lifestyle

Japanese women discuss pros and cons of being a guy’s first girlfriend ever

30 Comments
By Casey Baseel

Most socializing in Japan is done in groups, and while there’s definitely something to be said for the “the more the merrier” philosophy behind it, that same social norm can sometimes work against a person’s love life. Sure, a guy might have a thing for a girl who he’s in the same school club with, but it can be hard to take the relationship to the next level if they never have any time alone together. On the opposite side of the scale, if there’s no one who strikes a man’s fancy in his immediate social circle, expanding his network of acquaintances, and with it his dating pool, can be a tricky endeavor to pull off.

The end result is a number of men in Japan who don’t enter into a serious romantic relationship until they’re well into adulthood. Luckily, this isn’t a complete deal breaker for them, but that lack of experience does change the playing field, as shown in a survey of 206 Japanese women in their teens, twenties, and thirties who shared their hopes and concerns about being a guy’s very first girlfriend.

Let’s start with something positive. If romance itself is a new and exciting thing for a guy, there’s a good chance that at least some of that jittery enthusiasm is going to rub off on his girlfriend.

“I want a guy who’s so naive it’s irritating,” said another woman, with a laugh. Sure, it may be a little embarrassing to see a full-grown man turn beet red when his date grabs his hand, but if the electricity is there, some Japanese women feel it’s worth it.

Still, it’s possible to go too far in being taken completely by surprise by the idea of getting a little affection. “I don’t want to hear a guy say, ‘Oh, well there’s no way anyone would want to do that with me,’” explained one respondent in her 20s. A lack of experience can sometimes be the basis for a lack of confidence, and the validity of that psychological connection aside, many of the survey participants don’t want to hear it from their boyfriend.

▼ If you tell the woman you’re dating “No girl would want me,” you’re either hurtfully refusing to validate her feelings or accusing her of secretly being a dude.

That said, the women in the survey don’t want their boyfriend to go out of his way to explain how popular he was with ladies either, in spite of never having been in an exclusive relationship before. Saying, “Oh, things just never clicked with one special girl” was also flagged as a no-no. “After I’ve managed to start liking a guy, when he says stuff like that, it’s so uncool,” complained one teenage respondent. “Showing off like that is just lame.”

In general, a guy focusing on the things he did or didn’t do in the past was considered a warning sign. “Some late bloomers become really hard chargers, trying to make up for lost time,” pointed out one woman. “I’d kind of like them to stop doing that.”

In fact, many participants in the survey said they hoped for the exact opposite. Instead of trying to keep up with what they perceive as the pace others expect them to move at in a relationship, women said they’d prefer their inexperienced boyfriends to relax and let things develop in a natural, unhurried pace.

Doing so will help the inexperienced dater avoid another pitfall, trying to force fit advice he heard somewhere into his own relationship. “I was my old boyfriend’s first girlfriend, and I hated how he would suddenly say, ‘Oh, your shoes are nice!’” moaned a teen participant in the study.

Again, the lack of experience can work in the guy’s favor, particularly if it helps rekindle a feeling of youthful passion in his girlfriend. “I’d like to re-experience the pure-hearted love people have in their student days,” longed one woman in her 20s.

Of course, you can’t keep things feeling fresh and energetic without taking the occasional step outside your comfort zone. Some women were concerned about whether or not a guy with no romantic experience would be up to the challenge, and were afraid he might shy away from new experiences instead. “If you do that, how are you ever going to get any better?” wondered one exasperated teenager.

This was tied into another complaint from a woman in her 20s, who can’t stand her boyfriend constantly asking for permission to do things like hold hands. “Decide for yourself. Be more confident,” she commanded.

As we look over the collected responses, the sad truth seems to be that there’s more variety in how a man’s inexperience can lead him to blow his first relationship than help him succeed. Still, the surest way to ruin your chances for romance are by failing to be confident, or at least fake it convincingly.

Besides, for those of you still feeling timid because you’ve never had a girlfriend before, stop and think about even the worst-case scenario: getting dumped. Sure, it’s never a fun experience, but you’ll come away wiser and more experienced, with the “I’ve never had a girlfriend before” curse broken.

Source: Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Five ways guys blow their chances at singles’ parties in Japan -- “I think I love you…”: Romantic confessions from around the world -- The times of year that make single Japanese women feel the loneliest

© RocketNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


30 Comments
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You have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

If the consensus is that women like guys with a lot of experience, then im definately cream of the crop! I can see the merits of being a girls first guy (i wont provide examples!)but its a bit strange that a girl would prefer a guy with no exp. Its difficult to treat and adequetly pleasure women if youve never done it before.

-19 ( +4 / -24 )

Its difficult to treat and adequetly pleasure women if youve never done it before.

On the other hand, a guy who knows he doesn't know what he's doing is more willing to be guided.

A guy who thinks he knows what he's doing, often also thinks he knows better than the woman he's doing it with / for.

I speak, sadly, from experience. It's not sexy to be ignored.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Yeah, Maria's right. If you can enjoy guiding someone, it's fun. If you yourself can never be guided, you are living in a make-believe of experience.

For once one of these boy-girl cheesecake articles seems reasonable and accurate. Let's keep the level up!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why does JT continue to do these shallow 'love' articles when they are often biased, pointless and unentertaining. Come on! These articles should be found in magazines aimed for teenage readers. And they just get worse and worst. Post something interesting and with depth!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'd like to read something that tackles the more serious issues with Japanese societes, such as Japanese women being obsessed with Disney and Japanese men becoming increasingly effeminate - mostly lame boy bands to blame I feel.

C'mon JT, adda bit of spice to the articles! Don't be afraid to 'go there'!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I've have a gf and what does help is that i am timid and pessimistic so i would even know where to begin

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why does JT continue to do these shallow 'love' articles when they are often biased, pointless and unentertaining.

Probably because most of them get a lot of hits and comments.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is vital to have dating experience when very young in order to have an inkling about dating and the opposite sex, something that even most adults anywhere are hardly experts about. It disgusts me how Japanese society does all it can to dissuade the school aged from gaining that experience. Japanese children and teens are saddled with excessive homework and after-school activities and don't have the time to explore. Summer vacation is about only one month. No time for love. No time for life. Its criminal.

Another thing Japanese society does is frown on physical contact. I sometimes get students (only like one every three years) who will run to me and give me a hug. I never encouraged that. Nor do I discourage it. But eventually some prissy pants teacher will make that student stop. Recently I have added "hug your friend" to my list of Simon says commands. Its unreal that some students are uncomfortable with it while others are overjoyed to be released from this oppressive social norm. What can I say? I am doing my part. This robot society has got to change!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"▼ If you tell the woman you’re dating “No girl would want me,” you’re either hurtfully refusing to validate her feelings or accusing her of secretly being a dude."

Or perhaps you're a guy with low self esteem who needs understanding rather than the bullying comment above.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

▼ If you tell the woman you’re dating “No girl would want me,” you’re either hurtfully refusing to validate her feelings or accusing her of secretly being a dude.

If a guy I was actually dating said that, I'd be pretty offended. It is a highly insensitive thing to say, however you look at it. He's either looking ahead towards future relationship prospects, or doesn't really consider this the present one a real relationship.

Perhaps this is a mistranslation, and he actually said, I don't know why you're with me ? That's an insecure man. But the above quote suggests he doesn't really think you're together.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sorry Maria,

People with low self-esteem say, and think things like that all the time. They're not insensitive.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sorry Star-viking,

Adults with low self-esteem are generally extremely self-involved, and talk/think about themselves far too much, often not considering the feelings of those around them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sorry Maria, I disagree.

People with low-self esteem might seem very self-involved, but they often come from a background where they were subject to abuse, and so find themsleves pursuing solitary interests rather than ones that would put them in contact with people who might disparage them. That does not mean they would not like to socialize, but that it is seen as a potentially dangerous thing. They do think about themselves a lot, but not in a positive way, more like finding faults with themselves. As for not considering the feelings of people around them, social awkwardness can be mistaken for that, but most people who do not consider the feeling of people around them are the successful, popular people.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"I hated how he would suddenly say, ‘Oh, your shoes are nice!"

Poor thing. She'll be scarred for life...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think Star and Maria are both right.

You are talking about two different people. (Or maybe thousands.)

There are certainly pouty self-involved people who delve into a lack of self worth in a very narcissistic way. And there are also those who have had some difficult background or other and haven't figured out how to be in a social world with others.

However, Maria is just being honest, and the article too, where if someone says to the person they are with, "I'm worthless," it really is kind of a put-down to the person they are with, like, "you are worthless too, if you seriously want to be with me, or you must be just stupid to be with me." no-one really wants to hear that, and it is understandable they get angry.

Do they have depth of resources to be able to accept the person who is seriously hurt? Or, perhaps more tricky, do they (or WE) have the wisdom to tell the difference between navel gazing pouters who may need a smack in the face to wake up, and the truly hurt person who needs real understanding and nursing, and the ability to give the correct attention. This is an intersting and difficult question.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Most guys lie when they say they are inexperienced with women. I told my girlfriend I was inexperienced so as not to freak her out with my past.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Star-viking, I accept your apology.

I appreciate that there are those who, after experiencing abuse, have trouble forming and maintaining relationships due to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and insecurity. I have complete sympathy for them.

But those people - abuse survivors - are in the minority. The majority are those who have a poor self-image for mundane reasons - they had a hard time at school, their teens were difficult, they were chronically shy, and despite having left that time and place behind, they have never left behind those feelings. It is those I am thinking of, and to them I say:

Carry your insecurities through your teens and twenties if you must, get the whole "I'm too fat / spotty / ugly / stupid / unattractive / unappealing" thing out there, talk about it / yourself endlessly with your friends if you want, and generally feel insecure. It can be a very difficult habit to unlearn.

But at some point, you have to get over it or learn to hide it - preferably before you hit your 30s - or you will never be happy or content, and your life will not progress the way you want it to. You will forever lose out on opportunities which you will blame on your failings when in fact your only failing is that you don't know when to shut up about your feelings of worthlessness when you're with people who like you.

And if you have a girl/boyfriend who likes you and wants to be with you, then don't say things like "No wo/man would ever want me". S/he's right there, dummy!

If you want that person to leave you, keep saying it. The question you should ask yourself is, Do you want to be with her/him? If you don't, then end it. There are much worse things than being single.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why does JT continue to do these shallow 'love' articles when they are often biased, pointless and unentertaining. Come on! These articles should be found in magazines aimed for teenage readers. And they just get worse and worst. Post something interesting and with depth!

Maybe it is just me but articles that I am not interested in, I don't read nor comment. There are always plenty to choose from.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's not just you.

I wish people on the net would follow the scientists' policy. Just because you can complain aaa out everything on the net doesn't mean you should

1 ( +1 / -0 )

l

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"I hated how he would suddenly say, ‘Oh, your shoes are nice!"

Poor thing. She'll be scarred for life...

that guy forgot the golden rule of treat women like dirt to be considered manly and attractive. and that girl should know, i mean she's a grown up teen with lots of life experience.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

However, Maria is just being honest, and the article too, where if someone says to the person they are with, "I'm worthless," it really is kind of a put-down to the person they are with, like, "you are worthless too, if you seriously want to be with me, or you must be just stupid to be with me." no-one really wants to hear that, and it is understandable they get angry.

Lowly, you stole what i wanted to say!!!..

It is a really put out for anyone when somebody is dating someone and they say "i'm worthless", "nobody wants to be with me", etc. to play victim, even if you really are a victim is really a no-no, first, you are not acknowledging the person who is with you on that date, second the person most likely would be offended because when you say "worthless" or "unwanted" you are Not referring only to yourself but also to the person who is with you, even if you don't mean it, and especially if you don't mean for the other person it demonstrates that you are insensitive, social awkwardness or not, you must refrain to do that.

I consider myself a very empathetic person, but sometimes I've dated people that even though had GF before, they were inexperienced, so it was kinda like their first GF, but a couple of times I've found those extremely timid and with low self-esteem, I got bored of that speech "I'm not good enough", "you'll leave me too", "Nobody would love me", that was so disrespectful!, And when I hinted I wanted to end the relationship they would play the "i'm dying here, if you leave me, i'll do this!!!, etc"card. Problem is I might be very empathetic but I would never give in into "emotional blackmail", so I dumped them... It is not that a person ask for "be confident" but more like "look around, there are people who care about you, acknowledge them"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good points Lowly and Maria, but...

Star-viking, I accept your apology.

I made no apology, is one necessary?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a) You said you were sorry.

b) Chill out a little bit, my cyber-friend. Not everything has to be serious.

It's good that the chronically timid have you on their side.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maria, you describe much of adult society. Most adults are narcissists these days. When I went to Japan, I thought Japanese people were shy and polite. But, then I realized they are simply self-involved. North Americans are the same.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maria,

a) You said you were sorry.

Well then I accept your apology too.

It's good that the chronically timid have you on their side.

More a case that I hate statements of the for "you're either A or B". They're very close-minded.

b) Chill out a little bit, my cyber-friend. Not everything has to be serious.

I'za chill now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

guys with experience would be okay AS LONG AS THEY DON'T TALK ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE. guys with no experience would also be okay as it's fun to explore together :) the most important thing is that he is fun to be with and we enjoy being together. whether you have more experience or not, every girl is different so you cannot be a total expert on every woman :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

joicerojo,

well, it probably was a good choice to leave them if they gave you that, esp the "If you leave, I'll..." but another thing you can try is really being strict, or hard on them. Not quite the right words, but i am sleepy now. they may need someone to give them a slap back into reality. (not made fun of or put down, just, "HEY! Focus on what's really HERE right now!")

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LowlyFEB. 20, 2014 - 09:38PM JST joicerojo, well, it probably was a good choice to leave them if they gave you that, esp the "If you leave, I'll..." but another thing you can try is really being strict, or hard on them. Not quite the right words, but i am sleepy now. they may need someone to give them a slap back into reality. (not made fun of or put down, just, "HEY! Focus on what's really HERE right now!")

I did that too!, but whe tghey got stubborn i ended up dumping them anyway

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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