Excerpt: 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? Send it to email@example.com.
I’ll just start out by saying that I’ve had nothing but horrible experiences dating in Japan for many reasons. I’ve continued to keep an open mind and have dated many Japanese men, but I’ve finally come to accept that the cultural differences are just far too different for me, especially when it comes to expectations in relationships here.
That being said, I find it even harder to date foreign men here because it seems they are only interested in dating Japanese women—at least from my own personal experience. At this point, I’m wondering if there are any social/dating groups, websites, or meetups for foreign men/women specifically looking to date other foreigners?
I’ve thought about asking this within the expat forums on social media, but it feels really weird to put myself out there regarding such a sensitive and personal topic. I want to be culturally sensitive and make it known that I’ve genuinely tried, but realize there are just too many differences I’m comfortable with. Of course, these same feelings and issues can happen just as well by dating someone from your own country, but I’d be really excited to find someone who has the same understanding of where I come from.
Keen to know your thoughts on this topic and any advice you might have regarding it. I really would love to find any groups that are geared towards ex-pats finding relationships within the ex-pat community itself.
Sincerely, Affection Starved Westerner
Dear Affection Starved Westerner,
Cultural differences and expectations in a relationship can lead to dissatisfaction, can’t they? As you said, you’ve tried to keep an open mind and not had any luck, so you’re wanting to date someone closer to your own culture now is understandable. Everyone has different relationship requirements.
Usually I would have plenty of links to groups, events or even speed dating parties for ex-pats to share with you, but unfortunately for yourself and countless others looking for love, we’re still in the throes of a pandemic.
Most of the tried and true means for meeting people have been closed or under restrictions until very recently, and (at the time of writing) several groups for hobbies and activities in Japan are on hiatus or have had their websites and public profiles inactive for years now.
There’s also the added issue of fewer people coming to Japan for work and international tourists being banned outright at present. While restrictions on bars et cetera have been lifted, they could come back depending on the infection rates, so there are fewer events and activities being planned for the coming months overall as well.
The dating pool can seem more like a wading pool given the circumstances, but there are more options than you might think.
Click here to read more.
- External Link