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 email@example.com with the subject "Ask 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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