Online dating can be a hellish experience, but in these modern, impersonal times, what other choice do most people have? In Japan, with the custom of parents setting up omiai (organized marriages) for their children dying out, many are taking matters into their own hands, using modern methods. But online dating websites and apps seem tailor-made for adulterers, time-wasters and players to run amok unchecked, leaving those who are actually seeking a genuine connection having to wade through a sea of nonsense in order to potentially find love.
For Japan’s single women in their 30s, an extra layer of “marriage desperation” can make this search even more fraught. While Japan does have several apps dedicated to serious dating, even they can find it difficult to filter the frivolous fish through their net. We recently chatted with “A-san”, a single, 30-something woman who’s been through the online dating mill, and she told us about five of the worst time-wasting, self-serving offenders she’s encountered through the course of over 30 in-person dating-app dates.
1. That guy who… asked her to split the bill (by text the following day)
“I don’t expect a man to pay for everything in this day and age. I’m fine with splitting the bill. But it’s true that when the guy pays, it makes him more appealing to me. It’s best if they casually pay while I’m in the toilet. I like that kind of smooth move. Okay so what happened one time, I had a guy send me a message by LINE the following day, saying ‘About last night’s bill, is it okay if we split it? I need 5,000 yen from you’. He did say I could pay the next time we saw each other, but I just asked for his bank account details and transferred the money! Can you believe that guy?”
We think A- san may have almost fallen prey to a type of “game” that involves trying to make a woman feel obligated to a second date! Smart move asking for the bank account details, A- san.
2. That guy who… was totally married and didn’t even try to hide it
“It’s a dating app, so isn’t it just kind of a given that married people won’t be on there? But there are actually a LOT of them! And since they’re already married they don’t feel any pressure, so they can be much better dates than unmarried ones… There was a guy I was on the verge of falling for, so I made my “move”… but he turned out to be already married! Then he sent me a message saying, ‘You’re a good girl, and I don’t want to hurt you’. Well duh maybe don’t make an online dating profile in the first place! I just want all these married players to stay off the dating sites!”
Well we suppose this fellow deserves points for coming clean. Perhaps messing with the hearts of single ladies is a kind of sport for these types. Did you check for tan lines on his wedding ring finger, A-san?
3. The guy who… shaved a few years off his actual age
“Say what you like, but at 33, I prefer younger guys. I just can’t help it. So I usually only look at younger men’s profiles, but a lot of them lie about their age! This has happened to me so many times. I go on a date with a guy who says he’s 30, but I smell a rat. Then when I ask, he’s actually 39! He looked young so I had no idea at first. I’m brave enough to use my real age on my profile, so they should quit the dumb games!”
It can be tough playing fair when others are playing dirty. We feel A-san’s frustration, since as we all know, 33 is practically a hag. She’s so honourable to be so open about that.
4. That guy who… managed to make himself look hot in his picture, when in reality…
“The profile picture is totally important. I myself use one particular ‘miracle shot’ of myself. So perhaps I’m not in a position to judge others. But I dated this guy who looked like a total ikemen (hot guy) in his pic, but in reality, he looked like Shinichi Shinohara [judo champ, above pic]. I was shocked! It was just so different from the picture, and I panicked. Sure, I maybe wasn’t expecting him to be as hot as his shot, but Shinichi Shinohara?! It’s just hard to get past it if someone looks different from their photo. I know I do it too, though.”
Look, A-san. There’s more to life than looks. We’re losing sympathy here.
5. That guy who… had very specific rules for sleepovers…
“I’m 33. I don’t play innocent. I can roll with the dirty jokes. But this guy sent me a LINE message saying: ‘We don’t have to make love on our first date sleepover, but let’s join our bodies on the second, okay?’ Oh my God, isn’t that totally gross?! Of the 30 guys I met, this was one I actually liked the most. We met several times in person, and we had nice text chats. But what grown adult says ‘Make love’? or ‘Join our bodies’ like that?! In that instant my attraction for him totally dried up!”
So we’re confused here… is A-san offended by the sleepover suggestion, or the guy’s ineloquent phrasing?
It certainly seems like A-san has been through the wringer when it comes to online dating, but we can’t say she’s being her own best friend with some of her choices. Maybe she should lay off the apps and try to meet someone in the real world. What do you think?
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