In Japan, goukon, are mixers meant to set the stage for finding a mate. They are designed to help young adults find at least a relationship, if not a suitable marriage partner, and are often organized by businesses like in the ad above.
The average goukon brings together around three to five people of each gender and takes place at a restaurant or izakaya (Japanese-style bar). Groups are seated randomly, usually with seats alternating by gender so everyone can get to know each other better.
Business organizational skills aside, most women know that the chance of a relationship forming from a goukon depends on the efforts of the participants. A certain protocol must be followed if a man wants a woman to give him the time of day. If he is too out-of-place, then it could cause embarrassment all around.
Japanese website Otome Sugoren surveyed their female readers to find out what kind of guy they think shouldn’t even bother showing up to the goukon party. Men: be sure to pay attention so you know what not to do at your next goukon. After all, while you may be there to play the field, women are serious about finding someone!
All the women surveyed were in their 20’s.
【１】Guys who are getting along well with their girlfriends or wives – “Married guys or guys with girlfriends need not apply to goukon. You don’t qualify.”
Participants are there to meet new prospects from the opposite sex, it is not necessary for attached people to be there. It is annoying to have guys there who already have what we are looking for. It subtracts from an enjoyable evening. It is courteous for men with wives or girlfriends to stay away from goukon. The only exception is if they are needed to make an even number, then the woman organizer should be consulted.
【２】Guys who can’t help create a good atmosphere – “It makes me feel silly for trying to liven things up.”
If there is just one guy who is even the slightest bit sulky it can ruin it for everybody. The bottom line is that both sides have to cooperate to have an enjoyable time. He should keep a good attitude regardless of not having met someone who grabbed his fancy.
【３】A guy that plays with his cell phone all night – “He is giving off the message loud and clear that there is nobody interesting here .”
If he doesn’t make an effort to talk to the women in the group, with his head buried in his cell phone the whole time, it can make things uncomfortable for the women. If he has something work related which he must attend to he should explain that it is work related and excuse himself.
【４】A guy who shows up in sweat pants and jersey – “That just shows how absolutely unmotivated he is. He should be a little more considerate of those of us who took time to dress stylishly.”
If he ventures to take part in a goukon he should be a little bit more careful with what he wears. He doesn’t have to be dressed immaculately, but it is good manners to dress up a little more than usual for a goukon giving the impression of a hint of good taste.
【５】A guy whose conversation topics are all geared to the guys in the group – “It is a goukon: why only make interesting conversation with the guys? Why did you come in the first place?”
The women who are in the goukon will want to know why a guy like this bothered showing up. Conversation should be with the women. Guys should take to heart that the main difference between a goukon and a regular drinking occasion with friends is the chance to talk to women.
【６】A guy who declares that he doesn’t need a girlfriend – “Um, you may want to reconsider that statement, this is, after all, a goukon. (laugh)”
This isn’t the place to be making such remarks, seeing as it is a place where you are meant to perhaps meet your next girlfriend. What a turn off for the women. In organizing a goukon, it would be best if only guys who are positive about finding someone would participate.
【７】Guys that drive to the goukon so that they can’t drink. “If someone has to stay sober I can’t get drunk”
One of the guys not drinking gives the atmosphere a strange tension. The effects of alcohol can be helpful in breaking the ice all around unless someone isn’t drinking. Unless you physically can’t have alcohol it is better to arrange to be able to drink at a goukon.
【８】Guys who will be transferred to another city in their work, or have plans to study abroad in the near future – “Even if you hit it off with one of these guys, it means you might have to try for a long distance relationship in the near future. That can be quite stressful.”
The exception would be if the guy’s hometown is the same as the girls or the place he is being transferred to is the girl’s hometown.
【９】Guys who don’t know how to talk to women – “Why should I have to take care to draw him out of his shell?”
If he is such a poor communicator a woman may feel like she needs to help him overcome his shyness. Even if the numbers are even, if a guy can’t talk to women then it is like he is not there. It is wise to find guys who are good at livening things up for a goukon.
It takes a certain amount of effort for both men and women in order to carry out a successful goukon. Expectations may bring on disappointment but one thing is certain, that it pays to be considerate no matter who you are.
Kanpai, cheers! And happy hunting!