Looks, personality, and hobbies all show up in the top 10.
While there’s definitely a lot of overlap in what people want in a dating partner and a spouse, marriage really ups the ante of a personal relationship. It’s not so easy to turn a blind eye to those irksome little quirks and minor annoyances after they become part of your daily life, which means most people have a personal list of things they can put up with before saying “I do,” but simply don’t want the headache of dealing with in what’s meant to be a permanently binding commitment.
To see where Japanese men draw the line, Internet portal R25 and polling organization Fastask presented 223 working bachelors between the ages of 20 and 39 with a list of 21 traits, then asked them to pick three things they wouldn’t mind so much in a girlfriend, but would be big enough deal-breakers to keep them from marrying her. Let’s take a look at the top 10 responses.
10. Looks totally different with make-up and without it (selected by 8.5 percent of respondents)
Japan has sort of an odd love/hate relationship with cosmetics. It’s common for secondary schools to have rules limiting or even banning their use, yet many companies, as an extension of their dress code, instruct female employees not to come to work without making-up their faces first. Perhaps this also means that many of the men in the age groups polled aren’t used to seeing their female peers without make-up, and thus would have a hard time dealing with a big change once a woman washes her face clean.
9. Has a compulsive need to keep the home spotlessly clean (9.4 percent)
8. Shows no interest in or affection towards babies and kids (12.6 percent)
Just because most guys dread the thought of their girlfriend saying “I’m pregnant” doesn’t mean they never want to hear those words from their wife.
7. When she goes out drinking, she gets so hammered that she can’t remember what she did or where she was (13.5 percent)
6. Often brags on social media about all the cool things she and her friends are doing “in real life” (13.9 percent)
5. Spends a lot of money on hobbies like going to boy bands’ concerts or buying anime merchandise (17 percent)
If you’re just dating, you can agree to disagree on how much money to spend covering your walls with posters of your favorite musicians and anime characters versus renting an apartment with more wall/floor space to being with. Get married, though, and suddenly you both have to draw that line in the same place.
4. So kind and friendly to everyone that she can’t turn down invitations from other men (17 percent)
3. Really into video games and the Internet but hates going out (17.9 percent)
If you’re still single and have buddies to go out with on other days of the week, there can be an upside to having a girlfriend whose idea of a good date night is hanging out at home and killing zombies, slaying dragons, or working on your Dragon Punch technique together. However, being married to, and spending every day with, someone who never wants to go out can start to make you feel like a prisoner in your own home.
2. Wasteful and sloppy in managing her personal finances (30.9 percent)
1. Fundamentally dislikes and doesn’t do much housework such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry (32.7 percent)
As in many countries, social norms in Japan manifest in a way that women generally end up doing the lion’s share of the housework. As such, some of the guys who chose this as their matrimonial deal-breaker are probably hoping to, ideally, find a wife who’s willing to take on the majority of those household tasks.
On the other hand, it’s worth reiterating that the survey’s top response doesn’t specify that the participants want a wife who’ll do lots of housework, just that they don’t want one who’ll hardly do any. Taken at face value, that’s not such an unreasonable sentiment. Regardless of gender, being married to someone who doesn’t pitch in around the house, and who’s actively adding to the cooking/cleaning workload by living with you, can be a slow but long drain on your energy and happiness levels. After all, it’s one thing to spoil your sweetheart once a week or so when he or she stays over, but it’s definitely not the sort of thing anyone wants to do every single day.
Even if you don’t think Casey is marriage material, you can still follow him on Twitter.