Written By: Tsubasa (Student, Japan)
Although I go to Aoyama University in Japan, I was born in Argentina, where my father worked as a Japanese teacher. We left there when I was three years old, but when I was 15, I decided to go back to Argentina to see my birthplace and gain experience. In my high school days, I advised my Argentine friend who was interested in Japan and studied Japanese how to get a Japanese girlfriend. He followed my advice and he now is living so happily with a Japanese girl that he uploads their pictures to Facebook every day.
Girls in Argentina are different than girls in Japan. Japanese girls have a particular way to think, which comes from their cultural background, preferences and so on, and they have different steps to start a relationship. Of course, everyone can have a relationship in their own way; however, it is desirable to know how it usually works beforehand.
Step 1: Become a friend. Usually, a Japanese girl does not trust strangers and keeps her distance. So at first, you can start by becoming familiar with each other through a group of friends. Japanese people often meet their girlfriends as peers at work, school, extracurricular activities, and so on. In the past, we had a formal traditional dating activity called Omiai, in which singles were introduced to each other according to a mediator in order to consider the possibility of marriage. Recently popular is the form of dating called gokon, a group blind date in which a single man and woman who know each other organize in advance to bring three or four of their friends together.
Step 2: Maintain frequent contact. Normally, Japanese girls love texting, and they keep in touch frequently regardless of gender. Actually, they do not use the app WhatsApp. You have to download an app called Line, which is the most famous app among young Japanese people. If you are interested in someone, send a message to her. Texting would start from “Hey! How are you?” and having those usual conversations over again, until they reduce the distance between you. It deepens the understanding of each other when, for example, you talk about your job, major, hobby, and values, and at the same time are asking questions about her.
Step 3: Invite her on a date. If she replies to your message late or does not answer, it means she is probably not interested in you and you should give up gracefully to be a gentleman. If she continues to text you for a while (about two weeks to one month), you can invite her on a date. By the way, it is not usual for Japanese people to go to clubs. Instead of that, we more often have activities such as hanging out to eat, chatting in coffee shops, going shopping, going hiking, or going to an amusement facility for things such as karaoke, bowling, spa and so on.
Step 4: Confess your love. Japanese people have a step in romance called “confession.” It can be understood as a proposal to start a relationship. Generally people make a confession during a date at a beautiful viewpoint, back home or any quiet place. However, it is more important to choose a place where you feel like you can convey your feeling best than to choose a romantic place. Generally, people make a confession on a third date and the man confesses to the girl. A typical line for that is, ”Will you be my girlfriend?”
You should learn to recognize her emotions before a Japanese girl speaks up, because she hardly complains. You have to pick up slight signs of what she needs or wants, why she talks less than usual, or why she is being aloof and keeping a distance from you. We have an idiom, “Read the air”, which reflects Japanese empathetic culture and means “grasp the subtleties of situation and see how matters stand.” In case she is too frustrated and her discontent accumulates, maybe it will explode and you will face a grave crisis. And also a carrot-and-stick policy is sometimes suitable to keep the relationship. Most Japanese girls like sweet lines and being treated kindly and lovingly. On the other hand, if you say, “I love you” every day, they think you are overly dependent, and they will soon be tired of you.
The world shows diversity with its differing people with different and alternative ways of thinking as a result of their background. However, in this essay, you have learned how Japanese girls are like in general and how you should treat them. As I have mentioned before, you do not have to follow these steps exactly because it is just a general idea about Japanese relationships. Everything depends on the girl. Regardless, I hope that this writing will help you feel free to start a conversation with Japanese people.