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Was watching a drama and in the episode following a progress in a relationship where the main character finally kissed her boyfriend, her mother asked her "__君と結ばれたのね".

The characters were shown in the next episode to be sleeping in the same bed, dressed, in the next episode where previously the guy slept on a futon while she slept on his bed. Apart from that line, nothing else was mentioned or hinted. The show is not sexual at all so pretty unlikely but wondering if there's a possibility it means that.

Or can Musubu just mean getting closer? The mother already knew they were dating so the sudden question about bonding closer out of the blue and the character being surprised is just weird imo if it truly was non-sexual. Can one even date without being bonded? If anyone is bothered/interested, it is 16:12 of this episode. https://dramacool.vc/35sai-no-shoujo-episode-7.html

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This is somewhat an euphemistic word that can mean any progress related to love, from successfully starting a relationship to a marriage. What concrete event it refers to depends on the context.

I watched only a few minutes of the drama, but 結ばれる in this scene seems to refer to something between 付き合い始める and 結婚する. Sleeping in the same bed is certainly one of the events 結ばれる can signify, and that may be why the daughter was surprised, but basically 結ばれたのね by itself is fairly vague.

Here's 明鏡国語辞典's definition:

結ぶ

別々の体や心をつないで離れないようにする。結び合わせる。 「愛情が二人の心をしっかりと━」「二人は強固な信頼感で━・ばれている」「めでたく━・ばれる(=愛が成就じょうじゅする・結婚する)」

【語法】受身の形が多い。また、「親交を━」のように、~ヲに〈結果〉をとる言い方もある。深い交わりを作り出す意。

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  • Thank you for taking the time to watch it. Have you personally seen the word musubu used for intimate relations? If not then since the dictionary definitions also dont put anything like that there then I guess I would be interpreting it wrongly if I attach sexual meaning to it if 100% of the time it doesnt that normally unless it's some joke that both parties get. Which clearly isnt the case here. Family members dont joke about this nor does the other party think of this non-standard subtle meaning immediately for the firs time. – shoryuu Apr 4 at 14:41
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    @shoryuu This is a word that any native speaker have heard countless times. Note that 愛が成就する is another vague expression. 結ばれる is particularly common in wedding ceremonies, and it basically does not have an explicitly sexual implication. However, in this specific context, there seems to be a reason to attach sexual meaning to it (it clearly doesn't mean 両思いになる nor 結婚する, right?). It's an euphemistic expression, but it's not a joke. – naruto Apr 5 at 1:23
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At first sight of your question, I was tempted to answer quickly 'Yes', but, reading it in detail, I thought this is a very difficult question to solve. In order to solve this linguistically and to understand the general uses of むすばれる and むすばれた, first of all, let's have a look at some examples.

  • 赤ちゃんと心がむすばれる
  • よい人と結ばれるみこみがない?
  • 好きなのに結ばれない恋がある。
  • 赤い糸で結ばれた二人
  • 強いきずな(bondage)で結ばれたみんなと!
  • 心とからだの準備をしっかりして、より素敵な夜を過ごすために、いつどんな場面で結ばれるのかを、あらかじめ知っておく必要がある。(in this sentence, 結ばれる signifying intimate relation)

Interesting for me indeed, むすばれる(むすばれた)in most of these examples represent the mental or spiritual bondage or linkage between the two. In order to find むすばれる(むすばれた)with the meaning of intimate relation, I did some research on the web by using ホテルでむすばれた. I found, of course, some examples of this meaning, and among them a very interesting one for me and probably for you.

  • その後、二人はホテルで男女として結ばれた。

The writer of this sentence had to put 男女として before むすばれる, for the purpose of clear statement of their intimate relations. Now we can safely say that むすばれる(むすばれた)put much more emphasis on human, mental, or spiritual bondage between the two and that they have to come closer and closer and reach a certain top of, say, marriage or something like that.

Now, let's return your specific case in the show. I watched only some parts and its summary. It seems to me that むすばれる is the most important key phrase in this drama because of the symbolic name of the boy friend or partner is 結人(read yuuto, literally musubareru+hito). Grown up in a new house which cannot be called her home because of the lack of strong human relationships among the family members, the main character was told by her mother「結人と結ばれたのね」. The human relationship reached at a certain top in mentality or spiritual state during her 35-year-life without mutual warm human relationships. In this show, it does not matter whether the main characters had sex or not, and the scenario writer must have thought that this kind of sexual things should not need to be mentioned or hinted, and he probably intentionally avoided this in order to focus on her spiritual purity. This was surely one of her tops in her life, even if she did not get married formally. But I do not know her later life at all.

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