The term "dating sim" is also often used incorrectly in English as a generic term for romance-driven games (ren'ai games), a subject matter which is stereotypically associated with the visual novel genre.
This can lead to confusion, as visual novels are considered a subgenre of adventure games and are not technically included in the dating sim genre.
Some Japanese dating sims may allow the player to have romantic or sexual relationships with characters in their teens.
The degree of sexual content varies, but may often include intercourse.
The subplot of dating is more focused towards choosing one of several girls or guys (dependent on the player character's gender) and offering them presents or joining them on events in the game.