Dating in Korea: 11 Things You Should Expect! – Page 2 – Seoulistic

6. Carrying Bags

Generally speaking, most men are physically stronger than their girlfriends, and many women have big bags full of rather undefinable “stuff.” And in Korea, these general truths are practicalities. When hanging out with girlfriends, many Korean men will offer to hold their girlfriend’s big bag full of mysteries to save aching shoulders around the peninsula. There are no fears of looking strange when holding a bag with pink and frills; in Korea, it’s common practice for men to hold the girliest of bags. If you’re a guy, all those one-armed exercises you did when you were single might come in handy ;).

7. Less Sleepovers

Ain’t nothing like spooning the night away in the comfort of your own bed. But if you’re in Korea, you might have way less spooning sessions than you’re used to, as it’s more common for unmarried people to live with their parents. And even if your parents are totally liberal with the whole idea of their kids having… relations… in the room next door, the vast majority of Korean parents are NOT cool with it. Of course, many single people in Korea live alone, too, and that’s when it’s up to the individual. But when living with parents come as part the package, it changes things up a lot. Like…

8. Curfews

You thought curfews were done when you went off to college. But in Korea, curfews are still relatively common for those still living with mommy and daddy. And although we would like to say this is equally true for men and women, unfortunately it’s more common for women to have daddy imposed curfews than it is for men. Age and employment status can’t override the “as long as you’re living in this house” argument, and that can sometimes result in women in the prime of their dating lives with curfews before midnight.

Curfew time up and need to go home by taxi? Read Keith’s Guide to Taxi Manners for Dudes.

9. Hanging Outside

Courtesy of Dustin Cole

Some of the best dates can take place at home. You know the type: candles, wine, and Marvin Gaye. But in Korea, since so many people live with curious and nosey parents, many Koreans prefer to hang outside away from their family members. So the majority of the time couples will spend with each other are outside of the home. That means heading out to some of Seoul’s unique and quirky theme cafes or maybe even discovering some good Korean food at hidden markets around Seoul. Doesn’t sound too bad does it? 😀

Looking for more stuff to do on a date? We got you covered home slice! Check out these 25 Places to Go on a Date in Seoul.

10. Parents Might Break You Up

If you enjoy dating casually and just having a good time, parents probably won’t come into the equation. But if things ever get really serious with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you might be talking about marriage. And when it comes to Korean marriages, parents usually have the final say. If team mama and papa don’t like you, that most likely means the end of your Korean love affair as many Koreans find it very difficult to go against their parents, especially when it comes to marriage. It sucks, but what can be said to the woman who carried a nine pound ham in her stomach for the better part of a year. You win momma.

11. Meeting Friends & Family

Because people are scared of parents that might put their summer romance to rest, it’s not that common to introduce family members to a new boyfriend or girlfriend. That’s usually reserved for when you know a relationship is getting serious. But in Korea, you might not be introduced to friends either. Although many Koreans would totally introduce you to everyone he/she knows, some people in Korea do not want to see George Costanza’s “World’s Colliding” theory come true. It might be cool to hang out with your mutual friends from the photography class. But you might not ever meet your significant other’s college buddies. We don’t want these world’s exploding now, do we 🙂


Have you dated Koreans? Write your experiences in the comments!

If you’ve survived the pitfalls of dating in Korea, you might want to get ready to get married:
Here’s 6 Things You Should Know If You Want to Marry a Korean!

Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


  1. Vanessa says:

    I was already having fun reading the post, and then I just see George hahahaha Love Seinfeld! 😀
    I think I wouldn’t have too much trouble with these points you talked about… Maybe I would about the boyfriend’s parents don’t liking me, but apparently I wouldn’t meet them that often, right? So I guess it wouldn’t be sooo bad ㅋㅋ

    Here in Brazil we don’t have this couple-y stuff (well, maybe with keychains, but nothing “big” like clothes), I think I would have fun seeing over there in Korea hahaha But I personally am not the type to do that, and I would forget all of these 100/200/300-days anniversaries hahahaha

    (Keith, I think you should increase the size of the pages 1 and 2, I almost didn’t see them – even if the title says 11 and the first page shows only 5 😛 – some distracted people like me may miss some things :O)

    • Gustavo says:

      Oh my god, I just saw the page number! I totally agree with Vanessa’s comment about the page number, and also about the couple-y stuff since I’m also from Brazil. It’s actually really strange to see people wearing the same clothes when they are together. I don’t know from the woman’s point of view but man don’t really like that stuff. They usually just do it when the girl asks (or, in a some couples as I’ve seen it, when they are ordered to ;D).

      Korean culture is really fascinating, and really different from brazilian culture. Thank you so much for your posts and informations about korean life and culture, and I’m really looking forward for more!

      (ps: sorry for my poor english, I don’t usually use it to write or talk, only to read.)

  2. Keith says:

    Thanks for your suggestion!!! 😀

  3. Grant says:

    At first I read the screen shot image of your second video as a headline declaring “INTERRACIAL DATING GAYS BEATING KIDS” and I thought “oh, poor kids, getting beat up by gay dudes who are interracially dating, Korea’s got some strange problems.”

  4. Helen says:

    Hmm… I’m from Singapore with westernize culture but I’ve Korean friends so I’m aware of these but I still think it’s too stressful for the Koreans to date with rules! Lol!

  5. Eran says:

    Hahaha, it’s all damn funny and true (unfortunately, sometimes !!) Well done ! XD

    It’s been 5 months now that I’m with my Korean boyfriend, and my first time in Seoul with him for a common dating was an absolute shock for me !! Not to talk about the starings because of our interracial relationship, but when he suddenly took my (black&pink !!) handbag in the middle of the street and started to carry it proudly, well…like a girl ! I wasn’t far to snatch it from his shoulder, thinking that he was messing around with me… x’) But then he explained it to me, and I’m kinda used to it now and even find it cute, like what haha !! Great memories ! (・ω・*)

    For the PDA, it was kind of a problem before, because I’m French…And let’s be honest, in France PDA is simply our way of life and a big part of our culture… =p But we found some compromises together ! n_n Same for the Couple-y stuffs haha, that’s a big no no in my country…But in Korea, I’m trying to follow it too…Soon I’ll have to endu…enjoy the famous couple-Tee, hahaha…Wait and see !!! Still, I really love to learn more about himself and his own culture, I would never change him, no matter that things can be a little bit awkward sometimes because of cultural differences ! <3

    The only part who's annoying me is the curfews and his family's opinion about our relationship later…Things are starting to get serious, and he perfecly knows that on his side, their son moving to England and marrying a French girl in the next years maybe weren't exactly part of their plan !! But well, wait and see once again…Even if they're kinda conservative, I'm sure that we could also find a compromise somewhere, and make them accept us one day !

    Anyway, great article once again ! I love the way you write and explain stuffs as much as I love your videos ! n_n Great job, I'm really expecting the next one !! Have a good day and thank you for all this awesome work ;D ~Elly

  6. Helen says:

    Hi Eran, what? Curfew set for men? Really?? Omg *faint*

  7. Eran says:

    Humm yeah, he’s 23 (25 in Korea) but still studying and living with his parents, of course. So yeah, midnight curfew for him…Haha, quite confusing the first time, especially because I lived abroad for years now far from my family and that kind of limitations !! x’) But well, we always find a way to overpass that rule, he’s saying that he’s sleeping at a friend’s house or when I’ll come to see him in the Philippines next week, he’ll find a way to skip his dormitory print fingers checking machine !! (Yeah, YEAH.) That’s crazy…That’s Korea ! x)))

  8. Helen says:

    Wow~ I’m surprised for an adult especially a guy. So if for daughters it would be worst. =.=” Eran fighting!!

  9. Cindy says:

    So true, I wrote a very similar article last year about dating in Korea.

  10. Réjane says:

    Loved it!^^
    …Now I just need a boyfriend to experience all this! XD

  11. aiza says:

    I’d have to say I’m one of these people that does majority of what is said in the blog… hahaha… I’m Asian and though I am very affectionate I too think too much of a PDA is a bit too much.. it should be up to holding hands.. who really wants to see two people involved in groping and kissing each other?! And yes I live with my parents and I still come home every night after the date, though once in a while spooning is nice but my butt is “of I go” to mom and popss’ house… after. And I personally think the parents-might-break-you-apart is true.. I think this happens in every parents and their children BUT majority of this happening is especially BIG in all Asian countries… to be specific Asian parents… they have the tendency to meddle and yes nosy!!! other race just has a good way of hiding it and pretending… they just talk behind their backs… from what I learned they wouldn’t mind so much if their Asian kids are dating another Asian it doesn’t matter if they’re korean/ chinese/japanese/filipinos, etc as long as they are Asians but if it’s NOT holy guac!! they have a big say, it’s like the world is ending… bottom line is as long as the kidss’ significant other is a good and kind person, responsible, and is family oriented it shouldn’t be the biggest problem…

    • Marco says:

      @aiza: let me say you are on the wrong track. Most asians ate each others. For instance: most Philipinos ate Japanese i think Japan soldiers were quite cruel on Pinoy during 2nd world war. In the same way, but for other reasons most Japanese ate Chinese. I dare not say to a Japanese: “Are you Chinese?” It’s definitely insulting him. I don’t think a Japanese family would be happy to see their child date a Chinese.

  12. Wow I just love reading about korea hehehe 🙂 was in love with a korean girl. a sweet lady miss her….

  13. Viengsam says:

    I have very good time reading your posting. I think that is a good ways to think how to date a Korean Girl, but many thing are different from Laos, For example Culture, Society, Location, Lifestyle, religion, and the ways of thinking.

  14. Kasper says:

    Point 11 also applies for dating. I was about to come to Seoul this summer to visit my girlfriend. Her mother found out that I am comming and she took away all the freedom from my girlfriend like she would be some kind of slave (Django comes to my mind – “it is my property and I can do whatever I please with it”). I was shocked that she forced her to break up with me because I am not Korean. It is like 200 years ago in Europe …

  15. bougs han says:

    i have a korean gf and we live together for more than 1year but she needs to go back to korea. and now she said that she’s busy to make phone calls and send txt messages. she changed a lot after she we got separated. and then she just wants us to be just friends because im far from her.

  16. Vie says:

    Haha.. very interesting post. I went to that naver site right away to calculate my 100 days with my gf 😀 (oh, i am a girl too.. aha!)
    She still lives with her overly curious/nosey/religious mamma which makes it sooo hard to even call or skype while she is at home. We’re already in long distance, and still… we have to sneak out?? hahah..

  17. sandy says:

    iam sandy i hope to find korean man my kakao and skype is hebasoso2

  18. Casey says:

    I insisted to pay for the bill at our first date, then end up paying 1/3 of it. and at our second date i payed for him, and he was like :O
    I still had kind of ‘culture shock’ that time so i just do it like i usually do in my home country. If only I read this before i met him…..

  19. Emma says:

    This article is so true!

    I’ve been dating a Korean guy for the last 4 years, we met in the UK and dated normally for me in the UK.

    I recently moved to Korea this year and have to say I’m so lucky that our relationship hasn’t changed much at all. But have noticed that everything in this article is very much true. We do pay like koreans (I’ll pay for the cinema and he’d pay for dinner, but we did that in the UK) As a couple we’re not to big on PDA so that’s not really a big problem and I’m lucky that he lives in his own apartment. We don’t do couple items although we joke about getting couple t-shirts or hoodies from time to time.

    We’ve both met each others parents and everyone is really accepting of our relationship especially his mum! Which totally shocked me as he is the eldest and I was told never date the oldest son haha.

    The handbag thing freaked me out! The first time he did it I was like “what are you doing?!?!” He was just like “it’s normal in Korea, don’t worry about it”

    On another note Love the site wish I found it sooner!!

  20. elpeuimnida says:


    Loved that Seinfeld reference, Keith.

  21. Cherry says:

    I’ve been dating a Korean guy for 8 months (5 of which we spend together in Korea and 3 in long distance).
    I was surprised when after a week of dating his mum wanted to meet me! She liked me and my boyfriend is her only son! I was more or less accepted in their family from the start and we all ate together on my birthday (not in their home) and I was also invited to celebrate his sister’s birthday with even more family! His aunt wanted to meet me too! x’D
    Because I study Korean at university I already knew a bit about culture, so I could happily accept to pay the bill sometimes. But he was the one to kind of ignore the rules on PDA in the beginning.
    The last 3 months we were in a long distance relationship and things started to go downhill =( I felt like he wasn’t really trying to make things work (I didn’t want to force it, so I never complained) and one day he simply said he found someone else… Like wow, I never meant anything? A month later I’d visit Korea, I already had a ticket and I was allowed to spend my vacation at their home. So here I am in Korea, single and in a hostel room… =( Kind of depressing, sorry x’]

  22. Priscilla says:

    Am just sooooo curious about ur country n ur culture. Need someone that will just tell me about u. Ur food, history, music, movies, cloths, love and so much more.

  23. Elaine says:

    Your Q&A video was hilarious :D. Thanks for the laughs

  24. Gilda says:

    Thank you so much for your article. Im dating a korean boy and he wants buy couple ring for our first year anniversary, and i was curious about is it something like engagement ring?? Actually i want to meet his parents after our anniversary, so i was nervous! Thank you again^^

  25. Jessika says:

    I’m glad I found this site because I’m interested in going to Korea (I’m trying to learn the language), hopefully via study abroad before I graduate or possibly in the future through the EPIK program. I watch Korean dramas and variety shows and I was wondering about how Korean dating works so I’m glad to have read this article.

    I think it’s kind of funny that a lot of people think the couple shirts and things are embarrassing. For me this is a huge “selling point” for Korean dating. I love that you can dress in couple clothes and celebrate a million couple “holidays” and 100 day marks. If I was ever lucky enough to find a great Korean guy I’d want him to be someone who’d be interested in doing all of these couple things. That’s just not something we have in America.

  26. Nikkole says:

    I’ve noticed a kind of trend in Korean dating from the shows I’ve watched (not entirely reliable sources for the average Korean people I know) but do Koreans generally like to be teased or pushed around in their relationships? The guys especially seem to like to play tricks on their girlfriends such as saying they can’t come to something important to the girl and then showing up like a surprise with a gift or something to shock her. They also pick on the girls a lot and they seem to purposefully do things to spark jealousy in their girlfriends to see how much their girlfriends care. I think sometimes the girls do the same thing. Is this normal for Korean dating?

  27. shada says:

    i really hope one day i’ll go travel to korea with my bf.

  28. Alex Gracious says:

    Am alex and I want a Korean lady for a wife. Please hook me up

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