4 Things you should know before dating a Japanese man
Written by Méline

Dating a Japanese man: tips and common rules

4 things you might want to know in order to make your date with a Japanese man successful! ... Japan has a unique culture, and so things that seem natural for you might be very strange or even offensive for Japanese people. Here are some advice and information about the Japanese way of thinking! Even though dating is pretty much an international concept, each country has its own rules and habits about it, and Japan is no exception. To get a successful date with a Japanese man, you might want to know one or two specifics about dating in Japan, to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings!

1 - Pay close attention to what he says.

This is not about interrogating your date about every single detail regarding his tastes, but rather, to pay attention to the things he tells you about himself. What kind of food he likes, what kind of place he often hangs out, etc, so that later you can offer him something right in his taste, and show him at the same time that you do care about him, his personality and his taste.

Japanese people can be very attentive to little details, and it is important to demonstrate to your loved one that you truly know him and listen to him, rather then trying to take him on dates you assume he would enjoy as well: it is a simple way to show selfless attention! (It seems like common sense, but many foreigners tend to forget the details, or brush them off as being unimportant) Some Japanese men might expect you to behave this way, so if he tells you he likes dolphins, maybe he’s somehow hoping you will offer a date at the aquarium! In return, he may be trying to do the same thing for you, so pay attention to your words: talking about chocolate for just one minute may possibly get you a box of ones on the next date… Even if you weren’t really suggesting anything!

2 - Read between the lines

Japanese culture is based on respect and not disturbing the peace of the environment around you. Therefore, you’d rarely see two Japanese arguing, or even yelling at each other in public. Japanese people tend to avoid conflict as much as possible, and to do so they might say the opposite of what they’re thinking.

(とまれ 'tomare' : stop) To truly get to know someone, you should pay attention at his facial expression, and learn how to read under line. Sometimes, an « I don’t know » or « I’m not sure about it » is a flat out « no », and you shouldn’t pursue that topic any further. Always put yourself in his shoes, trying to guess his real feelings and to act accordingly to them, this will show him that you care about and understand him. Whilst this may seem like a pain, remember that he may also be doing that with you. Some Japanese men may find a foreigner’s straightforwardness refreshing, but some may not be able to adjust, so make sure you understand which kind of person your potential partner is!

3 - Be subtle

In Japan, public displays of affection is very uncommon. Therefore, avoid hugs, kisses etc in public, because that may make your date, and the people around you, very uncomfortable. To put it simple, in public space, even a married couple act like they never touched each other. Since people don’t get physical much in Japan, even a small gesture for western culture becomes something significant here.

So if you want to be a little bit physical with him, a light tap on his shoulder/face if he’s being silly, or your arms touching each others while sitting, or even just holding hands (which can be considered a big move) is already enough, and he will notice! If you want more than that, you’ll have to wait to be in private…

4 - Be YOU

This one might seem obvious, but by any means, don’t try to act like a Japanese woman: if a Japanese man wants to date you, he might be interested into discovering a new culture, and a new way of thinking. For example, Japanese women are sometimes very passive and submissive during the first dates, if this is not like you, then don’t force yourself acting this way! Maybe a woman with a strong character is what he’s looking for…

I hope this article helped you get a better understanding of Japanese dating culture, and that your dates with Japanese men will be successful!