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When I moved to Japan about five years ago, I quickly realized that finding love in this country was not going to be an easy task. By Sara Who Apr 17, 4 min read. Most western men I met were either gay, in a relationship or only interested in Japanese women.
I did find Japanese guys very attractive, but they would never approach me, being notoriously shy around foreign women. I could sometimes detect a flicker of interest, at most, before they ran away. The courtship process in Japan puzzled me. From what I gathered from my Japanese girlfriends, it seemed to involve a lot of passiveness, indirect communication, text messaging, misunderstandings and patience.
After wasting months subtly pursuing a guy at work only to discover he had a girlfriend, I quit the Japanese way — and bento making, also described by my friends as a boyfriend magnet in Japan. I was new to the online dating scene and a little hesitant at first. After a particularly gloomy weekend, I decided that some no strings attached action sounded a lot better than no action at all. I ed Japan Cupid, a dating website and started combing through profiles of creeps, charisma men and thankfully, potentially interesting Japanese guys.
To my surprise, I got a lot of attention, especially from the ever so shy and elusive Japanese guys. Hidden behind their computer screens, they could now safely approach me. Most were also pretty international, could speak English and were looking for a chance to meet non-Japanese people.
I soon found myself having dinner with a string of attractive Japanese men — the same ones that would never approach me before. Most first dates were a bit nerve-wracking, as you are after all meeting a complete stranger or potential psychopath, but getting to know each other was quite easy. If conversation topics ran out, we could always talk about life in Japan or abroad, or worse case scenario, how good I was at using chopsticks.
In a way, being from different cultural backgrounds made it easier to find things to talk about. If my dates were always very friendly, it was sometimes hard to tell if they were interested in me or not. Where western guys would perhaps try to kiss you goodnight or try to invite themselves for a late night coffee, Japanese guys would awkwardly shake your hand, at most. I never had to make the first move back home, but I quickly understood that if I wanted anything to happen on the first date, I would have to put on my big girl pants. After a tough and manly karate coach turned into a pink shaking mess when I invited him back to my place, it became apparent that a subtle approach might work better.
I discovered hand holding and dark karaoke boxes did wonders with shy Japanese guys, giving them all the als needed to take things further, i. One thing that surprised me the most was that online dating was not only for casual hook-ups and one night stands.
Though I admit I had my fair share of fun. Some guys were genuinely looking for a relationship, but found it difficult to meet people the traditional way, especially if they were interested in foreign girls. I did end up meeting three of my boyfriends online and about half of my friends also met their other halves the same way. For one, it takes time to find quality matches, especially on Tinder.
You will also probably have your share of disappointing dates… but sometimes, you will also meet a great guy that will make it all worthwhile. Positives: free, fun, endless matches, swipe right to say yes and left to say no, match first then message, great to keep the creeps away.
Negatives: Time consuming, very little info to go on. Positives: free, lengthy profiles, search people based on compatibly or specific criteria. Negatives: lots of creeps and unwanted attention. Positives: lots of choice if you are a paying member, non-paying members can contact paying members, lengthy profiles. Negatives: A bit expensive, a few unsavoury gentlemen. Intercultural explorer, matchmaking choreographer, dating in Tokyo since More articles by Sara Who.
You must be insanely picky to date for 5 years and not find anyone. Online dating can be very practical option to meet someone but it can be very time consuming and stressful process…all the information is self claimed so you must be very careful at first if your expectation is to have a long term relationship that le to something more permanent.
There are many people who chose to work with matchmakers if their intention to meet someone as ready to have relationship as you. Many Japanese people the marriage consulting agency to meet spouse-to-be. This is as practical as online except the profile information is backed by the proof and both people are ready to settle down. Finding Love for anyone is very difficult these days which even Online Dating sucks, especially for us Good men looking to settle down. Dating in Japan have a huge difference for foreign men and women, for a not-so-ugly guy could be very easy to find anything pretty fast, online or in a bar.
And many other hobbies that Japanese guys tend to have. I am surprised to hear that Japanese guys have hobbies at all. IF baseball, Golf , tennis etc. Those people will also be able to forget about all those social rules that exist only in Japan — but that is only until they arrive back at Narita or Haneda. Very interesting article, thank you for sharing your experiences. I personally want to move to Japan in a few years from now and find information like this very insightful.
Hi Sara, Very fresh article. I tried Tinder and OkCupid over a year. But in OkCupid all was very different, just register an take at least 1hour. You need to make a very detailed descripsion about yourself otherwise nobody will talk to you.
And other people are doing so interesting description of themself it is like reading a book sometimes. Finally I ended up by meeting my future wife and recommend this appli for everyone. I am actually living in the most inaka place in Japan Ibaraki You have to seek out other places that are more… populated.
Internet dating is somehow surprisingly the main tool to reach out to people. Don't be that one gaijin who ruins it for the rest of us. By Liam Carrigan Jan 29, 7 min read. By Matthew Coslett Mar 14, 3 min read. Finally found someone to respond to your online dating profile? Here's 5 creative first date ideas to make that everlasting impression.
By Rebecca Quin Aug 1, 3 min read. Popular dating apps and websites in Japan Tinder Positives: free, fun, endless matches, swipe right to say yes and left to say no, match first then message, great to keep the creeps away. Ok Cupid Positives: free, lengthy profiles, search people based on compatibly or specific criteria.
Japan Cupid Positives: lots of choice if you are a paying member, non-paying members can contact paying members, lengthy profiles. Topics: Living in Japan. Sara Who Intercultural explorer, matchmaking choreographer, dating in Tokyo since Chris Coates says:. October 28, at pm. October 14, at pm. The Honest Truth says:.
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The Shocking Truth About Dating in Japan as a Foreigner