I can best describe it as courting with initial ambiguity.Things also move much more slowly than in the west.If the other returns those feelings, then they become boyfriend and girlfriend.The relationship then proceeds as relationships between boyfriends and girlfriends do. At the point of kokuhaku is where we consider two people to begin dating.I’ve included my thoughts as a Westerner on Japanese dating culture for that reason.Virgin or veteran, I feel for any Westerner or Easterner who dates or aspires to date inter-culturally this is worth a read. You might just understand the other half a little better after this.
Also to be noted is that no physical intimacy occurs until after becoming boyfriend and girlfriend.Everything before that is considered getting to know each other in a friendly manner.In the West we would argue that dating is simply getting to know someone better with romantic intent to see if you would like a relationship with them, so that the time spent outside of the group would be considered dates.I’m going to start out with a disclaimer: Every person- and consequently every situation- is different. I am going off of my experience and some discussions with my Japanese friends and friends who have lengthy experience with the culture.I’m sure people can find exceptions to what I am putting forth as general rules. Additionally, I am a man, so all of my understanding comes from the perspective of a man.