Dating is hard, and it seems like most Japanese young adults agree. And although it’s becoming more and more common, online dating is not any easier, because when you agree to go on a date with someone you’ve met online, you’re essentially signing up for a blind date. That means that there’s a chance you will end up eating dinner with someone who is not quite who they said they were, or who doesn’t look like quite like their profile picture.
One Japanese man recently found out the hard way that online dating can be tricky. After meeting a woman on a dating app, he agreed to see her at a local restaurant, but when he saw her in person she was apparently so different from her profile picture that he felt sufficiently betrayed as to sneak out of the restaurant without paying his share of the bill, instead of seeing the date through to the end.
He thought that was the end of it, until he later received a call from the police, who had questions about his departure. Apparently the woman had called the authorities after she realized he had left her to foot the bill. Though he wasn’t arrested or fined for his actions, this close brush with the law had him wondering if it was a crime for him to leave without paying, so he turned to an online legal consultation message board for help.
The answer, apparently, comes down to the man’s initial intent.
If he’d never intended to pay his part of the bill from the very beginning, ordered and ate his meal, and then slunk away, then it could be considered a scam. According to the lawyers he consulted, this is a common hoax, which is probably why the woman called the police in the first place. The point to really keep in mind here is that a perpetrator is a scam artist if he doesn’t intend to pay, but gives the impression that he does, leaving the “date” forced to pay the bill against her will when he disappears.
The man clarified on the legal message board that he had not intended to ditch his date when they agreed to meet in the first place. In that case, the lawyers said, it’s not against the law, but rather a case of delinquent debt. It then becomes a civil affairs case, depending on whether she would like to demand repayment from him or not.
So in summary, in Japan, it’s not illegal for you to skip out on the bill unless you intended to scam your date from the beginning, but you could be sued for it (even though most people won’t go to the trouble). But do note that, while you may not suffer from legal repercussions, if you do run away from a date without saying anything to them, just because they “didn’t look like their profile picture”, you’re definitely lacking in morals and common decency, and so ought to be ashamed. Hopefully the woman didn’t feel too badly about what a terrible date he was.
Source: Livedoor News via My Game News Flash
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