It took me some time to digest what Yuki was trying to explain. As per her when I go out to date a Japanese girl, there are certain rules that need to be followed without which my date will not be impressed with me. She said categorically that if I want to win the heart of my girl I better follow these rules, although it may seem very awkward for a westerner like me.
Don’t point please
While discussing I am not allowed to point my fingers at anybody. If I do, all I would be doing is making my dating partner a bit uncomfortable as the Japanese take pointing fingers as an offence.
Avoid hitting a boundary
The sound of the term ‘four’ is somewhat similar to the sound of the word ‘death’ hence the Japanese people tend to avoid the number four during any good ritual as they consider to be an unlucky number, which includes giving a gift while I am dating a person. The gift that I am supposed to give to my date should not bear any connection with the number four and should not be in multiples of four even.
While I was very surprised at these strange dating rules, yet I decided to abide by them. After all when you are in Japan, you have to do as the Japanese do.
Before I came to Japan, my friends in Montreal had given me enough reminders and warnings that I better watch out for the dating rules that the Japanese guys follow. Before I landed in Tokyo, I had no idea what they were talking about.
Who has heard of rules when it comes to dating?
Akio, the first guy that I dated in Tokyo made me realize that possibly there are some rules that gets followed by these guys. Akio was pretty shy, and he would not even hold my hand while we would walk down the streets of Tokyo. I being from the western world was pretty much accustomed with guys trying to get physical at the first chance they get, but Akio was not like that.
After dating Akio for about four months, I realized that the Japanese do follow certain set of rules when it comes to dating. The funny part is that not only girls, but a lot of boys follow these rules. The rules are:
• Try and avoid physical contact as much as possible.
• It is the guy who would propose. Girls taking the lead in proposing are not being looked at in a very healthy manner.
When you are in Japan, and dating a Japanese girl or a guy, you need to be extra alert regarding some of the dating rules that the Japanese follow and believe. No one knows when or who had created these rules, but this is being followed generation after generation. Initially I found them rather surprising, but later got accustomed to them.
Dress does matter
The first and foremost rule that one needs to follow while going on a date is to adhere to the dress code. Skin flashing dresses, too tight outfits which leaves little for the beholder to imagine your figure, too loud contrasting colors etc are something that one needs to avoid.
Hold on – it’s too early now
The second rule is that one should not try to be too intimate (read physically) in the first few dating sessions. Japanese people will not even kiss till the time they are getting into a relationship. Trying to be too advanced and inviting for a physical relation at the very first go will not only ruin the evening but will also make your date develop hatred towards you.
While there are many other dating rules, yet these two are the most important hence I thought to pen them down for the benefit of the young girls and boys who are planning to go on a Japanese date.
“Is that what you are going to wear?” – asked Aunt Chika looking at my body hugging dress that I had selected for my first date with Yoshi. After having spent long ten years outside Japan, I had forgotten the basic rule of dating in Japan. Aunt Chika has been my local guardian after I came to Tokyo for doing my summer project.
The most important rule while dating someone
The primary rule is that while going out on a date, you are not supposed to wear clothes that show your curves clearly. Also, dresses which allows a sneak peak of the skin, is not to be worn while you are going on a date with somebody. Japanese believe that some things should be left for imagination and hence the dating rule on clothes is very much followed by most girls and even by a majority of the men.
Dresses which are a strict No-no
Fitted jeans, Low hip trousers, long skirts with a cut on the side are some of the dresses that are not allowed as per traditional Japanese customs. Most Japanese are very cautious about what they wear as clothing forms a very important part of dating rules in Japan.
When I went to Boston and found young girls and boys flirting and dating with each other just like that, my Japanese culture oriented mind found it rather difficult to digest. Since childhood we have known that there are some rules that one needs to follow while you date someone which obviously was not being adhered to in this land.
The basic rules:
The rules and etiquettes that we have been seen may look very classical and stereotypic but that’s how the culture has been built in our land of rising sun. These basic etiquettes are:
• Focus: My date needs to be given the feeling that I am interested only in him or her. Making them repeat does not earn any reward point for me..
• Venue: The first event of a date has to happen in a good restaurant. More public places like malls, movieplexes etc. can be tried out later.
Some other important rules:
• Share the bill: Sharing the bill is something that both men and women would equally want to do.
• No kissing: Till the time a relationship develops, no kissing is allowed, one can forget about getting into a physical intimacy.
These rules need to be followed more so when a Japanese woman is being dated.
I will never forget the first date with Katsumi when I unknowingly did not follow some of the dating rules that most Japanese people follow. Her changed behavior caught my attention and it was only when Taro, my friend from Kyoto explained me the rules on asian webcams, I came to understand the reason behind Katsumi’s change in attitude.
Beware of cold
I had a bad cold and hence was blowing my nose quite a few times and as per Taro, that is a strict no-no as per Japanese dating rules. In case you have a running nose, you need to excuse yourself to the washroom and clear your nasal passage.
No self help
I made another mistake on that dating session with Katsumi wherein I poured the beer in the glass for myself. As per Japanese dating rules, if you are pouring beer for your date, you should give a chance to the other person to return the favor as well.
Aww, don’t do that!
Not aware of the Japanese customs, I had stick my chopsticks upright in the rice bowl and the snarling look that was there on Katsumi’s face told me that I had done something wrong. At that time, I could understand what wrong I had done, but Taro explained me that during funerals rice is offered by sticking the chopstick upright hence it’s a thing that no one would expect you to do while being on a date with a Japanese girl.
After making me understand these rules, Taro also added that I should be aware of the various other rules of Japanese dating so that I do not goof up in another date; else Katsumi will dump me forever. For the Japanese, rules are more important than anything else is what I realized that day and have been following since that day.
During my last visit to Japan, I experienced a rather funny incidence that is worth mentioning. After a hard day’s work, my Japanese counterpart had taken me to this local restaurant to have a good dinner. While we were waiting for food, I suddenly heard a slight commotion which was coming from the next table.
Let me share or I don’t care
At the table there was this couple, the Japanese girl and the guy was most likely a European. It apparently looked like they are fighting over the bill where the girl wanted to pay a portion of the bill, but the guy out of sheer courtesy was not allowing her, hence the conflict of thoughts and the commotion.
The rule of sharing
I found it rather amusing and asked Yukiko, my Japanese colleague to tell me why they were fighting like this. Yukiko told that this couple was out on a date and the Japanese girl, was forcing the guy to pay half the bill as that is a kind of dating rule that the Japanese follow. I was absolutely stunned to hear such a peculiar rule. Yukiko explained that here in Japan, they follow certain rules of which paying the bill is one of the most important ones.