Welcome to Tokyo Meet Market

Sending love signals in Japanese

Posted on: February 25, 2010

Based on survey conducted for 20,000 Japanese women on Niko-Niko-dohga (smiley movie)…

What are the signs you send to the object of your affection?

  1. Complement him (41.1%)
  2. Ask if he has a girlfriend (28.7%)
  3. Casual physical touch (16.6%)
  4. Eye contact (7.2%)
  5. Insert hearts in text messages (7.2%)

Girls seem to have various strategies for each sign. For example, girls who complement guys have the strategy to make him feel confident and appreciated, and then find common interest so that he has confidence to ask them out. Women who find out that the guys have girlfriend don’t give up on them either. They continue to build strong relationship, based on casual friendship, but when he is tired and shows doubts in his relationship they will sneak into his heart and win him over! whoa! girl power!

I’m surprised eye contact is not among the top 3. For me, it’s definitely eye contact. Make eye contact with the person you are interested in, then look away. But immediately after look back, hold your eye contact, and then smile.  spark!! Whether in a club scene or over a friendly casual dinner parties, I’m sure this will work. Even if he doesn’t come talk to you straight away, he will come talk to you eventually 😉

What are the signs you receive from guys who like you?

  1. “I feel comfortable when I’m with you” (52.8%)
  2. “I dreamed about you lastnight” (13.6%)
  3. “You smell good!” (13.0%)
  4. “I bet you get so many guys” (12.7%)
  5. “Have you changed your hairstyle lately?” (7.9%)

Not so surprised here! I don’t see much cultural difference between what the guys say to the girls they like. I think I’ve heard most of the lines up here from guys that I’ve dated from different countries. Not a pickup lines, but more like guys who are trying to start something with girls they already know they like!

Signs you send to let them know you are not interested/it’s over

  1. Do not reply to his text messages (40.5%)
  2. Keep telling him you are busy (36.9%)
  3. Talk about other guys (9.9%)
  4. Cancel on date at the last minute (7.3%)
  5. Look sloppy for dates with him (5.4%)

Other strategies include purposely making him angry to make him hate me and telling him straight up to go back to just being friends. Telling him straight up is very uncommon in Japan though. Japanese people are generally not expressive about emotions, even more so with negative feelings so they would avoid to express negative feelings under any situation. The ever so famous “It’s not you, it’s me. I’m in this stage of life where I have to concentrate on my life” or the break up talk starting with “This is not working… We need to talk” don’t really come up in Japanese love culture.

Rather, “it’s over” is sent through subtle signs in text messages and amount of make up a girl wears for dates… so difficult to read the signs! No wonder everyone is stressed interpreting what he/she means by doing so and so. No wonder they spend hours interpreting eachothers text messages and writing perfected text messages to their loved ones!

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What is Tokyo Meet Market?

From the Western perspective, what goes on in the Japanese dating scene is really different and interesting! In this shy nation of Japan, meeting new people is almost institutionalized, dating and romance is littered with conventions that protect people from social awkwardness. What are dating conventions and rules in Japan? How do the shy Japanese people meet new people, develop affection, and express their passion? As I research and answer these question, I will write a real time report of what's going on in the Tokyo dating scene, or the "Tokyo Meet Market" here in this blog. I hope you enjoy my blog and a trip around Tokyo Meet Market with me!

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