Could Twitter be the place to prove your romantic compatibility? One user shares his story.

Japan has an interesting relationship with social media – while it’s fertile ground for memes, viral hits and all manner of news, it’s not a medium Japanese people usually use explicitly to socialize (at least, according to this survey). Just because it isn’t usual doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, however, and people may find themselves connecting with colleagues, potential friends and even romantic interests.

Twitter user @noooooooorth, whose real name is Kanehito Kita, is one of those in the latter category. A lawyer in the Tokyo area, he grew close with his fiancee on the very same website where he posts updates about his YouTube channel and shares snaps of food. He took a little time to ruminate about online relationships in this thread:

“I’m (essentially) “Twitter Married”. I think that getting to know your partner through Twitter means you’re likely to see your partner’s stream-of-consciousness, their real self. That makes it less likely, once you get to the stage of dating or marriage, for something jarring to arise that makes you think “I never knew them at all”. Because the whole time they’ve been pouring out their real feelings.”

He then described a very familiar phenomenon to anyone who’s been in a room with someone they follow on social media:

“For instance, it doesn’t matter what kind of thing I suddenly hear my wife cry out “oh, that’s so awful” about; there’s a chance I can say “yeah, I saw it too” and we can talk about it.”

Naturally, commenters were curious, but Mr. Kita was happy to explain further.

“People have been asking me “but how did you two meet in real life”? We actually met each other in real life first. But in the place where we met there were about 40 other people present and so it was hard to talk properly, so we just exchanged Twitter handles -> Excitedly followed her -> Ended up getting to learn about this interesting person.”

“So rather than using Twitter as a way to meet people, I recommend it as a way to really understand the “essence” of the person you want to date. Dedicated dating apps are much better for organizing that kind of meeting.”

“I dated my wife for one-and-a-half years (I proposed during that first year, and then for six months she was my fiancee). I’ve been married about three years now, and we haven’t fought once – and I think it’s because we already knew what we were getting into – each other’s “true self” – before we got serious about the relationship. Of course, luck is a huge factor as well.”

But how did he know when the time was right to make a move? Well, in Japanese online slang there’s a term called hantoshi ROMre which basically means “lurk on a board and just read posts for half a year or so, before posting your own content”.

“I followed my wife’s Twitter account in the month of August, and we got comfortable enough with each other to have dialogues back and forth in March of the following year. Hantoshi ROMre is real! If you follow someone for about half a year on social media you get a pretty great idea of what they’re really like. Even 2channers know what they’re talking about sometimes.”

A helpful commenter provided some pertinent screencaps from a TV program on the same topic. Apparently Mr. Kita isn’t the only one with a story of social-media-guaranteed marital bliss:

The screenshots detail results from “a study from an elite university”, about how couples who meet on social media experience a lot of happiness in their marriage, should they tie the knot. Not only that, but they allegedly have a 25-percent lower chance of separating compared to couples who were introduced by mutual friends. Couples who meet online, the subtitles read, are less likely to take things seriously and this follows through to when they meet in real life.

Mr. Kita’s thread has taken off dramatically on Twitter in Japan, with over 15,000 retweets at the time of writing. His anecdotes also sparked some interesting discussion in the replies:

“I got “Mixi (Japanese social media site) Married”. The first three weeks was all e-mail and Skype (you can tell what era it was ^^;) and then after meeting in real life we decided to go for it. My parents met through a magazine correspondence column so maybe it’s just in my blood (´・ω・`)”
“So people really do get married because of social media! I didn’t expect that, somehow.”
“Sometimes you learn TOO much about a person’s true self and that leads to a split. It happened to me.”
“Hey, I’m “Twitter Married” too!”
“There’s romantic encounters even here, huh…I can see the advantages, but the chances of meeting in real life might be pretty low…

Though it’s true that following people on social media is a great way to get to know all the inner workings of their minds (and also steal all of their Sasuke choking memes) it still doesn’t hurt to be conscientious while you post. You never know whom you might accidentally drive off!

Source: Twitter/@noooooooorth via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso