dating

Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

Five reasons nerds make great boyfriends: Japan’s geeky otaku list their pros

As cultural attitudes continue to evolve in Japan, some groups that have spent decades being socially ostracized are finally seeing the tides turn in their favor. For example, while the covers of most men’s fashion magazines are still plastered with photos of incredibly slender guys, the country has recently been showing some love for heavyset males as well.

One demographic that still tends to have a hard time landing a date, though, are the otaku, Japan’s catch-all term for obsessive fans of anime, video games, computers, and anything traditionally geeky. But could the popular image of otaku as the bottom feeders of the dating pool be a case of women overlooking their hidden merits as boyfriend material?

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Japanese railway sets up literal love seats with special seating for couples

Japanese railway sets up literal love seats with special seating for couples

In plenty of situations, Japan’s reliance on public transportation is a life-saver. Need some extra time to study for that test in first period? Pull out your notebook and review on the train to school. Had a few drinks too many? Park yourself in a seat on the subway, take a 30-minute nap, and arrive at the station with just enough power to walk home and get your key in the door.

Now, a railway in Chiba Prefecture is looking to give a hand not just to procrastinating students and heavy drinkers (who are, of course, often one and the same), but to young lovers, too, with its special priority seats for couples. That’s right, singletons, you just got one more reason to hate clingy couples.

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“Sausage bread boys” – The heavy-set men set to become Japan’s most eligible bachelors

“Sausage bread boys” – The heavy-set men set to become Japan’s most eligible bachelors

For the past several years, the three most fashionably ideal body types in Japan have been ‘slim,’ ‘slender,’ and ‘easily tossed about by a light spring breeze.’ And while like most societies, Japan generally casts a sterner eye on women than men with a higher than average body-fat percentage, this “skinny is best” mentality has largely applied to males as well, as any guy who’s tried on a pair of pants at a fashionable Tokyo retailer can attest to.

Recently, though, a shift seems to be occurring, with a rise in popularity of heavier women who have been dubbed “marshmallow girls,” who’ve even formed an idol singer unit now and won legions of fans.

Next, it seems like Japan might be poised to show some big love for big guys, with one magazine heralding the upcoming age of what it’s calling “sausage bread boys.”

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The power of the Japanese schoolgirl outfit is so miraculous it can create food

The power of the Japanese schoolgirl outfit is so miraculous it can create food

On a recent trip back home to Los Angeles, I was going through the closet in my old room when I came across the jersey I wore back when I played football. While I don’t expect to have a chance to play the sport anytime soon, I still couldn’t bring myself to throw it out. It’s one of the few mementos from my student days, and even if I’m never going to wear it again, there’s too much sentimental value for me to just get rid of it.

Many Japanese adults feel the same way about their school uniforms, hanging onto the clothes they wore day in and day out long after graduation. The outfit can serve as a humble reminder of where you came from, or a nostalgic pick-me-up when you’re feeling down.

Or, if you’re a woman, your old school uniform can also be your ticket to a free meal.

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Government form allows Japanese romantics to officially declare their love

Government form allows Japanese romantics to officially declare their love

Generally, Japanese culture tends to handle emotional expression a little less directly than in English-speaking countries, especially where romance is concerned. In particular, couples in Japan aren’t nearly as likely to regularly say “I love you” as their Western counterparts are or be seen smooching in public.

In certain situations, though, these roles get flipped. For example, while most Westerners would feel awkward making the explicit statement, “Please be my boyfriend/girlfriend,” in Japan that exact phrase, tsukiatte kudasai, is a pretty common romantic milestone, and something that many actually expect their partner to say in order to explicitly recognize the nature of the relationship.

Now, couples can even have their affection officially recognized, as lovers in Japan can submit government documents certifying their love for each other.

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Japanese magazine’s checklist for the ideal girl has a whopping 23 points

Japanese magazine’s checklist for the ideal girl has a whopping 23 points

Japanese society prides itself on its high level of tact in dealing with delicate matters, and indeed, quite often in communication not offending the other party is given priority well above getting your point across. That said, when the system discretion breaks down, it really breaks down, and sometimes you’re faced with the linguistic paradox of candor that’s so cutting because the choice of words is so blunt.

Recently, a bit of a firestorm was set off in Japan by a male-oriented magazine spitting straight talk on what makes the ideal girl in extremely intricate detail.

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Romance! Chinese man rents girlfriend, parents give her money, “couple” brawls in the street

Romance! Chinese man rents girlfriend, parents give her money, “couple” brawls in the street

A man and woman pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend in order to please their traditionally-minded, grandchild-expecting parents is one of the oldest clichés in romantic fiction. It’s right up there with the moody jerk with a heart of gold and the rich, dreamy architect who would love to spend more time with the heroine if only he wasn’t juggling so many projects.

In real life, though, often times once you peel back the layers of jerk a guy has wrapped himself in, all you’ll find he was hiding deep down inside was a smaller, more concentrated jerk. Architecture has one of the highest unemployment rates of any professional field. And talking someone you’re not dating into pretending to be your girlfriend? It’s not nearly as cute as movies and TV make it out to be, as proven by the ugly aftermath of a man in China’s unsuspecting parents giving a sizeable cash gift to his fake girlfriend.

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What it’s like to rent a boyfriend in China

What it’s like to rent a boyfriend in China

Single women in China are under such intense pressure to find a mate that some are resorting to renting “boyfriends” online to accompany them on dates and trips to see their families.

On Taobao, China’s biggest online marketplace, women can choose from hundreds of temporary companions and reserve them for hours or days at a time by paying a deposit.

Melanie Lee, a news blogger for Alibaba — which owns Taobao — recently decided to give the service a try, and she shared her experience via email with Business Insider.

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Need emergency Valentine’s Day plans? Check out these chocolate shops in Tokyo!

Need emergency Valentine’s Day plans? Check out these chocolate shops in Tokyo!

Uh-oh! It’s Valentine’s Day and you forgot to make plans! What are you going to do? Well, we suppose you could buy a box of chocolates from the convenience store, but we doubt your beau will appreciate it. Especially if you have a bad habit of forgetting important events like some of us.

But fear not! RocketNews24 has you covered! Here are five “eat in” chocolate shops in Tokyo with just the right amount of (somewhat) affordable and tasty treats to make everyone happy.

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I wanna have your baby! Japanese women rank nationalities by desirablity of their baby batter

I wanna have your baby! Japanese women rank nationalities by desirablity of their baby batter

Recently, 30-something Japanese women actively seeking a marriage partner were interviewed to see what nationality they would most like to father their children. Did your country make the list? Read on to find out!

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Japanese women discuss the pros and cons of being a guy’s first girlfriend ever

Japanese women discuss the pros and cons of being a guy’s first girlfriend ever

Most socializing in Japan is done in groups, and while there’s definitely something to be said for the “the more the merrier” philosophy behind it, that same social norm can sometimes work against a person’s love life. Sure, a guy might have a thing for a girl who he’s in the same school club with, but it can be hard to take the relationship to the next level if they never have any time alone together. On the opposite side of the scale, if there’s no one who strikes a man’s fancy in his immediate social circle, expanding his network of acquaintances, and with it his dating pool, can be a tricky endeavor to pull off.

The end result is a number of men in Japan who don’t enter into a serious romantic relationship until they’re well into adulthood. Luckily, this isn’t a complete deal breaker for them, but that lack of experience does change the playing field, as shown in a survey of 206 Japanese women in their teens, twenties, and thirties who shared their hopes and concerns about being a guy’s very first girlfriend.

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Still don’t want a smartphone? Japanese women might want you

Still don’t want a smartphone? Japanese women might want you

Despite my work address being “The Internet,” my personal use cell phone actually isn’t a smartphone. Maybe it’s a result of spending several hours a day looking at websites, but to me there’s still just something that feels right about a compact phone that folds shut with an oddly satisfying snap, even if the sound provokes a Pavlovian response of laughter from any technophiles in earshot.

But like skinny ties and 8-bit video game graphics, it seems like flip phones aren’t quite ready to fade away entirely. As a matter of fact, busting out an old school flip phone in Japan just might make a man more attractive to women.

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The times of year that make single Japanese women feel the loneliest

The times of year that make single Japanese women feel the loneliest

Japan is big on seasonality. As you might deduce about a society that has preferred points of the calendar for eating specific snacks and sushi, this extends to romantic relationships as well. Like the blossoming of the cherry trees, each year sees certain repeating situations for which popular opinion holds the best way to spend is “with your boyfriend.”

However, not every woman in Japan has a special guy in her life, which can be all the more of a downer when you keep hearing about how romantic those particular times of year are.

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Five complaints Ukrainian women have about dating Japanese men

Five complaints Ukrainian women have about dating Japanese men

Nataliya News is a column brought to you by our Ukrainian correspondent Nataliya, who currently lives there and writes her reports for our sister site RocketNews24 Japan in her charming Japanese. This week, she airs the feelings of her fellow Ukrainian women about dating or being married to Japanese guys, which of course we’ve translated into English for you! Check it out after the jump.

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It’s not me, it’s you: Japanese netizens offer brilliant ways to reject unwanted date requests

It’s not me, it’s you: Japanese netizens offer brilliant ways to reject unwanted date requests

Man or woman, sexy or frumpy, unwanted romantic advances and date requests are probably a serious hassle. We wouldn’t know because the last time someone asked us on a date was 1972, but we’re fairly certain if someone we didn’t like asked us out, we’d struggle to come up with a tactful rejection.

So, for those of you who are asked out with any kind of regularity, you can commit the following awesome rejection lines courtesy of Japanese Internet users to memory so you’ve always got a snappy response to let your jilted would-have-been stalker down easy.

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Nine reasons some Japanese women *only* date foreign guys

Nine reasons some Japanese women *only* date foreign guys

Now, you’re probably familiar with the stereotype of Western guys moving to Japan to meet women. It’s a nasty stereotype…with a few grains of truth to it, we suppose. But at least we can now rest easy knowing it’s a two-way street, because there are tons of Japanese girls who only date Western men.

If you happen to have a lot of Japanese friends, you may have met one or two women with a penchant for non-Japanese gentlemen. While it’s not usually as bad as your one creepy guy friend–you know the one we’re talking about–have you ever wondered what’s going on with that?

Here’s a quick look at life on the other side of the looking glass, with nine reasons some Japanese women only date foreign guys.

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10 simple phrases for breaking your Japanese boyfriend or girlfriend’s heart

10 simple phrases for breaking your Japanese boyfriend or girlfriend’s heart

It’s pretty well known that lovers in Japan aren’t quite as direct in expressing their affection as their Western counterparts. It’s not that the feeling isn’t there, though, just that putting them into words isn’t, culturally speaking, seen as being as necessary or meaningful as in some other countries.

Likewise, Japanese couples’ communication isn’t characterized by two people lobbing insults at each other, either. A put-down is a put-down in any language, and no one appreciates being told something hurtful, as illustrated by a survey of the most hurtful things Japanese men and women have been told by their romantic partners.

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China’s biggest online retailer has a ‘Rent a Boyfriend’ section — Here’s what you’ll find there

China’s biggest online retailer has a ‘Rent a Boyfriend’ section — Here’s what you’ll find there

China has some interesting matchmaking and dating practices. There are love hunters who track down potential wives for China’s richest bachelors and there are “leftover women,” who are criticized for being older than 27 and unmarried.

In some cases, when a male dies too young, families have “ghost marriages,” exhuming female corpses and marrying the pair.

So, it’s natural for many young Chinese to want to allay their parents’ anxiety over their single-dom. And now they can take to Alibaba-owned online retailer Taobaotweets George Chen at South China Morning Post. That’s the equivalent of shopping for a date on Amazon or eBay.

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“I think I love you…”: Romantic confessions from around the world

“I think I love you…”: Romantic confessions from around the world

Declaring your love, or even just your like, for a boy or a girl in Japan can be a pretty big deal. While we don’t think most people’s stories are quite as dramatic as in anime, with characters struggling for seasons just to admit their fond feelings for another, it’s certainly true that many Japanese people are pretty shy about asking each other out.

While it’s kind of cute and kind of frustrating if you’re used to a more forward culture, is it really that different from other countries?

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Things Japanese women love (and hate) about foreign guys

Things Japanese women love (and hate) about foreign guys

With the majority of the foreigners on extended stays in Japan being male, and more Japanese women than men having a strong interest in languages and cultures other than their own, it’s natural that the most common international pairing for Japanese nationals is a Japanese woman and foreign man.

Of course, every society has its attractive and unattractive aspects, which Japanese women revealed by sharing both the things about their foreign boyfriends and husbands that thrilled them, as well as the less pleasant parts of the package deal of a romantic partner.

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