Ghosted by my Japanese boyfriend

[Edit 9/27/17: This post ended up being fairly successful SEO-wise, so if you’ve come here looking for answers because you’ve been ghosted by your own Japanese guy or suspect you may have been, I don’t have any answers but I do have plenty of sympathy for you! I don’t know if my situation will help you feel better or not. Two years later and I never heard from Shiki again. I attempted once to reach out and just ask him how he was, and he responded by deleting his entire LINE account. If I could do it all over again, well, first I would remind myself that he was scum for treating me like that and I didn’t want him anyway. Second, I would have tried to be really patient, distract myself with my own stuff, and wait for him to contact me (but I tried that at the time, and I couldn’t do it). I definitely drove him away with my actions, and I acted too clingy and needy. So if you want to keep your guy, don’t do what I did. But also know this—he was a jerk for abandoning me like that without fully explaining the situation, which drove me to behave like that. I still have some deep wounds from this, but I feel more secure in myself now and I won’t let this happen ever again. I also suspect that Shiki was actually gay, which explains a lot (a lot).] 

Well… it’s officially over. For me, anyway. It was probably over for him back in June or even May, and while I began letting go in July, it took me until August 1 to tell him–just in case there was any doubt at all, which there probably wasn’t–that we were through. And this entry is going to be me attempting to get all of my emotions about this out, like a catharsis, so I can move on.

My last post was June 11. The last email I received from him was on June 9, in which he called me scary for saying I wanted to come over and see him in the morning before work and comfort him, and since then I did not hear from him at all. At first I continued to send supportive, lighthearted messages 1-2 times a week. At first, I told myself not to expect a response. But… I started to want some sort of reply, some sort of acknowledgment that what I was doing was helping him. And I was beginning to have a very, very bad feeling about all this; my faith was running out.

I also heard from his youngest brother during June (but only after I pestered him over various social media, honestly worried that Shiki might be depressed/suicidal because of his work situation. It turns out selective avoidance is a family trait!). His brother basically said that while he does not have contact with Shiki (and he also let me know that the middle brother is moving away from Tokyo – ??), June is also a busy month for that industry. His advice was to wait for the busy period to end. That gave me a bit of hope and around the end of June, I had one last burst of determination to wait it out and keep being patient to see if he would come around.

On July 1, I sent him this:

It’s been more than three weeks since your last email you sent to me. Is everything okay? I feel worried when you don’t respond to me at all. Worried about you (and your mental/physical health), and about us. I really hope you’re doing all right. ><
I’d really like to see you or hear from you sometime soon. I think that would help both of us.
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is this Sunday, July 5 at noon. I’m nervous… >< If you have a chance, could you wish me luck?
I know June was also a busy month. Do you think July will be less busy for you?
….No reply… And of course he didn’t wish me luck or say anything to me on JLPT test day. (I took N1 again, and it went fairly okay, by the way. Hoping I passed.)

Anyway, the lack of response was starting to feel hurtful and/or worrisome, depending on how lenient I felt. I had asked him to wish me luck on the test he had studied with me for in February (we had a few study sessions back then where he studied for some legal certification and I studied JLPT N1), and he didn’t. No matter what, it just didn’t seem like a good sign. If he really cared about me, no matter how busy he was, he would have made some attempt to reach out by now. How hard would it have been to say “Good luck” to me on July 5? But he didn’t. It was beginning to feel deliberate, not like he was too debilitated by a busy work schedule and depression to do anything but sleep, eat, and go to work (as had been my assumption up until that point).

So, by the time my company summer vacation rolled around, I was feeling pretty done with things. I had talked to several people about the situation by that point, and everyone agreed this guy was a dud (which was hard for me to accept, but by that point I really just had to). When I protested that I still needed to get my stuff back from his place, that it couldn’t be over until I did, people told me to let the stuff go or joked that he’d already thrown it out (but I knew he wouldn’t have, it’s just not in his personality). I couldn’t let it go though because that was one of my favorite pairs of PJ pants. Anyway, I used my summer vacation to spend 10 days back in the U.S. relaxing at my parents’ house. I also ended up making about $3,800 doing freelance translation for a new client, who I hope becomes a steady client. While I was home, I couldn’t help rethinking the Shiki situation and feeling bitter. So, on July 19, I sent him this:

You are a coward.

You have hurt me deeply by just ending our relationship in the worst way – not contacting me anymore. Is that any way to treat your girlfriend of 9 months? I have cried and felt so sad and lonely over the past three months, and it is your fault. I have tried to help you and be there for you and comfort you and encourage you, and in return you have insulted me and ignored me. All I know is that work is busy, but I don’t know why, and I don’t know what your schedule is like, and I don’t know when it will end.

And you won’t even take responsibility and talk to me about it. You won’t even let me get any answers.

「はなさない」や「大好きだよ」や「Don’t move back to the U.S.」と言ってくれた優しい彼氏はどこ?(Where is the sweet boyfriend who told me “I won’t let you go” and “I love you” and “Don’t move back to the U.S.”?)
なんで消えちゃったの?本当に仕事の忙しさだけが理由? (Why did you disappear? Is work busyness really the only reason?)
なんでちゃんと向き合って話してくれないの? (Why won’t you face me properly and talk to me?)
なんで逃げてるの?なんで返事をくれないの? (Why are you running away? Why won’t you give me an answer?)

I hope you know that you can’t avoid me forever. You still have things that belong to me and until I get them back I’m not going to just fade away and leave you alone, even though I know that’s what you want.

I did decide to move back to the U.S., by the way. You told me not to, that you didn’t want me to, but then you disappeared, so what am I supposed to do?

You might as well tell me something so I know what the hell is going on with you. I suspect you’re depressed because of your work situation, but that’s no excuse for just abandoning a relationship with someone you supposedly care(d) about – with someone you led to believe you truly cherished, and who waited for you to come around for so long.
I think you need to be a man and take responsibility.

You’re the one who asked me to be your girlfriend, so you need to take responsibility for ending this relationship clearly if that’s what you want.

I want to hear an answer from you. I’m sick of waiting.

Yeah, I went into beast mode, which my ex Kirk will be quite quite familiar with, though I had never taken this tone with Shiki before. Yet again… and predictably… no reply.

I decided that once I got back to Japan (on Monday July 27), I would go over to his apartment one morning without warning, wait for the time when he normally leaves for work, and ask for my pajamas back.

So, on Wednesday July 29, I did that. I sat down in the hallway outside his apartment door (I knew based on past experience that even if I knocked, he wouldn’t open) and waited for him to come out around 8 a.m. He did come out, was clearly shocked to see me, and I walked up to him and said (in English) “You have my stuff.” He looked confused, so I said in Japanese “荷物 [stuff]” and he got it. He went back inside and dug up my pajamas and gave them to me. His hair had been cut into a spiky style at some point in the THREE MONTHS we hadn’t seen each other, and I really didn’t like it. He looked much better before. He had moved my pajamas from the hall closet where I’d put them to one of the plastic boxes under his bed (why?!), so he had to rummage around to find them. There were big, thin boxes in the hallway of his place, like for a bookshelf or something. I started crying (good thing I was wearing sunglasses), and he seemed shaken up too (well, probably also surprised to see me outside his apartment).

We walked to the station together (only 30 seconds) – although he realized he forgot his train pass (maybe proof of how unsettled he was to see me) and had to go back to his apartment to grab it, and though he told me to go on ahead I waited, and when he came out he rushed past me and I had to jog to catch up – and along the way I told him “I want to talk to you, when do you have time to do that?” After a long silence where I wasn’t even sure he was going to answer me at all, he finally said “Sunday….” and when I asked when on Sunday, trying to clarify that he had meant he’d have time to meet then, he paused for a long time again (at this point I had gone down to his platform with him, practically chasing after him, he was clearly in a hurry to get to work and/or possibly to not be near me anymore), and finally I said “Then could I come over at 9pm on Sunday?” and he nodded/said yes, so I said I would and then left – his train was coming in – and went to the platform on the other side to go to work.

It was a lot more unsettling to see him than I’d thought… and for us to interact with absolutely no affection, no physical contact whatsoever for the first time, it just really drove home that things have changed and are over between us, which was really hard to experience. I’d gone through that when Kirk and I were fighting – the interaction that’s tense and not normal, no physical affection – but this was obviously different, as we hadn’t seen each other in 3 months and he hadn’t contacted me in a month and a half and definitely seemed to be considering us over already – so it was more like having an awkward encounter with an ex, which I’d never gone through before.

I’m not sure why I set up a time for us to talk more, since I knew even then that it was likely to be even more painful and his answers don’t really matter anyway. I wasn’t even sure he’d keep the appointment, but I was hoping it would help make a clean break, and I HAVE been saying this whole time all I wanted was to talk to him. I just wanted to establish that we are, in fact, broken up and that’s what he wants.

But of course, he canceled the day of. Around 6pm on Sunday August 2, he replied to the angry email I had sent July 19 (quoted above) with this:

今日仕事でいない (I won’t be there because of work today)

The も at the end is senseless. Yet another poorly composed email from him that gives the impression that he’s too frazzled from work to even write properly. Who even knows the truth anymore, though? Does he really have to work past 9pm on a Sunday? If he does, clearly the insane schedule is still going on. But that’s his fault for not prioritizing his own mental and physical health, and also his relationship, and letting all of that be sacrificed just so he can do everything his job asks of him. If he’s been lying to me this whole time, and actually something else happened (like he got back together with an ex, or whatever), then I still deserved an explanation. In any case, he needed to make time for me and to either explain the situation or end things properly. And he failed to.

I wrote back with this:

Ok. I thought you’d cancel so I’m not surprised. Rescheduling would be pointless so I won’t try. If you ever want to talk, you can ask me. 

Just in case there is any doubt, we are broken up now. Thanks for the memories. Enjoy your work-filled life. 
P.S. Your haircut looks dumb. 

Normally, I wouldn’t have added that last dig at him, but I was drinking sake on a patio way out on the Chuo line with my friends and I had one of them push the send button for me.

It bothers me that he chose to cancel by replying to the last email I had sent him, proving that he IS aware of the emails and he’s reading them, he’s just choosing not to reply and to ignore me, knowing what that means. How could he end up being so terrible, I just don’t understand it…

Whatever. He has to live with the fact that he hurt me in this way, and I’ve made sure he knows it and knows what a terrible thing he did (regardless of how much his work schedule influenced it, if it in fact did). If he wanted to avoid facing the consequences of his hurtful actions and the proof that he’s hurt and upset me, he didn’t get to do that. I put it in his face anyway. I’m annoyed I spent so much time pitying him and coming up with excuses and rationales for his behavior.

This is easily the worst breakup I’ve ever had (but to be fair, the other two were pretty clean breaks and this is the only messy one I’ve ever experienced), and I hate that it’s like an open wound now, and it still pisses me off when I think about it. I’m actually still in shock. He was so sweet, and we were so happy spending time together, and he did and said so many things that made it clear he really cared about me and wanted to keep seeing me… I don’t understand how he could have done this, and how things got weird for good AFTER he put all that effort into our 6-month anniversary. I’m just blindsided. Yeah, it’s ghosting, but I just don’t understand. Why?

I’ll write more about my feelings about this whole thing, but I wanted to get the facts and an update out in case anyone was curious. Sympathy is MUCH appreciated!

There is hope for my dating future, however. I had a very nice first date on Friday, we hit it off and both find each other attractive and have a lot of common (or at least related) nerdy interests, and we should be seeing each other for more if everything keeps going well. If it doesn’t, I’ll just take a nice long break from dating while I lick my wounds.

I’m still feeling very hurt and rejected, even though I tried to reclaim some of the power in my last email to him and reject HIM. But it’s obvious that he was checked out since May/June, or maybe even earlier, no matter how big of a role the busy work schedule played. I know I did my best and I was a great girlfriend and I did more and hung in there for longer than most people reasonably would, and if that wasn’t enough for him then that’s on him for not appreciating what he had and honestly telling me if it wasn’t working for him anymore or if he wasn’t able to pay attention to a girlfriend anymore. He’s a coward and avoidant and he has to live with that and live being that way. I get to move on and know that I am capable of real love and a real, secure partnership with someone who thinks I’m amazing and deserving of all their love, and I will find it.

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“Men are weak and easily overwhelmed.”

I don’t really even know where to begin. I didn’t want to write about what I’m going through at all until it’s over, which I was hoping would be around now, but I’m starting to think it’s going to take a while longer, so I might as well try to get some of these emotions out.

It has been a difficult year so far, overall. In January, I got a new manager of my team, who was promoted over my former team leader who I had adored. Starting in the fall (when she got back from maternity leave – previously, when I started my job, it had just been him as our team leader and I had loved it) they had worked together as team leaders, and I had not taken to her from the first. She almost gleefully informed everyone in December that he was leaving the team to go “elsewhere” (she didn’t seem to care where, as long as he was gone) and that she would be promoting a new person to be team leader while she took the manager role (which had been vacated in July). Well, in the end, my former team leader accepted a position as leader of the international localization San Francisco team (still the same company, but our subsidiary/American branch); however, no one could say when his American visa would be ready. So in the meantime, he would be hanging out with our department, essentially stripped of his team leader duties and responsibilities (but not his salary), communicating over skype with the San Francisco people as he awaited his visa and departure for the US. Today, June 10, he had his interview at the American embassy and he’ll be departing for the US in a week or so.

I am so very glad he’s stuck around these past few months because it has been really difficult for me to adjust to being under my new boss’s leadership (or should I say dictatorship). She has decided I am unworthy, and she has decided he is unworthy, so we have basically grown closer as a result. I’ve gone out for dinner with him and had lots of long conversations. For a few weeks we even got to have our desks next to each other and we talked a lot then too. I’m going to miss him and I’m glad I got this time to get to know him better.

But for a long time, I wanted to quit this job, and it was causing me a lot of anguish. I talked to several recruiters, met with one, scheduled and then canceled a couple job interviews… and I still have one eye on the market, but I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the best, highest-paying, most stable, and most fun job I can get here, and I am probably not going to find a better one, so I should make the most of it and make my peace with staying here. I can’t be fired, so I don’t have to worry about that.

In late March, Shiki and I had a hanami picnic just the two of us, and I told him about how I was going through so much difficulty with my job, it was making me question even being here in Japan at all. I said I was considering moving back to the US. He told me not to go, that he didn’t want me to go. In early March we took an overnight trip to an onsen town in Gunma together that he knew about. We stayed at a ryokan he was familiar with where all the baths could be privately reserved with your room plaque, and spent the night getting very drunk together, going to the large outdoor bath amid a snowy landscape all around us, and tumbling into each other’s arms naked in the middle of the water, giggling happily, drunk on sake and love. I recall us declaring to each other “Hanasanai!” I won’t let you go! We broke a sake glass and I scraped my knee against the concrete blocks inside the pool. It hasn’t fully healed yet. We spent the next day petting lemurs in a tropical dome and soaking our feet at a cafe with a foot bath.

From the beginning, Shiki has been possibly the best boyfriend I’ve ever had. He is always willing to listen to me, even my complaints, he contacts me every weekday, he shows me how much he adores me, he lets me get my way, and I feel happy and secure when I’m with him. We also laugh and giggle a lot about silly things both in person and over text. We text every weekday and see each other at least every weekend, sometimes on weekdays too. We spent a few weeks in February meeting up on weeknights to go running around his neighborhood and/or to a nice public bath a few stops north of his house. In one of our March chats, I had summoned up the courage to say “Daisuki.” I love you. (Well, one of the ways to say it in Japanese.) He had immediately responded “Boku mo daisuki yo.” I love you too. He speaks English fluently, but we usually fall back on Japanese. We had maybe mumbled it to each other before tipsy on his bed, but this was the first time saying it clearly. All of my friends always tell me how happy I look, how I start grinning when they ask about him and when his name comes up. Our relationship has been filled with sweet, romantic, caring gestures that make it clear how highly he thinks of me, and I’ve basked in the glow. I’m speaking in present tense, but actually almost none of that has been true for months now.

Starting in about March, Shiki’s own job ramped up in intensity. To insane levels. And I wish I could say this has a happy ending, but so far it doesn’t. It just gets worse. I found this out later, but evidently March, April, and May are the most intense months for his industry. I wish he’d told me; I wish he’d warned me. Maybe it’s worse this year than ever before and even he didn’t see it coming. But one day, he didn’t text me around 8:30 or 9 when he got home the way he always had before. Always, without fail (maybe skipping one day here and there), since we started dating he would LINE message me when he got home every weeknight and we would chat for about 30 minutes. But then he didn’t text the next day, or the next. And the last messages had been him telling me that he wasn’t feeling well. Then the weekend came, and I didn’t hear from him all weekend. Of course I sent numerous messages asking if he was okay. No response to any of it. By the end of it, I was clawing my eyes out with anxiety and worry.

I did the one thing I could think of: I went to his apartment around the time he leaves for work (8am) to see if I could run into him. This was around March 17 or so. I woke up that morning at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Finally I decided to just go over there, knowing it was potentially a crazy move. I knocked on his door over and over. No answer. I texted him that I was there; nothing. I gave up, I walked back to the station (only 30 seconds away). Then my friend suggested I leave him a note to let him know I’d come by. I decided to go back and just as I was borrowing paper from the building manager, he stumbled around the corner. His skin was pallid and he was wearing a mask. He looked like the walking dead. He started stumbling towards the station; I fell into step next to him. He put an arm around my waist, almost out of habit. I asked him if he was okay, I told him he shouldn’t be going to work. He mumbled almost incoherently that he had to go, that he was going to work. Tears were streaming down my face; I was so relieved and yet worried for him. We said goodbye just inside the ticket gates and got on trains going separate directions.

I felt better having seen him; I knew why he hadn’t contacted me. He was clearly stressed and ill from feeling sick but also having to work anyway. I didn’t contact him for a few days. Sometime around the next week he contacted me, using a different method than LINE; it showed up on my phone as a text even though it came from a Gmail address. We had a long conversation in which I found out that he really wasn’t doing well. I told him I thought he was burned out. During this conversation or another, he told me he’d gone to the doctor and the doctor had recommended he take 1-3 months off. That’s how stressed he appeared. But of course he couldn’t do that; work was too busy.

I managed to see him on March 22 after the Free! voice actors event. We almost didn’t meet because even though he’d gotten the day off, he’d accidentally taken a key and had to go back to work to give it back to someone. But I insisted, and by the time I got to his place, he was back from going to give the key back. We basically just cuddled and relaxed in bed. I felt so happy and I hoped the busy period was over. He was still tired but had an attitude of “I’ve worked enough overtime this month; no more.” I didn’t bring up my issues with the decreased communication because I thought things were getting better. They sort of were. He had the next weekend off (and to my knowledge, that is the last weekend he’s had fully off since), and we met on Saturday to run the Imperial Palace loop, then we showered and had the hanami picnic for two. Then I had a friend’s birthday dinner, so I left him to go to that, then came home, then went over to his place and spent the night. Again, we just cuddled and relaxed and watched TV. In the morning, he had plans to meet a friend to go textbook shopping and I met a friend and her boyfriend for lunch.

But then in April, the decreased communication issues came back. If I texted him, he wouldn’t respond. I was having increasing frustrations with my job and I wanted to talk to him about it, but he wouldn’t reply to anything. I felt so miserable that I spent one morning just sobbing in bed about the situation, then Skyped my mom, crying the entire time. I picked myself up and went to go meet a freelance game translator who could help teach me more about breaking into that field and getting to know a wider network of other game translators in Tokyo. Then I had a friend meet me in Tokyo and we walked around Shinjuku Gyoen discussing the Shiki situation. I still felt utterly miserable, but seeing the cherry blossoms cheered me up a little.

Eventually I resorted to showing up at his door one day again. I knocked and he didn’t answer. I texted him I was outside and finally he replied and asked me to wait downstairs. I said no. He opened the door and I hugged him and started crying. We stood there for several long moments just holding each other. Then we walked to the station together and this time I went to his platform and waited with him for his train to arrive, hugging him. I left feeling that hopefully I had brightened his day a little, given him some human contact. Whenever the wind blew on me for the next few hours, it blew back some of his cologne that had gotten onto my skin and clothes.

Finally, on Friday April 17, as I was drinking with friends after a hash run, I got some messages from him saying that we might be able to meet this weekend, if not the following week. I happily made plans with him for Sunday, feeling ecstatic. Then he texted Saturday night that he was really sorry but he had to work after all. I said that’s okay and that I would come see him in the morning one day that week – Wednesday April 22, our 6-month anniversary. On Tuesday, around 9 or 10 (a rare time), he suggested that I come at night on Wednesday instead, since he thought he’d be getting off work early. Surprised and thrilled, I accepted. I came over and was treated to a steak feast. While a part of me was bitter that I was finally being let inside the apartment I had been denied access to for almost a month by that point, the rest of me was happy and grateful to learn he had gotten up early that morning to cook the carrots and potatoes for our dinner, and that he had gone out to a bakery and purchased a single-size Mont Blanc and strawberry shortcake for us to have for dessert. He pan-fried steak slices and we had a wonderful meal, complete with champagne to celebrate 6 months. After dinner, I couldn’t help getting into some of my recent difficulties with my job and the frustration I’d had with him not being around to listen to me. I told him how lonely I’d been, in a somewhat accusatory/whiny/sad tone of voice. I was crying. He hugged me tight and said he was so sorry that he’d made me feel lonely. (I couldn’t help but note that there were no promises things would be different going forward, however.) I told him again that I was thinking of moving back to the US, and he hugged me tighter and told me with emotion in his voice not to go, again.

Later we giggled over silly Youtube videos, then had a sexy shower together. He was too exhausted to do anything more, though, and we fell asleep. In the morning he made Italian coffee for us. At the station, I waited with him on his platform until his train came before going over to my platform on the other side to catch my train. While it was a great time together, and I was so grateful for all the effort he put into it, part of me felt a little unsettled for some reason as I walked to work afterwards.

That was the last time we’ve met since then. And contact is still at basically minimal levels. A week after that, I found out about the March-April-May = busy season for his industry thing. I decided I would try to just be supportive and not bother him too much all throughout May. But it was very hard to do that when he stopped sending even any responses. In March and April, if I went to his apartment at night and left a bag of healthy drinks and soup on his door, he would thank me a few days later. When I did it in May, I got no acknowledgment at all. He would not respond to any texts of any sort, whether encouragement texts (which he had thanked me for once in April) or texts asking if things were still busy and if we could meet. I told him I was proud of him, I tried not to say how much I missed him or how hard it was for me. I noticed, however, that the one way I could be guaranteed a response was if I announced I was coming over in the morning one day. He would never fail to reply the night before telling me I couldn’t, and in May the reason was that he had to go in even earlier. The replies would come at 2:15 or 2:30 am, telling me how late he’d been working. If he was working until 2:30 am and then leaving for work at 6 or 7, he cannot have been getting much sleep.

I tried to understand that he must be going through life in a stressed, overwhelmed haze, but it was also hard for me to only hear from him once a week at my instigation and to keep thinking “now it’s been two weeks since we’ve seen each other… three… now it’s been a month…” The whole issue took/has taken on the level of obsession in my mind. It is very hard for me not to be thinking about it in some form or fashion all of the time. It was hard for me to go from feeling just about perfectly fulfilled and satisfied in my relationship to frustrated, neglected, lonely, and depressed–yet not willing to give up. If time and energy, not his feelings for me, are the main roadblocks here, and I don’t even want to contemplate the Tokyo dating scene again, then why not just wait? Or rather, try to focus on myself and my own hobbies and interests, and my own mental health, and see if he’ll come along in time.

This was the opposite of the attitude I had when this exact thing happened with Mitsu over a year ago. He was already a crappy boyfriend who was overly critical of me, so when his work got busy and he disappeared and stopped contacting me as frequently as I’d gotten used to, I had much less patience and resolved to break it off the next time we met up, and I did. (I also wrote then, “I’m a little jaded now on whether [Japanese guys are] all going to be like this (shunt me aside as soon as work gets crazy, no matter what’s going on in my life)” – prophetic words, unfortunately, at least in my experience.) But in this case, I decided that because Shiki had been so amazing, and I’d been so happy, it was worth hanging on to, or at least waiting until I could talk to him, before cutting anything off. After all, my only option would be to send an email/text informing him that it’s over.

Unfortunately, my mental health crumbled around the start of May. Probably the job frustrations began it, and then losing my boyfriend’s presence in my life were the final straw. Depression with a dose of anxiety appeared in full force. I was so lonely, and yet I was turning down social invitations because even those couldn’t get my mind off this. I spent a weekend or two at home, utterly miserable, refusing to join my friends on their plans. Over Golden Week – which we had said we’d spend together; we had discussed it and agreed to remain in Tokyo, we had spent that night in April discussing potential things to do together, and then I never heard from him and can only assume he worked through it – I made a series of plans, such as seeing my host family, but I was depressed and thinking about this situation the entire time. After that I decided I would go back on my meds.

I have been on them for about a month now, and it’s still hard. It’s getting easier, and they are definitely helping, but there are still days when I wake up in the depths of despair. And they have not made my near-constant ruminations on the state of my relationship go away.

Last night, the worst happened. We didn’t break up, so maybe that’s too dramatic–or it’s too dramatic anyway–but it was like I had been dreading and worrying and fearing that our relationship would reach some sort of catastrophic climax as a result of him being too busy to contact me and me feeling so lonely and depressed about the loss of his presence in my life, however temporary, and then it more or less happened. He had told me towards the end of May in a response to one of my requests to come over in the morning that no, he had to go in early so it wasn’t possible, but “how would towards the end of next week be?” I was happy that he had suggested a potential time to meet. But when that time rolled around, I didn’t hear from him. Well, I sort of did. That Friday I got a phone call from him around 4:45 pm. I was shocked to see his name come up, as he never calls me, and certainly not in the afternoon during work hours. I picked up, but all I heard was electronics boops and beeps. It was almost certainly a butt dial. I hung up and called back; he didn’t pick up. I texted “Hey, you just called me – ???” No answer. I still don’t know for sure what happened. He has yet to explain it.

I emailed him that weekend that I was planning to come over one morning. On Monday night – this was about a week ago now – I got a reply saying that (translated) “things are busy for a while, so please be understanding, please go easy on me, please forgive me.” The one good thing is that it came on June 1, and I had suspected there was a deadline May 31, and it was at 11:30 pm, not 2:30 am, so he wasn’t working as late. But I was also disappointed as I had hoped June would herald a calmer schedule and less overtime and thus less stress. However, the message was almost entirely hiragana, he hadn’t even had the energy to convert to kanji. Another marker of stress.

I did not email him all that week, except for a photo of my cat and a short encouraging message “from” her in the middle of the week. On Sunday, I emailed that I planned to come over Wednesday morning. I had started to feel like enough was enough; it had been since April and if I could just see him, I could beam supportive, comforting, healing rays at him and show him that I can help him, that I can soothe his stress. He seems to be thinking that I’m mad at him and I wanted to show him with my calm presence that it’s not the case at all. I could give him a hug and provide him with needed human touch and contact. We could reestablish a bit of a connection to take back into our respective workdays. I told him that I wanted to hug him and I wanted to comfort him.

Last night, I received a reply. It was a flat refusal. No, tomorrow was impossible. He’s very busy with work, and didn’t he just email me recently? Why am I trying to come over? That’s scary (too intense, pushy). He’s very sorry but tomorrow is impossible. That was the gist of the email. Reading between the lines – with the help of a Japanese friend – what he is saying is “I am too busy with work right now and too stressed to even contemplate another person in my life right now. I cannot focus on my relationship at this moment. Also, I am a little annoyed that you don’t seem to understand this.”

Once I understood this, I wrote back “I understand. I’ll give you some space then. I’m sorry for bothering you while you’re busy.” And I’m not going to contact him after that. I may, further down the line depending on how much time passes, but it’s up to him now. If he values me and our connection the way I thought it was worth valuing and holding onto, then when things calm down he will reach out. And if he doesn’t after a reasonable amount of time has passed, then we will have to meet up so I can get my PJs and travel brush (which I left at his place) back and we will break up. I’ll be very, very sad to see what I thought was a good relationship and a good person for me go, but that will just be how it is. If that happens. The thing is, I can’t know that now. The uncertainty… is not something I’m good at dealing with. It makes me very uncomfortable. I want to know now – will he come back to me? Won’t he? Will we be able to have a talk about his behavior and figure out a mutually satisfactory way to communicate even when things get busy, or will he not be willing to do that? But I don’t know that, and I can’t know that now. I want to believe that he knows we have something special, and once he emerges from the fog of stress and sleep deprivation and overwork, he’ll remember that and come after me, but maybe he won’t. And even if he does, he’s going to have to prove himself. He made me very happy, but now he’s also made me very unhappy. He’s said many promising things (“I love you,” “I won’t let you go,” “Let’s talk later,” “I want to work hard to get back to a normal life where I can see you,” “Don’t move to the US,” “Please forgive me,” “How about meeting ___?”) in the past few months, but will he follow through on them, or will he just run out of energy and be content to see us fade away and me fade out of his life?

(I asked my Japanese friend if this sort of thing was common in Japan – the communication issues, contact totally ceasing once his work gets busy – knowing already that it was, but wanting confirmation. She instantly responded “Yes. Men are weak and easily overwhelmed.” She told me that she doesn’t date Japanese men for this reason.)

Part of me is annoyed that even though I tried my hardest to be supportive of him, to play the good Japanese girlfriend putting on a happy face, I still couldn’t help letting my American neediness show through at times, asking if we could meet and if he could contact me, and that may have turned him off. I’m annoyed that while I tried my hardest, tried so so so hard, it still wasn’t good enough. It could still have brought about the exact outcome I was trying to avoid–driving him away.

Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!

Well, that’s where me not contacting him for a good long time from here on out comes into play.

Part of me is curious to see whether he comes back to me or not. It doesn’t mean I’ll welcome him back with open arms and no questions. I do hope he comes back, but we will have to to talk about a lot of things.

All I know is that I don’t want to cut things off now without talking to him. There are cultural issues at play, and communication is key before I can make a decision. And until I can, I want to use that time for my own personal growth. Get new hobbies, go to therapy, keep taking my meds, reclaim my independence, go out on solo adventures around the city like I used to. Oddly, it will be better for me to have a boyfriend – even one I don’t see or talk to – during this time, because it will keep me from trawling dating sites and going on dates out of habit/desperation/boredom. I am also going to use this time to think seriously about when I want to move back to the US, and how soon in the future, and to think about what my goals for the next 5 years of my life are. I still want to find a life partner. Maybe Shiki is it, and maybe he isn’t (I admit, it doesn’t look likely now). But am I going to find that person in the US or in Japan? I just don’t know. Which is a better place for me to be in? I don’t know. Part of me wants desperately to live in my home country surrounded by family and friends again, but part of me enjoys the many perks of Japan such as safe, accessible travel and things like gyuudon, chu-hi, melon soda that I love. If I leave too soon, I might find myself desperately missing Japan and wishing to go back. But if I stay here too long, I risk losing my sanity and possibly my chances at finding the best life partner for me. At 29, with many/most of my peers engaged, married, or living with someone, I’m starting to get worried.

Last month, I had my friend do tarot for me. I asked him to look into what June would look like for me and Shiki. He pulled the Tower card. Change. Destruction to make way for change. Change from the ground up. Ultimately good change, but requires the destruction of existing, faulty systems. I was so afraid when I saw that card, and now it’s like it’s coming true. And only time will tell if the change is ultimately good or bad.

I like reading articles and stories about subjects like this, but I like to know how the story ends. I don’t know how this story ends. Probably everyone reading this is thinking “Likely not good. Likely a breakup in the end.” But who knows? Stay tuned, I guess. I wish I had a resolution to offer you, and to myself, but I don’t. I’m trying to be okay with that.

Relationships

After about seven months of dating failure after failure (with a constant undercurrent of a torturous, nonconstructive crush on someone at work), I just started going out with someone amazing and it’s made me think a lot about my previous relationships (all two of them!). Maybe it’s not quite fair (and maybe it’s the honeymoon period happy hormones talking) to compare someone I’ve only been formally dating for three weeks to the people I was with for almost 6 years and around 3 months, respectively, but it’s very hard not to do when even from the beginning he blows all of them out of the water. And it really makes me wonder what the hell I was doing especially with my last ex, Mitsu – I feel like I need to write a postmortem on that. I keep thinking back on that particular 3-month thing and certain things he did seem so weird now in hindsight. I was definitely right to break up with him in February.

Around my birthday (mid-January), at about two months together, things had been great and I had really thought we were in love. But then work got crazy for him and he put me right on the back burner, more or less without a word. Messages I sent to him during the workday on breaks would go unread and unreplied for hours, and maybe even not acknowledged at all that day. I didn’t even find out why things were so hectic at work for him (two people had left) until I started making a fuss about his unresponsiveness. This was the second time this issue with irregular communication had come up, and the first time he had been very apologetic. This time? I was basically told “This is how it is. You have to wait for my timing to be right for me to contact you.” I’m sorry, YOUR timing? What about my timing?? I am being stolen from at home, my job sucks, I’m trying to find a new place to live and a new job all at the same time and I can’t rely on you to be there for me when I need you to, only if it aligns with YOUR schedule! Once that happened, my feelings cooled FAST. Unbelievably fast. I considered holding onto him for the companionship and physical affection, even if the emotional component was long gone, but I couldn’t do it – I felt nothing for him anymore, and it meant I had zero patience for his crap (like asking me to help him hang up his laundry, or telling me what to do, or not being my ally when I encountered subtle racism in his presence [like being brought a spoon in a rice bowl restaurant when I was already using chopsticks, or being addressed in English], his reluctance to come over to my place instead of me coming to his), all of which I had forgiven at first. After a couple weeks of feeling like this, I was finally able to meet up with him in person and break up. […] So, that was my first relationship with a Japanese guy, lasted three months. I’m a little jaded now on whether they’re all going to be like this (shunt me aside as soon as work gets crazy, no matter what’s going on in my life), especially because I really thought Mitsu was a sweet guy, but now I see he was actually pretty selfish and inconsiderate.

I guess it’s easy to tell it probably wasn’t gonna last if you look back at what I wrote when we started dating

Getting a boyfriend hasn’t helped [my busy schedule] either – not that I’m not enjoying myself or that I don’t like him, of course! Quite the opposite, I’m having fun with a new experience and just sort of seeing how things go. He’s Japanese and we’ll call him Mitsu. But I think I realized right after I planned [the] first date […] that “Wait, I don’t have the time to be dating, what am I doing focusing energy on this?” But in the end I liked talking to him and we clicked in person […], and when he asked me to be his girlfriend a month ago I said yes. I don’t regret the decision but it’s just another thing to fit into my schedule….

Yeah, that sounds ビミョー (lukewarm) as hell. That does not sound like I’m excited to be with this person. I think it was just that it was two months after breaking up with Kirk, I’d gone on dates with two guys and I liked him better (we had a pretty funny exchange at the end of our first date about whether ghosts at a shrine would like to eat me, an American, or him, a Japanese, better). Plus, the notion of having my first Japanese boyfriend was very intriguing, and he did speak English too (something about the idea of only having a relationship in Japanese is weird to me – I want at least the option of English to be there too) and was fairly cute, so when he asked me to be his girlfriend during our second date (at Nichome – ha! Literally he asked me on the dance floor of a gay club), I agreed. But also, the dance floor was loud, so I hadn’t heard anything he’d said in the lead-up to actually asking me out – and based on the look on his face, it was probably some complimentary stuff. I really wished I’d heard that, because it was probably the only compliments he ever gave me. I’m serious. For the whole relationship I was left wondering WHY he wanted to date me, because he never said things like “You look cute” or “You’re so beautiful” or “You’re so smart” – and believe me, he had chances. I think the closest thing to a compliment I ever got was, when he was in a silly mood, he just busted out with (in English) “I love your pointy nose!!”

But there were just sooooo many issues. He prioritized his work and his hobbies above me – he was into foreign languages and always wanted to be studying one he already knew or learning a new one (which is probably why he always wanted us to speak English when we were together – which was ok, but I really prefer a bilingual experience where at least we have SOME Japanese too, or else it just feels like you’re using me), and he had high career goals and his company was a start-up so his job demanded a lot of his time, which I think he gave not only out of typical obligation to the company but out of a sense of pride too – “see how important I am, how much my job/company needs me.” He’d leave the office at night but continue working, and bring his laptop so he could work on the weekends too (he even brought it and did some work on a weekend trip we went on!). I think Kirk indulged in this too from time to time, but it just makes me roll my eyes. Unless you’re the president or a CEO or something, you aren’t important because of your job – you’re just not. But A LOT of guys especially get caught up in this. Fortunately, current boyfriend does not even though he does have a good job, and I’m SO glad. If he’s with me, he’s focused on me – he’s not taking work calls or answering work emails or even thinking about work. I love it. I even commented on that to him and he said exactly what I believe too – “When I’m with my girlfriend, that’s our time, not work time.” Ahhh~

Anyway, so yeah. The relationship with Mitsu is still just baffling because I don’t understand why he didn’t put more effort in and why he thought I’d be satisfied with so little, or why he even wanted to go out with me in the first place. I suspect now that he’s just a strange person, maybe even mildly asperger’s-y in some way, with how he was just completely focused on himself. Like, when I showed him the job posting for the job I was applying for (and eventually got), he read through it and murmured “Yeah, I have that. I have that too” and made it all about him (?!) instead of saying something like “You do have all these qualifications, I bet you’ll get it!” or something. And when I was taking the JLPT N1, it was minutes before the test began and I didn’t have a message from him wishing me good luck, even though he knew I was taking it. I had to bug him with reminders “About to take the JLPT!” before he finally sent me something. I just never felt like he was there for me emotionally. After we broke up I have never heard from him again (although we’re still facebook friends and I think he might have liked a random status once).

As for Kirk… I never really did a postmortem there either. Well, it was my first relationship, so (as with Mitsu where he was simply the most suitable, intriguing candidate at a time when I was curious about dating in his case a Japanese guy) it’s possible that it was just that Kirk was the one who stuck around and I didn’t run away from so he ended up as my first boyfriend at a time when it was getting to be ridiculous that I’d never had one. But also, things were good at the beginning. We were incredibly happy to have started dating and he even wrote me a mushy LiveJournal (lol) entry – that only I could see – during our first week together. Around our first Thanksgiving and Christmas (we started dating in October), we also had a lot of mushy, sweet moments. It was clear that he really adored me and thought I was amazing. (Although he gave me in-ear earphones for Christmas even though I had specifically told him not to get me that type of earphone because I hate it – he decided “well, this is the best one so I’m going to get it for her anyway” – which I didn’t appreciate, and he ended up returning them.)

The first bump in the road was after Christmas, when at a mutual friend’s party I realized that he had lied to me about something from his past – something I would have been totally fine knowing, but he decided that I was too innocent to be told the full truth and thus flat-out lied about it. Our first fight, and not a fun one at all. We also had a very uneven time around my birthday (mid-January) where I got too drunk and incapacitated and he was upset for various reasons related to that (reasons that were more concerned about his desires than mine). But we rallied and had an extremely romantic first Valentine’s Day together, and then things were going so well that I decided not to even consider going to teach in Japan directly after graduation but instead to stay in Dallas and work and wait for him to graduate (at that point we believed he had another year, though it would in fact take him 2.5 more years to graduate) and then we would go to Japan together.

Over the next six years a lot of things happened–my anxiety got out of control and I eventually needed meds and therapy, and while he tried his best to support that, it was essentially too much for him to handle. The passion and adoration I’d felt from him when we first started dating got eroded away (probably by the stress of dealing with an anxious, needy, afraid-everything-would-lead-to-death-at-all-times girlfriend), and I missed the loss sorely. I would be impatient and get mad at him, which he resented. My dreams of going to Japan kept getting postponed by his timeline, until eventually I just decided to go by myself. More and more, there was built-up resentment and not the spontaneity and passion that I wanted from a relationship. We had enough good times to keep us going, but we also fought regularly. We were long-distance for most of the relationship, and we’d usually fight during one of our visits to see each other, in some cases right upon coming in the door (when I was upset that he didn’t notice a dramatic haircut). Despite all that, I still felt that he was my best friend, and we had a lot of shared inside jokes, sounds, phrases we’d say… It made it very hard to let go, even when I left for Japan. We broke up a year after that, and the reason wasn’t the distance, it was that I realized he’d reached a limit for what he would do for me, and it was maxed out already. I thought if I moved back to Texas, we’d get engaged soon after (otherwise, why come back for him?) but all of the anxiety and resentment had given him serious doubts and he couldn’t promise that we’d do anything other than “see how things go” once I came back. If I had an anxiety attack that I wanted him to talk me through, instead of comforting me he’d increasingly say things like “I just don’t know if I can see myself marrying someone who does this.” I felt like I had to deal with my issues alone so as not to drive him away (more). And he definitely wouldn’t consider, ostensibly for career reasons, moving to Tokyo like I asked. So I initiated the conversation that led to the break-up.

It was a good decision… I still believe that. As I gain romantic experience, I see so many ways I wasn’t getting my needs met, but I put up with it because I didn’t know better or I thought the good outweighed it. Or if I tried to ask to have those needs met, it was just another way I was nagging him or bothering him to change – another source of resentment, even if he did comply. There were so many times when he did something with me because I’d asked, but did not hide the fact that he didn’t want to be there and was having a terrible time – whereas if he asked me to do something I wasn’t that thrilled about (like hang out with his parents), I always put on a happy face, I never sat around scowling and looking like I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I really wished he could have been a person who was more game to do something with me because I’d asked (Mitsu was similar, flat-out refusing to join me for a run with my group, claiming he had to work).

I was also determined to make my first relationship work, for whatever reason. I wanted to prove it to people around us (like my dad, or his ex) who thought we wouldn’t work and/or wanted to see us end, and part of me liked the idea of finding the one on my first try and never being with anyone else again. But it stings when I realize that he’d already let go of us a long time ago, and was just holding on maybe out of habit or kindness to me. Within a week of our break-up (again we were together almost 6 years and considered ourselves life partners/very serious), he had a new girlfriend. They dated for a couple months, then he got together with a girl at work instead and they’re still together. Meanwhile I was single for two months, dated someone for three months, single for seven months, and just when I’d given up on ever finding someone good – no really, I had – I meet someone. It’s so annoying how a good man is never single for very long, but good women are single for a long time.

But on to the new guy – Shiki (actually the name of one of my favorite guys from one of the games my company publishes! But the first mora of their names are the same). I know I’m biased and still high on honeymoon period feelings, but he’s really, really great, and I think my excitement is well-founded. So far, he has basically done everything right, and I’m super pleased. We met the same way I’ve met all the other guys – dating website, but this was a new one I had just signed up for, and it seemed like the guys there were more serious. At first I got some weird messages from older (40s-50s – my profile says I am looking for someone much younger) Japanese men in other cities (profile also says I want someone in Tokyo), or messages written in crappy English even though my profile is in both Japanese and English, which was annoying, but then I got this very sweet message from a cute, young (28) guy that actually referenced things in my profile and was written in half fluent English and half Japanese.

Keep in mind, this is after months and months of terrible dates with a parade of guys (American and Japanese) who just didn’t seem into me (or not in the right ways). I was EXTREMELY wary of getting my hopes up, but we became LINE friends and started messaging (all in Japanese). I really liked that he would send me about 5 messages at a time covering everything I’d asked about (Kirk’s ADD meant he’d often forget to categorically reply to everything I’d asked, only the ones that came last), which I would respond to with 5 messages, and then we would continue from there. In early October there was a typhoon day where everyone was huddled up at home worried about the torrential rain and wind (which in the end was NOT a big deal at all, nowhere near as bad as the typhoon before that had been), and we spent almost the whole day talking to each other on LINE. The following Friday, we kept in touch as we headed out drinking with our respective groups of friends, and continued talking to each other all night as we proceeded to get tipsier and tipsier (ok, I did get so drunk I threw up…). He asked where I was drinking, and I told him Nichome (this is partially a test), and he responded positively and that he’d always been curious about it. (The only reason Mitsu and I had ended up in Nichome on our second date is that we were already in Shinjuku for dinner and I suggested we walk over there afterward and he somewhat reluctantly agreed.) So our first date was in Nichome the very next night, and during the date we discussed all sorts of things we wanted to do (and discovered all kinds of things we have in common, like a love of animals, specifically cats – and I found out that he lived in the US from ages 8 to 17 and that his mom and youngest brother are still there), and one thing we both wanted to do was go to an owl cafe here. So the next weekend we had our owl cafe date (we also went to the rabbit cafe), and I was so impressed by how he took care of the reservations and everything. The owl cafe we decided to go to, the one in Tsukiji, doesn’t take phone reservations – you have to go line up the day you want to go around opening time and hope you get a spot. I told him I’d found that out and was worried, and he offered to go line up in the morning because he was already going to be in the area anyway!! So he did and he got us a highly coveted spot. I was sooooooo impressed. I am used to being with guys who do not have their shit together, who can’t get a difficult reservation, and who leave the planning up to me otherwise we’d never do anything. But this was different, and amazing. Oh, and he paid for almost the entire date, and while usually I like to split things 50/50, in the past it’s also made me feel like my past two boyfriends (who agreed to that too easily) didn’t appreciate me, so it was nice to feel treated for once. We capped off the day with dinner on the patio of a restaurant next to the water, and we also discussed about 5-10 potential dates for the future (go to Ikea, go running, etc…). At the station he insisted on walking me all the way back to my platform (about 500 meters out of his way), and while we waited for my train he very sweetly asked for a third date before I left on a planned long weekend trip to Seoul.

On that third date, dinner after work on a Wednesday night, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I had been hoping he would at some point even if not that night, so I was thrilled and said yes. I seriously can’t tell you how happy I am that it worked out like this and that I’ve found someone so great. Other facts: he takes cooking lessons (!) and has already made me dinner twice (the second was chicken soup after I mentioned that I wanted some to help me over a cold – and he upgraded the chicken to Nagoya cochin!), he has two younger brothers, he turned 28 in September so we’re about 8 months apart (but he doesn’t act younger or more immature at all), he likes sports like soccer and baseball and was on the teams for all those things in school (in the US! Our memories of things like birthday parties at roller skating rinks and moms bringing cupcakes to classrooms for birthdays coincide, it’s crazy)… he’s just basically awesome. We have so much fun together; we went to Hakone and stayed overnight and it was amazing. He’s always up for what I suggest, he’s very responsive with his LINE messages even if work is busy (and even then, he doesn’t work crazy late overtime – he usually leaves work around 6-7, maybe as late as 8 – this is unheard of for a typical Japanese guy), and he compliments me nonstop and isn’t afraid of PDA in the slightest (those last two are extremely rare for Japanese people). And of course he’s very cute and may even get glasses soon…

It’s just the most I’ve ever felt like I was getting my needs met in a relationship – more than I could have ever dreamed of or realized was possible. If I think about the things that Mitsu did – like not properly encouraging me in my job hunt or before my JLPT test (and even Kirk was so ADD I could never count on him to be there at the right times) – I could never see Shiki doing that. He would do the opposite, in fact he already does – he really encouraged me when I had my monthly in-department presentation this past week. I told him after the presentations everyone votes on the best one and he said, multiple times, that he hoped/knew I’d get #1 (even though that’s a long shot and not something I’m even trying to get). Overall, he’s just so supportive, so sweet, always sees me in the best light, but teases me good-naturedly too. I definitely hope things continue like this, and that both of us stay happy with the other. In short, I have high hopes for the future. ahhhh~

Little things

I wish I had more time to write long blog entries for this thing, even if only a handful of people read them. I don’t know why but it feels like I do way too many things all the time, basically since I moved to Tokyo. I don’t know how to stop – start turning down invitations, I guess, but I always want to do everything and I have a lot of friends I want to see regularly. I also over-commit myself, especially when I’m drunk. Like, I’m participating in a fashion show this weekend mostly for the experience but it’s a big time commitment and I could have been relaxing at home after a week where I had something to do every single night…

Getting a boyfriend hasn’t helped either – not that I’m not enjoying myself or that I don’t like him, of course! Quite the opposite, I’m having fun with a new experience and just sort of seeing how things go. He’s Japanese and we’ll call him Mitsu. But I think I realized right after I planned first dates with him and another (British) guy that “Wait, I don’t have the time to be dating, what am I doing focusing energy on this?” But in the end I liked talking to him and we clicked in person (as for British guy, we had a good date and had a lot in common but I didn’t feel a spark), and when he asked me to be his girlfriend a month ago I said yes. I don’t regret the decision but it’s just another thing to fit into my schedule…

I still like my job but parts of it are starting to bug me. I guess mostly it’s just certain other people – some of them really rub me the wrong way. The annoying “sou sou sou” IT guy still bugs me (although it turns out “sou sou sou” is actually office-appropriate, but it’s still irritating when he does it), so do a few Japanese women who seem really fake, and one scheduler in my department is super irritating. I also really hate the way the office is laid out. There’s only one entry/exit door everyone uses and there are a million bottlenecks, narrow hallways, and corners and you nearly run into people like at least 10 times a day, leading to tons of awkward “Sorry, sumimasen” moments where everyone ducks their head and looks humble (a Japanese behavior mannerism that really bothers me coming from some of the more passive women in the office, I just want to shake them). The desks in my department are closely bunched together and if you roll your chair back you’ll hit the chair of the person behind you. One guy always, ALWAYS manages to smack his protruding gut on the back of my chair whenever he goes past it. The women’s restroom is the worst though – two stalls and ONE sink for 35 women, most of whom want to brush their teeth after lunch. I wish we’d move to a bigger office, I’m seriously so sick of this. Overall it’s a good job and a good place to work, but little things here and there bug me.

My house is also becoming an issue. Over the summer a British girl moved in. Her room was across from mine and didn’t share a wall so she didn’t bother me too much, except when she’d take her laptop to the kitchen downstairs and leave the door open while talking loudly on Skype to friends back in the UK at 11 p.m. our time – when I was trying to sleep. Then I moved to a room that DID share a wall with hers and she began to annoy me more – her alarm in the morning would go off about five times, all before I needed to get up, and her boyfriend was over a lot staying over and making dinner with her in the kitchen (he was always really nice though). So I wasn’t sad when she said she was going to move out and into an apartment with the boyfriend, but a few weeks before she moved out her friend, another British citizen, moved in. And he also wasn’t the most considerate – for one, he ate all my eggs. I bought a pack of 10, and I hadn’t touched it before all the eggs but one had magically disappeared. My name was written on the container, which had been enough in the past with my other three (Japanese) roommates. After I noticed a couple eggs missing, I put a rubber band around the container to further deter theft. IT DIDN’T WORK. HE KEPT EATING THEM. I don’t know for sure it was him but if my other roommates never did this and it happens right after he moves in, I think the evidence is clear. Anyway, I wasn’t thrilled with him, but then it got worse. A couple weeks ago, HIS friend (also British) moved in. I guess this guy came from his own apartment because he brought a bunch of kitchen stuff. The problem is that he hasn’t made ANY effort to adjust his behavior from living on his own to living in a shared house. He plays TV episodes and sports commentary loudly in his room on the weekends, he plays techno music late at night, he and the other guy chat to each other across the hall from their room starting at 11 p.m. on weeknights, and these walls are THIN so you really can’t do this sort of thing without quickly annoying everyone around you, only they never thought to consider that. There’s also issues with unwashed dishes and not locking the front door after coming home. Anyway, I’m so fucking sick of these British assholes. I’ve complained to our share company twice and so have some of my other roommates, and actually this week on weeknights they were pretty subdued, but I also found out one guy went home to the UK so it could just be that the other guy doesn’t have anyone to talk to. I really hope though that these bad habits have been nipped in the bud. I also made a fake quiet hours sign ‘from’ my sharehouse company and hung it upstairs and downstairs so I hope that helps too. I’m moving out in April but I wish it was sooner if this sort of shit is going to keep up…

Best/worst of my Okcupid messages

So, I’m happily taken and all, but the other night I was in a group Skype chat with most of my closest local friends (including some who have moved away) and the recent dating escapades of one of them came up. I encouraged him to spruce up his Okcupid profile to improve his chances of finding someone better, and in order to see his profile I had to log in to my account… which is largely dormant but for some reason I enjoy answering those stupid questions… and I thought I’d see what ridiculous messages have accrued in my absence. It says right on my profile “Seeing someone” and under “Contact me if” it says the effect of “I’m taken, so it’s not a good idea” and has for YEARS but I continue to get messaged by dudes who clearly don’t read. If I were on the site to date that would be automatic disqualification. If all you did was look at the pictures, skim the profile, and then send me a generic message? No.

Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to post some of the silliest messages here and mock them! That’s always fun. Typos and weird punctuation, unfortunately, completely retained.

The “So generic it feels custom” faux personalized mass message (but fails because it gives away that you didn’t read that I’m taken)
– “We r so close yet so far!!! Wud u like to have a minimum distance between us?” (whaaa?)
– “Hello beautiful how are you? Just wanted to message you and see how you were doing :)”
– “Bonjour! How’s it going? Having a splendiferous day? :-)”
– “I’m willing to bet that you’ve gotten about 1000 emails from guys saying something like “omg, ur hot..lets sex” or “my name is Steve I love holding hands and cuddling” lol. If that’s what your used to then this email is refreshing. I’ll let you know right off that I’m not your average guy. I’m 27, can make anybody laugh, green eyes, tall, athletic, a business owner, i love to travel, work out, hit up the lake. I’m a nice guy but I know how to be bad. If you are a girl with intelligence, sensuality, and a sense of humor, feel free to message me” (this might work on some girls but nothing about it is customized to me, so you know he’s sent it to at least 10 or 20 others)
– “wow you are really pretty”
– “Hello pretty lady. How u doing with this lovely weather going on lol? By the way my name is [redacted]. I was just broewsing ur profile I see what I like what u putting on ur page. U can review mine but didn’t put lots of thing about me cuz I don’t really like to type all that. But if you intersted of a gentelman like me who is treat u well nad take care of you like an angel you are the right page!!! Well idont want ur eyes getting hurt so if you like what you see get at me inbox and will see where we should fallin into. Anyways thanks for reading and understand what I came from.” (hilarious typos, and again, classic mass message)
– “I’m [name] and I really liked your profile, you seem really sweet and I would love to get to know you better. Home to hear back from you soon!”
– “Hey, how’s the online dating working out?” (is this supposed to be a neg?)

The “let’s riff on Japanese stuff/Japan because you mentioned it in your profile” message
– “We share a lot of our nerdy/geeky interests, and you seem like you’ve got a lot of energy for literature and the like =) I’m also minoring in Japanese here at [local university]! I’d love to hear back from you! You seem really interesting!”
– “First off I must say, being able to work with TOKYOPOP is crazy. I don’t read much manga myself, but I do enjoy animes and other nerdy junk. Anyways I can’t judge you solely on a persons profile, so I was wondering if you would like to talk sometimes. If you aren’t interested let me know,….. if you are cool. Nice to meet you”
– “wow you are sexy!!! r u real? haha mangas and such!!! :)”
– “what mangas would you recomend? im reading Bleach(i know) & Berserk” (“I know” indeed)
– “I think freckles are cute 🙂 Will you teach me Japanese?”
– “What Anime do you like to watch?”
– “So you like anime?”
– “the ice has been broken. yo im [name], apparently we both like anime.” (yo)
– “Konnichiwa, genki desuka? What’s your plan for the weekend? I need to clean my old apartment. How’s your learning Japanese? When you have time, you should practice Japanese with me. We can be fun chat friends too =) Takeshi” (well, apparently this guy was actually Japanese)

The futile message that at least shows you read
– “Ugh you have a boyfriend. You are definitely my kinda geek. Just throwing that out there.”
– “Too bad that you are taken, you seem rather adorable..”
– “Dump your Boyfriend: Who are you kidding? You have a boyfriend? If you got to meet me…you would fall in love and you wouldn’t have to spend your time on the internot.”
– “Dump him, he cant treat you any where as nice as I would.” (after these messages I had to put a thing on my profile saying no, of course I’m not going to dump my boyfriend for you!)

The random
– “Do you watch any TV shows?” (for a while my favorite TV shows was the one thing missing from my profile. But when that’s ALL you say in your message…??)
– “Happy Saturday!”
– “david sedaris” (I mention him as one of my favorite authors in my profile. But that was seriously the entire message)

Ugh. Looking at all this, I can’t help but be reminded of that scene from When Harry Met Sally, after Harry and Sally have a crisis and call their friends (a live-in couple) separately. Carrie Fisher’s character (I remember the important things about one of my favorite movies, obviously) hangs up with Sally and her boyfriend hangs up with Harry, and they turn to each other in their bed and say:

Carrie Fisher’s character: Tell me I’ll never have to be back out there again.
Her live-in boyfriend: You’ll never have to be back out there again.