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Friday, April 27, 2007

Interview: Dating in Korea

I've been checking my Google keyword analyses. Lately my #2 search is 'dating in Korea.' So, yesterday, I interviewed a Korean friend (who shall remain nameless) about the dating world of Koreans and foreigners. Here was his response. Listen up, girls! :

Q: Why is it that Koreans have few same-sex friends?

A: typical Korean guy thinks very much like Billy Crystal from When Harry Met Sally; True friendship between a man and a woman can exist so long as there is absolutely no possibility of becoming attracted to each other.

Q: Are Korean guys generally interested in dating foreigners?

A: Now that interracial and inter-cultural marriages are becoming more and more prevalent and accepted in Korea, any reasonably minded heterosexual Korean guys would dump their existing girlfriends to go out an attractive and intelligent foreigner. Especially, when she shows a genuine interest and a deep appreciation for Korean culture, that’s a major plus.

There is a very popular TV show in Korea called, ‘Miyeodlui Suda,” meaning, ‘A chat with beautiful women.’ 20 something beautiful girls from all over the world share their thoughts and experiences regarding Korea and its people. They all speak Korean fluently. The two most sought after/searched on-line girls happen to be Canadian. Needless to day, they’re the best looking and funniest ones.

Q: You're a Korean guy. Can you give my readers (foreign girls) tips on dating in Korea?

A: Sure --

1. When a Korean guy says to you half-jokingly, “do you have an (American/ Canadian/ Australian) friend you can introduce me?” It means he likes you. Yes, they tend to beat around the bushes. They tend to be a bit shy.
2. If a Korean guy wants to “hang” with you, it means he is interested in you.
3. If a Korean guy pays for your food, he thinks you’re pretty cute.
4. If a Korean guy writes you a poem, he’s got a serious crush on you.
5. If a Korean guy invites you to his family dinner, the game’s over. Expect a proposal real soon.

*Remember though, these rules are only applicable to Korean-Korean guys, not westernized or North Americanized guys.

Q: Do you think it's possible for Americans/Canadians to really understand and fall in love with a Korean?

A: I think many foreign girls are apprehensive about dating someone from a very different culture. It's only natural. I mean, it’s hard enough to date someone from your own culture. I think there are two ways that kind of relationship can work: (1) one of them must completely assimilate into the other’s culture, and (2) they must be open-minded to find a middle ground somewhere. I personally have rarely seen a couple of the latter case.

Q: You've dated a few American girls. How was that?

A: Actually, I felt a constant pressure that I could not show any of my “Koreaness” to them. For them, being a Korean wasn’t a cool thing. I could fool them by coming off as American-born Korean guy since I have no accent. However, I’ve made a decision a while ago that I would no longer date anyone who has no interest or appreciation of my culture. As Americanized as I am, Korean culture still is a huge part of who I am.

51 comments:

MUD said...

A lot of what was said is true in any relationship even within the same race/culture. Both persons of a couple must make a sincere attempt to meet the other half way. There is no such thing as changing the other person after the marriage. The only way I find this possible even within my 39 year marriage is to every once in a while to go back and touch the "goals" base. Once you have a fundamental agreement the rest is just process and can be discussed. One thing you can't do is fundamentally change yourself/goals to make a relationship work. Either you can agree on the goals and then the processes or you can't. If you can't up front agree, do go further in that relationship. I don't know how many young people don't talk about what they as a couple want or are afraid to disagree and go into a marriage that is wrong from the first. 50% of the marriages today fail and most do so in horrible ways. If you aren't compatible in your goals, it doesn't matter how nice the other person is. MUD

MUD said...

Oh, I forgot, Great Post. Keep up the good work. MUD

dira said...

yes, great post to :)
such a fun read

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to who they consider to be a foreigner... like to what degree. Are Chinese/Japanese considered foreigners? Or is this pertaining more to Caucasians?

Anonymous said...

Extremely interesting post, by the way!

Eva Karrin McKinnon said...

Thanks Dira, Mud and Anonymous.

The guy I interviewed is very smart and funny. It's thanks to him that it was a good post!

I'm pretty sure he was referring to caucasians in his response, but yes- other Asians are considered foreigners in Korea.

My Japanese friend, Hiroko, says everyone stares at her on the street. The only time they aren't staring at her is when I'm with her because I look realllyyy different.

PS- Mud... some good advice from a man who has been there, done that! thank you.

Flavia Watch said...

: )

this is really interesting & helpful

most of credits should go to you if you made up the questions all yourself

it's harder to formulate & ask questions than to answer them.

Anonymous said...

lol korean ppl have a lot of same sex friends.

Usually korean guys do pay for the food because that's polite manner. but...w.e.

Anonymous said...

I cant catch. What you have spoken about pertaining to Caucasians? please its interesting:)

jk_ready said...

I always enjoy your postings Eva and look forward to next postings. What an interesting interview about relationships. However, I must say I am deeply disturbed by your interviewee's account on the way he tried to project himself in order to maintain his relationship with non-Korean ladies.

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