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Holding my hand: what does it mean?

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Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/17 02:36
I'm a guy from the Netherlands and was in Tokyo for a few days this summer. 1 day I did some sightseeing with a Japanese girl who I knew via my cousin, who I never met before. She was a kind of "guide" for me and she really showed me the Japanese culture. I had great day with her and she was a very sweet and nice girl and we had very much fun together.
But at the end of the day something happened: she had to go home and we were waiting on the Shinjuku subway station for the train. Suddenly she took my hand and holded it for a while. And I just let her have my hand and didn't care much about it at that time. After that she let go my hand and we stepped in the train and after a few station we said good by to each other and we never talked about it.
Now I am very confused about this because usually when a girl holds you hand it means that she loves you. But this is strange because she has a boyfriend, which I knew before I met her from her Facebook page(and I'm single). At the rest of the day we never flirted with each other, we just tried to have as much fun as possible. And I(and I think also she) do not want to have a relation, because she has a boyfriend and we live 1000's of miles from each other, so this is not easy.
I want to know what she meant by holding my hand. Does she love me, or does she just like me as a friend? I'm very curious about it, also because I know Japanese do not just touch an other person in public and it might have a very different meaning in Japan than in other places.
by Dutch Guy (guest)  

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/17 11:47
Now I am very confused about this because usually when a girl holds you hand it means that she loves you.

No, it doesn't. You are reading too much into it. She is most likely just being friendly.

by SEA monster (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/17 12:00
I agree with SEA monster. Just take it as a friendly hug kind of gesture, saying it was nice being with you for the day. Shaking hands would have felt too formal, a continental European style hug may not have occurred to her, so she just did that.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/21 16:30
i dont know i have heard PDA is not common in Japan so if unless she is westerner in her mannerisms i would have to say she liked you more then friends but then again who really knows too late know though
by Arufabetto no Zetto rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/21 18:59
if unless she is westerner in her mannerisms

On the one hand she spoke relatively good English. On the other hand she behaved cute(kawaii), like many japanese girls. She had clothing which looked like how girls dressed 40-50 years ago in the west(but in Tokyo I saw many girls like this). When we were in a maid cafe she even said that she had considered working there, because she thought that the costumes the maids were wearing where very cute. And we bowed for each other when we said hello, thank you, goodby. So her mannerisms looked much more japanese than western.

by Dutch Guy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/21 20:40
I'm pretty sure that it was a friendly gesture. Especially since she has a boyfriend. Either way, you shouldn't take any risks, since that may just ruin the friendly relationship you have.
I'm Dutch too. Good friends hug, that's normal. But that doesn't mean they're romantically interested. It's probably the same in your case. I think she likes you, but as a friend.
by Nintendosoni rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/21 21:49
take any risks

I was not planning to take risks, I was just curious what she meant by holding my hand, especially since Japanese do not touch other people that much in public. But at least it's a positive sign.

by Dutch Guy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/21 23:13
She just likes you as friend. The entire scenario in which you described is clear that she only likes you as a friend. As you've stated, she has a boyfriend, she was making casual conversation with you all day, and hand holding should not be misconstrued with her loving you but rather just a friendly gesture as it only happened once during the day.
by OrigamiFiend (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/21 23:33
Many Christians agree that sex is off the table in a dating relationship (and for the purposes of this post I won't go into the different types of sex). But what about lesser forms of physical intimacy like light kissing, hugging or holding hands? Are these okay?

I guess it depends on whether or not you're okay with being considered "off the market" while in a dating relationship.

In an article published yesterday, the New York Times explores what hand-holding means in today's sex saturated culture; saying that as it did in former generations, it still communicates a form of commitment, maybe even more so.

"Hand-holding is the one aspect that's not been affected by the sexual revolution," said Dalton Conley, a professor and chairman of the department of sociology at New York University. "It's less about sex than about a public demonstration about coupledom." ...

To hold someone's hand is to offer them affection, protection or comfort. It is a way to communicate that you are off the market.

Though certain kinds of intimate expressions may fall within Paul's instruction to young men in 1 Timothy 5:2 to treat "younger women as sisters, with absolute purity," dating couples should also be concerned about what these expressions mean -- to each other and to those around them.

In a Boundless article published earlier this year, Matt Schmucker explains that we -- men particularly -- must be careful with the implied commitment of seemingly "innocent" forms of physical intimacy.

The single men in our churches must be encouraged to ask themselves, "in your relationships with single women, are you painting a false picture and committing fraud?" What may be considered innocent -- holding hands, putting an arm around her in the pew, some "light" kissing, long talks over Starbucks coffee -- all send the message to a sister that reads, "You're mine."

So the question is, is the person you are holding hands with "yours" or just "yours right now"?

( http://www.boundlessline.org/2007/09/the-meaning-of-.html )

To the Japan-Guide forum police... You have now won... I shall plagiarize The internet is yours and a winner is you!

by Dude... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/22 15:59
To Dude- Why do you come to all these threads and use other people's words? Do you not have your own? You hide behind "guest" status and I wonder why. Is it because you wish to be a troll?
Many of us here have been part of the question forums for many years. (For me 8 years) We come to help people with our own experience and own words. If you want to help, it is ok, but please consider being yourself and let people know you actually care about the forum.

For the OP- It is possible she was just being very kind. I have held someone's hand to help show them around so they do not get separate from me. I also have held my previous bf's hands and I now hold my husband's hand. Holding hands is not necessarily a sign of attraction. It can be but it also can be just a kind gesture. Since she has a boyfriend, I would think it is more friendly than attraction.

by hirosumi rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/22 16:01
Dude- I forgot to ask this question- What does the attitude of hand-holding by CHRISTIANS have to do with what is typical Japanese behaviour?
The article you copied is about Christians and outward signs of affection. It does not apply here.
by hirosumi rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/23 13:49
I assume not many wOmen touch you? Anyway like other have said you thinking too highly of this gesture. Just being friendly is all.
by el nino cool rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/8/23 22:35
Thanks everybody for his/her answers, they are really helping me!
by Dutch guy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/9/7 22:36
i think these responses are really strange. really.... ? do people often go around holding hands with members of the opposite sex, if they just think of them as friends? as an american female, i can say i have never held hands with a guy unless i had serious intentions behind it...
maybe i'm so curious because i had a japanese guy hold my hand through a park at night after we had dinner together and then pretend it never happened.. so is this some sort of cultural thing i should be aware of?
by curious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/9/9 05:28
You are American...with its unique culture and a strong puritan streak.

Holding hands for a short while is normal in many cultures and has nothing to do with sex or romance...

At both a funeral and a wedding in Europe all the other guests--both sexes, various ages, many of them people I had never seen before--hold my right my hand in both their hands for a few seconds then kissed me 3 times (right cheek-left-right)...it only meant "nice to see you"
nothing more, nothing less.

I have hold the hand of friends or relatives--we are all adults-- in a big crowd to make sure we didn't get separated

While the Japanese are supposed not to show PDA, I have seen young Japanese holding hand and hugging what appeared to be their friends of either sex. Again it didn't looked as if it meant anything special

by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/9/9 05:36
I think maybe she was a little keen on you and thought that since you were only there for a short time she could indulge in a little handholding and it wouldnt go anywhere.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/9/9 09:54
redfrog...

both the contexts you describe i understand as being nonromantic. but the context Dutch Man's describing is different.. they aren't at an event like a wedding and they aren't about to get lost in a large crowd. the day is coming to an end and this girl is holding his hand. and the context for me was that we were entirely alone in a park at night... both those situations seem romantic to me.

also, considering japanese culture which is so awkward with physical touching anyway it makes even playful shoulder punches seem intimate (which incidentally is what my guy 'friend' was doing to me, for the first time though i had known him for 6 months, right before we started holding hands).

but anyway, i do understand what you are saying about america and its puritanical background and making it feel like more of a big deal than to people of other cultures.

by curious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Holding my hand: what does it mean? 2012/9/10 04:35
Now I am very confused about this because usually when a girl holds you hand it means that she loves you.

You are reading too much into this, IMO.

FYI, holding one's hands doesn't necessarily convey a romantic interest.

I had the opposite experience of you. I'm a foreign girl who has held the hands of a Japanese guy. I even touched his arms and his hair. He did the same to me too. We both let each other do this. This doesn't make us crazy in love for each other, now does it? It was plain curiosity actually, since he has never touched a foreign girl before and same for me not touching a Japanese guy. Nothing intimate happened and no relationship followed after that. We weren't even romantically interested to begin with.

by . (guest) rate this post as useful

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