The expression “I miss you” doesn’t have an exact Japanese equivalent. In fact, the way one says “I miss you” to a romantic partner differs from how they say it to friends and family.
There are various nuances to saying “I miss you” that can leave different impressions on one’s significant other. Improperly using such expressions can even cause your partner to feel pressured or uncomfortable.
So, here are 10 ways to say “I miss you” in Japanese with descriptions on how best to use them. By mastering these equivalents, one can communicate better without any misunderstandings.
1. Aitai (I want to see you)
A common way to say “I miss you” in Japanese is “aitai,” which translates to “I want to see you.” This phrase is perfect for expressing longing for a romantic partner.
If you haven’t seen your boyfriend or girlfriend recently, you can say “aitai” to them. However, this phrase can sometimes be too direct.
In cases where your partner is very busy and unable to meet, saying “aitai” might create pressure. Also, avoid overusing this term so you don’t come across as too needy.
Thus, it’s best to save “aitai” for special occasions.
2. Aenakute Samishii (I feel lonely that we don’t see each other)
You can say “aenakute samishii” to your boyfriend or girlfriend to express that you miss them. In English, this means “I feel lonely that we don’t see each other.”
This phrase is often used by women. If you miss your boyfriend and haven’t seen him, tell him “Aenakute samishii.”
When used correctly, it sounds adorable and endearing. But just like “aitai,” don’t say it too much.
Repeating it too often could make you seem needy instead.
3. Hayaku Koewo Kikitai na (I want to hear your voice very soon)
If you can’t chat with your special someone, try saying “hayaku koewo kikitai na.” It means you want to talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Men don’t often say “aitai” or “samishii” when missing their partner. To sound more manly, use “hayaku koewo kikitai na” instead of “aitai.”
This phrase is fine for girls too. It’s just a different way to say you miss your loved one.
4. Ima, Kimino Kotowo Kangaeteita (I was just thinking about you)
This phrase is often used by males. As mentioned before, men typically avoid saying “aitai” or “samishii.” They opt for more indirect, masculine ways of expressing “I miss you.”
If you’re missing your girlfriend, send her a text: “Ima, kimino kotowo kangaeteita,” translating to “I was just thinking about you.” This statement is more similar to the English phrase “I miss you.”
When expressing “I miss you” in English, it doesn’t imply “I want to see you.” Instead, you’re sharing a longing to be with someone. This Japanese phrase operates in the same manner.
Receiving such a message from a loved one is quite romantic.
5. Aerukana (Can I see you?)
As children, we often use phrases like “aitai” or “samishii.” However, for grown men and women, these expressions may seem immature. It’s preferable to use “aerukana,” which translates to “can I see you?” in English. This makes you appear more mature and refined.
Although “aerukana” appears to directly request a meeting, it’s not as forward as it may seem. In reality, it’s less desperate than saying “aitai.” To the Japanese, it conveys the idea of “I’d like to see you if you’re available.” This gives the other person the freedom to decide when they’d like to meet you or not.
6. Kaoga Mitai na (I want to see your face)
In your hectic daily routine, finding time to meet your significant other might be challenging. However, you can avoid sounding clingy by not constantly saying “aitai.”
Instead, try using “kaoga mitai na” as an alternative. This phrase subtly conveys to your partner that you miss them.
When texting your loved one, consider including “hayaku kaoga mitai na” (I want to see your face soon). By doing so, your partner will feel no obligation to meet but will comprehend your longing for them.
7. Aitaku Nacchatta (I suddenly want to see you)
Girls can use “aitaku nacchatta” to sound adorable when talking to their boyfriends. This phrase means “I miss you” in a cute way.
Instead of saying “aitai,” use “aitaku nacchatta.” It doesn’t seem needy, even though it has the same meaning.
This expression is perfect for sounding sweet. If your boyfriend likes cute, girly girls, he might make time for you even when he’s busy and tired.
8. Sukoshi Demo Aetara Ureshii na (I would be happy to see you even a short period of time)
This phrase is good for when you begin dating someone. Other phrases work better for couples. When you’re just getting to know someone, those other expressions might seem clingy or forceful.
So, if you want to see the person you’ve just started dating, try saying “sukoshi demo aetara ureshii na.” This shows your interest without saying “I miss you because I love you” outright.
9. Mata Aitai Ne (let’s see each other soon)
Up to this point, I mostly discussed expressing “I miss you” in romantic settings. However, when conveying this to friends, you can use “mata aitai ne,” translating to “let’s meet up soon.”
If you long to see friends you haven’t encountered in a while, say “mata aitai ne.” In English, it’s similar to saying “I miss you and see you soon.” It’s a casual and warm way to say “I miss you.”
10. Oaidekinaku Narunowa Samishii Desu (I will be sad not to be able to see you)
If you live with a Japanese family or work alongside Japanese individuals, you may wish to express, “I am going to miss you” when departing. You’ve learned that “aitai” isn’t suitable for this context.
Instead, use the phrase “oaidekinaku narunowa samishii desu,” which translates to “I am going to miss you.” This is a respectful way to inform your host family or coworkers that you’ll miss their presence.