Musings about Japan and life as a human, a cosplayer, a minority, a music lover, an English teacher.

Nearly 4 1/2 years in the Japan Countryside.

For years I’ve pretended like I was completely secure in my independent, single status. As in, when it came to my public/online persona–as a cosplayer, as one who models, as a blogger–I felt as if my personal life should, for the most part, have stayed out of the spotlight. I’ve long lectured lonely people that they needn’t worry about not having a relationship, that it’s better to enjoy the single life while you can and learn as much as you can about yourself so you can improve upon your flaws before entering a relationship. You don’t NEED a girlfriend or boyfriend.

All while saying those words to try to cheer people up, behind the scenes I had grown more and more lonely. I was, for the most part, content with being single throughout my college years. When I entered the Japanese workplace, that’s when I started to see my Japanese male co-workers and wonder, “Would they ever consider dating someone who isn’t Japanese?”

My female Japanese co-workers at work parties would ask me if I had a boyfriend, and looked shocked when I said no. They’d say things like “But you’re so cute!” or, “Would you date a Japanese guy?” because it’s pretty well-known that Japanese men are stuck with the stereotype of being undesirable in the eyes of a foreign woman. (The thing is that I’m totally open to dating a Japanese guy, and in fact I’ve been more intrigued by and interested in them than towards non-Japanese men.)

I’ve been rejected many times by Japanese men, which has led me to think that I am just undesirable–that many Japanese men would rather just have a Japanese woman. I think it’s true for many (but not all) of them. Not only are there the stereotypes of Western women being more forward, blunt, bigger, and less feminine than Japanese women, there’s the perceived language barrier that they would rather not deal with, when in fact I speak conversational Japanese just fine, and am capable of looking up something that I don’t understand, or comprehending after receiving an simplified explanation. Many people can’t see this just from looking at me, though. All they see is someone who looks different from Japanese people, and thus is probably a tourist (even though I don’t dress like a tourist at all). They might even assume that I’m not going to stay in Japan forever, but that’s actually my life wish.

Despite how many times I’ve been rejected, I’ve been pursued by quite a few Japanese men, although mostly online (does that even count)? So now I know that I’m definitely not UNdesirable, but there has always been something that didn’t click with these guys. Some of them were clingy, and were clawing for someone to be their girlfriend because they’ve been single for so long. Some of them saw me as a fetish, or thought I was easy to get into bed. Many of them, like many online men in general, just ignored what was written my profile, didn’t see that we had conflicting interests and personalities, and were very lazy in their introductory messages.

Oh, and then there’s the kid thing. I don’t want kids. So that already eliminates almost every guy in the dating pool.

I’ve been told by many that online dating is “shady” and “risky.” All of these people have never even tried it. It is not what it used to be 10 years ago, and many of us don’t have any other option. My job doesn’t give me an opportunity to meet anyone. And I live in the countryside, which I’ve come to hate more and more. Don’t get me wrong, I like my city and I’m in a very fortunate living and work situation; but the countryside is BORING. It’s even worse when you’re repeating the same cycle and you live in the same city where you work, giving you only the weekend as a chance to escape into the urban jungle, that is, if you’re not tired from working and wouldn’t rather stay home and rest instead.

It’s a lonely life. Five days a week I’m stuck in the sticks. I wake up alone, I come home to an empty apartment (no pets allowed either), and I go to sleep next to my tablet so I can surf the Internet when I wake up.

Now that I’ve admitted all that, I can say that I’m not ashamed. I’m not invincible. I’m not immune to loneliness. I’m unique in who I am, but that doesn’t mean I’m not affected in the same way as others. Of course I’d like to find that special someone. And yeah, I do wish it was sooner than later. I didn’t want to admit it because I didn’t want to be seen as weak and pathetic. I didn’t want to be pitied.

(I wrote this hoping that someone out there would find it useful, and perhaps feel better if they were feeling lonely. Originally this blog was going to be titled “What it’s like being a non-White, non-Japanese woman in the Japan Countryside,” but I figured some people would complain that this wasn’t their experience, or that it had nothing to do with my nationality or ethnic background.)


8 responses to “Nearly 4 1/2 years in the Japan Countryside.

  1. Native Samaritan December 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Wrong relationships can leave horrible wounds and solitude is underrated. Dawdling as it may, love is drawing nearer to you.

  2. Annabelle December 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Hi! I’m Annabelle, a fellow JET up in Tochigi, and I just came across your blog while I was looking for tips on buying concert tickets in Japan with ticketpia (thanks for the helpful post about it, by the way). I read a few of your posts, and feel like I can really identify with a lot of what you’re saying. This post hit home in some ways, too – although I’m not single, I’m in a long distance relationship, which I find quite tough, and definitely very lonely at times.Have you considered using tinder at all? I know a few other JETs who have used it – it seems like as much of a mixed bag as any kind of online dating I think, but I’ve heard some nice success stories.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say in regards to the end of your post, that yes, this post did help me feel better on a pretty lonely Friday night 🙂 I’m looking forward to keeping up with your blog, and actually, as I really enjoyed reading your posts, I was even wondering if you’d even be interested in doing a guest post on my blog sometime? I think it could be interesting, let me know!

    • sooyong December 5, 2014 at 9:30 am

      Hi Annabelle! Thank you for the comment! I’m glad that concert ticket post was helpful even though it’s old!

      I thought about tinder, and in fact I have a JET buddy with whom I exchange stories about our online dating endeavors, haha. She’s tried tinder and I was incredibly skeptical and warned her about it. I’m not sure if she still uses it but she’s had no luck. I might consider it sometime though. Thanks! And I’m glad my blog was able to help you feel better!

      And yeah I’d love to try doing a guest blog sometime! 🙂

      • Annabelle December 15, 2014 at 5:24 am

        It certainly was! For better or worse, I now have two tickets to see Taylor Swift in the Tokyo Dome in May 😛

        You should check out how your friend did with tinder! Either way, I’m still wishing you luck on the matter. I’m glad you’d like to do a guest blog! Just let me know whenever you want to do it. Any topic you feel like writing about is fine, but if you want some ideas we could chat about it 🙂

      • sooyong January 5, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        Hey! sorry for the super late reply, I actually do have a recent online dating story that I want to blog about, haha. I’m about to write it up and I’d be glad to share it with you!

      • Annabelle January 9, 2015 at 10:18 am

        No problem about the late reply, December/January is such a busy time and I’ve been away from blogging, too. Is the dating post the one you’ve put up about the mixi guys? It was so interesting! I’d be happy to put it on my blog too!

      • Sooyong January 27, 2015 at 3:59 am

        It’s actually my most recent one, about people who use dating sites to trick people into solicited offers (like joining Amway)! Although you’re free to share any of my other posts if you happen to like them! 🙂

  3. majic January 5, 2015 at 5:28 am

    I guess what u r experiencing is the reverse of what the soldiers would go thru. Some of the females were trying to get married to come to the states. Others were simply in it for the money. I’ve been alone for 3 years now by choice, having been married 3 times I can only say to u God is not willing to put u thru that. He knows what u go thru, try talking to him. Maybe that special someone for u is not over there. U went there to teach, maybe that’s all in the plan for u there. I’ve been following u for awhile and you’re not a simple women, look at all the things u do. One thing I see is that u carry yourself with respect. The other is the wisdom u have for your age. In my journey in becoming a man I was told if u can’t bring something to the table, don’t sit down. God knows that seat for u is empty right now but u don’t want the devil to sit just any someone there. There are many impostors out there just waiting! The 3 different females I married weren’t ready mentally. I see that now, things seemed fine at first. There was the fun, the laughs, the sex, the bumps but when things really got serious I was standing alone. Wait, no God had my back! I picked them, there were all my choices so who could I blame? U are a star in my eyes so don’t let lonely steal your shine. Tell God (exactly) what u want and wait. Don’t ask for what u are not willing to be or to bring?

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