With the return after 18 years of new Cardcaptor Sakura anime content this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about my past self. In high school, not too long after the original Cardcaptor Sakura series finished up, I found out about it and got really into it. It remains my all-time favorite anime and manga; I simply love everything about it. The characters, the art, the designs, the voice actors–it’s all exactly to my taste. It was true when I first started liking it in high school and it’s true today (I’ve been rewatching a lot of the anime in preparation).
Of course, one of the most important things I liked about it was that Sakura ends up finding her #1 person she loves most in the world, which is Syaoran, and we also get to see Syaoran slowly falling in love with her before she even realizes her own feelings, which is adorable. I loved their relationship which turns from rivals to love, and I always wished to find that for myself. Ever since I can remember I’ve been obsessed with the idea of finding the right person for me to spend my life with.
But 18 years later, I still haven’t found that, and despite all my other successes in life it’s enough to make me feel ashamed. I tend to have a lot of pride, and I don’t like the idea of people feeling sorry for me. It’s enough that I’m afraid to write this now, worried that someone who doesn’t like me but may be keeping tabs on me (like any former friends, or my ex-boyfriend, who I had to disconnect with on Twitter a few months back because he seemed to constantly be looking for chinks in my armor and ways to subtly put me down, probably so he could feel reassured about his own life choices) can use this information to feel better about themselves and superior to me.
And, yeah, I find myself single again, burned by a Japanese guy yet again, wondering if I’ll ever learn or if there’s even any hope for what I’m looking for in this country, and faced yet again with the same decision that’s been plaguing me for years now–relatively convenient, comfortable, fun life in Japan albeit with slim to no chance of meeting the person I want to meet, or life back in the US which will probably be much less convenient and easy, but definitely full of other people who have the same values as me and who are also looking for a serious relationship.
It just seems like people in Japan aren’t really looking for a serious romantic partnership the same way I am. When people get married here, very rarely are they deeply in love. Or even if they are, both of them seem to know that it doesn’t matter if they aren’t deeply in love forever. Both of them know that more than anything, they’re entering into an almost businesslike partnership–they will live together and raise children, and it’s okay if they’re not in love forever as long as they like each other enough to share a space together. So when they date, there’s definitely elements of romance but it still feels very superficial. It’s rare to find someone who’s actually interested in forming a deeper bond, and in making the changes in their life and in their communication style that will allow for that deeper bond to form.
Throw in the fact that I’m shallow and want to date someone relatively cute, not overweight, who preferably speaks English but is at least cool with the idea of non-Japanese people in general (it gets tiring when they’re very wide-eyed about it), who can understand if not join in on my nerdy hobbies, who’s nice and a fundamentally good person–oh and of course single–and I’m basically looking for a needle in a haystack, if he even exists at all. And of course there’s the other non-Japanese guys here too, but most are either weird, taken, not attractive, only here for a short time, and/or only interested in dating Japanese/Asian girls. Plus, they’re only 0.5% of the population, narrowing the chances even more.
I’m actually okay with this most recent breakup, because I was having a lot of doubts about him myself and if we were really right together (I never felt like I was falling in love, but then I was also afraid to because I didn’t want to get hurt again) and if he was really a good person (his actions could be very selfish at times, and I felt like I was constantly disappointed waiting for him to remember he needed to behave like he had a girlfriend–another person in his life to consider. But he never did). I’m still annoyed that he used an upcoming 3-6 month business trip to first noticeably pull away from me and then, when I asked him about it, admit it was on the horizon and that he thought it would be “impossible” for us to keep dating in light of that.
Anytime a Japanese person uses the word “impossible” (無理) with you, consider it the strongest no you’re ever going to receive, and back off right there because you’re not going to change their mind.
So I didn’t try to appeal to him or anything, but I’m pretty angry that he found out about this trip, decided all on his own that it meant we had to be over without asking me my thoughts at all (maybe I wouldn’t have minded long distance!), and yet didn’t make any moves to tell me himself until I called him out on being distant. Obviously what this means is that his feelings for me actually weren’t that strong or he would have made more of an effort to find a way to stay together–it’s clear he used this as an excuse to break up which it seems he already wanted to do, which is fine because I did too, but I’m still annoyed with how he handled it.
And if he did want to break up then I honestly don’t understand why because I was basically the perfect girlfriend. I was sweet and understanding of him at all times, only a few times being like “Hey! Please remember me and tell me about stuff!” but not angrily, one time getting pretty upset when he overslept a meeting time but not berating him and we made up pretty quickly. I was fun, lively, an otaku just like him. I’m really at a loss as to what it turns out he didn’t like about me, and also annoyed that it turns out he never appreciated any of that!
(Is it because I don’t wear underwear to sleep? That really freaked him out! And when I said it was for medical reasons–to prevent yeast infections–he doubted me! That was incredibly frustrating because I came face to face with men’s blissful entitlement, never having to know about the pain of periods or cramps or yeast infections and not just that but also not believing women when we talk about how bad they are! What a luxury to never know about that stuff and also doubt its reality! Still, in the moment, I was more incredulous than angry.)
Anyway, so yeah. Oh, and my birthday just passed, so I am a year older. Trying not to think about that…