Dating a Korean
I am not an experienced one because I never had a Korean boyfriend nor I've never been to Korea but for the past 2 years that I've been teaching Koreans, I've learned a lot about their culture and their personalities. I just want to tell you that what I am going to write here are just the points that I have in my mind based on what I have observed while watching a lot of Korean dramas and movies (though not all of those show the realities of Korean lives and culture). I also needed some ideas and help from my Korean friends and students to create this blog. (Thank you so much guys!)
Anyway, I guess it's now time to stop beating around the bush and start writing about what makes you so interested in this blog. I know you are so excited to read how you could possibly date a Korean guy or what the dating culture in Korea seems like. So... let's get going!
1. 한국어 (Hangukeo) and 한글 (Hangeul)
Remember that 한국어 (Hangukeo) means the Korean language itself and 한글 (Hangeul) means the Korean alphabet. Are you familiar with those? If not, well, it's time for you to learn. I've discussed a little about 한글 (Hangeul) on my previous blog, How to Read and Write Korean.Though Korean language as well as its alphabet is one of the hardest languages to learn, for me, you have to learn it if you're aiming to date a Korean guy. Koreans who travel can speak English either good or bad (and anyway, they are still studying) but there are still times that they can't express themselves in the English language so they really appreciate it if you can understand their native language (unless you want to bring a dictionary on a date).
Another thing is when you come to meet his family especially his parents, it's really a good thing if you can greet them and communicate with them in Korean (because as far as I encounter, most elders can speak little English or even they do know zero English).
2. Korean Gender Roles
Women in Korea are expected to be cute, funny and naïve. Though they are expected to be the real-life equivalent of a cartoon character, they are also expected to have a lovely and seductive side of them as well. Most Korean women are really body-conscious and regularly doing exercises to maintain a good body shape. They also take pride in looking beautiful all the time. These women efforts make them so feminine who need their men to do everything for them.
Korean men are always expected to be men who pay for everything, carry everything, and plan everything. They usually hang out with their friends without inviting their girlfriends. Also, guys are usually mistaken for gays (especially if you're not Korean) because like women, they take pride in their appearance. They even put a lot of things on their faces like creams and moisturizers! :) Sometimes, you really have to be patient because your guy takes a long time taking a shower (even longer than your time in the bathroom.) As boyfriends, they are expected to send messages to their girls all the time. They are actually much open about their feelings than any other men in the world.
3. Matchmaking / Blind Dating
If you are on your late 20's, don't be shocked or get offended when you're asked to be set up by friends, co-workers and pretty much anyone else. In Korea, it's dangerous for a guy to meet and go out on a date with unknown ladies or someone who they just met.
Blind Dating is really a usual thing in Korea unlike other countries. Here in the Philippines, for example, blind dating is actually an old school and usually for people who are really desperate to get marry (though not in all cases). However, in Korea, it's not for people who are desperate to get marry right away but actually for people of ages 26 to mid 30's who have careers that are consuming their lives. In fact, they are really happy to allow their friends to help out finding a partner for them.
Dating in Korea is really different from other countries. in fact, I was a bit shocked when my student explained how she had a boyfriend. Usually, dating is considered as a way to know each other first before getting in a relationship. It will really take a series of dating to see if the two are compatible to have a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship.
However, in Korea, a man and woman will meet each other either via by chance encounter in public or by mutual friends. First date will happen and if they decide to have a second date, it will be a confirmation that they are already in a relationship.
In the Philippines, we celebrate being in a relationship every month. For example, if you started the relationship last February 1, 2013, you will have you first monthsary on March 1, 2013 and so on. In Korea, it's quite different because they don't celebrate monthly but every 100 days of being in a relationship. The 100th day is very special for those who are in a relationship and they usually exchange gifts on the said day.
Also, it is normal for couples to wear matching clothing. Basically, it's because men want to make sure that everyone knows the girl is theirs and vice versa.
5. Korean Guys as Boyfriends
Korean guys are more attentive and communicative than guys from other countries. As in Korean dramas, Korean guys tend to send text messages to their girl a lot. A LOT! They are always typing something on their phones even when they are with their friends. Usually, after a date, they check if you arrived home safely by either calling you or sending a text message.
It's normal for a Korean guy to pay for almost everything on dates. Usually, when they go out shopping with their girlfriends, they don't allow girls to split the check or share the bills. It's a big insult for them. However, it's a bit different nowadays. I heard from my students that there are times when the two (who are dating) both spend their money. For instance, the guy pays for the movie and the girl pays for the food or vice versa. Unless, you are dating a guy like 'Goo Jun Pyo' in 'Boys over Flowers' or 'Cha Seung Jo' in 'Cheongdamdong Alice'.
They have the 'focus'. When they work, they work well. When they study, they study hard. Koreans (as far as my students are concern) value responsibility so much. You can never be demanding of all their time because they are pretty busy bees almost all the time.
Cutie guys are not really lacking in Korea. Aside from having a good and handsome face (though not all of them) they are not afraid to be cute unlike other guys that find some childish actions to be so corny. You can watch some dramas like Rooftop Prince, Flower Boy Next Door, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Cheongdamdong alice, Boys over Flowers, etc) and see how Korean leading actors act so cute using a lot of expressions and actions.
I also like them (I don't know if you do) when they scream and shout but still look so cute and charming. (My students really love shouting and I never stop smiling whenever I remember those times. :D)
However, there are still times that they act as if they're really into you and sometimes, ignore you as if you don't exist. Don't get mad though. It is just one of their tactics.