I recently wrote “Dating A Foreigner (From A Japanese Perspective)” and I received a lot of interesting feedback and I thank you all. One particularly resounding message from you all was that many people wanted to hear perspectives other than my own and of course I agreed with you. On the other hand, it’s difficult to cover many topics with a lot of perspectives all at one time, so I’ve decided to go at this topic by topic.

Before getting started, I’d like to point out again that all these examples could just be personal character traits, flaws, habits, beliefs, or senses of humor and that not all Japanese people act the same way. In fact, I found one to be quite rude and atypical. There are no generalizations because the people quoted in this article dated different people from different countries and they all have their own personalities. So, keep that in mind!

So, don’t be upset if an example related to your nationality and it doesn’t match with the way you think or feel! I’m not taking a jab at your country, and everyone knows that every person in the world has different experiences. Let’s just have some fun with this and maybe learn something along the way.

Is It True That Japanese Men Pay For Women?


In Japan, many people still believe that men paying for women is point of good manners and Koichi talked about this in What It’s Like A Dating a Japanese Guy as well. In fact, some guys even feel insulted, or that their pride was just given a ‘low-blow’, if a woman insists that she should pay for herself. This is standard dating-conduct for men in Japan. So, if you are a non-Japanese girl out on your first date with a Japanese guy, insisting to pay your half may be more hurtful than helpful to his pride.

But wait a minute! This has been changing quite a lot actually, especially amongst the newer generation of couples. Nowadays, many men wish more women would help pay for the date tab. It’s also more common for men to ask women to contribute somewhere between 20-30%. If at no point does the woman offer to pay for something, then the man may actually be lead to believe that she is not a generous or thoughtful person!

According to a research study conducted by Sankei Digital and Sankei Living from December 19, 2012 to January 15, 2013, about 70% of 169 Japanese women still prefer to be paid for while on the date. Actually, this research made many Japanese men upset to the point where they cried out “Where the heck is man-woman equality!?” I guess to be safe you should at least offer to pay, and hopefully they will reject your offer (if you didn’t want to pay)? With these ideas changing so rapidly, be careful not to step on any hurt-feelings landmines.

Men Of The Younger Generation (Kids These Days!)


Japanese men who have been educated throughout school and from societal constructs about ‘the equality of men and women’ often question the male’s responsibilities. In this article, of course that means paying for things like restaurant bills and such. I came across an interview from a man who was dating his coworker. The interview was conducted by Fukuishinbun.

In the interview, he complained that he pays a little more than his girlfriend when they go out on a date, even though the receive the same payment from their company. He believes that they should pay the same amount if their payment is exactly the same.

This change in Japanese men’s thinking was also brough up last year by a Chinese woman who was dating a Japanese guy. On their first date, they split the bill and this made her so upset that she wrote down her complaints on her blog. What she wrote took the online news sources by storm.

I had no idea why I had to pay because it was a date with my boyfriend. In China, or at least in Zhejiang where I am from, the man pays for practically everything while on dates. I’d say that the restaurant bill should be almost 100%. In fact, if a woman pays, she risks being hated by her boyfriend.

It’s not only this Chinese girl, though. Another Chinese girl (劉), a Korean girl (ハン) and an anonymous Laotian girl were also all surprised that their Japanese boyfriends didn’t pay for them. As for ハン, she was so upset when her boyfriend tried to split the bill for a ラブホテル (Love hotel) that she left him in anger.

I’m not sure about how old the Japanese guys were, but all three of these women are in their late teens and early twenties, so I assume they were dating guys who would be considered to be part of the “younger” generation. The older generation of men still expect that men should pay for women… however, younger generations are changing, so it may be best to be flexible on that stereotype.

Furthermore, one anonymous Japanese guy dating a British woman was often told by her: “I can’t believe Japanese women. They allow men to split bills because they don’t have confidence in themselves!” He used to split the bill when he was dating Japanese women, but he had to change his mind after hearing that line, at least for her. Over time, be began to get annoyed with what she said because she repeatedly complained about Japanese women who allow men to split the bill. It’s possible that the myth that all Japanese men prefer paying for everything may not have a long life if he felt this way.

Women That Prefer To Be Paid For


Like the above research suggested, many Japanese women still believe that their portion of the cost of a date should still be paid for. I also know of many Japanese girls who believe that men should always pay for women and that women should only date men who pay for them. @ya is maybe one of them and was surprised at how differently things are done in the UK.

In England, there is the concept that ‘give and take’ between a man and a woman should be equal. Regardless of whether or not it is a first date or a date between a couple with a long lasting relationship, it is pretty common to split the bill. Actually, just as a side point, you may want to be weary of a guy who insists on paying for you on the first date as it might be a sign that he is looking for a chance to sleep with you. Anyhow, I personally get annoyed by the person who puts forth so much effort to split the bill perfectly down the middle. (Hold on a second, let me root around the bottom of my purse for the 4 pennies I owe you.)

Yamaihimiko dated an American guy and she mentioned that he fronted the bill for everything, whereas inokay1123, who dated a few American men in the past, said that they all wished to split the bill and she stopped seeing them because of that. Actually, she brought up an interesting thing.

Just like many Japanese people do, I offered to pay my own bill to show my appreciation and gestured that I would hand over my money. Then, they just simply accepted it.

So, if you’re a guy who is seeking the chance to date a Japanese woman, you may want to question yourself when she poses this option. If she does offer to pay, maybe you should just say, “Don’t worry. It’s on me.” There’s a chance she’s not actually wanting to pay for half of the bill, but she’s just doing so to be polite.

Although some Japanese women complain that their international boyfriend doesn’t pay their bill, one anonymous woman who was dating a man from Thailand was very impressed. The whole bill was on him, even when she took her sister or friends. Apparently, it’s even pretty common for Thai men to borrow money from their friends before going on a date to help pay for it. It’s also normal for men to either provide their girlfriends with a ride to work, school, or accompany them to their destination, but it depends on his income as the transportation can change from bus to motorcycle to taxi to car to hovercraft.

It Doesn’t Bother Me!


As for me, personally, sure I like free food, but I didn’t care whether my boyfriend paid for me or not every time. Even now that I’m married it doesn’t matter… though that might be because there is only one wallet (our wallet). I had an ex-boyfriend who suggested that we decide who pays the bill by playing rock-paper-scissors. I accepted and from there on out we always decided that way. I found it pretty fair and kind of fun, too. While dating my Canadian husband, sometimes he would pay for me and other times I would pay for myself. It didn’t bother me, especially because I knew that I was making more money than him at the time, haha!

So, now you see that it’s not so black and white. While it’s still very much standard for the older generations to pay for a woman’s meals and date, the younger generation is changing. Some girls still expect it, other girls do not. Same with guys too. Best thing you can do if you’re a non-Japanese person dating a Japanese person is to be sure and offer if you’re a girl and attempt to reject payment offers if you’re a guy. It’s basic manners, anyways.

How does your country work in regards to this topic? Or, have you had experiences with Japanese women / men when it comes to paying for the date?

  • orangedude

    Personally I’m happy to pay for my date, until it’s expected that I pay. It may seem stupid, but I’ll give you the shirt off of my back unless you expect me to do so.

  • Hanna

    I am fine with any of those. I can pay, we can split, or he can pay. I have been married too long to know what kids these days are doing in the US.

  • Maria

    I have a Japanese boyfriend and I am Russian. Actually, my boyfriend pays 100% of a bill but I guess he prefers sometimes I help him.
    But, when I had a birthday party he wanted to pay for all!! I was shocked

  • missingno15
  • dennmart

    I don’t mind paying for everything when going out on a date. But it’s nearly impossible (in my experience) to lump men and women into these groups of who wants / should be paying when out on a date. While studies (like the one mentioned here) can be an indicator, I truly believe that it’s all up to each individual person. Everyone is very different in these cases.

    The majority of American women I have dated in the past seem to expect me to pay for everything, especially early on in the relationship. Sure, they do the whole “Oh, let me pay for my part” check dance that happens awkwardly sometimes, but in the end they happily accepted me footing the bill. However, my current girlfriend, who’s Japanese, has always somewhat forcefully made me accept her paying for half of what we do, to the point that she would get a little angry if I went behind her back and paid for everything on a given day. I quickly learned from that – you don’t want to see a Japanese woman angry at you :)

  • Tora.Silver

    I don’t blame Han for leaving that love hotel. After all, Han…
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■
    prefers to be solo.

  • Saimu-san

    I don’t have so much experience with dating considering I’d only went out with friends in Glasgow but even if we went out as a group of about five or six there was a tradition of everybody paying for their own meals rather than paying an equal amount for everyone. I think that’s the system I like adopting with everyone I eat a meal with. I hate owing people money and if I feel like I’ve paid too much or too little for my share of something it could ruin a good night… Mostly because I pester the person I owe to take my money when I try to pay them back! Lol.

  • Jonathan Harston

    When I was dating a Japanese girl 25 years ago we tended to swap rather than split individual bills – it’s ok, I’ll pay, you paid last time. The week we stayed at my family’s seaside cottage she paid for most things as I’d sorted out the accommodation. (Cottage sounds so swanky, my great-grandmother’s house that the family had inherited and we shared between the 15 of us.)
    I back to dating a Japanese woman again, and again we tend to swap, or cases of I’ve done all the driving, she insists on paying for the food.
    I’ve always felt uncomfortable with the concept of men paying for everything for a women, it feels too much like purchasing the woman and the implicit (explicit in some men’s minds) purchasing her body as well.

  • Jonathan Harston

    “my great-grandmother’s house that the family had inherited and we shared between the 15 of us”
    God, that sounds even worse. My great-grandmother’s small house that her 15 descendants inherited, that we arranged between us to use from time to time as a sort-of timeshare holiday cottage. The one with a separate bathroom and toilet – see last week’s discussion. :)

  • Mami

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve experienced the swap system, too. It’s a good idea, too. As for guys paying everything, one of my friends, who believe that guys should pay everything, was told by her boyfriend that she should help him pay sometimes, too. She said, ‘Ok. On the next date, then.’ On the day, she showed up at the meeting place without any make-up and told him, ‘You said you don’t pay and that means I don’t put my make-up on because cosmetics are very expensive.’ Well, it worked for them and he started paying for her again. This wouldn’t work for me though. I don’t usually put make-up on my face:P

  • Mami

    Ah, you are very 謙虚(けんきょ/kenkyo/modest/humble).

  • Mami


  • Mami

    Hmmm…how do you judge that it was expected?

  • Mami

    OMG! LOL.

  • Jonathan Harston

    Well, that’s because all Japanese women are beautiful whether they wear makeup or not. (^v^)

  • Mami

    I see:) Thank you for sharing your opinion♪

  • Mami

    Was it a big birthday party? Did he pay not only yours but all of your friends??

  • Mami

    That’s true. It’s not majority yet, but some of them prefer to pay on my own:) Do you comfortable to split, too?

  • Mami

    I see:P lol Thank you for sharing your experience and idea♪ I don’t like feeling me owing someone money either.

  • Jonathan Harston

    I’ve seen similar situations in Japan. Hibaba and Hijiji were farmers, their children moved to the city, and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren would go to visit in the holidays, when Hibaba and Hijjij dies nobody wants to be a farmer, so the rest of the family keep the house for visits instead of letting it fall down.

  • Mami

    The guy was Japanese and wanted her to put make-up on, so he started paying again, though! :P
    I’m just lazy…I feel I should because I’m getting a lot of シミ・そばかす(TT)←I don’t know how to write them in English…I think そばかす is freckles…but I’m not sure about shimi…

  • Mami

    I see. Yeah, that’s true! :D I said you are very humble because you changed your expression into ‘small house’ :P

  • Jonathan Harston

    I’m afraid all the english translations sound horrible: liver spot, old-age spot, senile freckle :(
    Medically known as hyperpigmentation. It’s one of those things that there doesn’t seem to be a neutral name for, probably to the benefit of the anti-age cosmetics industry.

  • orangedude

    If a girl at least offers to split the bill, then I know that she’s not immediately expecting me to pay, which is nice! :D

  • sexypizza

    This whole problem wouldn’t exist if we lived in a socialist world.

  • dennmart

    I don’t mind splitting the bill at all! Sometimes I just enjoy treating her to a day / night out occasionally without her spending any money :)

  • Sara.S

    I live in America in the south where the term “southern gentleman” is common. It is expected by many people for the man to pay for dates. I remember coming home from first dates with my parents asking, “did he pay?”. At least for the first date, I thought it was better for the man to pay. I have also offered to pay for my part of the meal while slightly hoping they wouldn’t accept just to be polite.
    Now though, I am in a long term relationship with someone and the issue of who pays doesn’t come up as much. We tend to take turns paying for meals and other outing expenses. If he seems to be paying for a lot of things, I will buy dinner next or tickets to the next movie, and he does the same for me.
    This system seems to work well for us as we don’t focus on the money as much but on the experience. Generally everything seems to even out pretty well.

  • Mami



    In the beginning, always man, when “going steady”, switch off every other date.

  • niko

    My boyfriend always pays and never expects me to help. He once got a little snappy with me when I asked if I should pay my share and say, “I’m a man, I can pay for it.” He’ll pay for our whole day out sometimes. Once he forgot to withdraw money before we went on a day trip and I got to pay for everything, but he looked a bit dejected and told me he would pay me back as soon as he found an ATM. I appreciate he’s willingness to take care of things, but it isn’t necessary.

    I always ask a few times to help pay, because I genuinely don’t mind. Dating someone should never be about money (that’s immature and petty). It should be about spending time with someone you like/love. If it makes him happy to pay, let him. But if it makes you happy to pay, always offer.

  • Ely lioney

    This isn’t a date situation but one time when my family and family friends ate out (we were all Filipino) there was sort of a fight to who pays the bill. Every family would say that they’ll pay for it in full.
    In Australia, its a general consensus that when going out as a date or with friends, for everyone to pay for their part of the bill (but that can change if someone says they are treating).

  • mish

    person who does the asking pays.

    By the second date you can split.

  • mish

    Oh wait, split bill means in half? I thought it meant you pay for what you ordered…

  • Abu Abujafar

    Nice post! Very informative like the others you wrote before! =)
    I`m glad that things are changing with the new generation. I think when couples split the bill, it adds a sense of intimacy between then. Like they share an equal level of sympathy and love for each other.

  • Mami

    Sounds sweet:D

  • Mami

    Liver spot!? liver!?!?!? Why, liver!? Thank you very much anyway though. I’m just wondering…

  • Mami

    Is that true…?

  • Mami


  • Mami

    Wow, the first thing your parents asked was if he paid for you, eh? It’s pretty surprising(><)
    I think that it's a good system, too:D Thank you for sharing your experience!

  • Mami

    Thank you for sharing your experience! It’s cool that your boyfriend takes care of everything:) ❤❤And the best part is that you haven’t forgotten thankful mind for him and always ask to help him pay❤❤(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)♡ How nice!

  • Mami

    It’s interesting!!! Is the paying fight only common among Filipino??

  • Ely lioney

    I suppose it happens with other nationalities but I know for sure that this friendly fight happens with Filipinos.
    In a date situation my mum told me that usually it is the males that pays for the date in the Philippines.

  • Mami

    Oh, I meant both…in Japan, it’s possible to order for what you ordered, but it’s more common for someone to pay everything and divide the amount by the number of people later.

  • Mami


  • Mami

    Thank you and I like your idea: they share an equal level of sympathy and love for each other.(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)♡

  • Mami

    Oh, I see. I guess in many countries that it’s standard for men to pay on dates (*´∀`*)

  • Ely lioney

    I’m thinking that because before its males that have the jobs and women if they did work, they would earn less is why they paid for everything. But now that their is more equality in the work force and women are earning more, it seems that the equality is being transferred to payments and other areas of life.

  • Jonas

    I think it makes sense to pay for the first few dates. I look at it as being an invitation, and most of the time it’s the man asking a woman out on a date. So my logic for paying is the same as any other invitation. The person who invites someone to do something is usually the one who pays (for smaller things, not like trips around the globe). Just like I wouldn’t ask my friends to pay for beer/snacks on a game night at my place for example.

    However, when you become a couple I expect not having to pay for everything. In my case we either split or take care of every other bill, but it’s sort of automatic, it’s not something we have to discuss after every meal. I probably end up paying a little more, which is fine.

    A few other friends of mine, who are dating a Japanese man or woman, have something like a “date wallet”. Basically they have an extra wallet that they both add money to every week or month, so they never have to think about money on those important dates. Seems like a smart solution^^

  • Niklas Barsk

    My Japanese wife and I have a shared bank account where we pay in money every month based on our income. My income is slightly higher than hers so I pay slightly more every month for that account. Then we have a shared credit card that we use for all our shared expenses such as grocery shopping and eating out. So it doesn’t matter who pays, it all goes on the same credit card bill which we pay of using money from our shared bank account.

    Having a setup like this was really important for me from the beginning so we can both feel like we are paying for a fair share of our shared expenses and are both equally responsible for our life together. My wife also thinks this is a good and fair setup.

  • Musouka

    I guess シミ could be Acne/Blemish or other types of discoloration?

  • Musouka

    Ah, the mighty 割り勘

    It makes more sense in groups since my Japanese friends tend to share the food. For couples, I’d say it’s either one pays or each pay their own bill. I like how in the US, the shops can give individuals separate bills and process several cards.

  • nuray


  • lychalis

    When I first went out with my now boyfriend, he fronted the bill at the restaurant we were at. After that, if we went to a restaurant we would each pay our halves, same with at the cinema – sometimes he would pay my half, but I’d always find a way to pay him back and vice-versa. This has continued for the three years we’ve been together, unless one of us is treating the other (During the summer just past, I bought him a meal at wagamama and took him to see Rise of the Guardians for a treat :D)

  • Mami

    You two are very faithful to the equality(>v<) I think that it's a good idea, too. Do you sometimes have a trouble deciding if the purchase belongs to shared expenses or your individual expenses? Or, was it pretty easy to decide the border, too?

  • Mami


  • Mami

    Yeah, I like the US and Canada way, too. In Japan, if you tried to pay individuals, some restaurant give you a bad face or even say ‘sorry, we don’t accept individual payment’. I don’t like it:(

  • Mami

    That’s very true! :D

  • Mami

    Wow, I’ve never heard of the ‘date wallet’. Maybe it’s new thing for young people, too? I don’t know, but it sounds very practical!!!

  • Maria Liss

    It was not so big party but our bill was for almost 500$ and he wanted to pay for everything and for all my friends! Unexpectedly! ^o^

  • Jonathan Harston

    A shimi sobakasu is patches of melanomin (the skin pigment that causes freckles) that appear due to sunlight and remain as the skin gradually loses its ability to return to an untanned colouring.

    Acne is skin secretions blocking sweat pores or hair follicle pores.

    Blemish is any kind of long-lasting natural skin change. Acne can leave the skin blemished with bumps. Sunburn can leave the skin blemished with increased “liver spots”. Injury or surgery can leave the skin blemished with tight or smooth patches.

    Shimi sobakasu:

    Liver spots:

  • Jonathan Harston

    The first time I took my girlfriend out for a meal I assumed she’d want something non-Japanese, but she spotted Wagamama and said: oo, Japanese food, let’s go there. The really weird part was eating in a restaurant called “Egotistical”. ;)

  • Jonathan Harston

    When I was married 15 years ago we had a shared account, but put the same amount in to cover shared expenses regardless of our individual incomes. If one of us wanted to spend their personal money on the other they could do that as a gift/treat.
    Deciding what was shared expenses was fairly simple: keeping a roof over our head, shared food. Everything else was personal expenses.

  • Mescale

    Dakimakura-tan looks after all my money anyway so she always pays when we go out to restaurants.

  • lychalis

    hahaha I’d always thought it’d meant ‘selfish’ x3

    we actually went to nando’s first time we went out. Should mention, both of us are western so I suppose paying our halves would come more naturally. Free food is great, but I get uncomfortable with the idea of the other constanly paying for me >.<

  • Jon Walmsley

    For first date situations it depends on what you’re paying for. If its just coffee, I think the man showing his willingness to pay the
    full bill is important in showing the woman that he’s neither a cheapskate nor ungenerous, so long as you say something fun like “next time though, for the sake of gender equality, I must insist that the bill is on you, promise?”. This is to make it clear you aren’t an ass-kissing pushover by paying the bill but are rather doing her a gentlemanly favour. However, if it’s a more expensive bill I’d probably suggest a rough split as you shouldn’t be paying loads of money on someone you don’t even know that you’re going to see again. Though I wouldn’t go anywhere expensive for first dates anyway (restaurant, cinema etc) as its boring and predictable and first dates are best as shorter affairs in my experience. That’s my two cents anyway.

  • Jonas

    I guess so, yeah. It’s an interesting solution!

  • Niklas Barsk

    That’s not nice. I haven’t been to that many restaurants in Japan but I got the impression that you pretty much always pay at the cashier and saying that you want to pay べつべつ is just fine and on top of that you never give any tip.

    I really like that and it feels so much more convenient than how things work when I’ve been out with colleagues for dinner after work sometime here in Sweden. Here you have to try to get hold of a waiter to get the bill to the table and that’s a bill for everyone. Then everyone tries to calculate how much they should pay and those who pay with cash starts pooling up the correct sum and changing bigger bills for smaller between each other or the money that’s been pooled up for the bill. Then of course there are always some that want to pay with card so part of the bill is payed with one or several cards.

    And finally you have to decide if you should tip anything or not. It’s not really custom to tip here, but on the other hand some people thing that you should be tipping when you’re out for dinner on a restaurant. So usually people just round up the bill, or their part or the bill to the nearest convenient amount (maybe around 0-5% tip) and feel bad for giving a too small or too big tip.

    So it’s always a hassle to pay the bill when eating out with friends.

  • Niklas Barsk

    No we haven’t had any problems or discussion on where to draw the line. I don’t think we’ve even discussed it, it just comes naturally. Expenses related to the house, car, food, our kid, travels we do together are shared while other things are personal.

    We don’t have to struggle to make the money last every month and none of us are big at spending money or thinks that having lots of money is important so I guess this makes it easier for us. So if my wife would buy something once with our shared money that I think is something personal for her I wouldn’t really mind or mention it unless it’s something really expensive.

  • Little Wonder

    It’s called a liver spot because the spots sometimes appear to be shaped like the liver.

  • Lucie

    When I used to date guys (before settling into a long term relationship) I always used to feel really awkward if a guy tried to pay for everything, if I have my own money why shouldn’t I pay for what I’ve eaten?

  • Mami

    I see:D Thank you for explaining! I like your system:)

  • Mami

    That sounds very fair:D

  • Mami


  • Mami

    Awww…Thank you…(TT) I’m scared…

  • Mami

    Oh, I see! Thank you:D

  • Mami


  • Mami

    Do you feel only guys? In Japan, it’s also common that older people pay everything or a little more than you:) Would you feel awkward that way, too?

  • Mami

    (*´∀`*) Is she pretty?❤

  • Mami

    Wow, he is a very nice guy❤:D I like your profile picture btw.

  • Mami

    Thank you for sharing your experience:D What kind of movie would you choose for the first date? Is Love story common? Just my curiosity…

  • Mami

    Ah, nice❤ Is your boyfriend Japanese, if I may ask?

  • Mami

    Wow! :P Did the restaurant name make you guys laugh?? :D

  • Mami

    wagagamama means selfish or egotistical or drum your own march or etc :D
    Where is nando’s??? Sorry, I asked if your boyfriend is Japanese because I hadn’t read this post! Now I know both of you are western.

  • Jonathan Harston

    They’re completely benign (non-dangerous). Any skin blemishes that are the start of something malign are generally sore, mis-shapen, unevenly coloured, “lumpy”, etc.

  • Mami

    Yeah, it’s a little hustle, isn’t it? Someone paying everything and splitting by ourselves is pretty common Japan, too. We usually divide by the number of people to avoid such caluculating-chaos. Although some restaurants (especially big one) allow you to pay betsubetsu like you said, it’s also considered to be a little impolite to the restaurant when people are so many. It’s often considered to be a part of manner especially if you are adults, so we often calculate later. If it’s a company drinking party, your distribution could change depends on your status in the company as well. You pay on the day or the next day at your office. It definitely makes things easier that we don’t have tip culture though.

  • martinu

    I don’t understand how is it polite to offer to split the bill without actually wanting to pay. If you don’t want to split it, simply don’t offer to do so.

  • Mami

    Maybe orangedude ‘s comment explains….

  • Mescale

    She is, I just can’t wait until the day she lets me turn her over…

  • Nick Hattan

    Your progression of topics along with Aya’s art is hilarious xDD Did you guys talk about it?
    Also, I always prefer to pay the tab (I’m a guy). Sometimes I try to, but the girl insists. America’s weird, Mami. Don’t travel too much further south than you are :V

  • Mami

    No, I didn’t talk about it. I think it’s all Aya’s idea:D and I love it too! lol
    aha, maybe I skip America and fly further south to South America. How’s that?

  • Mami

    She hasn’t yet? Does she have a boy dakimakura friend?

  • Vicky

    It makes me sad how some women find more joy in being “treated” to things rather than the pride of doing it for themselves.

  • Mescale

    We’re waiting until after marriage.

    Sorry Mami but we don’t double-dakimakura-date. But I’m sure there’s a dakimakura out there for you, maybe, in the shape of a Shinkansen.

  • Maria Liss

    Yes! He loves me!
    Ahah thank you, fear Mami:)

  • 肉人

    “It’s basic manners, anyways.” This quote pretty much sums it up for me, both sides should offer to pay and it’s all about reading your partner after that.

    But still, I think it’s all good as long as the whole thing is resolved smoothly and preferably with no casualties :D

  • Aker

    Before I had a girlfriend, I dated with
    couple of Japanese girls and always we shared the bill when I started dating
    with my girlfriend too, and was OK. However, may be, my case is a little bit
    different, because at that time I was a student and the girls that I dated knew

  • Endar

    When it comes down to it, more splitting = more dates. I haven’t dated a Japanese girl, but I would be annoyed if she expected me to pay for her. It just doesn’t make sense to me. This is one of few situations that women seem to have to advantage in an unequal situation.

    That being said, what about Japanese women paying for the whole ticket? Does that happen? Sometimes with my American girlfriend we just trade off who pays, depending on the circumstances. Like you said, you played RPS to see who pays with one person, but how common is that?

  • pantinaprovina

    I think that the man paying for everything comes from a time when women didn’t actually have any of their own money. Now that women are prominent in the workforce it makes sense that people would move away from the ‘man pays for everything’ mindset.

    I now have the same method with dates that I do with close friends. When they grab the bill I’ll ask, “Do you know how much mine is?” And if they say, “Oh don’t worry about it, I’ve got this.” I’ll offer to pay for both of ours the next time and we’ll probably end up ‘taking turns’. If they tell me my portion or hand back the bill to me, I’ll pay for my half and do that from then on.

    I’ve never met anyone that insisted on paying all the time that was my own age. People from at least a generation ahead of me have always insisted on paying every time, but I’ve always felt it came from an attitude of like parents taking care of their kids.

  • Time

    I have been living in America for over 17 years now. It has always been taught to me however that the guy pays unless the girl asks. It seems to work for most people.

  • lychalis

    nah, we’re both British

  • lychalis

    nando’s is a peri peri chain in England, I dunno if there are any in the US, but it’s pretty popular over here. It’s very good for eating out as a group because you can go up and pay for your meal separately :D

    and don’t worry, I figured as much! I still answered though XD

  • shiro

    I don’t think Japanese men have much room to complain about “gender equality.” Theirs is still a country where the majority of women quit or postpone their jobs upon marriage or pregnancy because it’s virtually impossible to raise a child and work. In small towns it’s like daily life is set up in such a way that everything is inconvenient unless you’re a housewife (banks, post office, garbage stations only open from 8 – 4pm and so on). “Do you plan on getting married/pregnant?” is an actual question you can get during a job interview. Fix all of that, and then you can talk to me about splitting the bill, boys.

    In all seriousness though, I like the swap system.

  • Yuki

    I think it kinda depends on the guys income as well as beliefs? But I think it’s good if the guy pays for the first date, and then split of subsequent dates. But the guy paying for everything every time, unless he’s super rich, would be harsh on the wallet and might associate girlfriends with expenses. If they insist on paying it’s ok I guess, but otherwise if not a split you could just pay for your meal. A free meal is great and all, but I personally wouldn’t mind paying for my share if they ask.

  • Aiko

    Great text @mamimumason:disqus ! I really enjoyed reading it. But there is something that I don’t understand… In the text, the accent was on date, right? Or I misunderstood something?
    Here is why I am asking…
    I’ve accidentally met a very nice Japanese guy through a website for language exchanges. During our online conversation it turned out that he will move to the same city I live in due to his job assignment . As he saw how interested I am in learning Japanese language and how much I adore Japanese culture, he suggested that we occasionally meet for a drink and practice languages. It seemed to be a very nice plan.
    Few months later, he moved to my town and during the very first meeting we went for a quick lunch (a soup and a tea) as I was starving after 4 hours of Japanese classes I take classes. So, when the waiter came, I took out my wallet (I was raised to never let anybody pay for my share unless they REALLY insist) and just the time I pulled out my money, he already payed. I protested a little, but he didn’t want to hear about it. When we decided to move on and take a walk, he took my bag and didn’t want to let me carry it as it was really heavy due to the books I had inside. OK, this might nothing to have with the further, but I was surprised and impressed. Although it did bother me at first few hours!!
    We agreed that we will go to a Japanese restaurant for our next meeting. I made the reservation and when I informed him about it, he emphasized that he is the one who pays the entire dinner but he will let me pay the drink next time we meet. I was feeling uneasy, but later accepted it. The dinner was really marvelous, but even today I dare to think how much it was :-S
    The third meeting we had, I reminded him that we had a deal. He laughed and said “Yes, I remember.The first drink you pay, but everything we order after that is on me.”
    What’s the deal? I mean, we are not dating, we are language exchange partners occasionally meeting… Is this common behavior for Japanese men even when not on date? (⊙_◎)
    Thanks in advance!

  • Canadian Husband

    If Koichi and Viet go out for a dinner. Who pays?

  • Silver Torah

    In case people did not get it, solo = alone

  • Daniel Tapia


  • yoru.morino

    I’m from Mexico, I haven’t dated any Japanese men. But here, men are expected to pay everything. However, there are many girls (incluiding me) who prefer to split the bill. Most of the times, the man will not accept it. But after a while and if you insist…they end up accepting it and no more free stuff for you! Hahaha

  • Stephanie Gertsch

    haha, I think if a guy tries to use the “gender equality” excuse the get out of doing something, women get suspicious. i.e. “I’m shelling out this time because I still want to impress you, but don’t expect to be so lucky in the future.” If a guy doesn’t have the money to pay every time, he should just be honest.

    Not that it’s a bad plan, though. I think the idea of not offering to pay more than you are truly willing is in general a good principle. However, at least in personal experience, a “gentlemanly favor” would have to be a little more subtle. ;)

  • Mr Cloud

    I’m dating a Korean girl. She never offers to pay for the meal. And if I ever suggest her paying for once, she gets super defensive. I’m British, so my culture is that couples share everything, including bills. Should the man pay for more meals than the woman? Of course, but not every single one. It’s becoming a bit of a hot potato in our relationship. It’s a cultural difference, but one that is leaving me with very little money at the end of each month. Sometimes I even have to make excuses to cancel meetings with her, as I know I would have to spend another 40+ for a meal

  • Jakob Dorn

    I pay for my food, you pay for yours. Doesn’t matter if I’m out with friends, on a date or whatever.

  • MasonFraser

    I always thought this was a good system. It doesn’t really seem right to be ask someone to come for food with you, and then expect them to take care of the cost as well.

  • Wonder Party

    All the “young” (< 33) Japanese men I've dated have paid. I offered to pay my share but they didn't accept. Did I insult them I wonder?

    My (Japanese) boyfriend always paid for everything and bought me a lot of stuff. At first it made me uncomfortable. But when I found my job contract wouldn't be renewed, it helped me a lot when he would buy me groceries/house supplies so I could save money for school entrance fee. Eventually I could relax because I didn't have any guilt about "using him for money" or anything like that since I really do love him and school was something that would help both of us in the future. Soon the medical bills for his father became so much he couldn't buy things for me anymore, but it's ok. Him paying for stuff isn't the reason I fell for him! Anyway, now sometimes I can buy dinner for him and I feel so happy to have a chance to do that for him (even though it would be better to save the money). In the future when we both have money again (at least I hope that's the future…) probably he will pay a lot again, but I hope to pay for things for him too.

    American guys usually paid stuff for me too. European guys… well, I only dated one but he went 50/50 with me from the start (though not in the annoying penny-counting way… as long as it was "about even" it was good).

  • Kati

    I’m 24 and from Austria and when we go out for dinner or drinks, it goes without saying that my boyfriend picks up the bill, even if my girlfriends come along.

    Of course i try to even things out somehow – for example, when he eats at my place, which is most days – i pay for most of the groceries, or when we go on a trip we will share the cost of accomodation.
    Now, i have to say that my boyfriend has impeccable manners and is a a true gentleman of the old school, who still knows how to pull out a chair , hold a door or properly ask a girl for a dance.

    We went to Japan to work as ski instructors last winter, and he had a way harder time than me getting used to the fact that the ‘ladies first’ principle doesn’t apply there.

    Sadly; these kind of manners are not the norm any more in these parts, actually, politeness has become so rare that it is often mistaken for flirtation :(

    However, I feel us Austrian girls are still quite lucky.

    I lived in England for some time and also had an English boyfriend back then, and I was shocked at how impolite and downright rude english men are.
    Instead of holding the door for you they would actually push you out of the way to get there first!

    And my then boyfriend would always insist on splitting the bill down to the last penny, even though i told him ( having accepted it as a cultural thing that he would never actually invite me without some kind of compensation) that i would feel a lot more comfortable taking turns.

    To top it off, when we went out for drinks with his mates , he even tried to get me to pay for rounds for everyone even though i was only drinking soda. What a douche. That didn’t last very long obviously.

    To sum it up, i like being treated like a lady and would consider anything else unacceptable, but i do feel that the financial burden should somehow be divided up equally (according to respective income). Overall i think a lot of people look at the ‘gender equailty’ thing differently than i do – Of course men and women are equal, and of course we should receive equal pay, opportunities etc, but the fact that we are equal doesn’t mean that we are the same!

  • Rinnie

    It sounds like people in Japan are pretty similar to my country (England). ^^ BTW, guys, if ANY girl offers to pay, not just Japanese girls, you should consider if she really wants to pay or not (and if you really want to pay, and how much you want to see her again).

  • Tuna

    I find it simpler to go by who initiated the date. If someone asked me out to a restaurant for a date I’d expect them to pay if I wasn’t given enough time to gather my money, similarly if I asked someone out I’d pay since I initiated it and they might not have a lot of money on them by the time the date pops up. But if they give me fair warning, or we’ve been dating each other long enough so that it doesn’t matter, I’d split the bill or even cover it all depending on how long we’ve been dating.

  • hashi is koichi’s bodypillow

    I’ve never been on a date, but I think that whoever you are, it is a nice gesture to pay for your date. splitting the bill isn’t very romantic but if one person orders small fries and a coke while the other person orders confit lobster a la mode in red wine and saffron jus with pheasant rosti bisque and a chardonnay merlot 1467 vintage, the first person should pay more. if someone is really rch or suggests a fancy restaurant like fried chicken de la kentucky they should pay

  • Daiyu Hurst

    I’m nearing the end of my first of 4 to 6 semesters of Japanese, so I’m not sure if I have this correct or not:

    私 は あなた と 一緒に ラブホテル に 行きたいません!

  • Sittie Fairoza Alonto

    I think those Japanese men are taking the gender equality a little further. Despite the concept, there are still men’s role and women’s role. I think it is rude to ask a girl to pay (be it partially or not). It’s not like we girls won’t like to pay, but it is very insulting on our part. We will offer to pay when we have some amount, just wait for us; and do not ask us in the face! Also, complaining about it is really a turn off. It demotes machismo.

    I am speaking from my cultural perspective.

  • Alex

    However, I find the whole ritual and history behind it quite charming. In today’s economical and relational state, I believe it might simply be very upseting for any modern young men for having to deal with this.

    In Canada, men will pay for a date if there wife dont have a job. Other than that, it is quite not attractive to have a silly dependent child expecting to have everything for free. We like women strong, smart and independent. As we mustly all have careers, it is just normal to expect women to feed themselves. Of course in Canada, men do there chores, hopefully. Maybe if I was dating a child, a mistress or a prostitute, in that case, I would pay for her meals.

    With the direction Japan is going, it only seems logical that they take a similar turn as other foreign countries.

  • James

    I would expect for the guy (like myself) to pay for things, however if the woman I’m dating asserts in some way that she wants to pay part of it I’m not against it.