5 Reasons Dating a Korean Guy is Like Dating Any Guy

So many times I come across lists about why dating a Korean guy (or a Japanese guy, and let’s be real the other Asian races tend to miss out on mentions in this area) is so great, and how we (non-Asian girls? I’m assuming that’s the audience but no one has exactly specified) should all get out there and date them. Aside from how fetishistic it sounds to go and look for a boyfriend of a specific race, the main problem I have is that I’m getting sick of the generalisations.

As you might know if you have followed my blog, my boyfriend is Korean. But also you might not have known this because he doesn’t feature in every single thing I write about, mainly because he isn’t involved in everything I do and also because him being Korean is pretty damn coincidental. So here are some things about him that either contradict the stereotypical “Korean boyfriend” model that you may have read about before, and some that prove that when it comes down to it, he’s just a guy.

junscooking2If he wants to, he can be impressive. He just usually cbf.

He can cook a lot better than me, but he doesn’t always want to. Just because Korean guys are likely to at least know the essentials of Korean cooking doesn’t mean they are going to want to cook all the time. Of course some of them may love it and actually want to cook every meal for you, in which case, you’re onto a winner and does he have a similarly skilled brother? However that’s the same in any culture and not specific to Korea. Some guys just like cooking. Some guys don’t like cooking. So in reality you’re not going to find every Korean guy you date wants to cook for you. I’ve talked to guys here whose skills extend to instant ramen or ordering pizza, so it’s far from a done deal.

According to a google image search, this is what romance looks like.

He isn’t very romantic  at least not in a typically “Korean boyfriend” way. He isn’t into PDA’s, in fact he’s embarrassed to see couples hold each other in public and has only just worked himself up to allowing me to kiss him goodbye if we’re on the subway. He doesn’t really do “couple” things. We don’t have couple rings or couple clothes – we’ve talked about getting some couple items, but neither of us has actually got around to ordering anything. We don’t celebrate every 100 days of our relationship, because that sounds exhausting and honestly who can remember that many dates? He also sucks at taking selfies the same way I do, so we don’t have a lot of photos together. I don’t advocate not having any photos, just for me the extent that couples go to here is too much. I’ll be sitting in the movie theatre and there’s a couple behind me with their selfie stick, taking what I can only assume is a pre-movie-watching photo to set as their phone lock screens and/or backgrounds. Once I saw a couple sharing photos and texting using a couple app, while sitting next to each other. 

Actual photo of boyfriend, taken through a painting reflection. Deep.

He doesn’t express himself well emotionally. Obviously there are guys who can do this, but I’d say a pretty common theme with annoyed girlfriends around the world is that their boyfriend won’t tell her how he actually feels. Jun suffers from this, not because he’s Korean, but because he’s a guy and sometimes guys (and girls) are idiots about emotions. He’s just one of those people that finds it hard to externalise his feelings (especially into words), unless he’s been drinking – in which case I get a full run down of his feelings for me. Sure, I’d like him to express himself more, but I will say it makes it a lot more special when I only hear it occasionally. Basically, don’t go thinking every Korean guy is going to spill all his romantic thoughts to you in a cute and/or poetic manner, because it’s probably not going to happen.

I’m not in the habit of photographing myself texting (credit).

We don’t text all the time. Even now that we’re living apart, I’m lucky to get a good morning text, maybe a lunch text and usually one when he gets home from work. I can text Jun in the evening when he’s not at work and still not get a reply for an hour. We can be in the middle of a conversation (that he started) and he just doesn’t reply until a couple of hours later. All things which are common complaints from girlfriends back home in New Zealand. Men just don’t see things the way women do. They put their phone down and forget about it for a while, or they read your text and forget – it doesn’t always mean something (in fact it hardly ever does) it just means they didn’t answer, because they didn’t answer. No subtext involved. So while it may be a common stereotype that Korean guys stay in touch constantly, Jun is proof that it’s not always true. If you are dating a Korean guy and he doesn’t text you all the time like your friends/the internet/Korean dramas told you he would, don’t freak out. If his behaviour’s consistent then it’s not a problem – it’s just what he’s like and you’ll either have to get used to it, or go and find a guy who will text you every second of the day to ask where you are. Whatever makes you happy.

Click here for more such delightful images.

No, he doesn’t carry my handbag for me! Sorry ladies but if you want to date a Korean guy cause you heard he’s always going to carry your baggage, then what you are looking for is a personal assistant. Or a slave. Seriously, carry your own bags unless you are literally unable to. If we are both carrying stuff then Jun will take the heavier stuff because he is a lot stronger than me, and that’s great, that’s one benefit of having a strong boyfriend. But if I asked him to carry my handbag he’d ask me why I couldn’t carry it myself, because fair enough. Perhaps this doesn’t warrant an entire paragraph, but I’ve seen this mentioned too many times and it’s simply not true. Yes, I’ve seen a few whipped Korean boyfriends carrying their lady’s purse, but I’ve also seen plenty of girlfriends carrying their own bags. So really it’s going to depend on whether you want your boyfriend to act like your servant, and if he’s down with that.

I’m not saying every Korean guy is like Jun. But that’s kind of the point. I feel like Korean guys get a disproportionately rosy picture painted of them online, and I see too many comments from women rhapsodising over how all the guys in Korea are so great and how they wish they could have a perfect Korean boyfriend. But that’s not real life! All guys are different, and them being from another country is one of the smallest of those differences.

Men are strange, confusing creatures who are already alien to us before we consider whether they are Korean men or Japanese men or any other kind of men, and going after a certain race of man because you expect he will be a certain way is just leaving yourself open for a lot of disappointment. Instead, do the smart thing and go after someone who you like, have things in common with and are attracted to – no matter what their race.

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5 Responses

  1. ginabear says:

    I really like what you’re doing here on your blog. You make a lot of great points and the way you carry your opinions is very well supported. My boyfriend lived in Australia for 2 years and in some ways he acts more Australian than Korean! He does do cute things like couple rings and we’re going to get matching converse, but different strokes for different folks. I dated Japanese guys while I lived in Japan and I’m in Korea just like you! I hope you can check out my blog too! You’ve definitely got a new fan! <3

    • Alice says:

      Wow, thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂 Jun and I always intend to get couple things, but somehow it just never happens.. I just when it comes down to it, it’s just not important enough for us to get around to it haha :p I checked out your blog and read some of your posts! It’s great to find another blogger whose style I really like. So likewise, you have a new fan haha! ^^

  2. kei says:

    Some of these generalizations I’m familiar with, but some of these are new to me! I think that some of these come from people who watch dramas and look for that ideal kind of guy. But I am sure some of these things some guys do, sometimes. Of course, guys of all nationalities ethnicities, and backgrounds are different. Not everyone will act the same way, and carrying unrealistic expectations into a relationship can hurt the relationships before it starts!

    Most of the people in international relationships I’ve known or read about seem to have just happened to meet a person from another culture who happened to be what they were looking for – they didn’t actively pursue a relationship with someone, anyone, from that culture. I’m not sure if that kind of approach would work out in the end. I think everyone in an international type of relationship agrees that it’s not a good idea to just focus on an idealized version of a culture, and rather focus on a person’s individual personality.

    I’m always interested to read the perspective of others in a multicultural relationship! Thanks for sharing your take ^^

    • Alice says:

      Well said! ^^ “carrying unrealistic expectations into a relationship can hurt the relationships before it starts” is so true of all relationships, and yes I agree, I think everyone I know just sort of happened upon that person (who happened to be from another culture).

      • kei says:

        From my own personal experiences, trying to make love/relationships happen is far less effective than just allowing things to happen naturally ^^ Great post!

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