(tsukiau) The word ‘tsukiau’ means ‘to associate with’ or ‘to accompany’ (with no romantic connotations) but is also used to mean ‘to date’ or ‘to go steady’.I suspect things are rather less formal these days, but originally the idea of ‘tsukiau’ as ‘going steady’ would have been the stage of a relationship before engagement and marriage.Likewise, you can make these phrases more polite or more casual depending on your personal taste and the situations at hand.
I’m not feeling romantic enough to write a whole post about vocabulary used in dating, but some of the common phrases you will come across are: ‘boifurendo’ (ボーイフレンド) / ‘ga-rufurendo’ (ガールフレンド) – boyfriend/girlfriend (NB.
these terms are used a lot more casually in Japan, and might mean ‘close friends’ rather than ‘dating’) ‘kareshi’ (かれし) / ‘kanojyo’ (かのじょ) – boyfriend/girlfriend ‘koibito’ (こいびと) – lover/sweetheart ‘ai shiteru’ (愛してる) – I love you And if you wanted to ask someone out in Japanese, you could say: ‘watashi to tsukiatte moraemasenka? ’ – or simply ‘tsukiatte kudasai’ (つきあってください) – ‘please go out with me’.
Bicultural relationships are full of challenges, but fascinating.
Perhaps there will be more to come on this topic at some future date…
For example, this could be used in a sentence like: 今度どこかに一緒にデートしない？ (こんど どこかに いっしょに でーとしない？) Do you want to go on a date sometime?
You can also use the more formal (and more official-sounding) 交際する（こうさいする）to say “going out.” 付き合ってくれる？(つきあってくれる？) Will you go out with me?At least we’ll prepared when we finally meet our 白馬の王子様 (はくばのおうじさま – prince on a white horse) or 大和撫子 (やまとなでしこ – an idealized type of Japanese woman).Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that many of these phrases begin with 私 (わたし), a pronoun meaning “I.” Depending on your gender or how formal or intimate you want to sound, you can change the pronoun.The phrase is still used today, but Japan is modernising along with the rest of the world and I think relationships and dating are becoming a bit more relaxed.That being said, Japan is a country where ‘omiai’ (おみあい), matchmaking with a view to an arranged marriage, still exists.From Eskimo kisses to Southeast Asia’s sniff-kiss, affection is displayed differently across the globe.