From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."

On Dating a Korean

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1I have always known that my husband isn’t a pro on dating. When we were boyfriend and girlfriend, we would either go out to see a movie or have dinner in the same restaurants or bars. Our first date was memorable, because it was our first “official” date, and the first time ever that I saw him get nervous around me; however, that date lasted only a few minutes, because instead of bringing his own car, he borrowed his friend’s car which he had to return soon. On our first date as a married couple in Korea, he brought me to the zoo. Yes, the zoo! He was so excited about it that I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the zoo isn’t on a woman’s list of “the best places to go on a date”.

We have been married for five years now, and when it comes to our dates, I usually decide where to go. You know, to avoid going on a “zoo date” again or something similar to that. ^^

Here are a few of the things I have learned about dating a Korean:

  • Korean men dress to impress, especially on a first date. When my husband and I had our first official date, he made sure that he looked (and smelled) good. He was clean-shaven and his hair was gelled up. He looked like he was going to attend a wedding in his white collared semi-fitted shirt that matched the color of his sneakers. I was not only impressed by how seemly he was that day, but also delighted that he made every effort to look his best, which to me meant that our date was special.

  • Korean men will treat you like a princess on the first few dates. If you are one of those dreamy women who think that K-dramas can happen in real life, well, you will love it when the Korean you are dating opens the door for you, takes your hand, gives you his jacket when you are cold, holds an umbrella for you when it rains, offers to carry your bag, waits for you and follows you around while shopping, etc. Enjoy it while it lasts, because once you are already in a serious relationship (or if you end up getting married), he won’t be pampering you that way. Yes, there will still be mushy moments with him, but the K-drama fantasy will have to end at some point. My husband used to carry my bag for me even when I didn’t want him to, but now he won’t do it. He used to go shopping with me when we were BF and GF, and I actually thought that he liked it, because he never complained. After we got married, I found out how he loathes shopping, because he is always in a hurry to leave.

  • One of a Korean man’s most prized possessions has got to be his machismo. He feels good when his woman relies on him and treats him like her knight in shining armor. For this reason, calling a Korean man whom you are dating or in a relationship with oppa (오빠: older brother), even if you are of the same age or he is younger than you, is music to his ears. As your oppa, he feels obliged to pick up the tab everytime you go out and do little favors for you. While other men find confident, independent and outspoken women to be more attractive, Korean men may get intimidated by women who bear these qualities. No wonder most Korean men find women who do the aegyo (애교) more adorable. (For those who are not familiar with aegyo, just picture a young lady or a woman talking and acting like a child to look charming or cute to a man.) Most women I know who are married to Koreans call their husbands oppa, though there are other terms of endearment in Korean. As for me, I cringe every time I use the word oppa in referring to my husband, so I would never call him that.

  • Group dates are common in Korea. Although this is usually done by younger couples, older couples can sometimes be seen enjoying a night out with their couple friends in a hof (호프: bar) or a norae bang (노래방: videoke room).

  • I have read tons of articles that say PDA (public display of affection) is not so typical in Korea. Perhaps this is true several years ago, but not these days. Younger couples tend to be more expressive of their affection towards their boyfriend or girlfriend even in public. They have developed such thick skins that the glares of ajumma and ajossi (아줌마, 아저씨: older/married woman and man) don’t scare them anymore. I have seen younger couples in Korea kiss and embrace in public, but the most common PDA here is holding hands and doing side hugs. If you and your Korean man have been dating for a while, but he hasn’t held your hand or stolen a kiss from you yet, don’t you fret. Again, this isn’t K-drama. Give the man some time. Haha! ^^

What you have read from this article may be true about most, if not, some Korean men, but of course, everyone of them is unique, so the best thing to do is to not set a standard for the man you are dating. Let him be him, and from there you will know if he is the right person for you. After all, Korean men are simply MEN.  :)

4 thoughts on “On Dating a Korean

  1. Haha! Yup, most of them are not too expressive, so they tend to “assume” that we know it.🙂

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  2. So cute! I’m not sure if this is true of all Koreans but when my hubby and I were dating he just assumed we were automatically a couple. I told him that he had to ask first. He was so cute when he finally did, as if it was the most awkward/nerve-wracking thing ever ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, TJ. ^^ You’re right. I kinda enjoyed the zoo date, because it was spring then, and I loved the weather and the surroundings in Seoul Land… but if my husband asks me to do it again, I will turn him down for sure. There is nothing romantic about watching those poor animals in cages. I would rather go on a turkey shoot. That sounds exciting. ^^

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  4. Don’t feel bad I had a guy take me to a turkey shoot on the first date. A zoo would have been actual fun. Don’t know what a turkey shoot is? You go out to country, to a big field. You pay money usually something like 30 to 50 USD. Take your gun. Usually a rifle and you shoot at a white paper target, not an actual turkey. The guys line up and shoot at their targets and the one who gets the most points wins. You win a turkey or a ham. Sound like a fun first date? I actually went out with him for couple of months. He was a nice guy but his idea of dressing up was tucking his shirt in and wearing a belt.

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