Where has the romantic young love gone in Japan?

Accoding to the result of a survey by Cabinet Office,forty percent of single men and wemen in their 20s and 30s don’t want a relationship.


Does this result mean that young Japanese people tend to like to be alone or independent, or lose their feeling of love? Of couse not. I think that these responses relate to the concept of a relationship for Japanese people and a gap between reality and the ideal of marrige.

First of all, you should understand that in Japan there is not the concept of “dating” that western countries have. For Japanese people, a relationship is not rather a result of dating than a rule to keep having a date and making love with a particular person.

Japanese men and women usually have dates for one to three months after their first meeting and then commit to having a relationship, if he or she wants to be more intimate with a person who they have dated. In general, the man askes the woman to be his girlfriend and the woman decides to accept or not. In doesn’t matter if there is love or not in this timing.

It looks like having a relationship is very easy in Japan and not a problem. However there is a problem. Japanese couples face many problems after their commitment becouse they don’t know each other well then. Japanese relationship status is similar to “dating” in western countries. In Japan, “dating” and “ relationship” are mixed and a relationship starts with a low level of relying on each other. Therefore most of them don’t make it. If you look to meet another person before declaring the relationship over, you are accused of being a two-timer. That is to say, we Japanese people get as much stress and hurt in “dating” as western people get in “relationships”.

I think that this process is one reason Japanese young people tend to avoid having relationships. It’s okay for teenage boys and girls becouse they have a lot of time to get over a relationship if they failed. On the other hand, Japanese people in the later half of their 20s and 30s get peer pressure that they should get married to the person who they have dates with. In particular, most Japanese people think that women should be married by thirty years old, that is called the “sell-by date of a lady”. That’s why they might feel a relationship being a heavy load.

Secondly, most Japanese single women require men who earn a good income as a partner. According to some reserch, it is said that the ideal average income that women want men to earn is more than 6 million yen (about us$50,000), and only about 6% of single men in their 20s and 30s earn more than 6 million yen. There is a gap to make a match between single men and women.


Probably you may have a question, why do Japanese women require men who earn 6 million yen as if they are only a number of endangered animals?All though a stability of household money is important in marriage and to desire being a rich is not bad, this ideal of women is not realistic considering that figures show fact. Here is a reason that Japanese women in their 20s and 30s tent to be house wives after marrying men, it is believed that a house wife needs at least 6 million yen from her husband’s income.

And this ideal amount may give single men pressure and a sense of inferiority. In fact, 94% of single men in their 20s and 30s earn less than 6 million yen. Eventually most men and women will marry regardless of income but this pressure could build a big wall in front of men who just want to marry an ordinary women. Moreover the Japanese economy’s recession may force them go out of trying to marry.

In this way, it is getting harder for Japanese young people to think that a relationship and marriage will make them happy in their life. Therefore they might pretend not to be interested in relationships, to avoid facing this reality and protect themselves from troubles that would happen to them in the future.

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