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The Easterner will think the Westerner only wants to sleep with him/her and doesn’t want an actual relationship.Since we in the West use kissing as an expression of romantic intent and as a stepping stone to building a relationship, it can be especially confusing and frustrating.Westerners try not to say those words until they are sure of that feeling. But even telling someone “I like you” can be tricky.Saying those words makes the thing real and in the open.In Western dating one would only tell someone “I love you” after being boyfriend and girlfriend for a good amount of time.One says those words only with someone they feel they want to spend the rest of their lives with.Obviously how soon they are willing to have sex after becoming boyfriend and girlfriend is based on the individual.The use of kokuhaku is also a bit of a culture shock for Westerners.
Bringing a friend of the opposite sex can often be misinterpreted.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but more of a rule of thumb.
Being in a group diffuses the pressure and allows each party to take stock of the company the other keeps.
This article is mostly for the benefit of Western readers.
However, I feel it can also help Japanese readers who would like to better understand the Western perspective of Japanese dating.
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I’m going to start out with a disclaimer: Every person- and consequently every situation- is different. I am going off of my experience and some discussions with my Japanese friends and friends who have lengthy experience with the culture.