Bridging the Cultural Gap with Japanese Women

About 3 or 4 years ago while visiting my favorite forum on Japan, I came across the following question posted by one of its members:

“What kind of men are Japanese women attracted to?”

There were quite a few replies, but one of them stood out above the rest:

“All you have to be is a man from the West!”

While it is true that just being a Western man is often enough to get dates with Japanese women, there is a vital point being over-looked — and that point is longevity.

It’s usually true that opposites attract, and the mysterious unknown is often even more attractive. But “attraction” and “compatibility” are completely unrelated and do not go hand-in-hand. It is compatibility that really keeps a relationship strong and healthy for longer than just a few quick dates. And while many people believe that compatibility simply means “having the same hobbies and interests” — it actually does not.

Some may say that it’s the similarities that two people have in common that keeps the relationship strong — and it is true in many ways. But just as important is our expectations:

  • We expect our partner to act in a certain way
  • We expect our partner to respond to us in a certain way
  • We expect our partner to understand us

Unfortunately, most of these expectations are lost when we date someone from a different country and culture:

  • What we expect our partner to do never happens
  • What we expect our partner to say is never said
  • What we expect our partner to understand is never understood

Because I’ve witnessed too many interracial couples here in Japan break up due to the lack of cross-cultural understanding, I had to do something. I needed to find a way to help. My solution was to write Understanding Japanese Women. At least this way I could help one side of the equation — the man’s side — bridge the cultural gap.

So, while it may be true that just being a Western man is enough to attract Japanese women, please keep in mind that your relationship will go nowhere without a deeper understanding of the differences in culture.