They are also sometimes put under the category of neoromance.
The most common objective of dating sims is to date, usually choosing from among several characters, and to achieve a romantic relationship.
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When the game ends, the player either loses the game if he failed to properly win over any of the girls, or "finishes" one of the girls, often by having sex with her, marrying her (as in Magical Date), and/or achieving eternal love.
The term "dating sim" is also often used incorrectly in English as a generic term for romance-driven 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.
This gives the games more replay value, since the player can focus on a different girl each time, trying to get a different ending.
Dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial often revolve almost entirely around relationship-building, usually featuring complex character interactions and branching dialogue trees, and often presenting the player's possible responses word-for-word as the player character would say them.