What would 向き合う mean in a romantic context? Is it something similar to "connecting with each other"? Or is it something else?

In a sports context, does it automatically mean "facing each other as opponents" or can it simply mean "meeting/seeing each other" in the competition without being opponents?


1 Answer 1


I don't think there is a special meaning for 向き合う in a sport or romantic context. Specifically, it doesn't mean "to connect". If you know a sentence where it seems to mean such a thing, please share that sentence so we can explain better.

向き合う just means "to face", and the object can be:

  • another person, face-to-face (neutrally): 彼女に向き合って座る, 向き合って一礼する
  • (figuratively) difficult situation: 現実に向き合う, 困難に向き合う
  • another person with a difficult situation: 彼女に向き合う (this by itself can mean "to face her trouble" or "to face the trouble between her and me")
  • (relatively uncommon) an inanimate but tangible object: 鏡に向き合って座る

In sport contexts, the person you're facing is usually your opponent, but that's not necessary. For example, a catcher and a pitcher are in 向き合う position in baseball.

  • I encountered this sentence 好きだって言って少し向き合えたと思ったのは俺だけ? where it seems to be implying that after telling his partner he liked her, they were able to "face each other" a little? He later repeats it with 俺と向き合ってみる気はない?It sounded odd to me, so I was assuming that he meant it in a figurative sense that they were able to "face and accept the feelings" of one another, instead of it being one-sided. But I wasn't sure if I was understanding it correctly.
    – Jinana
    Jul 4, 2016 at 9:57
  • 俺 and the woman are already in a romantic relationship, right? Then such 向き合う are explained in my third bullet. It not about physically seeing her face-to-face, but about "thinking seriously about the (troubled) situation between 俺 and you".
    – naruto
    Jul 4, 2016 at 10:11
  • Ah, that seems about right. Thanks! Although I've been seeing 向き合わない彼氏 a lot while looking the word up on Google. Take this one for example (detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1072347195), it seems that it doesn't always just pertain to their "boyfriend not thinking about their difficult situation", but to their boyfriend not being emotionally there also? What are your thoughts on this one?
    – Jinana
    Jul 4, 2016 at 11:10
  • @Jinana Ah, you are right, "もっと私に向き合ってよ" can simply mean "Pay more attention on me".
    – naruto
    Jul 4, 2016 at 11:18

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