Phrases For Dating In Japan Posted by on Mar 16, 2020 in Culture

Image courtesy of, CCO

Did you meet a Japanese girl or guy but have no idea what to say to them in Japanese? I have come to rescue you. Here are a few basic Japanese dating phrases that you can use for that special someone.

Good afternoon (こんにちは).

When starting a conversation with that cute Japanese person across the room, you’ll need to first introduce yourself. You can start that by first saying, “good afternoon”, “good evening”, or, if leaving at night, “good night”.  “Konnichiwa” (こんにちは) is a word that generally means “good afternoon”, but it can also be used at other times of the day. If you are meeting your potential dating partner specifically in the evening, you can use “Konbanwa” (こんばんは). You’d use these words like you would in English. For example, “Good evening, I’m Phil” would be translated to, “こんばんは、僕はフィルです).

My name is … (私のなめは …)

Let’s break the grammar down for this one, because understanding this sentence is really important because you are going to use this sentence a lot.

There are several ways to say “I” in Japanese, and “watashi” is probably the most neutral and polite way to do so. It is used by both men and women and is commonly used in formal situations. If you are a girl, you’ll probably be using this or the variant “Atashi” (あたし) quite a lot. If you are a guy, you have two additional options for the word “I”: “boku” (僕) or “ore” (俺). “Ore” is considered rougher and more informal (also more manly), while “boku” is more childish, polite, and demurring. Great, so “I” is covered. Next in the sentence, you’ll add the “no” (の) particle which is a possessive particle. This, when combined with “I”, essentially makes the word “my”. The next word, “namae” (名前) literally translates to “name”. The last piece of the sentence example is the particle “ha” (は), which is actually pronounced “wa”. This particle, in this sentence, is something like the word “is”. So, in summary, we end up with 私の (My) 名前 (name) は (is). The last and only other part you need is your name. Now that you understand the grammar, you can quickly choose between “watashi”, “ore”, and “boku”, depending on the context of the situation.

Questions You Can Ask

Now that you’ve introduced yourself, let’s ask our potential date some questions, and get to know them. Here are a few examples of questions that you can ask:

仕事は何しているの What do you do for work?

趣味はなに What are your hobbies?

飲みに行かない Do you want to go for a drink?

食べに行かない Do you want to go for some food?

彼氏がいるの?Do you have a boyfriend?

彼女がいるの? Do you have a girlfriend?

Expressing Your Feelings

Now that you’ve gotten to know that special someone, it’s time to express your feelings for them.

Here are a few examples of sentences that you can use, to that effect:

Please date me.  僕と付き合ってください

好きです I like you.

可愛いね (You) are cute.

美人だね (You) are beautiful.

目が綺麗ね You’re eyes are beautiful.

LINE 交換しようLet’s exchange our LINE IDs.

メール交換しよう Let’s exchange e-mail addresses.


You’ll also need a way to acknowledge when someone says something, and you’ll need to express agreement and disagreement. Here are a few examples of sentences that you can use, to that effect:

面白い That’s interesting!

そうね – That’s so / That’s right

そうかもしれない That’s probably so

そうか – Is that so?

でしょう? Right?

それは違う That’s wrong  / That’s different

Thanking Someone

Here are a few ways that you can say “thank you”, in Japanese:

どうも Thank You (very informal)

ありがとう Thank you (informal)

ありがとうございます Thank you very much (formal)

どうもありがとうございます。 Thank you very much (very formal)

There are many other useful phrases and words that are useful for dating in Japan that can be discussed in a future post, but for now, this should get you started. Now get out there and approach that person with confidence.

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About the Author: Philip Gregory

Philip Gregory is a singer-songwriter, concert photographer, and published writer. He has degrees in English, Japanese, and Philosophy. He speaks English and Japanese and has lived in Japan for more than 8 years.