I LOVE YOU in Japanese | Romantic Expressions & 6 signs of LIKE

Even though Japanese people are known as shy people,
there are some ways to express their LOVE feelings.Especially in the beginning of dating, they might send some signs of LIKE by some words and actions, but it’s difficult to know if you don’t understand their culture.

Because some Japanese people is very shy and also afraid of breaking their heart, so they won’t tell you “I love you” straight so easy.
Actually some people take YEARS to tell you!
This might sounds little weird but actually some people really do.

Today, I would like to introduce how to express “LOVE” in Japanese language and also how to identify when someone have a crush on you!

I LOVE YOU in Japanese

There are 3 basic ways to say “I love you” in Japanese.

1.あいしてます (Ai shi te masu) Formal

  あいしてるよ (Ai shi te ru yo) Casual

  あいしてる (Ai shi te ru) very casual

わたしはあなたをあいしています。This is the basic English translation for “I love you” in Japanese”, but we usually omit the “I (わたしは)” and “you (あなたを)” parts.

You might hear this phrase in Japanese movies or comics. But this is not a common phrase to use so often in Japan.

Because it feels a little too deep for Japanese people to use this phrase in their daily lives. This phrase is suitable for a occasion when you propose to your loved one and express your deep love feelings to that person.

2.だいきです (Dai suki desu) Formal

    だいきだよ (Dai suki dayo) Casual

  だいき! (Dai suki) very casual

This is the word that we commonly use on a daily basis in Japan when telling “I love you” to your boyfriend/ girlfriend, friends, family and pet, etc…

3.きです (Suki desu) Formal

  きだよ (Suki dayo) Casual

  (Suki) very Casual

English translation for きです is “I like you”. But you can use this one to express your affection when approaching someone in early days of dating!

Some people may meet someone at club or bar etc…and may play only overnight, that’s pretty normal in Japan, too. But if they want a serious relationship, they usually ask for a relationship with the following words to someone they like.

きです。(Suki desu) / I like you.
(Tsukiatte kudasai)
/ Please be my girlfriend/ boyfriend.

This is the most common phrase to ask for a serious relationship.


Japanese people normally take some time to know each other to grow their love feelings, so if you tell them these phrases too quick, some people might think you are a playboy / playgirl.

If you are looking for a serious relationship, I recommend you to have dating with him / her at least 3 to 4 times before using these phrase.

10 romantic phrases to express your love

Would you like to try something more romantic?

Here are some romantic Japanese phrases to express your love.

1. I love you with all my heart.

こころからあいしてます (kokoro kara ai shite masu)

2. I want to be with you forever.

ずっと一緒いっしょにいたい (zutto issho ni itai)

3. I am happy to be with you.

NAMEといるとしあわ (NAME to iru to shiawase)

4. It’s the first time I’ve loved someone so much.

(konnani dareka wo suki ni natta koto wa arimasen)

5. I want to stay by your side.

NAMEのそばにいたい (NAME no soba ni itai)

6. I cannot stop thinking about you.

(NAME no koto ga atama kara hanarenai)

7. You are my sunshine.

きみぼく太陽たいよう (kimi wa boku no taiyou da) male

8. I think I found a true love.

(shinjitsu no ai wo mitsuketa kigasuru)

9. I think I will fall in love with you again in next life.

(umarekawattemo kimi ni mata koi wo suru to omou)

10. I think we are connected by a red string of destiny.

(futari wa unmei no akai ito de tsunagarete iru to omou)

Before you approach someone with these words, you may want to know if that person is interested in you first. It may be helpful to know the common “like” signs of Japanese as below!

Japanese Signs of LIKE

When Japanese people have someone they like, their impressions and behaviors to that person will change.

Check if you see the following signs of LIKE from the person you like!

1. Eye contact

This is the basic sign of LIKE all over the world.

Eyes meet many times a day, yet as soon as they meet, look away from you or smile at you. Some girls might give you upward gazing at your eyes when speaking.

2. Body touch

Talk to you by tapping your shoulder in a situation where usually just speak to.
Touch your hair while complimenting.
Tap your face or back lightly from behind with their finger, etc…

These are very small actions but showing desire to touch someone they like.

Compared to other countries, originally Japan does not have much body touch culture like kiss, hug and shaking hands.

If you see a Japanese person who do a lot of body touch, it may be a playboy/ playgirl type person.
Be mindful if you are looking for a serious relationship!

3. Compliment

Some Japanese people may compliment you a lot to make you feel happy.

Especially if you get a lot of compliment about both your looks and your personality often, it’s likely that you are interested by that person.

(Maikeru san wa kakkoii shi, yasashii yone)
Michael, you are handsome and kind.

(kirei de seikaku mo sugoku ii desu yone)
You are beautiful and having very good personality, too.

4. Frequent text or call

Maybe this is a common sign of “LOVE” all over the world, too.

First, you will be asked if you have a “LINE” or “WhatsApp” account to exchange. This is normal even just as a friend.

But if you start to get a text or call more than 3 times/weekly from same person, they might be interested in you.

Especially if that person ask you with following phrases without particular reason, situation like “Just checking”!

げん (Genki) / What’s up?
いまなにしてるの? (Ima nani shiteruno) / What are you doing now?

5. Surprised Present

There are many gift-giving cultures in Japan such as birthdays, weddings, also Christmas and Valentine’s day, etc…
Besides that, we often give gifts to thank someone.

So if you personally get some surprised gifts even though you don’t do anything special for that person, there is a high possibility that she/he are likely to like you.

For example,
・Something good for cold when you tell them “I caught a cold”.
・Lucky charm when you having a big exam or joining a competition.
・Handmade sweets or snacks.
・Matching goods such as same cap or t-shirts or shoes, etc…

If you just receive a small item from convenience store, it’s basically normal as friend.

Japanese people are very kind and always like to share, so if you get small items from convenience store that’s pretty normal.

6. Changes in the attitude of friends in the same group

Basically Japanese people treasure friendship very much.

If you like someone, your Japanese friend might try to help you having a relationship with that person.

For example, if a girl likes you, other female friends common with her might start to keep a little distance from you.

Some friend might tell you good things about her or ask you how you think about her.

Some may set dates so that three people go to a restaurant together and act like getting an emergency call to leave you and the girl alone.

If you see these signs, there is high possibility that she/he may likes you, too!

But even though the person might looks decent, there are some people use these signs and just play with your feelings, so be careful with those love players. Hope you find a good one!

Today’s Summary

Depending on relationship and occasion,
How to say “I love you” in Japanese is different.

Use きです(Suki desu) or きだよ(Suki dayo)
to express your affection when approaching someone in early days of dating!

だいきだよ(Daisuki dayo) or だいき!(Daisuki)
to express affection on a daily basis.

When you propose to someone or if you want to express your deep love feelings to your loved one, use
あいしてます(Ai shitemasu) or あいしてるよ(Ai shiteru yo).

Today I introduced 10 romantic phrases to express your love and also 6 Japanese signs of like.

Which phrase will you use for your loved ones?

If I missed any other romantic phrases in Japanese, please leave a comment and share it with me!


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