Adventures in Dating in Japan

(Note: Most of my dating stories take place a few years ago, when I was new and confused by everything. As opposed to now, where I’m old and confused by everything.)
(Note part 2: Upon rereading the original post, I realize it might come across like I’m bashing one type of guy, or saying that it’s only OK for men to look or behave in a certain way. I promise that’s not my intention, I’m just talking about what I personally find attractive. I’m sure there’s lots of people that disagree with me about that, and that’s perfectly fine. Be who you are and like what you like. Even if it’s Twilight.)

Despite what you might think (because, let’s face it, I’m a sexy lady), I haven’t had a lot of success with men in the past. I didn’t date a whole lot in college, and I considered any interaction with guys that didn’t end with them spitting in my eye to be a good one.

For the record, no one has ever spit in my eye and therefore all my interactions with men have been pleasant. It’s this kind of positive thinking that has gotten me so far in life.

What I did know, however, was the type of guy I liked. When it came to physical appearance, I always considered my standards to be ‘reasonable’. As long as he showers regularly and wears pants at appropriate times, I consider him marriage material. The idea of dating a guy that took longer to get ready in the morning than me or knew more about fashion and clothing brands than I ever would was a tad off-putting. Not to say there’s anything wrong with guys enjoying that kind of thing, it just makes me feel lazy. And I don’t need anymore reasons to feel lazy.

So, as you can imagine, I ran into a few problems in Japan.

It’s not that I don’t find Japanese men attractive. I do. I ended up dating a number of Japanese guys before I left Japan, some of which were pretty serious relationships. It’s just that what a lot of people consider to be a cool and attractive guy in Japan, I tend to consider being kind of…much.


To fair, if Daigo asked me out, I wouldn’t have said no.

But when I came to Japan, I promised myself I would try new things and not shy away from new experiences, no matter how scary or daunting. So when an incredibly skinny and flashy Japanese guy asked me out on a date, I said yes.

In my defense, I had recently broken up with an ex-boyfriend who fell within what was, at the time, my ‘type’ category, and since that relationship or the one before that hadn’t turned out so well, I figured I might as well try something new and date outside my type. And nothing could have been further from my type at the time than this guy.

I had met him in a club. The first thing I noticed was that he was taller than me. Being 5’7”, I tend to be the same height or taller than most Japanese guys. Finding a guy who’s taller than me is a rare thing, indeed. He was also incredibly skinny, with big poofy brown hair. I don’t remember what he was wearing, but I do remember it was sparkly. He reminded me a bit of the hosts I would see in Susukino. But he was also very cute and friendly, and spoke a little English. When he asked for my number, I gave it to him.

We emailed back and forth for a few days, as is the proper dating etiquette in Japan, and eventually he asked to meet me for dinner.

He arrived to pick me up at the station in his car. While the outside of the car appeared normal, the inside was pink and covered in butterflies. Everything. The seats, the dashboard, the steering wheel, the air freshener, butterflies. So many butterflies. He was also blasting club music. And he, of course, was dressed as flashy as the night I met him.

It was at this point I started to have a few doubts about our compatibility.

The restaurant we went to was pretty average, thankfully. The way he was dressed made me worry that I would be horribly under-dressed for tonight. But as we were walking there from the parking lot, I couldn’t help but noticed that he didn’t so much as ‘walk’ as he strutted. I tried to imagine myself dating a guy that strutted when he walked. I didn’t do a very good job.

Still, I was determined. I agreed to this date, and, regardless of his style choices, he was still a pretty cute and nice guy. So I made up my mind that I was going to give this date the best shot that I could shoot.

And then we started talking.

First I asked him what kind of music he was into.
dating05OK, OK, that’s fine. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, all things considering. And I kind of liked her music, too, so it’s all good.

He was still in college, so I asked him what his future plans were once he graduated.
dating09dating05OK, OK, that’s fine. It’s not unusual at all for men in Japan to be hair stylists. And at least he wants a job, which is more than what I could say for some of the guys I knew.

I asked him what else he’s interested in.
dating03dating05OK, OK, that’s fine. Nothing wrong with wanting to look good and—
…Yyyyyyyeah, OK. I’m not the most fashionable person in the world, and there’s nothing wrong with a little constructive criticism, right?

He told me he liked American movies, so I ask what his favorite was.
dating04dating08There was no second date.

And that is how I learned that Twilight is my deal breaker.


4 thoughts on “Adventures in Dating in Japan

  1. Oh god, the comics made this post. I laughed out loud at them.

    I think I went to college with your guy when I studied abroad in Japan. My university had five guys for every three girls, so the guys dressed up every day. Right then, the style was tight black shirts with gold sparkly writing, tight jeans, and multiple belts. And spiked hair of course. Best of all, super pointy boots were in. Like, elf-boots.

    My friends were pretty low-key, but we’d often watch groups of guys strolling around and speculate. You could always tell who the most popular guy in the group was–he was wearing the most belts.

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