In Japan, there’s not really any significant stigma attached to inter-office romances. Whether it’s a result of professional pride and responsibility being seen as extremely attractive traits by Japanese society, the country’s expected after-hours socializing with coworkers making it hard to meet people outside the job, or some combination of such factors, for generations people in Japan have been found it acceptable to find love where you work.
So it’s not too surprising that in a survey of 3,908 working men in their 20s, watchmaker Seiko found that nearly 30 percent of them have a lover in the office (15.1 percent having a coworker girlfriend, and 14 percent a coworker spouse). What is unexpected, though, is that far more of the guys are romantically involved with an older female coworker than a younger or same-age one.
Of the men who have a girlfriend or spouse who they work with, 41.3 percent said they special lady friend is older than they are. Meanwhile, only 30.1 percent have a younger girlfriend/spouse, and just 28.6 percent one who’s the same age.
The age gaps aren’t always razor-thin, either. When Seiko asked the men with older lovers how much older they were, the responses were:
● 1-3 years older: 49.6 percent
● 4-6 years older: 30.1 percent
● 6-9 years older: 11.9 percent
● 10-14 years older: 5.4 percent
● More than 15 years older: 3 percent
The survey also asked the men what attracted them to their romantic partner, and while that data wasn’t sorted by whether the woman was younger or older, “her mature atmosphere” was the overall number-two response.
● 1. Her kindness: 42.0 percent
● 2. Her mature atmosphere: 42.3 percent
● 3. She’s sweet to me: 36.9 percent
● 4. Her fashion sense: 26.7 percent
● 5. Her intelligence: 20.2 percent
Numerical youth and inexperienced innocence arguably bordering on nativity are often assumed to be Japan’s ideals of feminine desirability, but Seiko’s survey shows that love comes in all sorts of combinations, and that not every full-grown salaryman secretly wants to date a schoolgirl.
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