Understanding how dating works in a different country can be difficult — especially if mixed signals are in the equation.
Yumeka Aumemori (@yumekaumemori), a Japanese exchange student in the United States, took to TikTok to share her recent dating experience. American TikTokers affirm that Yumeka’s story accurately describes what dating is like for them.
“Did you know we don’t really have a talking stage in Japan? But we do in America right,” she starts. “So I was like kind of ready to experience like, you know, some cultural differences in terms of dating.”
Yumeka says she “hung out like 5 times” with this guy she met online before going to his house for the first time.
“Everything was fine and you know, he was nice and we were having fun so I went there. And his parents and his grandma was there,” she reveals. This, Yumeka says, does not typically happen in Japan.
“If you do this in Japan it’s like you’re marrying the person or like you’re in a real serious relationship with that person.”
Still, Yumeka decided to embrace the unexpected meeting.
“I calmed myself down and I introduced myself to his family and they were all nice. His dad even asked me if I am thinking of coming back to America so that I can stay with him like longer.”
Yumeka notes that at this time they were not in a relationship. Eventually, she learns, he “just wanted to be ‘friends.'”
“I was like excuse me? Like I didn’t get mad or anything. I was like just curious. Like what was he thinking about the whole time we were on the couch? And like I asked him like what’s with you? He was like, you know, I’ve been like focusing on myself.”
“I had this second thought, ‘Why don’t I use him for a bit?'”
He also cites past relationships as a deterrent to wanting “anything super serious.” On the dating app, however, they both said they were looking for a relationship.
“That’s how we met and how we matched so I felt so disrespected and I got lied [to],” she says. “So yeah I blocked him and I hated him, but like, I had this second thought. Why don’t I use him for a bit?”
Rather than dwell on their failed relationship, Yumeka “decided to use him as a transportation system since he had a car.”
After hanging out a couple more times, Yumeka’s suitor-turned-just-friend had a change of heart.
“The last time before I was leaving he was like, ‘You know, we’ve been hanging out pretty long and I was thinking of like asking you if you wanna become my girlfriend or something.’ And I said, ‘No,'” she laughs.
Yumeka then shares a valuable takeaway from her dating snafu.
“I’m gonna become friends with guys first, then I’m gonna become more than friends after that.”
“That’s the real US dating experience lol”
TikTokers flocked to the comments. Many American commenters validated Yumeka’s experience.
“you deserve better queen,” wrote @limpyshire.
“so when a person says that they aren’t looking for anything serious, they mean nothings serious WITH YOU,” shared @sunmoon4766.
“That’s the real US dating experience lol,” said @hay.jay.hooray.
“Yes use him for his car. Don’t give him gas money either,” wrote @slothbabyslothbaby.
Yumeka’s experience serves as a reminder that dating — wherever you are — can be tough. Whether in Japan, the United States or anywhere else, mixed signals and unclear intentions aren’t uncommon.
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