If you found someone you really love, don’t let go

cute interracial coupleThe Story of Anna and Tadayuki

Anna and Tadayuki initially met on Instagram. At the time, she was in her final year of high school in Switzerland and he was working in Japan. After chatting via Line for a few months, Tadayuki decided that he would like to go and visit her in Switzerland during her Spring holidays. Of course, Anna was more than happy about his proposal and so they started to plan a three-week journey through various European cities together. Towards the end of the trip, knowing that Tadayuki would soon go back to Japan, Anna, in the back of her mind, started to slowly realize, that she might have to make a daring step in her life.

Just three months after the end of their Europe-travels, in July 2015, Anna got her high-school degree and moved to Osaka to live with Tadayuki.After having spent two wonderful years in Japan, Anna and Tadayuki are now living in Switzerland where they got married just a few months ago.

 

beautiful swiss girlQuestions to Her

On Our first date…

As we met online, our first date was also the first time we saw each other in person. I still clearly remember taking the train to the airport to pick him up, being full of anticipation but incredibly nervous at the same time. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be what he imagined I would be. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to our three week holiday together and hoped very much that what we felt for each other up to now, would be confirmed.

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

A real deal-breaker would be a rude or inappropriate behavior of any sort. I could never be in a relationship with someone who thinks about people of a different race, gender or sexual orientation as inferior to themselves.

Another thing I couldn’t deal with is a person that is very narrow-minded and is unable to accept the fact that someone might have different opinions on certain topics. Communication is probably one of the most important things in a relationship.

I learned He is right for me when…

… I realized that we have the same thoughts and opinions about almost everything. Thanks to this we also never had any serious fights up until now (…and we have been together for more than 3 years now!) Generally speaking I just think that we have very similar characters and therefore harmonize very well.

Another point was when I decided that I would start University in Switzerland and that I would, therefore, have to leave Japan. Without much of hesitation, he decided that he would move to Switzerland with me so that we could still be together. This really showed me how much he loved me and how far he would go for me. And of course, it was a huge relief from me.

I had a cultural shock when He…

Here I have to disappoint you. I never experience anything that I would call a culture shock. Of course, there are some things he does that I found a little “unusual” because they aren’t commonplace in Switzerland. Do things include the slurping of noodles or the taking off of shoes whenever entering the house? But still, those are things that I knew before I met him for the first time so they absolutely didn’t shock me.

hot japanese guy3 things I love about Him are…

He is very charming, caring and never fails to make me laugh. In short, he is everything I could wish for! I love that he always makes an effort to keep things interesting! More than once I received a totally unexpected gift, or he took me on a trip without letting me know where we would be going. This just really shows me that he cares about making me happy.

Whenever we are together, I am comfortable being myself. I don’t feel the need to pretend to be someone else and I can show my flaws without being judged. In my opinion, this is one of the most important parts in order to have a healthy relationship.

Even though I already wrote down three points, I think I have to add a fourth one. He is very patient whenever I suddenly feel angry, sad or irritated for no obvious reason which I appreciate a lot. I don’t think that all guys are able to handle their girlfriends or wives mood swings this well!

The biggest misconception about His country and culture was…

One misconception I might have had was that Japanese people are very reserved and that it would be difficult to have a good conversation with them if you aren’t close to them. Even though it is true that Japanese people are rather reserved, it isn’t true that you aren’t able to have a good conversation with unknown people. Japanese people tend to be a bit hesitant and rather shy when it comes to talking to foreigners, simply because they often are insecure about their English-speaking skills. But as soon as I was able to hold a simple conversation in Japanese, random people on the street, in cafes or supermarkets would start a conversation with me. Through this, I met a lot of interesting and very talkative people of all ages! The most beautiful thing He ever did for me was…

The most beautiful thing He ever did for me was…

Shortly before my 20th birthday, he took me on a surprise trip to Himeji! We took a train in the morning, leaving Osaka, without me knowing where we were heading to. Soon I realized that we might be going to Himeji. I already got super excited at that point as I really wanted to go there to visit the castle. 

And I was right. I was very impressed by Himeji Castle, also very much by its interior.

After exploring the castle and its surroundings, we went on to a nearby garden called «kokoen». It was a traditional Japanese garden with a variety of native trees and flowers, stones and ponds with Koi fishes. Taking a walk in the garden was super relaxing and I’d recommend everyone visiting Himeji to consider visiting it too!

Next, we went back into the direction of the train station and made a short break at a cute little cafe for some coffee and a little snack. I expected to be going back home to Osaka after that, but instead, we started to walk out of the city center and soon I realized that he was taking me to a hotel, where we would stay until the next day! I was incredibly happy, and a bit touched, by this cute surprised. And also amazed by the fact that he was able to keep his surprise a secret until that late. After resting for a bit at the hotel, we went to enjoy a really delicious Thai dinner. The next day we took a walk through the city and later took the train back to Osaka.

This surprise trip was the most beautiful thing he did for me because I enjoyed every second of the trip and really didn’t expect him to do something like that for me at all.

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

On the one hand, I learned, that I could be my true self and still be unconditionally loved by someone. On the other hand, I realized that I was able to trust and love someone as I never did before. I feel like I can talk to him about anything that is on my mind and he will always take me seriously. He always cares for me and I always care for him.

The most important thing I learned is, that real love exists and that it is a beautiful thing to experience. I truly hope that everyone will be able to experience this at some point in their lives because for me it is impossible to describe with words.


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

Don’t be afraid that it won’t work out because of things such as language barriers, cultural differences or distance. A language you can learn. It might take time, but if you have your girlfriend/boyfriend as a motivator and supporter, you will eventually be able to do it.

Culture differences can be overcome. Whether you will live in your partners country or your partner will live in your country, you will eventually get used to cultural differences. When it comes to culture, I am convinced that it is important to somewhat adapt to your partner culture.

Distance is most likely the biggest challenge for most AMWF couple. In our case, we got lucky. When we started to talk to each other, I was in my final year of high school and had already planned to do a gap year abroad before entering university. The timing was perfect. After our Europe trip, we only had to spend three months in a long-distance relationship before I started my gap year and moved in with him in Japan. When I had decided that I would move back to Switzerland to continue my studies, I was very anxious that he might not want to come to Switzerland and we might have to start a long-distance relationship. Without much hesitation though, he decided that he would come along with me to Switzerland.

Unfortunately, not everyone will be as lucky as we are. Maybe you are bound by your job, or you might be in the middle of your studies and unable to just leave everything behind and move to an unknown country. I think it super important not to give up if you are in this situation. If you really found “the one”, you should, despite the distance, try to be patient. Because what the connection and love you have for your partner, you might not ever find again in your life.

In short: If you found someone you really love, don’t let go. Be patient, talk to each other about your fears, and never care about what other people might think about your relationship.

my japanese boyfriendQuestions to Him

Asking Her out for the first time was…

When I was planning to travel to Europe myself for the first time after we’d got to know each other through Internet (Facebook and Instagram). It was not a normal date at all, but a date with her coming along with me all the way through my travel. That means, even having never met her in person before, I was asking her out to join me throughout for over 3 weeks going around Europe (Vals – Switzerland, Berlin, Stockholm, Barcelona, and London). That being said, by the time I decided to go visit her I was quite sure that we both had developed the special feelings toward each other through our daily chat and messages for about 3 months on, so when I got a quick and happy “Yes” from her I didn’t get much surprised. In a way, I successfully took advantage of the geographical distance between us to boldly propose such an idea, implying that we live far away so we should spend as much time as possible together while we can. And that’s how we officially started dating.  

I learned She is right for me every time when…

She offers me a help for whenever I am having a problem with my work, personal stuff, and just anything. From this, I do feel she always takes great care of me and sometimes even go out of her way to help me when she is in the middle of something. That appeals to my heart in the way that I want to give her more back that creates a benevolent circle between us.   

And also, let’s not to forget to mention that she is an amazing chef. Thanks to growing up in a family of a first class professional chef who is her dad, she has firsthand experience of authentic cuisine that, using whatever spices and ingredients necessary at hand, she can adapt to my desired taste in any cuisine including Thai, Indian and of course, Japanese.    

I had a cultural shock when She…

Put bananas into cheese fondue (needless to say, famous Swiss traditional dish) before my eyes. I couldn’t simply believe these two things go mingle together in one dish, a very peculiar combination to me anyway. In my personal rulebook of food, they are completely different from each other and always have to be separated. But against expectation, it was surprisingly good when I tried it for the first time. However, I later found out that it wasn’t actually a cultural thing, but it was just her personal favorite combination of ingredients when having cheese fondue. Yes right, she totally tricked me. To tell you the truth, this type of tricks of her occasionally takes place to extra-shock/surprise me about things I shouldn’t, and I have to admit that she is very good at it!  

heidi swiss girl

3 things I love about Her…

Her soft smooth cheeks – my favorite spot to kiss.

The fact that we have a lot in common such as food, fashion, films, music and even tastes of crisps, all of which I believe have partly helped strengthen our relationship.

Her thoughtful, cheerful and caring person with her beautiful winsome smile always accompanying each of these qualities.

The biggest misconception about Her country and culture was…

The most famous Swiss girl out of a fantasy story. As a Japanese from the country famous for anime and manga, when I always thought about Switzerland, the first thing that came to my mind was “Heidi, a girl of Alps (a famous Japanese anime series based on an original Swiss novel). But now, having lived in the land of Alps for about half a year, I realized that many Swiss people (especially younger generation than mine) do not know the anime or even the main character, the little girl named Heidi. That came as a shock to me as I am certain that if you come across Japanese people and ask them about what they know about the country, they would probably mention “Heidi” among other things.

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

Traveling – we’ve got many travel plans scheduled for later this year. And another thing is, sitting down on the sofa and watching a film together. This is almost our everyday routine in the evening after dinner. We usually get some snacks ready on a little chair beside the sofa. We sometimes stop the film whenever we’ve gone through interesting scenes that we feel like discussing and exchange our thoughts on them. This sort of everyday casual activity is really precious to me and has become an indispensable part of my daily life. However, to be honest, though, I make a point of not dominating snack plates, not eating too much of them and not finishing them too fast because then I have to run a risk of dealing with her moaning about all the snacks that have gone for the next couple of hours…

She hates when I…

Lock myself in the toilet for a long time on weekends (usually from 30min to 1 hour with books to read inside) and forget to put down the toilet lid before leaving the bathroom. When she finds out it’s not down, chances are high that I find myself in a trouble.

happy awmf couple advice

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

That I can actually care someone in the thoughtful way that I never knew I could before. Living my life with her has been the real-life experience and discovery of my new self. If there hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have decided to switch my jobs for more time of us together during our time back in Japan, and obviously would never have thought about leaving my country, in order to start a new life with her in Switzerland. I did all of this because, after 3 years together we both couldn’t simply imagine our life without one another. From my experience, having someone very special and important in one’s life is life-changing. I know this is a cliché, but it makes you strong and fearless of trying what you might have long wished to do.    

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

Be always honest with yourself and others. That is the seed for any kind of good relationships. And from there, you try to grow a tree of your special relationship. What I mean by this is the tree as your constant care and affection towards her, and also branches as what you have shared and found in common with your partner. With all of these in place and time, you’ll be able to let flowers of love come to full bloom on all these growing branches.

If you love this interview check out Anna’s Instagram HERE.