge me on my miso soup). We do have a lot of trouble communicating when we fight and again I’m not sure if it’s a language issue, culture, or just us …”

I found the following statement interesting, because I heard a lot of Western girls with Japanese boyfriends or husbands saying the exact same thing:

My husband isn’t a typical Japanese guy.

River adds:

“I actually have a big problem with people prefacing their relationships with their significant other’s ethnicity. I never call my husband my ‘Japanese husband’. And I hate it when people act like I won a prize or ‘got’ something special because he’s Japanese. He’s just … him.”



Name: Alyse
Nationality: American (USA)
Age: 25

Alyse, a young American woman married to a Japanese man, notices the following cultural differences that sometimes cause problems in her relationship:

“Every guy I’ve ever been in a relationship with has been different from the last, but I suppose dating a Japanese guy has the added spice of major cultural differences, as opposed to just differences in hobbies or upbringing. And from these differences, the biggest one would be language. No matter how fluent each of us becomes in our second language, something is always lost in translation, and that can quickly escalate into a huge argument until we don’t even remember what we started arguing about in the first place. But there’s nothing we can really do other than keep studying and keep trying. So for that part, a significant amount of patience might be necessary.”

Dating Japanese Men

The language barrier seems to be a real issue even when you try hard to understand each other. However, Alyse mentions other problems as well:

“Another difference I noticed has to do with taking care of the household. It took a bit of adjusting (especially on my husband’s side). We knew that we would both be working, but when we first got married, Shota was under the impression that I would be making him lunch every morning, doing his laundry, and just taking care of the house as well as going to work full-time. It’s taken all 3 years of being married and countless long-winded explanations/rants in English and Japanese on my part, but most of the chores are split down the middle now.”

Just like River, Alyse also notices cultural differences when it comes to responsibilities in the household. Her advice is:

“I think when it comes to international relationships, especially with women from countries where men and women are viewed as mostly equals, it takes a lot of time and effort by both for it to work, and if both aren’t ready to concede or make compromises, the relationship won’t last for long.”

Alyse also mentioned another potential issue that nobody else brought up thus far:

“Something I’ve heard is that their mothers can be quite a problem, and this isn’t just for non-Japanese women, but just for the wives of Japanese men in general. The relationship between the mother-in-law and wife can be tenuous at best, and disastrous at its worse. And if you’re dating/marrying the eldest son of the family, you might be expected to move in with his family to take care of his parents as they age. This trend has started to drop off a bit in this generation, but it’s just one of the many things you should think about in a serious relationship!”

I also asked Alyse if she has any advice for us single girls when it comes to dating Japanese men:

Landing a Japanese guy is EASY. Landing a guy who is serious about dating you, and understanding when he is serious, might be a bit harder to do. I didn’t start officially dating Shota until I confessed to him. If they reply positively, then you’re basically a couple, and if not, then it’s probably not going to work. But no matter how many dates you go on, you’re probably not a couple until you confess to him. At least, that’s how I’ve come to understand it. Every person/couple is different, so I suppose the biggest thing is to be open to whatever comes and not to make judgments or assumptions beforehand.”



Name: Claudia
Nationality: German
Age: 23

Claudia is a fellow German woman, but unlike me she met a Japanese guy in her younger days and got married already:

“My husband and I met when I was 19 and living in Tokyo on a Working Holiday Visa. I had not dated terribly much before. There had been two relationships that lasted for a while – with a Japanese guy and with a Korean guy.
We met through friends of friends. At the first meeting we exchanged mail addresses, met up a few times after that and at some point it just happened. Then, I had to leave the country (simple reason: my visa expired), we were in a long-distance-relationship for almost two years and got married as soon as he graduated university.”

Claudia says that her husband actually never wanted to marry a Japanese woman and here’s why:

“According to him, Japanese women are annoying, because they rather keep their emotions inside. Thus, little annoyances turn into huge problems. He also says that, as soon as Japanese women have babies, they turn into mothers, with not hint of the awesome wife you had before, destroying romance and attraction. I’m not entirely sure where he got these ideas from, but they’re his reasons.”

Dating Japanese Men

Claudia mentions issues, but also continuous efforts in her relationship that are necessary because of cultural differences:

“When we met he only spoke Japanese, but right now he is making an effort to learn English (we gave up on German, he promised he’ll start learning as soon as we have children). As most Japanese people, he is hugely interested in food and works too much. 120 hours of overtime should not be normal for anyone.”

According to Claudia the biggest difference between dating a Western man and dating a Japanese one is:

Showing physical affection outside of the house: When we started dating, he wouldn’t even hold my hand when we were outside. Fortunately he has gotten used to it, but he will not hold my hand in front of his parents unless I initiate it. Kissing is still extremely embarrassing for him, and so the physical part of the relationship happens at home. At first, this sudden change in affection as soon as the door closed behind us was weird, but now I actually like it. It’s like there’s a side of my husband only I know.

Another difference she has found between Japanese and German (Western) men is the following:

“He is willing to spend a lot more money on food and travel than I’d expect a German to. To him it’s normal that good things cost money and he’d rather have a stellar experience (paid for with his overtime pay) than a cheap, but unsatisfying one. He also doesn’t complain about my spending, as long as I can afford it.”

Claudia doesn’t mention any problems with her mother-in-law. On the contrary, she had less problems with her husband’s family than she thought she would have:

His parents luckily were excited about the prospect of gaining a German daughter-in-law. I’m not sure most Japanese parents would be that happy, but my father-in-law used to go abroad for work several times a year, and a relative has been living in Canada for basically forever, so they’re open towards foreign cultures. Oh, and Germany has a ridiculously good reputation in Japan. I had a chance to meet a big part of the family and the only one who had any ‘problems’ was my husband’s grandmother, who even after meeting me several times still doesn’t believe that I actually speak Japanese. I’m not going to complain though, she’s in her 80s.”

Claudia doesn’t seem to have to fight with her husband about doing the chores:

“Different from some other Japanese men, my husband doesn’t complain about my housewife skills. At least not a lot. He does not expect me to keep the house extremely clean or to cook every day. Not only does my husband not make a fuss, he actually helps with the household when he has the time.”

When asked for advice on how to go about finding a Japanese boyfriend, Claudia’s response was:

Know people who have access to tons of Japanese people. Ask to meet their friends. Be yourself, but keep in mind that Japanese culture is different from your own culture. Respect that, as far as you can without being untrue to yourself. Speaking Japanese also helps a big deal, especially as you will probably deal with the family of your boyfriend or spouse at some point.”



Name: Vivian
Nationality: Canadian
Age: 30

Last, but not least Vivian, a Canadian in her 30s, has a very positive opinion about cultural differences in a relationship:

“There’s always interesting cultural differences that pop up in the course of the relationship – some are exciting, while others can be more difficult to deal with, but I think it’s the same as any relationship, regardless of the culture. There’s always things you learn about the other person. Being in Japan, I think that dating a Japanese man can open up a whole new world, seeing Japan from a Japanese perspective, and you can learn a lot about the country and culture.”

As for finding a Japanese boyfriend, she suggests:

“I think men are men – everywhere in the world. Of course there are some specific cultural traits that differ, but overall, I’d say finding a Japanese boyfriend is the same as finding any boyfriend. Japanese men might seem shy at first, but ultimately they want the same thing.
If you can’t speak much Japanese, it’s probably best to go for a Japanese man who has lived abroad and can speak fluent English. If you can speak Japanese, you have better chances to meet them as it’s easier to have a conversation and flirt when you share a language. My advice is to take things slow, but if you like a Japanese guy don’t be shy to ask him out as he might be too intimidated to do so.”

Vivian has an interesting advice for anybody who wants to date a Japanese man that nobody else mentioned so far:

“This may not please everyone, but I suggest to take good care of your physical appearance. For example, most Japanese women are meticulous about their appearance, and while you don’t need to look like a walking doll, basic things like nice clothes, healthy body, skin and hair really make a difference. I believe you should never change your personality to please a man! I’m sure some Japanese men think most foreign girls are too loud and extroverted, but if that’s how you are then you should find someone who will embrace it.”



Dating Japanese Men – Conclusion

I think we all gained very interesting insights thanks to these young women who were willing to share their unique stories and experiences with us.

While there’s no doubt that each relationship is different, a few things were mentioned again and again. I guess it’s safe to say that you should keep those in mind if you are thinking about dating Japanese men:

  • Japanese men are often very shy, so you should be proactive
  • There might be no physical contact in front of others ( in Japan)
  • There might be fights over household responsibilities
  • Even if you speak each other’s mother tongue there might be communication issues
  • Overtime and long working hours could become a problem in a relationship
  • Be open-minded and ready to compromise

I know there are a lot of young women out there who are either interested in dating Japanese men or who are already in a relationship. This post could only display the experience of a handful of people. If you have your own unique story, questions or comments, don’t be shy and speak up! Of course, guys are welcome to share their opinion and experience as well! smilie

I’m looking forward to hearing from you! smilie


  • This is really interesting! I dated a Japanese guy when I was in Japan but it didn’t work out. He wouldn’t tell his parents he was dating a gaijin unless I got really serious and talked about moving in with him, and although I was having fun I just wasn’t that into him. I realised I was never going to want to marry him (not because he was Japanese, but just because he wasn’t the one), and so we had to break up. It’s great to hear so many positive stories about Western women who have successful relationships with Japanese guys, as you don’t hear about it so often.

    • That’s the problem!
      You don’t hear so often about these kind of stories which leads to the impression that it’s very difficult for a Western woman to find a Japanese boyfriend.

      I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you. But if he was not the one, then it couldn’t be helped, I guess. :(

    • If the guy is so ashamed to tell his family that he is dating a gaijin, drop him. His small penis will not give you any pleasure anyway. It is not like they are filthy rich like some of the Chinese people are, so their small wiener size cannot be made up with earning money since most Japanese men do not necessarily earn per hour what people do in the west. Are you aware that most Japanese men have experiences paying for sex? Unless you are comfortable dating men who have been with prostitutes, which is a deal breaker for most people, I would not touch these perverted men. You will see that most Japanese women know how much of a pig Japanese men are being misogynistic and all prefer to date white men.

      • 「 Are you aware that most Japanese men have experiences paying for sex? Unless you are comfortable dating men who have been with prostitutes, which is a deal breaker for most people, I would not touch these perverted men. You will see that most Japanese women know how much of a pig Japanese men are being misogynistic and all prefer to date white men.」

        Alright, I am glad to hear that so many people are in good-shaped with their “Japanese men”. But I can tell you the truth, 。。。

        「Are you aware that most Japanese men have experiences paying for sex?」

        ↑ Yes, this is true for the perverts. And it is very hard for you to distinguish a pervert from a non-pervert because Japanese are extremely subtle and they do not reveal what they did in the past in many cases. So even your “existing boyfriend/husband” seems extremely NORMAL from the outside or in every single occasion, they might have this “paying for sex” experiences, “cheating” experiences and just never tell you and the truth will bury with them till they die.

        AND, as I see how many people writing on this page are seem so “trusting”, you won’t even know if your boyfriends/husbands have been cheating on you.

        This is my warning to you all.

        The truth is “Japanese male are famous in cheating”.
        Ask the Japanese female and they can tell you all.
        According to the statistics, 30% of the male cheat here.

        They cheat and they won’t even feel much about it cause they are experts in hiding their feelings until the day you accidentally find out some evidence or you feel something suspicious. Plus, many male are surrounded by friends that see “cheating” a minor thing. And the stupid media, this and that celebrities, cheat cheat cheat, everyday on the news.

    • For a Japanese boy to introduce his girl friend to his mother is an indication to his parents that he is going to marry with her. It has nothing to do with gaijin/Japanese thing, and purely a cultural difference.

  • Thanks for this blogpost!
    I always like to read/hear, that most of the other women, dating japanese men, have the same “problems” as I have.
    It gives me the strengh to fight for that relationship.
    Thanks to all that women who participated :)

  • A most interesting post! One thing they all point out: you pretty much need to make the first step. I think you have been too shy all along!

    Btw, I think Claudia is lovely!

    • I know that very well. But if somebody is naturally shy when it comes to these kind of things, they can’t just change that easily, I guess. :/

      Oh, yes! She really is! :D

    • Aww, thank you <3
      When I confessed to my husband, he basically thought I was joking. Western women are put on a pedestral sometimes, and Japanese men don't think they would ever have a chance.

        • Yea, I didn’t confess first either. We flirted pretty heavily with each other, but he was the one to tell me up front that he liked me and wanted me to be his girlfriend. He swept me off my feet!

        • It’s really refreshing to get actual accounts of international relationships in Japan instead of pointless tips on “How to get a Japanese boyfriend.” It’s also just really entertaining to hear what other women dating/married in Japan have to say about their relationships. LOVED this article!

          I’ve been in a relationship with a Japanese man for about 7 months. It started super naturally, and he confessed to me pretty early for my American standards. He always tells other people he is shy, but he’s actually super friendly and easy to talk to, which made our dating period go smoothly I think. We speak in both Japanese and English and frankly don’t care which language we use. Actually, a lot of times we speak in a mix, so it works out I guess. I met his parents pretty early on too, and even though they’re much older and seem pretty conservative, we get along fine.

          Really the only problems we’ve faced stem from his crazy schedule. Sometimes he is super busy and other times he has tons of time to spare and spend with me. I think my brain and body just get confused by the inconsistency is all! Any communication problems really don’t phase me because I think we care enough about each other to talk things out and try to understand each other! Love is what makes all those little issues worth it. That’s the same anywhere in the world. :hearts:

          • Hey Kori! :)

            That was my intention and I’m glad you enjoyed this article.

            Thanks so much for sharing your experience as well. Sounds like you two have found a great way and your relationship sounds so lovely! :D

  • Wow, this is terribly interesting! It’s (very) rare to hear from the girl’s side about their relationship with Japanese guys.. very common to see Japanese girl with non-Japanese guy couple, but not the other way around. I’m a guy myself though, but this topic still relates to me.

    Shyness is definitely a common trait, be it for Japanese girl or guy. :)

  • Yay, this must have taken quite a bit a work but it was so well done :shiawase: !!
    I really enjoyed reading the posts from everyone. It’s always nice to hear various perspectives :stars:
    I’m gonna give all these bloggers a glance too! It’s my first time hearing about everyone :music2:

  • I am confused with my Japanese man…he is considered a successful man in his country..drives a nice BMW M3, dress smartly and well to do. We chatted for few months before i flew to Japan and meet him. Once i met him, it all happened at the first night and he was the one that made the move..i asked him is he was serious with me..he said yes and asked him if he wants me..he said yes too. But once i got back to my country, it was very hard for me to reach him via his cellphone and i told him many times, what he really wants..he didn’t asnwer me either. i got confused by his actions…i told him not to reply me anymore because i cant understand him yet he still replied me…but he didn’t and ever answer me when i text him. Im so so confused by his actions. Sometimes, while texting, the text goes unanswered until the next day, he will reply me. Is this common in Japan…missing in action while you were texting…lol…im trying my very best to understand now…

    • Hi Sue!

      I hope some of the experienced readers here can give you some advice.
      Some mentioned that Japanese men are slow to respond or often don’t mail as often as they expected them to, so maybe it’s just very common? :/

    • Hello dear!
      About your problem, I have heard that there are types in Japan (which may I say the majime type) who did approach you if he really like you, and after you two are one, then he will like ignore you or be passive towards you. It’s like “my mission is done, I don’t need to put on afford anymore”. If you really love him, you are the one who need to be proactive and show your affection towards him. Sometimes sacrifices are needed to hold on your relationship.
      My Japanese BF is that majime type. He do approach me first, with his own way though. First he just keep looking at me, even in the meeting, his eyes is just on me but he did not made any move. It’s quite intimidating for me. Outside work, he tried to be near me, or speak with me. And than I text him and he always replied (fastes response need a day long). We go on a date, etc. but the time when he is busy, he didn’t replayed me at all. I still can meet him in the office and sometimes he replay my message if we met in person. I have ask him once why he didn’t replayed me, wether I disturb him or not, and he replayed pretty fast, apologize me and telling me that it’s not the reason.
      So the point is, if you really love him (no blind love,consider the future with him, the culture differ, etc.) then go for it! Fight for your love! Don’t be too sesitive and selfconcious, just be who you are, try to understand him, communication is the point. So if he seldom replay you, don’t ask question via text. Call him instead. Text him to support his work or anything that may made him happy. All man are the same, they just need commfort. If he is comfort with you, than he will not leave you.
      Btw, you need to confess to consider him as your BF. Majime type are way too shy and has high ego. If you want him to confess, you may need take years of fight to hear him said it.
      I’m sorry for bad english, I’m asian.

      • What is”confess to him”..
        I’m interested in a Japanese man Co worker I don’t kno how to let him know that I like him.. Any suggestions.

  • Great post. I really enjoyed reading all these experiences. I heard that some Japanese man are very fond of their mothers :) not that this doesn’t happen to some Western guys as well. I remember watching a Japanese dorama- Seiji no mikata- and the mother in law used to come at the newly weds’ house- when they were at work- only to check out how the daughter in law was doing the household. Of course she was blabbing and complaining all the time.. so funny

    Hope to read similar post like this in the future :)

  • wow! a very interesting read. sometimes i think it would be nice to have a japanese boyfriend, but then i think i only think so because i like toma. haha. probably would not work out if i actually tried finding one. xD

  • Interesting article, but, a pity that there was no mention of same sex relationships. After all, some of us do have relationships.

    As a gay man that has been seeing a Japanese guy for a couple of months, it would have been nice to know whether the situations I find myself to be in are more likely to be down to cultural differences or whether it is more likely a difference in personalities.

    Just a thought.

    • I would also like to read about this! It’s hard enough to find information about relationships between non-Japanese women and Japanese men, but I imagine that it must be even more difficult to find information about same-sex relationships. Although I expect that a lot of the issues would be the same as in straight relationships, I would be interested in seeing what the differences are.

      I think the point of this post was to find out women’s perspectives though. Seeing as the blog is written by a straight (as far as I know?) woman, it makes sense that this perspective would be covered first!

    • Hi Malikai.

      Thanks for mentioning it. I bet it’s even more difficult to find any information about same gender relationships.
      It would certainly be more difficult to cover that topic for someone like me who has no connection to the Japanese gay scene.
      I’m sure there must be at least one or two blogs about it in English somewhere. If I find anything, I’ll let you know – or if I get enough information I might even write about it in my blog! :D

  • Thanks for this awesome post!
    It’s great to hear about other people’s stories, and also that they also have trouble communicating at times ;)
    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years and even though he spend a lot of his lifetime in Scotland and thus is usually quite “Western” in his thinking, we surely have our communication problems at times…(not due to the “Japanese” part of his way of thinking, though – just because of language barrier and just… different mindsets sometimes ;)).
    Sometimes I feel like “If these small issues make us argue already, are we headed anywhere good at all?” – but hearing that this is just a quite natural issue for “mixed” couples, I feel quite lik Anika:

    It gives me the strengh to fight for that relationship.

    • Hey, Frauke!
      Thanks so much for sharing your experience as well! ^_^
      Seems like there is no relationship without any issues – and there are naturally more in cross-cultural relationships.
      I also think it’s always worth fighting for it – if you really care! :D

  • This is a really interesting post!
    Just like every relationship, there are obstacles that you either overcome or get tripped up by them.
    Since I’m gay, I assume it’ll be even harder to meet a Japanese guy :(
    Also, I find that because I’m not Caucasian nor Asian (I’m mixed), the Japanese guys tend to not be interested as much.
    I am just wondering, are there any differences between younger and older Japanese guys? No offense to younger guys, but it is hard to find someone who is not totally into manga/anime/drama, but can talk about Japanese culture, movies, and literature…

    • I think it also depends where you are / live in Japan!
      I bet it’s easier in bigger cities like Osaka and Tokyo in general as people there are more “open-minded” and you’d have better chances in general.

      Your interests or hobbies usually don’t have to do so much with your age!
      Some “otaku” (people who are obsessed with manga / anime / games) will stay like that forever, no matter how old they are.
      It’s weird that you can’t seem to find any younger Japanese men who are interested in things beyond manga / anime / games etc.
      Again it also depends on where you hang out, even online!
      Personally I don’t know a single Japanese guy who’s interested in that kind of stuff.

  • Sorry, I typed that after reading the post on deadly insects! Now that I think about it, it’s work they seem to be tied to. I was supposed to meet with this guy three times, and all three times he let me know an hour before the meeting saying he has to work. I actually find a lot of my fellow Japanese learners in Canada are more interested in manga/anime. I hope I didn’t offend anyone :)

  • Hi, thank you for all that interesting information! I am also a German married to a Japanese guy, living in Japan. The thing with a lack of showing physical contact in public is new to me, my husband kisses me in public and if I do not watch out he will start grabbing my butt when I stand in front of him on the crowded escalator (he ruins my good reputation, hahaha :-) ) It might be because we had lived together in Germany for 2 years before we moved to Japan, so he has adopted German manners.
    Also I have a very good friendship with his mom, but I was told people from Osaka are more open-minded than other Japanese, no idea if that is true.
    However the communication problem is familiar to me as well, we mostly use German but sometimes he misunderstands what I say. Not because of lack of vocabulary or grammar, but some German ways of saying something seem to be impolite to him, while they are very normal for a German native speaker. So I try to do my best to quickly identify a misunderstanding and explain to him.

    • Hi Silke! :D

      Wow, that’s rare! So, your husband speaks German? I suppose you got to know each other in Germany then? :)

      Well, not everybody is the same. I do not doubt that the lack of physical contact in public is a common problem, but of course it’s not like that and each and every relationship. Glad to hear that it’s different for you guys! ^___^

      Thanks a lot for sharing your story with us!

  • I just want to float a word of caution out there for the “be proactive” advice.

    In my experience, being proactive gets me into relationships where the person doesn’t actually like me back. People, especially guys, have a hard time saying “no” to me for some reason. :( While that seems to be a normal dynamic between me and shy/inexperienced guys in general, it has held especially true for my dating life here in Japan. The 2 Japanese guys I confessed to got into a relationship with me only to tell me later that they didn’t have romantic feelings towards me. (I did have one relationship with a guy who asked me out; he’s also the only one I was able to remain friends with after we broke up.)

    For guys who are more shy, I would advise taking things super slow (like, if you think you are taking things slowly enough you probably aren’t). Things might have turned out differently for me and one of the guys if I had invested more time into our relationship before confessing. It might have also have saved me from confessing to the other guy if I had taken more time to make sure that I was interpreting his signals correctly.

    • Hello Anonymouse,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your bad experience and I’m thankful that you’re warning us.
      Thanks for sharing your experience, even though it was a bad one and for giving some advice! ^__^

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