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What's on Japanese young boys' mind?!

ichigomilk

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I am a 25 years old foreign girl who has I've been living and working in Japan for a few months. I've always loved this country, I made a lot of friends and I am living a beautiful experience.

But… there is a thing that is driving me nuts. I am having troubles in understanding how Japanese society works in term of love and relationships. I know well that Japanese people are not really prone to express emotions, to declare feelings or to be bold. Communication is a big issue here, especially for people that likes to be straight as I often do.

I had two love interests since I got here, but no way to get a date or let a relationship start, somehow.

First crush: my roommate.

We shared a lot of experiences while living together for about a month. He looked immediately interested, especially because he got nervous around me (he couldn't even watch me in the eyes…). Friends around us confirmed that he liked me and spur the relationship, but actually he never expressed his feelings. He told me "he is a shy boy", so I decided to break the ice and I invited him out.

Result? He said he was busy that day and he couldn't. I thought "never mind, next time then", but I asked him again and he answered "I am really busy now, sorry". What drives me nut is not his impossibility to meet me, but the fact that he doesn't reschedule! Saying something "I am sorry, I can't this time, but what about next..." is too difficult?

My conclusion is that, in the end, he doesn't really care about me… even if he indirectly shows the contrary, that's confusing. Is my mind working differently?

Second crush: one of my co-workers.

At the office we usually have very little chats. Not long ago he got drunk during a company party and he started insistently to talk to me. He ended up with "why don't we go to drink something together one of these days?". I said "yes, hurray!" and I asked for his number. Alcohol probably helped him to get a little bit bolder and he made the first step. A few days later, at the office, he quickly told me "Shall we meet?", adding a very awkward "I love you" in English. I tried to stop him to ask for details, like when-how-where, but he was already fled to his desk after three second.

Well, then… same thing happened. I texted him asking if he was available to meet. He said "Sorry, I have some errands tomorrow" and he didn't reschedule. The funny fact is that, differently than the first time with the roommate, he is the one that started it.

I really do not know how to interact with them… They show interest at first and then, when the moment to meet and know more about each other arrives, they step back and act cold.

I've been told from a female friend that they find me "too beautiful, like an actress" (?!) and so they get "scared" beforehand (but I don't really find this plausible…).

I thought they may have no interest in dating someone, but then why they seem attracted? What is this lack of romance?

Are they acting like that because I am not Japanese or is it the standard?

... what's wrong with them?! :banghead:
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
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How much longer are you planning to be here? Do they know how much longer you'll be here? How's your Japanese?

Have either of those guys ever had a date or a girlfriend at all before?

Have you tried guys you don't have to work with?

In Japan, people aren't really expected to follow through on words or actions arising under the influence of alcohol.
 

ichigomilk

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How much longer are you planning to be here? Do they know how much longer you'll be here? How's your Japanese?
I have been here intermittently. The first time was two years ago (when I met the roommate), I was still a graduate student. After graduation, I came back to work. I will stay three months, and yes, they know it. I understand this may be a problem to their eyes, but I do not think it's a insurmountable obstacle (as long as you are young and independent).

My Japanese is far from being perfect, but generally I can have casual conversations without too much trouble. Sometimes misunderstandings happen.

Have either of those guys ever had a date or a girlfriend at all before?
I do not know about the co-worker, but the other guy did. I've heard about an "ex-girlfriend" before.

Have you tried guys you don't have to work with?
The co-worker is a fresh thing and I wasn't expecting it to happen. The roommate wasn't working with me, we have pretty much different lives, especially now that we no longer live together.

In Japan, people aren't really expected to follow through on words or actions arising under the influence of alcohol.
I know it, but he mentioned it later at the office, when no alcohol was involved. He abruptly said "shall we meet, then?", but he left no room for conversation that time, reaching his desk right after. That's why I had to text him later that day, to hear just a "sorry, I have stuff to do tomorrow". Also, before getting really drunk at the party, he kept on showing interested in talking to me, so I thought he was serious.

That's confusing :facepalm:
 
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Without going into too much personal detail, I can only tell you that this behaviour is not limited to Japan. I immediately recognized myself in your description of your roommate - and I'm European. The language barrier will only serve to make things worse.

The "you're too beautiful" remark reminded me of this thread from a 22 year old Japanese guy: White people think Asian people are ugly? | Japan Forum
(By no means representative of Japanese men in general, of course)
 

ichigomilk

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Without going into too much personal detail, I can only tell you that this behaviour is not limited to Japan. I immediately recognized myself in your description of your roommate - and I'm European. The language barrier will only serve to make things worse.

The "you're too beautiful" remark reminded me of this thread from a 22 year old Japanese guy: White people think Asian people are ugly? | Japan Forum
(By no means representative of Japanese men in general, of course)
If you recognise yourself in the description, what is your opinion about the inability to lead the relationship to a beginning?
I mean: the boy likes me, I like the boy. Where is the problem then?

They just do not do or say anything, they even turned down my invitations without rescheduling. I can understand a little lack of confidence and shyness, but to me this is nothing but incoherent in the end.

About the "western beauty" matter, I heard many times Japanese people praising western people's aspect. (However, I don't get why people care about such trivial matters, inable to get the fact that we are all just earthlings...)

It's true that sometimes they are skeptical about our interest in them, in term of attraction (not just physically speaking). I don't know if it's the case of the guys I met, but still it wouldn't make sense to me (especially because I did showed interest in them).
 

Mike Cash

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From what I have seen here and there on the Internet, lack of dates seems to be a pretty common complaint from Western women. They get less attention from Western guys, who are too busy paying attention to Japanese women. And they get nowhere with Japanese guys, for reasons best known to Japanese guys.

I can think of a few guesses as to why this happens, but every time this subject comes up my first suspicion why Japanese guys may steer clear of romantic entanglement with Western women is "your reputation precedes you".
 
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If you recognise yourself in the description, what is your opinion about the inability to lead the relationship to a beginning?
I mean: the boy likes me, I like the boy. Where is the problem then?
If only it were that simple, right? :) There's more to it than that though.

Feelings of attraction appear regardless of whether you want them to. If there's nothing standing in their way, great - but often there's a counteracting force. This can be low self esteem ("she's way out of my league"), uncertainty ("what if we can't communicate properly? what will my friends and family say if I show up with a foreign girlfriend?"), pessimism ("she'll be gone in a few months anyway, no point in starting anything") or even plain laziness ("a relationship with a Japanese girl would require much less effort"). It's also possible you're simply not looking to be in a relationship right now. The heart doesn't care however. It's decided she's your type, so you will get flustered around her.

These opposing forces cause you inner conflict and stress until one of them is taken away. One option is to overcome your doubts and decide to go for it. The other is to keep fighting your own attraction until she disappears. If she doesn't, you eventually start avoiding her instead. This of course includes coming up with excuses to avoid going for dinner with her - even at the cost of possible later regret.
 
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Maybe instead of asking about it on a public forum you should do what is required for a relationship. Show communication with your partner. Talk directly with the other person and tell them how you feel. No blame game, just tell them you're interested and feel they are interested but you feel they're coming up with excuses. Just that, then see what the other person says. Preferably do this in a secluded place though as they're not likely to want others to see that kind of conversation. If you can't communicate your feelings with them properly maybe it's not meant to be.
 
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  1. Stop calling grown men "boys".
  2. You've been here intermittently, so you should realize how anything said during an outing with alcohol should be taken.
  3. You should also have realized how J men consider women in general, and foreign women in specific.

You're only going to be here another 3 months, and if they know that, it's a deal breaker unless someone is head over heels for you already. Even so, reread point 3 above.

As with many foreign men finding Japanese (or Asian) women exotic, so do Japanese men find foreign women. Wanting to date them is a big enough step for any of them to admit. Actually taking that step to date is an astronomical leap for most unless they've spent any time abroad. Even so, they feel bound by their own culture to resist the urge to do anything about what they want. Many have never even dated a Japanese woman. Most Japanese men who date and marry foreign women will do so with other Asians more than with women outside their ethnic background.
https://japantoday.com/category/fea...japanese-men-think-about-dating-foreign-women
30% Of Single Japanese Men Have Never Dated A Woman - japanCRUSH
Being A Broad in Japan: Everything a Western woman needs to survive and thrive: Caroline Pover: 9784990079109: Amazon.com: Books (I seem to recall that the author also has a web site devoted to this. Give it a look.)
 
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