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Ask Sara: Why Won’t Japanese Men Take Me Seriously?

Because I'm a foreign girl, Japanese guys only see me as a bit of fun. How can I find somebody who wants to be in a committed relationship?

By 2 min read 2

In a new feature, our resident love-in-Japan writer Sara Who will be answering your questions on everything from dating rules to finding a partner to love, marriage and more. Got a question you’d like to ask Sara? Email it to editorial@gplusmedia.com.

Our question this week is about how Japanese guys often see foreign women as a temporary fling rather than a serious potential partner.

More than just a bit of fun

Hello there!

I’d be interested in hearing an answer to the following question:

Why is it that foreign women are often only considered for dating or “a bit of fun” but rarely get taken seriously when seeking a committed relationship in Japan? I’ve been dating people for nearly a year myself but while getting dates is easy, entering into something more meaningful is difficult. I’m also a person of colour.


-Fed Up Foreign Girl

Dear Fed Up,

I think your problem is mostly due to a difference in the way both sexes think and behave. While women are more likely to want the stability that comes with a relationship, men will often play the field rather than settle down. Foreign women in Japan are not the only ones dealing with players. Ask any Japanese girl interested in foreign men. They’ve probably dealt with flakes and liars who were just looking for a bit of fun. Nationality doesn’t matter here. Some men are just not looking for a relationship and will lead you on to get into your pants.

How do you meet guys usually? More importantly: what kind of guy do you go out with? If you go on a date with, pardon the generalization, a “typical” Japanese man, it’s more likely he’s just curious about what it would be like to date a foreign woman. He might be genuinely thinking he would love to have a beautiful and exotic girlfriend, but doesn’t understand what he’s getting himself into. After a few dates, he might come to the realization that dating a foreign girl is not like dating a Japanese woman at all and decide to retreat.

I think the key here is to choose wisely. In my social circle, most of my foreign lady friends are in long-term relationships with Japanese men. To give you an idea, almost all these guys have lived abroad at some point and can speak English. If you are looking for something more serious, I’d say definitely go for internationalized guys who have experienced living outside of Japan. Dating in Japan is certainly not easy, but do not despair, you’ll meet your Mr. Right eventually!

Love, Sara

What do you think? Do Japanese guys tend to see foreign women as short-term dating prospects? Are they attracted to the idea of having a foreign girlfriend? Let us know in the comments and make sure to come back next week when Sara will answer more of your questions!

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  • maulinator says:

    there is a meetup specifically for local men and foreign women to meet. Try that one. At least you know that the women there are interested in meeting a local man.

  • maulinator says:

    I think that part of the reason why foreign women are not taken seriously by local men is that up until recently most foreign women in Japan were not long term residents or worked in sometimes questionable employment. This is not as true now as I see more professional foreign women around town but it is only a recent phenomenon. So up until recently most foreign women were short term residents or working in sketchy establishments. So the common notion would have been to see relationships with them to be short term or casual.
    I have met wonderful women with whom I have had nice relationships with who were working at bars and such but often the women were quite mercenary and playing the field. That is the stereotype that needs to be broken. We see that with more foreign women in the workforce and in the media and I think the local men will start seeing things differently probably. they will be slow to adopt a new perspective but it will eventually happen hopefully.



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