Opinions are split, but you’d be surprised at how some Japanese people think.

Love confessions can be a delicate subject for some Japanese people, as uttering those romantic words could potentially earn them a stinging rejection. But love blossoms in unpredictable ways, and sometimes people end up in relationships without one side ever actually saying, “Will you go out with me?”

Curious to know whether the art of confession is a thing of the past, our Japanese-language reporter Anji Tabata grilled her co-workers about their thoughts on the subject.

▼ Lest she end up in an awkward situation like this.

Although her sample size was small — 12 to be exact — it nevertheless offers some invaluable insight into modern day relationships in Japan.

Opinions were split right down the middle. Six preferred confessions while six didn’t.

Here’s what the as six men who agreed that every long lasting relationship starts off with a good ol’ confession had to say:

“I want to have closure, so I’d confess.”

“Things should be crystal clear. I’ve never had a relationship without one.”

“It’s better to say it so that both parties understand and progress onwards.”

“It’s not good to have an ambiguous relationship. It’s good to be straightforward, and I think women love it too.”

“I think that’s the common thing to do.”

“I basically follow the pattern of: bed, bed, bed, then confess. The order starts from bed, but there’s definitely confession somewhere in there.”

That last person might have his order reversed, but maybe he just has different priorities.

What about the other six co-workers who did not like love confessions? Two women were terrified at the thought of confirming a relationship status:

“What if the person gets rejected? That would be horrible.”

“It’s quite risky. Everyone would know he or she got rejected.”

▼ Things would become really awkward indeed.

Four men thought that some things need not be said, just understood. But what was startling was that some tied the concept of asking someone out with juvenility:

“There’s just no good way to say it. We’re all adults, and if things progress into the bedroom, we become lovers right? Just do it! If someone asks “Are we going out or not?” at that point, I’d give a cold response. Of course I’d confess, but come on, we’re already lovers.”

“Things become really weird if there’s a confession. We’re grown-ups, and such things are risky business. Once you say it, there’s no pulling out. I want to be safe. If I confess and go out with a woman, it’ll be hard to break up if she has a bad personality.”

“I don’t confess because I’m not a child anymore. The process is required for teenagers, but adults are experienced and they would understand even if nothing’s said.”

“I’ll wait until the woman falls first. I don’t confess since I hate contracts and agreements in the first place. People who are always trying to confirm their feelings are a pain, and it makes me want to run away.”

▼ Some people value personal space.

Personally, I think love confessions are great. It might be scary, but the message is crystal clear, taking all the guesswork out of future decisions and actions made by both sides. Relationships are a commitment, and it won’t do to have your significant other bail out during the times when you need them most.

It’s a little odd that some Japanese people think of those romantic words as childish acts, but we have to bear in mind that the survey only involved 12 people. The majority of Japanese people still place a lot of value on confessions in starting fulfilling relationships.

Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3)

[ Read in Japanese ]