Western girls are easier to read than Japanese girls

amwf couple japanThe story of Ren and Lacey

Ren and Lacey met outside of Gifu University, in Japan while Lacey was on her study abroad in Spring 2017. Lacey was walking outside the university campus to see the cherry blossoms. Little did she know that Ren had noticed her twice that day. He passed her again on his way home and decided if he didn’t strike up a conversation now he would lose his chance. Now, after 5 months of long distance, Lacey is back on another study abroad in Japan. The distance is closed for now, but there will be two more periods of long distance to endure ahead.

 

disneyland dateQuestions to Her

On Our first date…

There are two important dates count as the first date for me. The first time we ate together–we just had lunch on the university campus. I was super nervous. I was scared of the language barrier, what I would say, etc.. When I met up with him that day my heart was pounding out of my chest. My favorite part was when he was kind of staring at me while we were eating. I asked him if something was wrong. He casually told me that it was because I was cute. I was hooked from then.

The second time was when we officially started dating. One day I took a shot and asked him to go for a walk with me, (which is a bold move for a woman in Japanese culture), luckily, he was thrilled. We walked around the campus, (the same area where we met), and neither of us wanted to leave. He finally asked me if I wanted to cook with him at his apartment (at 9 PM), which I of course did. At that moment, I thought that he would finally ask me out. (In Japanese culture before you officially date, the guy does a kokuhaku, or confession, so this is what I was waiting for.) We made a Japanese dish called omu-rice. The time flew, and I was waiting wondering, “Is he going to ask me today?”. The clock passed midnight, and we were flirting and chatting away. Finally, instead of the traditional Japanese kokuhaku, he kissed me.

During the first months of dating my deal-breaker would be…

Honestly, for the first few months, I was worried that he was a playboy. In Japanese culture, normally guys don’t just come up and talk to girls out of the blue unless they are a playboy. So when I told all of my Japanese friends about him they told me to steer clear, but that was just something my heart wouldn’t let me do. Luckily, he wasn’t, but if I had found out that he was, that would have been a deal breaker.

I learned He is right for me when…

There are two moments like this for me. The first is the day before we went to a water park. We had our first ever Skype session. We were talking and we started making jokes, like the kind you only say around close friends and family. Up until that point, we were both to shy, but that day all the walls came down.

The second moment is more like the moment when I knew it would last. Up until this point, I was worried that the long distance wouldn’t work. It was just a week or two before my departure to Japan. He took me to the town hall so I could fill out my departure paperwork. In the building, I started silently crying and looked away. He didn’t say anything, but he squeezed my hand. I thought I could conceal my crying. Then we got in the car, and I couldn’t say much without bursting into tears. He wasn’t talking much either so I looked over and noticed he was crying too. That’s when I knew 100% that no matter what we would be ok.

I had a cultural shock when He…

We normally speak in Japanese, which I am still currently studying. At the beginning of our relationship, he kept saying a phrase that translates roughly to calm. I was very confused and thought that he meant that I was not very exciting or something. In America, we are talking about sparks, excitement, and butterflies. Although, in Japan, it is more important to be able to be yourself, and be relaxed around the other person. I finally asked one of my friends about it and she explained it to me. What he means when he says that is that he can be relaxed around me and that I am like family. This essentially means that he can see himself with me for a long time.

japanese boyfriend3 things I love about Him are…

This is such a hard question, there are so many things I could choose, but if I have to choose then I choose how affectionate he is, how patient he is, and his humor.

Any chance that he gets, he is very affectionate. Whether it be holding my hand on the train, wrapping his arms around me while we are in line for something or sneaking kisses, I love it all. 

I also love how patient he is. I can get pretty emotional sometimes, and he never gets upset and is always very understanding. It really means a lot to me since I have been in a lot of situations in which I am “not allowed to have emotions” including poor previous relationships.

My last choice is his humor. He finds a way to make me laugh in any situation. Whether it be through doing a funny dance on Skype, or singing fake opera while walking down the street. He always has a smile on his face and a joke up his sleeve.  

The biggest misconception about His country and culture was… 

I guess the biggest misconception about his country and culture would be that I thought that many Japanese men were unaffectionate, because that is what I heard and read. For example, I read that men walk first etc., but that was far from the truth. At least it is in my experience.

The most beautiful thing He ever did for me was…

On our two month anniversary, he took me outside and he brought his guitar with him. We sat down and he played ONE OK ROCK’s song Notes and Words for me. It was beautiful. The lyrics have such a beautiful meaning. Then he pulled out a letter for me. I was so surprised and happier than words can explain.

During this relationship, the most important thing I learned about myself was…

I learned that I can do anything. I haven’t always had the best confidence in myself. I was always worried about failure. With Ren, he really encourages me and never doubts me, which has helped me to get the confidence that I have always strived for.

If there is a piece of advice I could give to my fellow Western girlfriends who are into the AMWF relationships that would be…

I think the most important thing is that regardless of what you read online, every person is different. For me, I was nervous about dating someone from a different culture so I researched a lot online, and almost everything I read was different with Ren. It is important to know that culture plays a role, but in the end, people are different from one another. Therefore, it is important to be patient and willing to just learn about the person in general.

 

interracial love japanaQuestions to Him

Asking Her out for the first time was…

Before I first asked her out to lunch, we had been messaging for a bit. She didn’t respond that quickly or frequently which made me worried because I wasn’t sure if she was interested. I originally wanted to go out to a restaurant with her, but if she didn’t like me I was worried that she wouldn’t go because it would be too troublesome. Therefore, I asked her to eat lunch on campus with me because I thought she would come.

I learned She is right for me when…

I learned she was right for me when were able to say jokes around each other. At first, we were too shy to say them.

Plus, I knew for sure when we were doing our long distance. I don’t like messaging or being on the phone much, but I wanted to talk to her every day. And we did talk every day, despite the 14-hour time difference, school, and work responsibilities.

I had a cultural shock when She…

She often showers me with kisses. It surprised me since that is not a norm in Japan. Japanese women don’t typically do that.

american who loves asians3 things I love about Her are…

Number one is that she always is very thoughtful. She always thinks about me and worries about me. Even if I just have a little bit of a cold she is immediately worried about me. She also always worries about my meals since I don’t cook much.

Number two is she tries a lot of challenging things that she wants to do. For example, instead of having one dream she has many, and she tries all of them. She works hard on her YouTube channel, she tries to model etc.

Number three I can talk to her about anything. Even the hard things like discrimination and politics. I can also have really fun conversations with her. For example, we often say weird jokes around each other. Plus we often dream and talk about what it would be like to travel to different countries.

The biggest misconception about Her country and culture was…

I had the image that Americans go out on lots of dates with lots of different people. Therefore, when we started dating I was worried since it is not like that in Japan. Although, that was never a problem.

The things that She likes to do for fun with me are…

She likes to cuddle when we are laying around being lazy. She loves to eat delicious food, literally anything. She likes strolling around town together. She also likes it when we cook together.

She hates when I…

I am often running late. She hates it when I am late for our dates…

During this relationship the most important thing I learned about myself was…

I learned that I have never had a proper relationship. I always viewed planning dates as troublesome and thought that finding a good place is difficult. But with Lacey, I really love her and think about what she likes so I no longer view it as troublesome.

cute happy coupleIf there is a piece of advice I could give to my fellow Asian friends who are into the AMWF relationships that would be… 

Western girls are easier to read than Japanese girls. So it is important to look at their face and pay attention to their emotions. When Lacey is upset, or irritated about something, I agree with her. If she looks upset I agree with her and say things like “That is stupid,” and so on. For example, when we’re at Disney and she was irritated about not being able to go somewhere because of the parade, I said, “Yep, I don’t know why they would do that”. She often cries so I know her about to cry face. I know she will start explaining her feelings so I wait for it.

If you curious to learn more check out their Instagrams: Lacey and  Ren