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But it was hard not to feel jealous. They were true success stories. This post may contain affiliate links. All of them were bearded and balding.

The Japanese women were gourmet truffles, while the western women were the three-year-old tootsie rolls melted to the bottom of the barrel. For the most part, I was happy for them. Because everywhere else, Barbie ends up with Ken, not his underemployed, socially-awkward, samurai-sword-collecting neighbor, Kevin. But as wide-spread as the problem seemed to be, it was one that many women avoided talking about.

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Strong, independent, assertive and outspoken, they were interesting to admire from afar, but no man would ever dream of striking up a conversation with one. The pervading theory though, among expats and Japanese alike, was that Japanese men were in fact attracted to western women but were just too intimidated to do anything about it. Not that I wished it otherwise.

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Western women in Asia were like the Jennifer Anistons of the expat world. But as I realized a few weeks into my stay in Japan, I was also mysteriously, frustratingly invisible. They were straight-forward and open-minded, for one thing. Four middle-aged White Dudes.

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Most days I felt unattractive, unwanted and worst of all, unfemale. But they were the minority. In Asia, the nerd is king. Who could blame them for taking advantage of a magical loophole that allowed them to date women out of their league? It was hard to be a single, western woman in Japan.

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This would never happen anywhere else in the world. And all of them were pressed up against the model-thin bodies of a heavily made-up Japanese Beauty Queen. Most western women came to Japan single and stayed that way. Western women were so different, so foreign, they were virtually un-datable.

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And through their Western, wire-rimmed eyes, they viewed relationships as an equal partnership, which was something the more traditional, close-minded of Japanese men still struggled to do. Even the socially awkward deserved to love and be loved. The Japanese men might have been frightened of us but the other expat men just flat-out ignored us. Not true for their Y-chromosome-carrying expat buddies though.

While the female expats spent Saturday nights alone, crying into their Ramen bowls, their male counterparts drank freely from the dating pool like they owned it. Furthermore, I was bilingual, well-traveled and college-educated. All of them resembled the aging, dating an older man funny stringy-haired members of the band Metallica.