New to Korea, single and ready to mingle? It isn’t always easy to find new friends, let alone something on a romantic level when living in another country. Especially South Korea, a country so different from the West, dating culture bears certain do’s and don’ts that are not like at home. But don’t worry, the following summary is what dating in Korea is like.
Couple Culture Galore
Korea is known for taking its couple culture to the next level: couple clothes, couple shoes, couple rings – Koreans go all out. It’s quite easy to spot who’s dating who walking in any Korean downtown. Don’t forget that every month has unofficial couple days: January 14th (Diary Day), February 14th (Valentine’s Day), March 14th (White Day), April 14th (Black Day), May 14th (Rose Day), June 14th (Kiss Day), July 14th (Silver Day), August 14th (Green Day), September 14th (Photo Day), October 14th (Wine Day), November 14th (Movie Day), December 14th (Hug Day).
Learn more about Korea’s love holidays here!
Know what you’re getting yourself intoThe Western term “casual dating” does not exist in South Korea. You’re either in – or out. Which means when dating a Korean, he or she either only wants a physical, almost “secret” relationship or plans to get married to you. You know your Korean partner is taking the relationship serious when you get to meet the parents, or other family members. In general, Koreans only introduce “marriage material” to their parents with the intention of getting their approval.
Korean’s get married lateUnlike other Asian countries, where it’s almost “a shame” not to be married by 25, Koreans tend to get married in their late 20s and early 30s. This is partly due to the high pressure to provide house, car and a promising career by the time you tie the knot.
Beware of Korean MIL
Remember my words: Korean Ajummas (older ladies) rule the country. Women are the unofficial leaders of the families and the older they are, the more power they seem to have over their offspring. Koreans tend to have lots of respect for their parents and family members and topics such as moving in together, planning to get married and especially going abroad are hot topics that need to be addressed wisely and with caution. Try to win the parents, and especially the mothers, over by helping to cook, wash the dishes, praising their food, drinking alcohol with them or simply watching TV together. Korean parents need to get the feeling that you want to become part of this family – if you are planning on doing so.
Be Aware of Work Life
If your Korean significant other has a decent job, chances are, they’re going to have to attend work dinners or even go on trips with their co-workers. This is a big part of Korean culture and cannot be avoided. Even staying late at work is a common thing here and has to be accepted. Don’t worry if your partner tells you he or she has to do overtime every day of the week. They’re most likely not cheating on you, but rather trying to be a good employee and earn that next promotion.
Don’t Miss a Chance!If you met a nice guy or girl who happens to be Korean – don’t freak out! Dating a Korean is fun and never gets boring. Being in an intercultural relationship is all about compromising and give and take. Have mutual understanding and be open to new ideas and ways of thinking. In the end, you will be rewarded with an adventurous relationship that can last forever!
Linda is a German/American blogger living in South Korea. She has always felt the urge to travel the world and speaks 6 languages. She lived in China for nearly 2 years and is now happy in South Korea, where her fiancé is from. Besides her great passion traveling, she enjoys great food and photography. Visit her blog, Linda Goes East, and take a look at her Facebook page .
Know someone looking for some dating advice in Korea. Channel your inner cupid and share this with them. Also feel free to leave your thoughts on dating in Korea in the comments below.
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