Or wife, or boyfriend or husband, as the case may be, according to this recent survey from goo Ranking into what one wants to say to one’s partner, but cannot, for both men to women and women to men.

Demographics

Between the 21st and 25th of May 2009 1,082 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.4% of the sample were male, 7.3% were in their teens, 16.0% in their twenties, 28.1% in their thirties, 27.9% in their forties, 10.8% in their fifties, and 9.9% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

I think the biggest one for me is being able to have a rest at the weekends, followed by getting to bed a bit earlier – no, not that meaning, although by having too many late nights… ahh, my mother reads my blog so I’d better stop now!

I’m sure I translated a similar survey a couple of years ago, but I cannot find it for now.

Ranking result

Q: What complaints do you want to mention to your partner, but cannot? (Sample size=556, male)

Rank   Score
1 I wish you’d economise more 100
2 I want to have some time by myself occasionally 98.8
3 I wish you’d tidy up the house a bit more 87.1
4 I just don’t like your parents 80.0
5 Your cooking is so-so 77.6
6 I wish you’d spoil me a bit more 67.1
7 Have you put on weight recently? 62.4
8 I want to have a rest on days off 60.0
9 I wish you’d say “I love you” occasionally 56.5
10 I wish you’d save more money 47.1
11 Have you feelings cooled off recently? 43.5
12 I want you to spoil me more 43.5
13 I want you to pay a bit more attention to your clothes 40.0
14 Are you being unfaithful? 38.8
15 I want to occasionally have dates with just the two of us 35.3
16 I want to be able to do my own thing 30.6
17 I want you to pay a bit more attention to your hairstyle 27.1
18 I want you to make a decision once in a while 24.7
19 I wish you’d be more moderate in pursuing your hobbies 23.5
20 I wish you’d buy me some more sensible presents 21.2

Q: What complaints do you want to mention to your partner, but cannot? (Sample size=526, female)

Rank   Score
1 I just don’t like your parents 100
2= I wish you’d get more promotion 74.2
2= I wish you’d economise more 74.2
4 I want to be able to do my own thing 68.9
5= I want to have some time by myself occasionally 62.1
5= I want you to pay a bit more attention to your clothes 62.1
7 I wish you’d say “I love you” occasionally 52.3
8 I wish you’d save more money 51.5
9 I wish you’d buy me some more sensible presents 43.9
10 I want you to make a decision once in a while 40.9
11 I want you to spoil me more 67.1
12 I want to have a rest on days off 35.6
13= I want you to pay a bit more attention to your hairstyle 34.8
13= I wish you’d tidy up the house a bit more 34.8
15 Are you being unfaithful? 34.1
16 I wish you’d be more moderate in pursuing your hobbies 31.1
17= Have you feelings cooled off recently? 28.0
17= I wish you’d think seriously about marriage 28.0
19 I want to occasionally have dates with just the two of us 22.0
20 I want to occasionally have dates somewhere different 18.9

6 Comments

RMilner · June 29, 2009 at 16:31

In my experience, Japanese wives are immune to the feeling of embarrassment that should prevent them making these kind of complaints.

auberginefleur · July 5, 2009 at 14:30

I was talking to my friends (i.e. salaryman drinking buddies) about your survery. Not only is there no good English term for amaeru, it is also all but impossible to distinguish between amaete hoshii (M to W, #6) and amaetai (M to W, #12). It is interesting that men want both, but women want amaetai (W to M, #11).

Ken Y-N · July 5, 2009 at 23:30

auberginefleur: yes, my translations of amaete hoshii/amaetai are most likely completely wrong and confusing! Indeed, I do remember reading somewhere recently a discussion that there really isn’t any good English translation for the base amae, let alone the differences in the two forms in the survey.

auberginefleur · August 31, 2009 at 16:44

Recent thoughts:

amaete hoshii: I want you to want me to be loving to you; I want you to let me be loving to you
(i.e. I want you to snuggle up to me and want me to be loving to you)

amaetai: I want you to be loving to me (i.e. I want to snuggle up to you and have you be sweet to me)

The more I try to think about this, the more confused I get. You just cannot say it in English!

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