Five Things I Like About Expat Guys

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Expat guys have a lot of the qualities I look for: complicated, geeky, and slightly dark. They are eccentric, zombie-loving, and nerdy. Here’s a few things that I love about expat dudes in Japan.

1) They’re weird.

They tend to be way into computers, sci-fi, and play first-person Zombie shooter games more than they’ll admit, but they’re also here for a reason. Sure, it might be a JP culture-addict thing, but chances are they might have been a little socially awkward back home and came here to experience something more fun than furtive glances of distain from random blind dates.

2) They’re handy translators.

Not being able to speak Japanese yet, I LOVE this. It’s so comforting to be able to roll into a restaurant and try something new without mystery. Language proficiency is really the keys to the castle here, and if he speaks Japanese, it’s a major dating bonus.

3) They’re not all up in your face.

Unless they’re the über-creepy hermit type, these guys usually have a lot on their plates. Teaching, music, art, starting their own businesses: expat guys tend to keep a full schedule and aren’t going to be texting you every little thought in their heads thirty times a second. And if you’re a solo female here, chances are you’re the independent type who can smell needy from fifty paces.

4) They’re adventurous.

I realize this one sounds like every OK Cupid profile in existence, but if we’re here it means we all love to travel off the paved road of homogeneous tourism. Want to go eat bizarre shit in Nowheresville, Malaysia? These guys are down. They’ll even help plan the trip.

5) They dig us, despite being surrounded by gorgeous local babes.

Especially the ones that have been here a while and are looking to chat about old movies or pop culture references that local girls might not get. It’s fun to see a guy’s eyes light up when you mention David Lynch or punk rock (when punk rock was really punk rock… crap I’m getting old). Local girls are foxy, no question, but when an X-man wants to have a deep, meaningless conversation, gaijin girls hold the number one slot.

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Writer, actor, beauty junkie, smart aleck.
  • Anna Itoshima says:

    This is true to the most expat guys I met in Japan

  • David says:

    When I think “expat” I think of someone more stable than what you’re describing, in the sense that they are here to stay long term. I’m an American guy. I am an equal opportunity single male, ladies of all nationalities are welcome ^_^ . One thing that is a deterrent for me regarding dating other American or expat women in Japan is that I know I will likely be here for a while (just my gut feeling). But sooner or later, the lady will want to go home, because of her parents getting old, because she dislikes the idea of raising kids in Japan, etc. I don’t want to deal with dating someone who turns around and wants to go elsewhere after 5 years, I am working on setting up a career or the closest approximation I can get here.

    While I am sure that there are certainly men that like Asian women because they are “submissive” and don’t want to deal with “empowered” western women, I think that might be a simplification… the mental / cultural qualities I find attractive about Asian women is that they don’t seem repulsed by the idea of having kids the way western women are, at least, the ones who want to marry aren’t. In that sense, I appreciate the more traditional mentality. I really would dislike the idea of being with an Asian woman who *wasn’t* empowered in pursuing her dreams and having a real and emotionally close relationship (including during/after kids) though. In that sense, dating a local would concern me. But, then again, I’m odd compared to other guys, I think.

    Anyway. My 2c. Interesting read. Nice to know expat ladies think some of us are at least interesting if not dating material =D .

  • The fire fist says:

    I recently travelled to japan with friends. And I fell in love with the japanese people and their culture. I was hyped about so many things before going over there like the history and anime scene and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve got a bit of a thing for japanese girls. But that’s not why I went to japan and it’s not the driving force for why I want to learn japanese and return some day. If I was over there and I saw u at a bar or something ill defs be wanting to go over an have a chat, if I would follow through thats a different story haha(sometimes needs to grow a pair)I wouldn’t dismiss a girl because she isn’t japanese. Anyway that’s just me but I’m sure there r some expats over there that would do the same and hey the guys over there just chasing japanese girls for the wrong reasons they don’t matter. Point is not all guys r the same and would date japanese or westerner if they like the person and just judging by physical appearance ur a stunner(not all about looks) but hey just saying

  • taskmaster says:

    Judging by the stereotypes you illustrate, I presume you have only been in Japan a very short time and / or need to really expand your social circle with regard to expats. The guys you describe sound like those within a narrow cross section of working holiday makers and exchange students. If you like them, you’re on a winner I guess! But if you think that sums it up, I’d suggest getting out more.

    • Relax. It’s just a fun thought piece. 🙂 I obviously don’t think EVERY expat is like this. And exactly! All expats are not like my obvious and I thought somewhat humorous stereotype. And they’re also not only dating Japanese women.

      And yes. I do need to get out more.

  • zoomingjapan says:

    Pretty much all the expat guys I’ve ever met or worked with either already had a Japanese girlfriend or wife or came here in order to get one.
    I know that there are a few exceptions, but they certainly are the minority.

    • And if you’re looking at the numbers, Western women are an extreme minority here. No question. I guess the guys I’ve met this far haven’t been Japanese wife shopping so I’m biased. Or they’re bullshitting me. 🙂

      • Cookie says:

        You might just be new here 😉 Why put up with a white girl when you can get a hot young Japanese bird who will treat you like a king? You’re right that we offer the ability to get pop culture references and our quirky sense f humor, but ultimately that leaves us in the friend zone while they’re out fishing for fresh meat. 😮

        • Guest says:

          I think that’s the general consensus. I’m talking about a different kind of expat… the ones you actually might want to date.

        • I’m SUPER new here–totally true. 🙂

          But you’re 100% correct. There are guys who want submissive Japanese women who’ll do whatever they say, and there are guys who are obsessed with Japanese women to the point you wonder what’s in their basements. And there’s a whole spectrum of normal, happy, mixed marriages both here and back in in SF where I’m from. Big deal.

          My point is that doesn’t seem to be the only kind of guy here, but just the guy we hear about in the social space. The other guys, the normal freaks who dig diversity and adventure… I like THOSE ones. Seriously why would we date creepers or a control freaks? Or…what if I ONLY dated Filipino dudes. That’s weird right?

          There are guys here who dig Western girls (or just women in general), and my opinion is: any woman puts herself in competition with another woman (or type of woman) REEKS of insecurity. Personally, I’d run from that too.

          I don’t think it’s 100% a race/exoticism thing. It’s also a headspace thing. Like when short guys bitch about tall guys. That’s not cute.

  • Cookie says:

    I dunno. The majority of expat men come here because they love the “culture”, and by culture, they usually mean “women.”

    I knew a married couple who came here from Australia and got divorced because the guy started seeing some Japanese girls on the side.

    It’d be nice to meet expat guys who were into expat girls, but up until now, (where I live at least) it’s pretty much unheard of, unless you want to date the scorned older men with Japanese ex-wives and children who hate EVERYTHING about Japan.

    Maybe it’s easier in Tokyo or something though. Ha.

    • Well, Japanese girls are nice and pretty and all, but that’s not the reason I’m going there. It all really started with me when I watched Durarara!! and saw how beautifully they portrayed Ikebukuro. After that, I was determined to go. Now, I really want to live in Toshima-ku, Ikebukuro Tokyo, Japan with my friend to setup my website’s official HQ and most importantly; see what night life adventures await me in the city! ^_^

    • That’s totally true and kind of my point. Guys often come here because they weren’t happy with their personal lives back home. But that doesn’t mean they only seek local girls. Most of the guys I’ll date aren’t face-value culture robbers (you don’t want those guys anyway ;). And yeah- there’s cheating, but that’s everywhere with everyone. I think the JP fetish thing has a spotlight on it that might not be 100% accurate. Difference is always magnified.

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