Eight dating by eight old!! What honey!
Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Wade
If you're just getting into the dating scene in Japan, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to meeting men — only if you can set your filter high!
So it may have been a while since your last date in Japan and you’re looking for something new. The guy from Tsutaya isn’t your cup of tea and you’re now moving on — to digital dating. While this is a world on it’s own and yes, there are chances you may find your ideal man out there, there are a few species you should rather trade for the elderly lady next door.
So who are the black sheep behind your screen? Here’s my list (based on some careful and very dedicated “field” research…)
1. Decent guys looking for a relationship
OK, they do actually exist, so let’s get this part out of the way before anyone says anything about “not all men.” Keep hoping: there are decent Japanese guys that use online dating. Some are simply too busy to go out in real life, some are quite shy about approaching women in public, some aren’t confident in their ability to speak English enough to make a Western woman happy… the list of issues they might have had meeting women in the past can be extensive. They are hard to find, and you need patience to sift through the rest of this list in order to find them, but you might find someone particularly special if you keep at it long enough.
2. Serial online daters
Generic profiles, standard headshot and waist-up photo, brief and perfunctory messages are the hallmarks of multi-site users. Yes, there are men who think that one isn’t enough and for whatever reason, they are on multiple sites, meeting and chatting with numerous women everyday. They seem to think that “multitasking” will make it easier to meet their “perfect wife,” although none of them seem willing to quit the sites once they’ve started dating. Several of the men I spoke to were appalled at the thought of a woman wanting to shop around for a man to meet her own standards, and many were all too willing to “mansplain” my own life to me, so this is a category I would probably warn against dating — unless you’re a fan of arguing.
3. Quarter men
Yes, them again — those men looking for a short term, sex-based relationship without serious emotional complications. Sites and apps like Tinder are their stomping grounds, but if you know what to look out for, you can avoid them.
4. Drinking buddies
This is the second best result of online dating that I’ve found, male drinking buddies. You can learn a lot about the culture and many other topics by having friends of both genders here. These men aren’t expressly looking for a relationship and are generally entertaining to spend time with. Getting acquainted with a man like this can lead to a fun evening of conversation, a great friendship or even a relationship.
5. Language exchange partners
Free English-Japanese lessons in exchange for the pleasure of their company. These men come in four varieties: Japanese men who have lived overseas and miss speaking English on a daily basis; normal, decent guys that cannot afford an English conversation school; guys who want to be your “Japanese first” and those who want to fetishize the learning process by dating their teacher.
The first two types are fine and can be a lot of fun to talk to. So, if you’re just looking to friends, then you will find a wealth of people this way, much like when meeting the drinking buddies I mentioned above.
Men who want to be your “Japanese first” mean that in the most literal sense of the word. They want to introduce you to Japanese culture, cuisine and sex — sometimes all in the same date. This, according to some of my Japanese male friends, is almost a fetish or at least a fantasy for them: guiding the “foreigner” through culture shock, take her to restaurants serving “scary foods written in strange writing” and then take you somewhere private where you can “recover from the date” (yes, these are actual quotes).
The last variety has the potential to be dangerous. If you’re being contacted about free English lessons, about making lots of money in your free time, or by someone wanting to pay you in goods or dates for English lessons, you probably shouldn’t reply to them. These are likely scouting emails from clubs looking for hostesses, or in the worst case, could be related to human trafficking. If you get a bad vibe from any messages you get online, block and report their accounts. If you have been messaging someone about dates in exchange for language lessons, please be careful and keep yourself safe.
6. Seriously involved and married men
Just like dating services all around the world, there are plenty of married Japanese men online, too. Some will claim to only be there to network, others to learn English, but when they post shirtless pictures alongside photos of their families, you can understand what they are actually after. Deal with them by blocking their accounts.
7. Non-Japanese men/visa hunters
Shared culture shock, being able to commiserate about positive and negative experiences — these can really bring two people together. But, some of these men are only looking to seriously date a Japanese woman, and, if the guy is enough of a jerk, you might find yourself cast aside once his ideal exotic Asian beauty comes along. They will be very focused on asking visa-related questions. These are guys that are willing to woo and wed someone in order to stay in the country. Save yourself the hassle by blocking them right away.
I think this was one of my favorite types to meet online. If you’re up on your Japanese pop culture, you will spot them a mile away, but if not, the main thing you need to look out for are professional grade photos of the same man in standard poses, some with jarringly different photos of shirtless and headless bodies to accompany them. They will be charming and really interested in seeing more of you — but they’re far too busy to go on a date this week, or might have to cancel at the absolute last minute. I strongly recommend using a reverse Google image search if something about the person you’re talking to seems off. This simple tool can help you before you start falling for their lines.
So whether you’re looking for a serious relationship or not, online dating even with limited Japanese ability is a potential avenue that you shouldn’t discount — but watch closely for potential pitfalls! Good luck!