lifestyle

Letters from Japan: 'We’re not getting married?'

13 Comments
By Hilary Keyes

Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Email it to editorial@gplusmedia.com with the subject "Ask Hilary."

Hi Hilary,

I (28) met a Japanese guy (34) several months ago. On the third date at his place, he confessed his love and we became a couple. After three months of dating him, I wanted to know his opinion about marriage because I felt ready to marry him in the next 2-3 years.

He said he wouldn’t get married in his 30s, but maybe in his 40s. He explained that he wanted to quit his current job and start his own business and as his new life wouldn’t be stable, he didn’t want to get married in his 30s. I told him that I didn’t care about money, I didn’t even need a ceremony, I’d work from next year, do chores and take care of the house—basically trying to show that I wouldn’t be a burden for him but instead a supporter.

But then he started to say things like, “I’m not comfortable living together,” and “our cultures are too different,” and that “[he] was probably not the marrying type.”

I apologized for bringing up marriage and he answered saying “I can’t marry you in the next 2-3 years, so we should break up. Your time is too valuable to waste.” It seems like he made his mind up and then dumped me through text. 

Do you think that I started talking about our marriage or future too soon? What does it mean if a guy says that he doesn’t want to marry in his 30s? — Confused Girl

Dear Confused Girl,

I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you, but there are a couple of things you should be able to learn from this experience to apply to future relationships.

Were you only dating for three months in total? If so, that is way too early to be talking about marriage, regardless of how often you talk online. Closeness via text is no substitute for physically being present with one another. You brought up the topic of marriage when most couples are still getting used to being around one another in public and learning about each other’s likes and dislikes. The most you should have asked is whether he “had ever thought about marriage” or “if he was looking to get married in the future” and left it at that.

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13 Comments
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I agree. Hearing someone talk about marriage after 2-3 months can be a lot. Especially when I don't really know you yet and while we are getting along, I still don't know how we handle problems together. Also, you digging in your heels about marriage after I said I'm not interested in marriage made her seem scary when we have only been together 2 or 3 months.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The dude said I love you at the third date and invited the misunderstanding.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

On the third date at his place, he confessed his love and we became a couple. 

Confessing your love for someone doesn't mean you said "I love you."

Also, loving someone and marrying someone are drastically different things. I said "I love you" to my middle school sweet heart. Neither her or I thought it meant let's get married and spend the rest of our lives together.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What does it mean if a guy says that he doesn’t want to marry in his 30s? 

It means he doesn't want to marry you......ever.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What does it mean if a guy says that he doesn’t want to marry in his 30s? 

It means he doesn't want to marry you......ever.

Mr. Cleo must have overlooked that memo.

He told me on our second date he wasn't the marrying kind.

I believed him, 'cos I wasn't, either.

This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

My opinion: If your priority is a relationship that is going to lead to lasting commitment, leave him and move on. Don't wait for him to leave you, which he will. Consider it time well-spent, with the emphasis on spent. You won't get any more from him.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The guy clearly said he wants to start his own business, NOT a small thing he is absolutely correct he should put any marriage off until he tries his business idea out as it will take EVEYTHING out of him for him to succeed, a marriage would only mess it up almost guaranteed, a marriage would draw his focus away & likely result in failure of the business & any marriage

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think saying that you can't get married because you want to start a business is total BS. It's a red herring. As long as she's aware upfront that he might not have a lot of money and that is fine.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Could easily have been a misunderstanding or mistranslation... lots of Japanese people think "I love you" = 好きです but in reality they are very different statements!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RecklessJan. 8 03:44 pm JSTI think saying that you can't get married because you want to start a business is total BS. It's a red herring. As long as she's aware upfront that he might not have a lot of money and that is fine.

Yeah, but down the road a bit when she feels she isn't getting enough attention, compared to the guys work trouble usually ensues, seen it tons of times! Women are all fine with things until they are NOT.

Better for the guy, IF he is serious, to give the business his full attention & if it pans out then go from there, but my comment above still applies!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He said he loved you after the third date. Red flag.

You talked about marriage after a couple of months, and then persisted when he obviously wasn't interested. Red flag.

You both have relationship issues.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Did he say “anata ga suki” or “ai shiteru”? First one means “I like you” as you can like food or an actor, the latter means love as deep feeling. Are you sure he didn’t mean just physical liking? Anyway, people are the same all over the world: in every place you go you’ll always find assholes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RecklessJan. 8 03:44 pm JSTI think saying that you can't get married because you want to start a business is total BS. It's a red herring. As long as she's aware upfront that he might not have a lot of money and that is fine.

On the TV show 'Cheers' Diane Chambers put off marrying Sam Malone 'until she could write her novel'. By the time the series ended and the characters were reunited it didn't matter. That's just TV and it's also true in this case too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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