First date? Second? Fourth? Sixth? Japanese women reveal when they’re most likely to say yes to being your girlfriend.

Dating in Japan is a little different to what most of us are used to in the West, with one of the main differences being ‘kokuhaku‘, which literally translates to ‘confession‘, but in the dating world it refers to the confession of love.

Unlike the West, where professions of love tend to happen organically weeks or months after one-on-one dating, in Japan it’s used to formalise the relationship pretty early on, and the standard phrase used for a kokuhaku is:

 “Suki desu. Tsukiatte kudasai“, which translates to “I like you. Please go out with me.

▼ Bonus points for confessing your feelings on Christmas Eve, the most romantic day of the year.


It might sound stiff and formal, but a love confession like this is vital for taking things to the next level in Japan, because that’s when both parties know this is an exclusive relationship. It takes the guesswork out of dating and makes the intentions between two people clear-cut, but one thing that isn’t so clear-cut and easy to understand is exactly when the right time is to make that love confession.

Media site “Matching App University” set out to find the answer to this question, conducting a survey of 208 females aged 20 to 45 who had received a love confession from a man they met via a dating app.

Taking a look at the results of the survey, one thing is crystal clear: women say that a love confession on the first date is a no-no. 

The below image shows the responses to the question “On what date is a love confession NG?” (‘NG’ means ‘no good’), with the date, numbered from “first” (top) through to “sixth or more”(bottom) listed on the left.

As you can see, a resounding 80.3 percent of respondents agreed that the first date is not the right time for a love confession. On the other hand, waiting too long, until your sixth date or longer, comes in as the second worst option. The ideal time for a love confession, according to the results above, is the third date.

Reasons for why the first date is no good for a love confession included:

“Because of the ease of dating apps, I’m extra careful when choosing a partner, so if they confessed on the first date I’d be worried.” (26-year-old woman from Nara)
“When it’s done on the first date, I get the feeling that they’ll confess their love to anyone. Either that or they’re just after my body.”  (26-year-old woman from Tokyo)

So, when women did agree to go steady with someone, on what date did the suitor make their love confession? According to the results below, 31 percent of respondents said the love confession was made on the second date, and an equal number indicated it was made on the third.

And just in case there was any confusion as to what women want, the survey came out and asked them directly: On what date would you like the love confession to be made?

▼ The most popular answer to that question, with 52.9 percent of the vote, was the third date.

Some of the reasons for this included:

“If you go on about three dates, you can experience some situations to a certain extent so you’ll get to know more about the other person’s character”. (45-year-old woman from Hokkaido)
“I wouldn’t meet someone for a second date if the first one didn’t go well, so a second date indicates interest. If the second date goes well, I’d probably say yes to being their girlfriend after that.” (29-year-old woman from Kyoto)

So there you have it — if you want to up your chances of your love confession being met with a positive response, be sure to hold off on the first date and wait until at least the second or ideally, the third date.

After all, it’s important to build trust with someone, especially if they’re a stranger you’ve met through a dating app. So get to know them over dinner, maybe at one of these Tokyo restaurants that won a mention in Japan’s First Date Awards, and if that goes well, why not try hiking on your second date? Because a walk in nature is said to reveal even more about someone’s nature than a meal in a restaurant.

Source: Matching App University
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert images: PR Times, Pakutaso (1, 2, 3)

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