Madoka could have never been more kind to me when he adjusted to my strange behavior towards him in the initial days of dating. I actually never knew any Japanese custom, and was quite surprised by the fact that Japanese couples do not propose often to show their love. I thought that saying those three magic words, “I love you” often, would make feelings more intense in a relationship. But it’s so very different yet romantic here in Japan, and I could only discover this differently romantic aroma of love and feelings as I discovered romanticism with Madoka.

My love story in short

Let me tell you a little about myself first. I am Matisa from Finland, and I was posted in Japan by my MNC. A job posting in an advanced industrial region like Japan was enough to bloat me with fresh air and energy. I was fully enjoying my time here, and in those days, I met Madoka in a restaurant. He was with his friends, and I, with my colleagues. When I saw him, we had a little group chat, and then one meeting led to another till we started dating seriously.

They wait to say I love you

It happened in those days that I often stated my love for him by saying “I love you” as and when I felt like, though he never did tell me that he wanted to marry me. Strangely enough he gave me queer looks, and often told that he would need more time to decide on that. I was clueless each time what he wanted to say, as I never wanted a commitment from him on marriage or living. But he always reinforced about this point when I stated my feelings.
Well it was then that I slowly understood how deeply this feeling and expression of “I love you” is considered in Japan. Couples would not say something so serious unless they are committed and normally it’s a boy’s job to propose. However now I know the Japanese way, and am very satisfied with Madoka.

I was dating Samantha in those days, when I was struck by the beauty of this lovely cute Japanese girl; and she is currently my dear wife, my darling Masa. Well my story is short, yet would catch attention of those American folks like me, who are new to the Japanese culture, and know nothing much about Japanese dating customs.

How I met Masa

I am Beck and am from the US. I was studying in Japan, and was still maintaining my long distance relationship with Samantha. However both of us knew that we were never serious. Yet it was kind of a time pass.

But when I saw Masa, things changed quickly. I approached her straight ahead when I spotted her in a small group of college girls. She was cute, dressed in full white, and adorable as a doll. I was looking at her for quite a long time, and then suddenly it struck upon me, that this moment will be over, and she will be gone. So, it’s my only chance to approach my love at first sight.

How I was fooled

Naturally I went ahead and tried to talk to her. But alas! It was Japan, and not America! I was so much ashamed of the false situation that I had put myself in, that I was seeking a place to hide my face. People were looking at me ridiculously.

Actually no one did ever tell me that boys do not approach girls so straight forward here in Japan. According to Japanese dating customs, I was supposed to meet her with a group of my own friends, whilst she was with her own group. Then only after a few meetings, we could start to talk separately, followed by planned dating. However, she knew by my face that I wasn’t a Japanese, and things starting melting up between us.
Thanks to the online dating sites popular here in Japan that we stayed constantly in touch while being in different locations in the next few years, till the time we got married.

I met Reiko in a car parking, and immediately asked for her number. She was extremely shy, and I had no idea, why a girl her age, and so beautiful would be so shy. It was just another dating approach from my part, as I have been doing all through the previous years. Back in America women would show equal interest in dating men, and I was used to that type of behavior till Reiko gave me an insight into the Japanese customs of dating.

After approaching her only, I came to know gradually how shy and bashful many Japanese girls are. They wouldn’t even display their feelings openly, physical intimacy a totally out of the way thought, till they are sure of the man being serious in the relationship.

I learnt it the Japanese way

Reiko also did the same, and that is what I liked about her, as this made her differ from the rest of the American women I knew and saw around. Reiko also didn’t come for the date straightaway alone. She brought with her three friends, and we talked and had coffee together. This sort of group meeting continued for some two to three times till she felt comfortable to meet me on her own. Not that she wasn’t smart enough or couldn’t talk alone, but as she explained later, it was just the type of dating that is practiced in Japan, and is deep rooted in her culture.

How I met her family

It took us two months to get down to normal dating, when we started meeting alone besides public places, and I soon proposed her. But then again she reminded me, that I needed to approach her parents for the kind of seriousness and commitment we are going to share in the relationship. I wasted no more time, and got to her home with some gifts for her family, and now she is my family with our two little kids, Atsuko and Ralph.

I would have never known what true love is if I never found Kyo. He is the perfect man that a lady can get, and we have a near perfect love story. Why I stated near perfect is because of two reasons. Firstly no love story is ever perfect, as lovers are destined to face hurdles. Secondly, the hurdle I faced being a European amidst Japanese culture is of a strange nature. To elaborate I must tell you my long story in short.

The Japanese way of dating

I was at my uncle’s place in those days; my uncle being a permanent Japanese resident over quite a few years. Never did anybody tell me, that Japanese dating consists of customs that are so very different from European customs. Read on to know how this affected me and my first impression.

Normally Japanese boys and girls are expected to go out in groups, and meet the opposite gender in groups, friends being a compulsory part of the meeting. Once a boy and girl like seeing each other, they continue to meet in a similar way with friends as company for a few more times, till they feel fit to date separately. Then the whole dating game begins, and after some serious dates, which do not involve any sort of physical intimacy like we Europeans prefer, the boy or man proposes to the lady.

My mistake by being very forward

But I am the straight forward and typically advanced European lady, ready to take over the charge anywhere. And that is what I did when I met Kyo with his pals. I went to him straight and asked him, “Hi, you are cute; would you care to come with me for a date tomorrow evening”. I did get strange looks and glances from everywhere from people who know that Japanese girls are relatively shy and would never ask for a date that way, and that too on the first meeting. I still remember those strange glances and loose comments till date. Now I laugh on those silly memories, however would suggest you people to take some lesson from my experiences.

Know the rules well

If you are a girl from a different ethnicity, then you must care to know the Japanese rules and customs of dating so that you do not get into any such situation accidentally. For the rest of the courtship I relied a lot on Japanese dating sites and my cute little Japanese sex chat, and am now lucky to be the better half of Kyo.

Thanks to the Goukon or the group blind date arranged by my friend Kichiro, I found Asami, the love of my life. Kichiro knew that I was all alone and it was mostly for me that he arranged for the Goukon and invited me to check if I could meet my love partner.

I saw her for the first time

In modern day Japan, Goukons are proving to be a particularly popular dating custom wherein youngsters like me meet a lot of young women and find the most compatible one for them. As for my case, I met Asami for the first time in this Goukon only and when I saw her sitting in the corner with her friends, I knew she was my girl.

Love was in the air

When Kichiro took me to the girls and introduced me, the shine in Asami’s eyes told me that I have registered my name in her little Jap heart. However, I knew that as per the customs, she would never ever propose me and the tough task was to be done by me only. So I slowly asked her if she would like to meet me in again in a group and to my surprise and delight there was a nod from her end, and then the rest is history.