My name’s Courtney Alexandra and this is my blog. I’ve never done anything like this so, for the one or two of you that may cross my page, please bare with me through the process. I started this website for 3 reasons: to share my personal experiences of dating a Japanese man with others that may be interested, to share things I learn about the Japanese culture, and to record my memories for my own personal reasons (Kinda like a diary/journal but, in my opinion at least, more fun). Yohei and I are very happy together, however, it’s for sure been different than past relationships I’ve been in. Yohei is the first foreigner that I’ve ever dated and I guess, in the beginning, I didn’t realize just how different that would be.
So let me start with how we met. I had an interest in learning the Japanese language so I actually took Japanese 1 at Wichita State University. I fell in love with the Japanese language and culture, however, was unable to fit the next several classes in with my schedule. I tried to keep learning the language on my own but it proved harder than was expected. I lived in Wichita at the time so it was hard finding Japanese people to practice with. Someone finally gave me the idea to join an online international pen pal website and try to practice more there. I did just that, however, it proved a bit difficult because they were in a completely different timezone than me and many spoke barely any English. That is, until I met Yohei. He actually had been in America for about 7 years at this point and lived in Kansas City. (Three hours away from me!) His English was AMAZING! We became fast friends and months later agreed to meet up.
Fast forward about 16 months and here we are living in Kansas City happily together. It’s been a crazy experience. Back when we had first started speaking to each other, I would never have guessed this is where we’d end up. Call me crazy, but dating him just hadn’t been on my mind initially. And now, here we are, ENGAGED!
Yes, I’ve been to Japan to meet his family and yes, they seem to like me. He’s also met my family and they love him. Yohei and I are extremely different from each other. I’d actually go as far as to say we are mostly different. We do have a few similarities though and those make us a strong couple. The biggest similarity that we have is that we are highly positive and open minded people. Him and I are able to acknowledge the fact that we don’t always agree on things and move past that. (Hints the title: The Art of Agreeing to Disagree. We’ve just about mastered it.) Most of what we are different on are inconsequential things like what kind of movies we like or what kind of sweets we like, however, sometimes we will find ourselves faced with more serious things like cleanliness or how we view “fighting”. (Both of which I’ve learned are cultural differences.)
Some of my blogs will simply be about me discussing one of these things, while others will will be about some funny/happy aspect of living with a Japanese man. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve occationally googled several things about Japanese culture to see what’s “normal” or not. Maybe it’s considered normal to see a Japanese-American couple in somewhere like Hawaii but not in many of the other states. (Well, at least not any of the nine I’ve lived in.) So, I’ve had a great deal to learn thus far and I’m excited to share!