Going Steady: Committing to Japanese Dating Words

Source: Gaijin Pot

If you want to become お似合(にあ)いのカップル (a perfectly matched couple), you will not only have to navigate the tricky world of デーティング (dating), but also the equally confusing world of Japanese dating terminology… and we’re not just talking about the vast number of words for love in Japanese.

Make no mistake: whether you want to join the hallowed ranks of the おしゃれ (fashionable people), イケメン (hunks), 美人(びじん) (beauties), 可愛(かわい)い子(こ) (cuties), 大和撫子(やまとなでしこ) (idealized traditional-type woman) and 九州男児(きゅうしゅうだんじ) (the incredibly manly people from Kyushu!) or simply enjoy a bit of water-cooler gossip — dating words are very important.

Some of these are, of course, similar to the English way of thinking. Take for example this playful way to ask for a date: “遊(あそ)びに行(い)こうよ (Shall we have some fun)?” After the relationship has progressed, however, saying that you are still 遊んでる (playing) is a sign that the relationship is not at all serious — which may or may not be what you want!

The Ties That Bind: Fate and Love in Japanese

Interestingly, much like English speakers may say that we’re “stuck on someone,” Japanese speakers use the word 付(つ)く (attach) to describe a relationship. This is typically paired with the word 合(あ)う (to meet) to form 付き合う (to date).

For example, the phrase 付き合ってくれる? can be used to take the lead and initiate a relationship by being the one to ask someone on a date. This may look weird to foreign people since くれる is typically attached to giving gifts and other things that are being done as a favor for someone else, but it’s quite normal to attach くれる to dating verbs as the date itself is something that another person …continue reading