This is usually done after a short introductory prologue and being given a narrative reason for the choice presentation, such as picking a classmate for a school project.
While the tools offered by these games tacitly encourage narrative manipulation, such as skipping of prior-read text, jumping directly to decision points, massive amounts of save slots, gallery completion percentages, and new game plus content, unfortunately the user experience design isn't there to train someone completely new to this experience.
Or, if you're more of the girl next door, you might be more partial to Our Two Bedroom Story, a game about becoming flatmates with a hot guy from work.
Then there's a Metro PD: Close To You, designed to please those cop drama fans, or if you're feeling a bit risqué, you could agree to be sold off in an auction at an illicit casino in Kissed By The Baddest Bidder.
Some of the other titles are social games played on Japanese social media platforms specially focused on games like Mobage, and the app developer says that one in five women in Japan have played a dating simulator at least once.