the ideal girlfriend is always minami-chan.Though romantic relationships in Gintama seem pretty few and far between, Hijikata is partially known for his good looks, and therefore one could say he's had more than a few women (and probably men... and maybe animals if we're going to count people like Kondou) writing him love letters and giggling as he passes by. Though Hijikata is too much of a workaholic to waste time on things like silly romances, below are a few spotted throughout the series.
Okita MitsubaIf there's one character outside of mayonnaise that Hijikata can be linked to romantically, it's Okita's older sister, Mitsuba. Hijikata has been a close friend of Mitsuba's since he was much younger, even before having joined the Shinsengumi. Though Mitsuba cared deeply for Hijikata, confessed to him and even offered to follow him and the rest of the men to Edo, he never reciprocated these feelings. However, it is said by Okita that Mitsuba continued to wait for him regardless of the fact he had continually given her the cold shoulder.
Nevertheless, Hijikata's cold-hearted nature towards Mitsuba was not done out of dislike, but out of love. Hijikata makes it pretty clearly obvious that he has feelings for her as well: turning away shyly when she smiles at him, or outwardly rejecting any kind of relationship when he's teased by Yamazaki and Gintoki. I've also heard a couple of fans mention that his love for mayonnaise may stem from his relationship with Mitsuba (him pouring mayonnaise onto his food while Mitsuba poured pepper onto hers, in order to make her obsession seem "less weird"). While it seems like a pretty legitimate conclusion to draw, in my personal opinion, Hijikata just really effing loves mayonnaise.
His reasonings for rejecting her are related to his work: Hijikata lives a life where he is constantly facing death--there was no possible way he could promise himself to Mitsuba. Rather than selfishly making the decision to be with her, he felt that she should "live a normal life like everyone else", and would be better off marrying someone who does not live by the sword. To quote Hijikata from Mitsuba's arc itself, "I just want the girl I love to be happy".
Matsudaira KurikoKuriko is the daughter of her paranoid father, Matsudaira Katakuriko, the superintendent in charge of the Shinsengumi. Due to his over protective nature, high rankings officers and commanders such as Hijikata have been asked to spy on Kuriko's dates and/or carry out hits on her boyfriends. During a date to the amusement park, Hijikata is overcome with emotion watching young love blossom, and instead of attacking the boyfriend, retaliates and attacks Matsudaira and Okita as the warrior of love, Mayora 13. Kuriko finds herself enchanted with this mysterious man, whom she runs into again while working her job at a konbini.
Enlisted for a job yet again, Hijikata "protects" Kuriko from the men who are hitting on her at work by claiming her as his own. She then asks him on a date, in which Hijikata continually tries to make her dump him. He takes her to a porn film, feeds her the Hijikata special, and gets beat up by a gang on the street (played by the Yorozuya). Much to his dismay, none of this actually works, but seems to make her like Hijikata even more. He is even momentarily smitten by the fact that she finds the Hijikata special to be quite delicious. However, they are ultimately forced to part ways when Hijikata decides not to lead her on any furhter-- he pretends to be the prince who must return from the planet Mayo Maniac. Though Kuriko is upset to see him go, she gives him a good-bye kiss and sends him on his way.
MayonnaiseYes, mayonnaise. Mayonnaise can be considered a character because mayonnaise has probably gotten more appearances than Sakamoto and Takasugi combined. Hijikata is hopelessly and shamelessly in love with mayonnaise. He eats mayonnaise, he snorts mayonnaise, he huffs mayonnaise, he's worn a mayonnaise outfit, his lighter is shaped like a mayonnaise bottle. He's so blindly in love with mayonnaise in fact, that he seems to believe that everyone loves it just as much as he does, and takes serious offense when somebody doesn't. Though Mitsuba is clearly the canon romantic pairing for Hijikata, one could certainly argue that mayonnaise is a worthy contendor: after all, Mitsuba is not the only thing that Hijikata has found himself fighting for. The mayo-addict vice commander has defended the name of mayonnaise a number of times against various characters in the series.
Perhaps it's because all Hijikata has to do is love mayonnaise, and mayonnaise asks for nothing back. After all, for a man who lives and dies by the sword, to promise himself to any one woman would be risky. Mayonnaise is an almighty condiment that understands that "work must come first" and will be there for him whenever he needs it to be-- that is, so long as the Shinsengumi keep up their supply.