Japanese youth are rejecting romantic relationships

#2
I liked the otaku, he liked Kimi ni todoke, top tier taste that is.

I'm surprised it is such an issue considering the size of their population but I guess it isn't too bad a thing, where this is an increase, there is also a decrease.
 
#3
"Building a relationship seems like too much effort. To get her to like me, for me to like her." - Couldn't agree more my friend. Couldn't agree more.

Relationships are hard work. And what do you actually want out of one at the end of the day? The answer to that question is different for everyone of course, but I get the feeling from both my own (admittedly limited) experience and observing others that most women demand and expect a lot more out of a relationship than most men do. I can completely understand the guy's point of view. It might not be easy being alone, but nine times out of ten it's a damn sight easier than being with someone. And in a country like Japan where gender roles are still pretty clearly defined but there is a lack of decent, stable employment, it's going to be a lot harder to be the man society (and a lot of potential partners) now somewhat unfairly expects you to be. So you give up. Throw in the towel. Is sex, conversation and sharing someone's body heat at night really worth all the extra hassle? Are children worth the extra hassle (not to mention financial burden)? Probably not. And I think this will lead to the next great dilemma in people's minds; Is anything in life really worth the hassle? Maybe these are just the dark views of a depressive, but I expect suicide rates in developed nations to be off the charts in a decade's time. What is the point in any of this ****, really? No-one can provide a legitimate answer to that question.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
#4
Am I missing something, or did the camera focus on Azunyan?
One thing I wonder though is, when this topic is covered by the western media, I see things like dating sims (The Guardian) being given specific focus and this one obviously brought up anime. Is the media trying to subtly hint at a scapegoat?

"Building a relationship seems like too much effort. To get her to like me, for me to like her."
I know that feel bro! Oh Arceus I know that feel. Love is a lot of effort. I've only had a close connection with one girl before that I could honestly call love and not lust or a crush. We had grown close as friends over just over a year of seeing each other every day. I ask her out, she turns me down and never speaks to me again. There is no one in the world who I have ever felt like I had such a strong connection with and I do highly doubt that I will again.

Honestly though, I can really understand where that guy is coming from. I mean, even if a girl did like me back (what are the odds?! xD) I honestly feel like I wouldn't be able to financially maintain a relationship. Do I want a relationship? Honestly, while I'm the kind of guy who prefers his solitude, yes, there are times when I really want the emotional side of a relationship; the closeness and the security. It's reading Toradora and seeing the kinetic energy between Ryuji and Taiga that often makes me think about it - sure, where I'm reading they're not a formal couple, but the connection is clearly there; it's that kind of thing that I wan and miss.
However, since leaving university last year, I have become a bit of a recluse and just the idea of going into town and meeting up with friends has become a daunting one.

My opinions on sex? It scares me if I'm honest. Due to my lack of self-esteem I've developed through my teenage life, I now have constant doubts if my body is appealing at all and other things like that.
 
#5
maybe they should get the parents to get them in to those marriage meetings.

isn't it up to the individuals to have sex, children, relationships, im mean japans population is 120.000.000 and japans smaller then britain *i think* so in a way its ok not to over grow the population, also japans is a country that full of hard workers so theres your reason why my guess is that young men and women are trying to get there lives sorted out before starting familys cause as we all know that finding a cheap home in japan is trying to find a needle in a hay stack.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
#7
I think that anime/manga/games/everything are related to the problem, but not the cause any more so than any other form of leisure. We have become richer and more powerful, and have more leisure time than ever as a species. Of course we don't want to give that up, as all the distractions we've created are very enjoyable and much easier to manage than a mate. Especially as, for some reason I have never understood, some very vocal people seem to take mates they have nothing in common with whatsoever and spend their entire lives moaning about the situation. Sometimes jokingly, but sometimes completely seriously. It's lampooned a lot in the media and I can see how some people would actually enjoy it, but I can also see how it would grate. My mother-in-law's very passionate complaints about her ex-husband's shortcomings are hard to ignore.

I think it's just as prejudiced and incorrect to worry that most women (or men) have ridiculous expectations and will make a person's life worse, as these theoretical women (or men) are being in the first place. Of course some will be jerks, but there are plenty of decent people out there too. Who are just as terrified of finding decent relationships themselves. Some crazy people seem to desperately throw themselves into relationships with people they don't actually like all that much :s

Joshawott said:
My opinions on sex? It scares me if I'm honest. Due to my lack of self-esteem I've developed through my teenage life, I now have constant doubts if my body is appealing at all and other things like that.
Aww... I think for most people, those kinds of worries are normal (and the formidable people who don't worry about that kind of thing at all are sort of frightening).

R
 
#8
Joshawott said:
My opinions on sex? It scares me if I'm honest. Due to my lack of self-esteem I've developed through my teenage life, I now have constant doubts if my body is appealing at all and other things like that.
I'm no scientician, but to me sex shouldn't be based on physical appearance, it should be more than inserting tab A into slot B. If you have a connection with someone, appearances shouldn
t be a big deal. Also, nobody has attractive genitalia, that's why they slot together, because then you don't have to look at them :p
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
#9
Kudos for use of "scientician".

This feels like the Beeb catching up to news that has been doing the rounds for a little while now, though, and I don't think it's limited to Japan, just magnified most readily there.

I do (in what can only be described as "all seriousness") blame the internet, largely. I don't massively agree with Rui that we have somehow entered a utopia of leisure time and range of activities (you either have no job, in which case no money to pursue such a large range of activities, or... you have a job) - what I think has happened is that those activities have become increasingly less social, despite how they would like to moniker the "networks".
 
#10
ilmaestro said:
I do (in what can only be described as "all seriousness") blame the internet, largely. I don't massively agree with Rui that we have somehow entered a utopia of leisure time and range of activities (you either have no job, in which case no money to pursue such a large range of activities, or... you have a job) - what I think has happened is that those activities have become increasingly less social, despite how they would like to moniker the "networks".
New media has increased the amount of noise without proportionally increasing meaningful communication. I would bet it's part of the problem of declining relationships.

But also, I have a feeling we're moulding relationships into new forms.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
#11
ilmaestro said:
I don't massively agree with Rui that we have somehow entered a utopia of leisure time and range of activities (you either have no job, in which case no money to pursue such a large range of activities, or... you have a job) - what I think has happened is that those activities have become increasingly less social, despite how they would like to moniker the "networks".
I'm comparing to ye olde days where I feel that people spent most of their time fussing about crops and cooking and childrearing; I personally feel exhausted all the time and rushed off my feet, but cooking, getting around and so on have all become much more convenient. I'd never get to watch all this lovely anime and read all these books a few decades ago, and I'd probably have to be responsible and run a family instead of worrying about my Mandarake Budget for the month in the evening.

However, 100% agree about "social" networking. I've had friends I've ended up completely losing touch with after they decided to transform all of their meaningful communications with me and other people into vapid, generic status updates aimed at nobody in particular on certain websites. Everyone who gets hooked on them seems to end up with hundreds of 'friends' while completely oblivious to the symptoms of their actual friendships drifting away in the background. It doesn't seem like a very good trend.

R
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
#12
You mean... what, the 1600s? Victorian England? War time? Surely this is talking about a decline within our lifetimes, or at the very least our parents.

I don't think the 60s, for example, has long been characterized as a time of labor-crippled youth and a dearth of creativity.
 
#13
Rui said:
Of course some will be jerks, but there are plenty of decent people out there too.
Rui takes the silver medal in inaccurate relationship cliché. There are not plenty of decent people out there. We're all flawed, selfish, stupid, awful humans. The only truly nice people are the most naive. And I don't know about anyone else, but despite their innocence I find them incredibly grating to be around (see also: children).

Sparrowsabre7 said:
...sex shouldn't be based on physical appearance, it should be more than inserting tab A into slot B. If you have a connection with someone, appearances shouldn't be a big deal.
...and Sparrow takes the gold. You can say appearances shouldn't matter 'til the cows come home, but they do matter. You have to find someone physically attractive to want to partake in a physical relationship with them.

As for how we spend our time - I don't think there's anything to blame the internet for. Is social networking really any more vapid than any other form of socialising? This isn't some kind of negative side effect of a shallow society, it's the beginning of an existential awakening. The revelation that, from crop cultivation to Twitter, it's pretty much all meaningless.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
#15
ilmaestro said:
You mean... what, the 1600s? Victorian England? War time? Surely this is talking about a decline within our lifetimes, or at the very least our parents.
My parents definitely had a lot less free time, when they were my age and younger, than I did. Having children earlier back then probably wasn't an enormous help though; I know my parents started a family well before anyone sane would have chosen to do so nowadays in terms of getting settled (the norm in their peergroup). Perhaps if they hadn't they'd have ended up with huge collections of science fiction books too and frittered away just as much time :s

ayase said:
Rui takes the silver medal in inaccurate relationship cliché. There are not plenty of decent people out there. We're all flawed, selfish, stupid, awful humans. The only truly nice people are the most naive. And I don't know about anyone else, but despite their innocence I find them incredibly grating to be around (see also: children).
Flawed people can still be 'decent'. I don't like innocent people much either in person, but there's no reason a twisted scoundrel can't be lovely in their own way. Besides, I'm fabulous*, which proves that some people out there are decent <3

I must also disagree about aesthetics. If one of the pair suddenly gets turned off when it's time to insert "tab A into slot B" which is what Sparrow was referring to, there is probably something very weird going on. Of course physical attraction is part of the initial solicitation phase of courtship, but even then - and this may be a freaky girl thing - liking other stuff about someone can make them seem more physically attractive than before. This even works with character designs in 2D.

Putting all of the burden onto raw physical attraction is just an excuse, IMO.

R

* A fib, but I do know some people I do consider fabulous, so I'll pretend and be a proxy for them.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
#16
How much free time you have or don't have after you have children is hardly something that has a bearing on the situation though... one would assume you have got over the hump of finding a relationship before that point in time, even if it isn't necessarily always the case.
 
#17
Rui said:
ayase said:
Rui takes the silver medal in inaccurate relationship cliché. There are not plenty of decent people out there. We're all flawed, selfish, stupid, awful humans. The only truly nice people are the most naive. And I don't know about anyone else, but despite their innocence I find them incredibly grating to be around (see also: children).
Flawed people can still be 'decent'. I don't like innocent people much either in person, but there's no reason a twisted scoundrel can't be lovely in their own way. Besides, I'm fabulous*, which proves that some people out there are decent <3
People might not be so bad as individuals, but when they're in a relationship they find themselves in conflict and having to compromise. If one party isn't subservient to the other (which is bad in itself), then their differences seem to create stupid, irrational conflicts. I see them all the time, and the one time I've been in that situation my own pride and knowledge that I was in the right was worth more than the relationship. And it probably always will be (which I think ties back to the idea in the clip that relationships are just too much of a bother). You can spend forever getting to know someone to find you don't actually like them. Why keep wasting your time? It probably doesn't help that I view both irrational conflict and willingness to compromise and apologise as serious weaknesses in people which can quickly put me off them. People should be strong enough to deal with their own problems and not take them out on others; they shouldn't "need" other people at all. And there's no reason why someone who doesn't need other people would need me. So that's another problem to be overcome (or otherwise another indicator that the whole situation is a hopeless waste of time).

Rui said:
I must also disagree about aesthetics. If one of the pair suddenly gets turned off when it's time to insert "tab A into slot B" which is what Sparrow was referring to, there is probably something very weird going on. Of course physical attraction is part of the initial solicitation phase of courtship, but even then - and this may be a freaky girl thing - liking other stuff about someone can make them seem more physically attractive than before. This even works with character designs in 2D.

Putting all of the burden onto raw physical attraction is just an excuse, IMO.
It's not about suddenly finding that you're not attracted to someone when it's time to do the deed, it's just... I find you never get attracted to some people physically. Even if they were a decent, intelligent, caring (therefore obviously also imaginary) person. If you don't find someone physically attractive, no amount of amazing other attributes can make you want to have a physical relationship with them. You can love someone for their mind, or their body, or both. But in my experience being attracted to someone's personality doesn't make you attracted to their body. It's not as though I think people have to live up to some kind of societal standard of beauty, but the extent to which I find someone physically attractive is apparent to me from the first moment I see them, and doesn't change unless their actual appearance changes.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
#19
ilmaestro said:
How much free time you have or don't have after you have children is hardly something that has a bearing on the situation though... one would assume you have got over the hump of finding a relationship before that point in time, even if it isn't necessarily always the case.
Hmm, I guess I associated them in my mind because in my family background, traditionally everyone has been married quite young (religion...) which has made it seem more like a priority to get relationships sorted out as soon as possible. The luxury to be able to deprioritise relationships and experience other things, to some extent, feels very modern. I might just be going in circles and rambling so I'll stop now and go to bed, ready to facepalm at what I wrote in the morning.

ayase said:
It's not as though I think people have to live up to some kind of societal standard of beauty, but the extent to which I find someone physically attractive is apparent to me from the first moment I see them, and doesn't change unless their actual appearance changes.
Hmm, see, that's completely different for me. I can often 'learn' to find someone physically interesting after ignoring them initially. Actually, I've never been attracted to anyone on raw looks, and I'm not just saying that to seem nice artificially. The farthest anyone can get on looks alone is a neutral score in my world :s

Similarly, and dragging things back down to a nerdier level, I don't like buying artwork of characters I don't know. It's not attractive unless I can associate the aesthetics with some cool qualities I admire.

On the compromise point, I have never once felt I had to compromise or overpower someone in my romantic life, and I'd feel very uncomfortable with either scenario. A long time ago, I asked my partner if he "needed" me (without the obvious emphasis). He said he didn't, he just "wanted" me. I appreciated that. Likeminded people are precious, as are people who don't just try to say what they think you want to hear.

Perhaps our generation is less enamoured with the idea of relationships because the previous generation made such a mess of a lot of things so openly. There are a lot of weird generalisations, tricks and rituals involved in courtship which make absolutely no sense.

R
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
#20
Rui said:
ilmaestro said:
How much free time you have or don't have after you have children is hardly something that has a bearing on the situation though... one would assume you have got over the hump of finding a relationship before that point in time, even if it isn't necessarily always the case.
Hmm, I guess I associated them in my mind because in my family background, traditionally everyone has been married quite young (religion...) which has made it seem more like a priority to get relationships sorted out as soon as possible. The luxury to be able to deprioritise relationships and experience other things, to some extent, feels very modern. I might just be going in circles and rambling so I'll stop now and go to bed, ready to facepalm at what I wrote in the morning.
Hmm, I think you're probably making a valid point, but it feels like rather much a separate one to where you started. There are economic as well as social reasons why people used to get married younger on average, but it feels "a bit" backwards to me to say "older generations had less free time [due to being married] and therefore it was easier/more desirable for them to pursue relationships".

I don't think that's exactly what you're saying, but I have only extrapolated slightly from how I have put your two statements together.

I am saying that, basically, how much more or less free time we have is not anything like as important as the ways in which it is most frequently used - to do anything of any "social" note before the internet became so ubiquitous, you had to go out and meet people. It does not matter if you have ten minutes of free time a day or ten hours, you will not (barring exceptions that are so notable as exceptions that you can make news stories out of them/cite very specific examples) get married if you never leave your computer screen.

I think I could buy the argument that an increasingly material set of pursuits has left people more selfish and with a greater sense of entitlement, though. I think this would have a substantial knock-on effect on how they approach relationships.
 
Top