Gaijin in Japan answer: “What issues did you have dating a Japanese person?”

There are some good things to be said for dating a Japanese person if you’re a gaijin, but not everything is rainbows and lollipops. Here are some counterarguments that shed light to potential rocky roads involved in dating a Japanese person.

Japanese aren’t frank about their feelings

  • I don’t know what they’re really thinking, so I can’t be close friends with them (Sweden/Male/late 30s)
  • They don’t put their thoughts to words, so it’s troublesome (Thailand/Female/late 30s)
  • Even if I meet them everyday we only talk about the weather. We don’t talk about each other’s feelings (South Korea/Female/late 30s)

It’s been said that Japanese people hide their true feelings and put up a front. This seems to translate to “can’t read their thoughts” and “won’t open up.”

I’m too direct…

  • I’m Caucasian. According to east Asian women, including Japanese, I’m too direct, too honest, explain too much, cause misunderstandings, and hurt feelings (Italy/Male/early 30s)

Indeed, in the perspective of Japanese people, the directness of foreigners might be a bit jarring for Japanese people.

Splitting the bill for dates

  • Splitting the bill after a meal, extravagant presents (Nepal/Male/early 40s)
  • I’ve never dated a Japanese person, but I’ve heard that they split the bill (Uzbekistan/Female/late 20s)

Splitting the bill seemed “unbelievable” for many. Even between Japanese people, splitting the bill or it being a treat is a source of debate for certain couples…

Issues with the food

  • He wouldn’t help much with the house chores even when we lived together. Also, I don’t like fish, so we had difficulty choosing a restaurant to go to (America/Female/late 20s)
  • I can’t speak Japanese. A lot of English people just think “if I can eat it, it’s good enough,” but this is not the case for most Japanese. So it was often an ordeal when eating out (England/Male/early 20s)

Seems that the difference in food preference are a common problem as well. I’ve dated an American man in the past, and he did not like Japanese food and instead preferred rich, meaty foods. I have a sensitive stomach so I preferred traditional, lighter Japanese food. I remember this causing a lot of problems between us.

They’re too kind

  • He was very kind, but I didn’t understand why he had a mother complex and loved his mother so much (Polan/Female/late 20s)
  • Japanese are too quick to turn sweet and kind, it’s annoying. Also, they’re too thoughtful of others. Don’t be too kind to foreigners, and instead be cool! (France/Female/late 20s)

Kindness was seen as annoying… It seems that kindness and thoughtfulness can be a double-edged sword.

Egyptian men also noted that “Japanese women don’t listen to men.” A man from Morocco noted that “they plan every little thing and think too much about the future.” It seems that there are a lot of surprises dating a Japanese person, but what did you think?

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