Japan is distanced, beautiful and incomprehensible. From the ancient traditional temples to modern big cities such as Tokyo, thousands of tourists are exploring the country. There are lots of places to see in Japan, and except the sakura's blossom tourists can see Fuji, enjoy the flawless cleanliness of the cities and appreciate the comfort and the rationality of the systems and technologies in every sphere. People who value their comfort, politeness of people around and high safety of life dream about living there. Anime and manga portray most of the Japanese routine as it is in detail, and even regular daily events such as cooking or having a meal are inexplicably attractive for anime watchers all over the world. But it's not enough to download a Japanese dating app to start dating Japanese women - it simply doesn't work like that.
How the Japanese date
It is necessary to understand some of the features of the Japanese mentality to understand those people better. The Japanese are full of traditions connected with dating which are inevitably to learn for any foreigner. The Japanese are not only shy and reserved in showing their emotions, but they also tend to think differently from people of other nationalities. To know about the most important conventions let's see what steps Japanese people make in dating.
Most of the Western people are kind of afraid of telling their crush about their romantic feelings because of the fear of being rejected or considered just as a good friend. Therefore, all of the meetings for coffee and chatting are not always considered to be dates - the potential partners need to discuss that after they manage to build-up their mutual trust and certainty that they feel the same way.
A "Confession" is a must
That's an important step to start any romantic relationship in Japan. Two people in Europe or America usually have a couple of dates to communicate and know each other better before even thinking about any serious intentions or their mutual feelings. Most of the Western people are kind of afraid of telling their crush about their romantic feelings because of the fear of being rejected or considered just as a good friend. Therefore, all of the meetings for coffee and chatting are not always considered to be dates - the potential partners need to discuss that after they manage to build-up their mutual trust and certainty that they feel the same way.It normally doesn't happen in Japan, cause the first thing Japanese men do before dating is a "confession". One partner needs to tell about their feelings and emotions before asking an attractive person out. "Kokuhaku" means that you want to date this person - and there might be no misunderstandings. Adults usually prefer to be clear about their intentions to have a marriage and to create a family. It saves both potential partner's time, and unlike Western traditions, where people can spend time together in a cafe or restaurant just as friends, the Japanese prefer being direct in what they feel and what they want from the other person, especially if they are dating over 30 and have very clear vision of future relationships.
The roles might change
It's pretty common among Japanese girls to make the first move and ask a person they like out. A lot of Japanese young men are shy and expect girls to do that. That's why girls confessing about what they feel and asking out is often seen in various anime and manga titles. That's another proof of the Japanese preferring to do and have things equally - they consider that approach to be fair and comfortable for everyone.
But this bravery doesn't mean that Japanese people tend to express their feelings and emotions openly - it's not a thing there. Firstly, the Japanese appreciate their privacy. It is not likely they want to be seen in public kissing or hugging someone even if they are on a date. Secondly, it's believed that expressing such emotions publically may make others feel uncomfortable or seen as lacking in a moral sense. So don't expect more than just holding hands in public - it's not gonna happen.
The Japanese don't tend to say "I love you" more than Western people - they tend not to say that at all.
Feel the difference in language
Even if people think they're pretty good at Japanese, there are always some aspects of Japanese that foreigners need to understand. For instance, the Japanese phrase "suki desu" might be translated both like "I love you" and "I like you" in English. There is a big difference in "love" and "like" in English, and unlike the Japanese people from Western countries usually avoid telling someone "I love you" not only on the very first date but also a few dates later. It's something like a stigma to confess feelings like that in Western society, and that's why some people dating Japanese partners may think that everything goes too quickly when they hear "daisuki desu". It may be translated as "I love you" but also it means "I like you very much", which is normal in both cultures.
Also, it's important to remember that Japanese people don't like to show their emotions or express their love in words. It's considered that if you do everything right, your partner knows about what you feel even without words. So the Japanese don't tend to say "I love you" more than Western people - they tend not to say that at all.
Hanging out might be a problem
As it was already mentioned before, Japanese people don't like wasting their time. It's okay in Japan to have group-dates where who or more couples spend time together, it's not common to hang out with a person of the opposite sex if you don't have any romantical intentions. If Japanese girls see it's not about dating, they will probably decline an offering to go out just as friends. If there is no potential for a romantic relationship or if a person is not interested in continuing after the first date, it's always better to say that directly.
But if you have already confessed and are about to plan a date, you should remember that unlike the Western dates it usually takes at least half a day in Japan. Japanese dating usually includes attending a theme park or festival, going shopping or seeing fireworks display together - imagine how many pleasant memories it can make. That's why the Japanese usually plan their dates in advance and choose weekends when both people have enough free time to meet.
Splitting bills is a thing in Japan
ust like in many other countries young couples like to pay separately in cafes and restaurants. It's not surprising for most European people, and this trend is most popular among young Japanese people, though there may be exceptions and this thing is pretty individual. It doesn't mean the Japanese don't want to pay for themselves or they think of you just as you're a source of money - they just value their resources and prefer money and other things to be separated equally. The Japanese believe it keeps their relationships healthy and makes it even strongerSo if a person you're on a date with wants to separate the bill - it doesn't mean the date goes wrong and they deny your attention. Even though some men dating Japanese women like to pay for both, it's usually only for holidays- such as Christmas or birthday parties. So don't insist and just enjoy your date.
Some rituals you need to know about
Some places are considered to be perfect for dating couples even though in Western culture they are not. Disneyland is believed to be a perfect place for the whole family in Europe and America, but in Japan, it's often associated with romantic couples having a date. The same situation happens with some international holidays that are celebrated almost everywhere: Christmas is a family holiday in Western society and a pretty romantic one for the Japanese. Couples often spend time together and go out for a fancy romantic dinner.
At the same time, St. Valentine's day is a day when women normally make the first step and confess their feelings to men they like. This day is special for the Japanese, cause their crushes might show their special attention by giving presents, such as home-made chocolates.
In March the Japanese celebrate "The White Day" when the men give chocolates to women they like or colleagues that were given giri-choco in the previous month can give the present back.
Recently, Japanese women give chocolates not only to men they like but to their friends and colleagues too. Tomo-choco, which is given to friends or giri-choco that Japanese women give to their bosses, are pretty common now. In March the Japanese celebrate "The White Day" when the men give chocolates to women they like or colleagues that were given giri-choco in the previous month can give the present back. So it doesn't always mean that someone loves you if you receive chocolates - it may just be a giri-choco present.
There are some serious things in Japan
In Japan, it's not enough to download a popular Japanese dating app or to use a Japanese dating site not only to find a partner but also to start a serious relationship. Western people prefer to date for a long period, then to move together and only after a few months or even years they think about the possibility of marriage, but the Japanese think about serious relationships and marriage rather early. Usually, the Japanese start thinking about the importance of having a long-term serious relationship resulting in marriage when they are twenty-five. As we already know, the Japanese don't like to waste their time, so their intentions are usually pretty clear.The Western habit of unmarried couples living together is also not popular in Japan. It's usually believed in Europe and America that you need to know your partner better before marriage to understand their habits and to feel what it is like - to live together as a couple. This "trial-marriage" period is not a Japanese thing, though nowadays some of them prefer "semi-cohabitation" when people spend half a week or weekends together though they don't live together officially. That is still considered to be a very serious step that might lead to marriage, cause Japanese women don't consider dating someone who they can't imagine as their future husband. The next serious step the Japanese take - to arrange a meeting with their potential spouse and their parents and that usually means that marriage is pretty real.
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