My newest "Adult Story".
This year I had my first "light" relationship or maybe you might call it a "summer love" though it didn't start in summer.
Last February my classmates all finally clicked and became a group of friends doing lots of stuff together. After about a month I found myself interested in one of the girls. She seemed like the hardest studier and a little shy or at least not talkative before we all started hanging out but the more we all got to know each other the more cool I found out she was.
One of the big problems for me at school, maybe problem is not the word and I'm sure most guys would love it but I was 36 at the time. Most of the students are college age. 19 to 24. Probably 85% of them. Also, 45% or so are Korean. Koreans more that most cultures I've encountered are more strict about dating outside their race.
Anyway, this girl was Korean and 23 although a mature 23. Hanging out with her I rarely felt like I was with someone lots younger than me. It probably helps that I'm mostly young at heart
Anyway, after a month or so of hanging out with the group we started hanging out with just each other. I was interested but not willing to make a direct move without discussing it first being 13 years older than her etc. We ended up discussing it and she was like "lets just have fun". I knew it would not be that easy but since that seems to be how most people approach relationships I thought "okay, I'll try *just for fun*". At the same time I also found out she was only going to be in Japan for another 10 weeks.
So, we hung out, we dated, we became boyfriend, girlfriend.
The first problem was like I've mentioned before, unlike America where it seems everybody's goal is to get away from your parents and be independant as soon as possible. In many other parts of the world that is much less common. The majority of Koreans live with their parents until they are married. She was living with a homestay family that was also a friend of her family back in Korea and as such she might as well have still been a teen living at home with her parents. She could not say out too late or stay over at my place, something as an American I would generally take for granted after turnning 18 or so.
She did start bending the *rules* and coming home later and later and not telling the truth since she knew her homestay family would not approve of her having a boyfriend and her real family would specifically not approve of her having a non−Korean boyfriend. At 23 she is still treated like a kid being told what to do how to do it.
I don't know all the details but from what I gather, one of the girls in that family had previously spent 6 months in Korea with my girlfriend and her family and they had become friends. When my girlfriend came to Japan she stayed at this friends house hoping to still be friends but that friend had a job and life in Japan and it mostly did not include my girlfriend which had brought her to some very lonely times in Japan. She was very happy to have made the group of friends a school and then a boyfriend, me, but as she spent less and less time at her homestay family that friend started to get angry or jealous or upset. I don't know the details of their heated arguments but they had to do with things like the family feeling like they were being treated like a hotel with her not coming home till 11pm or later some nights.
Finally she could not take it anymore and with only 1 month left in Japan she asked if she could move in with me. I was pretty happy about that. No more having to say goodbye every night. She moved in for exactly one night. About 3 hours after she got to my place she got a series of calls. Like I mentioned she had not mentioned me to them since she knew they would not approve. It turned out that her "friend" had gone through all her stuff. Found a key to my place I had given her and read all the e−mail on her cell phone with our short love letters and correspondence. Then this "friend" had called her parents in Korea and told them she was seeing some American guy. I don't know exactly what was said but it resulted in her father calling, balling her out, threatening to come to Japan the next day and fly her home.
She immediately moved out of my place and into a classmate's apartment so she could claim she was not living with a guy, an unpardonable thing to do in Korea. The fortunate part was that this friend only lived about a 12 minute walk from my place so she could stay over if she wanted to.
A few days later she told her family the details about us. They were not happy about it but they were mostly calm although they made it very clear that she was to come home at the end of June as planned and at that time the relationship would be over.
We hung out until the end of June and then she went back but of course ending it was not so easy. There were several issues.
Of course having a relationship we grew closer and closer. Even though we had both talked about "just for fun", I knew at least for me there is really no such thing. But, also, because we had said that and because there was a real time limit it also did not really feel that serious. My feelings were slighly guarded as I often thought about who I might persue when this current "fling" was over. That's a first for me. In all my previous relationships I've generally been a one woman guy meaning that in the past I generally didn't have eyes for any other women at all while being in a relationship.
This time though I did notice the other women around me. I've wondered about that. Is it that I've turned into a "real guy" like all the women on TV seem to complain about? Is it that I was really not that interested in my girlfriend? Is it only that it was known to be a short relationship? I'm not sure which. It could be all of them. What I do know though is that with that feeling and the 13 years age difference and the parents issue that trying to stay together would be very difficult. Her parents had made it clear that she would be disowned from the family if she continued to see me. If we had spent more time together without the "just for fun/10 weeks only" thing hanging over us maybe I could feel comfortable asking her to stay but with the situation as it was it seemed too much for her to risk.
But, being in love we kept up correspondence. She called almost everyday only we kept our phone conversations short.
When it turned out that even though I was a new employee I got summer vacation she was able to arrange to come see me for the week. I was pretty worried with the threat her parents had made and she told me she would have to lie about what she was doing. When she got here she told me that she was able to tell her mother the truth, that she would be staying with me for the week. That her motther understood but not dad.
So, we had a wonderful week together. Had a great time, went here and their, out to dinners, movies etc and got very close but in the end, the last day, we talked about it and it was clear again that there was really no way for us to continue the relationship. Her plans were to go to Canada for a year to study English. My plans were to stay in Japan for a year or two. We were not far enough along in our relationship to get married. She had no reason to be in Japan and would need a visa which she could most likely not get. I was not ready quit my job I only started 4 months ago to run away to Canada or some other place with her on our limited and unusual experience to date (having done that once when I was 19)
And so, being Adults, we had to painfully decide that the only thing there really is to do is end it. Even though neither of us really wanted to we also could see no other way to continue.
I guess this is what my Japanese teacher would call "an adult story".
She got married today. There would be nothing to post though if that was all there was to it. I really expected her to go back to Korea and in 2−3 months meet some guy and basically forget about me. But, she didn't and neither did I meet anyone with which to basically forget about her. We kept in contact from time to time over the years. Then, a few months ago she told me she was getting married.
I would be happy for her except she's basically just following her parent's wishes. The guy is someone she met through matchmaking or something along those lines or so it seems and she says he's a good guy but she's not really in love with him.
To some degree that's the "Asian" way for many people. Sorry if that offends anyone but I've been told by quite a few locals that that's the way it often is in Taiwan, Korea, China and Japan.
She believes she is doing the right thing and she'll grow to love him and I sincerely hope she does but I wish she was doing it for love.