Cultural differences extend beyond things like language barriers, meals, and work expectations. One Japanese college student who shares her study abroad experience on her TikTok channel (@yumekaumemori) for her 107.4k followers opened up about her experience with dating in America.
She asked her viewers, “Did you know we don’t really have a ‘talking stage’ in Japan? But we do in America, right? So I was kind of ready to experience some cultural differences in terms of dating.”
She said they had “hung out like five times” before he invited her over to his home for the first time, to which she agreed because “he was nice” and she thought they “were having fun” dating, but when she got to his home, his family was also there.
“I was freaking out because in Japan this doesn’t happen that much,” she revealed. “If you do this in Japan, it’s like you’re marrying that person or you’re in a real serious relationship with that person.”
Luckily, she was aware of the cultural differences and decided this must be “not a big deal” in the US.
“So I calmed myself down and introduced myself to his family. They were all nice, Umemori continued. “His dad even asked me if I am thinking of coming back to America, so that I can stay with [his son] longer.”
She didn’t know how to answer that question, and then things got more complicated. “I didn’t really ask him what we are or anything, but we were not in a relationship. I was pretty happy about it — until I found out that he just wanted to be ‘friends’ with me.”
“I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ Like I didn’t get mad or anything. I was just curious. Like what was he thinking about the whole time?”
It turned out that the boy was insecure about his past relationships and didn’t want “anything super serious,” which made Umemori feel “so disrespected” and “lied” to, because on his dating app profile, he had listed that he was “looking for a relationship.”
“I blocked him and I hated him, but like I had this second thought, ‘Why don’t I use him for a bit?’” she revealed. “So I decided to use him as a transportation system because he had a car. I’m not a b*tch like this, but this time I was pissed.”
They hung out a couple more times after the visit with his family, and she said, “The last time before I was leaving, he was like, ‘You know, we’ve been hanging out pretty long, and I was thinking of asking you if you wanna become my girlfriend or something.’ ‘And I said, ‘No.’”
This experience changed her view on dating in the US, and she said she’s “gonna become friends with guys first, and I’m gonna become more than friends after that.”