What are some things to take note of when dating a Japanese man? (Imported from Quora–original question and answer can be found here)
Dating someone from a different nationality can always be a challenge: besides cultural and language barriers, the very perception of what it means to be in a “love relationship” can be quite different depending on the culture.
I will try to help those looking for an answer to this question in 2 ways: 1. I will share some of the pros & cons of dating a Japanese male; 2. I will share some of the ways you can use your female “power to influence” in order to help him change some of the characteristics you feel might need some improvement on his part to make the relationship work better for the both of you.
A very important observation before I go any further. Do take the advice here with a nice scoop of salt: people are fickle & different—there is no “black or white” scenario when it comes to dealing with them. Yes, there are many similarities between us, members of the male race—regardless of our nationality—but it is important to keep in mind that each person is unique in their own way.
Also, I am not promoting trying to change people in order to make them “ideal” to you. I believe you should love people face value—unconditionally: love them with all their perfections and imperfections…with all their complexities and uniqueness. Trying to change someone to fit your own sort of cultural habit, creed, social status and philosophical assumptions will only lead to people being hurt. With that said, surface-level habits that can lead to misunderstandings can be discussed and, with careful evaluation from both parties in the relationship, changed for the benefit of the same. With that in mind, let’s get started.
Pros & Cons of dating a Japanese guy:
Starting with the pros, Japanese guys are usually very friendly and great to hang out with. They tend to be very receptive to ideas and suggestions made by their partners (especially in the beginning of the relationship) and won’t mind having the female counterpart of the relationship take the lead in where to go and what to eat on their dates.
Contrary to popular belief, Japanese guys can be romantic: Especially the ones that are interested in dating outside of their ethnicity. In Osaka, I have seen many J-boy, G(gaijin)-girl couples kissing, holding hands and being lavu-lavu in public.
J-guys will be more forthcoming in paying for dates and doing things that traditionally western guys were famous for doing—you know, stuff occidental men used to do before the movement for the equality between the sexes made certain things taboo in western relationships (& this can be a pro if the girl in question is after a more “traditional” male approach to relationships).
J-guys can get quite freaky as well if you are into trying a variety of different things when it comes to “just the 2 of you” alone time—or so I hear from Japanese female friends and from the way my Japanese male friends brag about their “night-life.” I can assume that most won’t disappoint you in those terms (I recommend caution when approaching lovemaking simply because it is so intimate and should be reserved for the one you really mean to share it with—just pointing this out so that you know that, contrary to popular belief, most likely will not be disappointed with a J-guy in bed).
Finally, Japanese men will tend to be more prolific in their texting and online communication simply because culturally it is easier for Asians to express their feelings over text-message.
The cons I have to present here are mostly related to the pros actually—by benefiting from certain positives J-guys have, you are bound to take in the negatives that come along with them pros. For instance, because J-guys are so nice to their girlfriends, you will have a harder time getting him to take the lead in choosing dating spots and places to go to. It will be also hard to find out what he really wants from the relationship: is he into you because he wants just to have fun with a foreigner, or because he is looking for someone to marry outside of his ethnicity? Is he with you because he can show off to his friends and boast of his English-speaking skills (this can be a point of concern especially for the ladies who do not speak Japanese fluently and are looking for a Japanese guy)?
Moreover, it is just hard to know what a Japanese guy thinks because they are not very prompt in sharing their feelings with anyone. The way J-girls do it is by 3rd party consultation. They get to befriend the guy’s best friend and learn about their boyfriend by getting intel from the best friend in question. They usually ask the same best friend to tell their boyfriends what they want the guy to do for them—as well as how they hope the relationship to unravel. This is especially true when they want to marry their boyfriends but, they still think their boyfriends need to change their attitude toward a thing or two before taking the plunge.
The kind of communication presented above can be extremely bothersome to a western girl and it takes time adapting to it. J-girls will usually, with proper “communication coaching,” try to adapt to a western guy’s communication patterns if love is at stake (and that can take a nice long year of “training” to fix—I have been married for 2 years now and I still catch my wife hiding how she truly feels about me not helping with the dishes and chores at home). Guys have to deal with pride and, when in the lows of the relationship, communication mishaps can become trigger points that could easily lead to fighting and the eventual break-up of the relationship if not dealt with extreme care.
Japanese guys who are working will tend to prioritize their profession over love relationships. Recent changes to that culture seem to be currently in the works but the number of J-guys who prioritize their partners over work is still mediocre, to say the least. If you are considering marrying a Japanese man, this factor should be given proper thought. It is a very serious issue that will influence all aspects of your relationship in the long run.
Last but not least, remember what I just mentioned above about J-guys and intimacy? Well, there is ONE popular myth that turns out to be true in many cases amongst Japanese men. Being a faithful onsen goer for more than 10 years has helped me realize that. I don’t want to get into a lot of details here on this post but, let’s just say that J-guys make it up for their lack of proportions in certain areas with effort and plenty of other techniques that kind of makes this whole paragraph here irrelevant—just writing it to inform the G-girl audience here of the spec differences they might find. That way there are no negative surprises.
What G-girls can do to maximize their J-guys dating potential.
The first obvious thing would be learning the language: that takes away the pressure from the Japanese guy’s shoulders when it comes to communication. If you are living in Japan, learning the language is a must regardless of your desire of dating a Japanese guy. Once you have the language all worked out, it will be much easier to interact with a variety of Japanese men which will allow you to make the best choice when selecting mates.
If you don’t learn the language, you will most likely run into many of the risks I already mentioned here and finally, it might be difficult to secure a high-quality J-guy of your liking. You might have to settle for the Japanese guy that has spent many years overseas—which I think is still all right—but you will miss on some of the perks you get out of dating a genuine Japanese man.
If you know the language, then the process of conducting proper culture-exchange with your J-man becomes much easier to accomplish. You have to learn to ask, suggest, discuss and mention things by “inferring” them, rather then bluntly talking about them. This does go along the lines of “indirect Asian communication” rules, but not literally. I am not suggesting that you become fully Japanese and master the way of “reading the air” that Japanese people use to communicate with one another. I am suggesting that you learn to acquire a sort of finesse in your way to communicate so that you don’t sound like a “nagging” G-girl to the years of your Japanese man. When trying to suggest an idea or a point of change, start by letting your man know in how many ways he is already awesome. Share the area in which you think he needs some improvement and specifically point out something he could do to acquire such change. Finally, point out another thing you think he is already great at. With this, positive, negative, positive feedback “sandwich” style of making suggestions, you will assist your boyfriend in understanding how important he is to you while letting him know what things upset you.
If you are dating seeking marriage, it is ultra-important that you start talking about the “work-life” balance early on when you both start discussing the idea of marriage. Probe him and see if he is going to be the kind of guy that will place work or you and your future family together first.
Finally, don’t be too uptight about/hung-up in his culture. In many ways, Japanese guys are very similar to any other guy out there, so it is just better to try to treat them normally, relax around them and, most importantly, be yourself when you are with them. If this guy has demonstrated some interest in being with you, be confident that you already have what it takes to grab a hold of his heart.
Have fun and good luck in your relationship with a Japanese national!