Five ways guys blow their chances at singles’ parties

By Casey Baseel

Japanese society is, by many measures, on the shy side when it comes to love. Full-grown adults often keep having a boyfriend or girlfriend a secret because they’re afraid of being teased or questioned about marriage, and if you see someone dressed up nicely carrying a bouquet of flowers, they’re far more likely to be going to a farewell party for a co-worker than a date with a special someone.

However, there is one way in which Japan is refreshingly upfront with its romantic ambitions: the singles’ party known as a "gokon." Literally meaning “matching party,” at a gokon you get an equal number of unattached men and women together, usually at a restaurant with plenty of alcoholic drinks, and see if there are any compatible pairs in the group.

As a guy, the combination of booze and girls seems like an ideal situation. But the flip side is that you’re also being judged by a panel of the opposite sex, so there are some serious pitfalls to look out for, and women in their 20s and 30s were recently polled as to the surest ways a guy can blow his chances at one of these parties.

As for conversation topics, a number of ladies said they don’t appreciate being asked about why their last relationship ended. “I don’t mind if people talk about their past relationships at a gokon, but I don’t feel comfortable telling someone I just met something as personal as why I broke up with my last boyfriend,” explained one.

On the other hand, others were upset when they offered some dirt, but didn’t get enough of a response. “If all you’re going to say in return is ‘Oh, I see,’ then why even bother asking?” wondered one woman.

But more so than subject matter, the survey revealed a set of words and phrases alone that would lower the respondents’ opinion of a guy, starting with “What’s your name again?”

“Remembering a person’s name is the bare minimum of courtesy you owe them,” pointed out one respondent, “but you’d be surprised how many guys can’t even do this.”

“A lot of guys try to say this off-handedly like it’s a joke, but it’s no laughing matter for the girl who’s name was forgotten,” another remarked.

Thankfully, there’s a sly way to get around this. In Japanese, it’s pretty uncommon to use the word “you” when speaking directly to someone you just met. For example, even in talking directly to a girl whose name is Kaori, it’s much more natural to say “What does Kaori want to drink?” instead of “What do you want to drink?” So even if you forget her name, as long as you can stall long enough, there’s a pretty good chance someone else say it, in which case you’re right back in there.

It’s got to be OK to tell one she’s cute, right? This is Japan, where cuteness is practically a religion.

Well, much like a delicious Kentucky bourbon, use of the word kawaii (cute) is best in moderation, according to some women. “If a guy says I’m cute too many times, it starts to feel like he thinks that I’m dumb enough that that’s all he has to do to make me happy,” cautioned one.

“If ‘you’re cute’ is the first thing out of a guy’s mouth, it shows me that he’s really not experienced dealing with women,” commented another.

OK, maybe we should have known better. Jumping straight to a physical compliment is a little shallow, now that we think about it. So how about starting with an observation on her personality? Like how laid-back, she is, or "ochitsuiteiru" in Japanese?

Well the problem here is that "ochitsuiteiru" can also be taken to mean “low-key,” which some of the women surveyed take to be little more than a euphemism for “dull.”

“I know some guys mean it as a compliment, but I’m really not very happy to hear it,” grumbled one respondent.

Another described the hidden meaning she thinks the phrase carries. “I can’t help feeling like what they really want to say is that they think I’m boring.”

We can kind of see her point. OK then, how about going to the other end of the spectrum, and letting her know you think she’s the life of the party? Something along the line of “osake tsuyoso” or “You seem like you can really hold you liquor!”

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, alcohol is not the solution to this complex problem.

The phrase presents a specific problem for one woman. “If I don’t deny it right away, a lot of guys will use it as an excuse to try to get me to drink more.”

Others were simply worried about the implications the statement carries about their virtue. “When a guy says a girl can drink a lot, I think he also assumes she’s easy,” worried one respondent.

Most useful was the advice from one woman, who said she wasn’t impressed by guys who need the girls to drink heavily to have a good time. “I’d rather spend my time with guys who know how to have a fun conversation without getting liquored up.”

So, let’s review what we’ve learned here.

  1. Questions about breakups are off limits
  2. Remember her name.
  3. Vary your conversation beyond “cute cute cute cute cute.”
  4. Avoid inadvertently tell her she’s boring.
  5. Don’t order her a whiskey with a glass of gin as a chaser.

Beyond that, common sense and being yourself are what we’ve had the most success with. Good hunting, gentlemen!

Source: Yahoo! Japan

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Nine Phrases That Make Japanese Men Fall Head Over Heels -- 10 Ways a Guy Can Instantly Repulse Ladies -- Nine Types of Guys That Shouldn’t Even Bother Showing up at Gokon Parties

© RocketNews24

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

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The women's personalities seem to be part of the reason why they are still single. It is not only because the guys are inept socially.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

These gokon parties are pathetic. They show the social skills of elementary school kids. I've been out with groups of young men in izakaya, pubs and bars looking at groups of young women with nobody from either group being able to start a conversation ( that's if the izakaya hasn't partitioned everyone off into cells ). Get off the dating sites, stay away from Gokon and talk to people like socialized adults.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Recent studies by scientists from the Institute of Farcical Statistics support the following Three Rules of Dating: Rule #1 - be attractive Rule #2 - don`t be ugly Rule #3 - see above

Not attractive? Be loaded (or make the girls think you are) or be witty.

If you are attractive, rich and witty - you are not reading these kind of stories.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Agree with the "kawaiiii" thing... I wish someone would invent some new Japanese vocabulary for cute. It is ridiculously overused.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I always found maintaing eye contact and actually listening to what the other person was saying worked well for me. Having blues eyes helped a little.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How to meet girls: "Hi, my name is . How are you?" Let's review: "Hi, my name is . How are you?"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just be yourself. Too many people try to be what they are not. If it doesn't work, then it probably wasn't meant to be anyway.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I found out that if you don't ask questions, dont' act like you can think adn laugh alot about nothing and the girls feel comfortable with you. If you act like your judgemental and intensed, focused and intelligent you're out the door. Buy some rap or reggie for the car and start dancing.. that gets these simple minded idiots.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You seem like you can really hold you liquor!

Sounds exactly like something a drunk would say!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Don't take out your phone and start texting someone.
0 ( +1 / -1 )

Quick question: if these women are such experts on what makes the ideal date partner, why do they need to be set up at a gokon? Not saying the guys are perfect -- they too are in the same boat.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Quick question: if these women are such experts on what makes the ideal date partner

I'm sure next week we'll get the article from expert men.

they too are in the same boat.

They could discuss they respective blunders at those gokons...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Me and a friend I joined (more like organised) gokons several times trying to hook up some of our friends. We tried to boost the chances of these guys, so we acted carefree, just talking whatever and how good for nothing guys we are, by contrast with X and Y (the guys we tried to hook up). Who do you think got contacted lather by the girls to go out again? From my experience, every time you are not trying to picking up a girl you have the best of luck, whereas when you try hard to hit on somebody your luck runs out...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Quick question: if these women are such experts on what makes the ideal date partner, why do they need to be set up at a gokon? Not saying the guys are perfect -- they too are in the same boat.

Cheap dinner, a night out with friends and a chance to meet someone from a certain company/income bracket. I was the "token foreigner" and went to many and loved going to them. Usually nice restaurants, interesting chat and I loved watching all the games that went on with some folks. Gokons aren't always about finding a mate for life - many of the ones I went to were for fun and hook ups.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You should choose a partner not because she or he is the right person for you, but whether you are the right person for her or him.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

very interesting!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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