Love can strike at any time, and it tends to strike quite suddenly when you're overseas teaching English! For many western men teaching in South Korea, dating a Korean woman is going to happen eventually. Here's what you need to know about relationships with Korean girls in Korea.
Without generalizing too much, Korean women:
- Are fairly traditional and conservative
- Are very self-conscious of their looks and dress to impress
- Are very feminine
- Want love and romance, not simply sex
- Don't want to be seen to be easy
Korea is a very patriarchal society. Thousands of years of Confuscionism and strong family ties places a great deal of stress on young Koreans, especially the women. Young women in Korea are expected to leave the workforce after marriage and devote their lives to raising children and caring for the family home. When their sons are married, Korean women are then expected to move in with the new couple and terrorize their daughters in law. While social mores are changing rapidly in today's Korea, and a new generation of youth are challenging the old systems, family obligations are still dominant. For this reason, many Korean women have a fantasy about western guys.
While social mores are changing rapidly in today's Korea, and a new generation of youth are challenging the old systems, family obligations are still dominant. For this reason, many Korean women have a fantasy about western guys.
If you're a white male English teacher in South Korea, you're automatically assumed to be both a playboy and prime husband material. You're exotic and exciting and as an English teacher, you hold minor rock-star status in your local community.
Most Korean girls are aware that women in your culture hold a more egalitarian position and can pursue their dreams. Many also think that you're made of money. All of this together, whether true or not, is enough to make a Korean lady attracted to you before you even open your mouth!
Then there's the English phenomenon in South Korea. If a young lady wants to get into a top University (and you can guarantee her family is exerting enormous pressure for her to do so), and hopes to secure a good job at a major Korean company afterwards, such as Samsung or LG or Hyundai, she'll have to first pass a massive English proficiency test. Think TOEFL or IELTS on steroids.
Attaining this level of English isn't easy, or cheap. It requires years of study at expensive English hagwons and thousands of hours of tutoring. For a lower or middle-class Korean girl, this could seem out of reach, until a dashing English teacher, full of romance and exotic ways of thinking, arrives. Suddenly she's found a solution to her English dilemma!
If you're a black western man teaching English in Korea you're going to have a harder time. Koreans have certain stereotypes of black men that can't be broken no matter how much the media tries. For instance, many Korean women think all black guys are playboys who are only interested in scoring a one-night stand. Because Korean girls are extremely afraid of being seen as "slutty" or "easy", this stereotype of the black male is a huge turn off for them. Korean girls are interested, for the most part, in class, and the bling-bling gangsta image of black America that is all over the Korean pop media is seen as trashy. A black guy wanting to date a Korean girl in Korea is going to need to work a lot harder in proving he's just as interested in a relationship as his white counterparts.
Whether you're white or black, you're going to have to deal with some new and interesting things as you date your beautiful Korean lady.
Her Family Doesn't Like You
You're not Korean. That's enough for her parents, brothers, etc to not like you, at all. They may be polite to you as Korean custom demands, but you'll never have their respect. If you're thinking of marrying your Korean princess, be ready to become enemy number 1 in her entire family.
I had a friend who was engaged to a Korean girl, who lived with her family in Seoul. I went to visit her family with him one summer evening. Her parents were friendly and interested in me because I wasn't a threat, but every time my buddy opened his mouth her parents clammed up, frowned and became reserved. The tension in the air was almost visible.
Funny enough, her sister, a medical student, asked for my phone number as I was leaving 😉
Her Family Is The Most Important Thing In Her Life
Her family doesn't like you, and that's a problem, because in Korean culture there is nothing more important, more sacred, more demanding of loyalty than one's family. If she is dating you openly, and you've met her family, then I guarantee 100% that she is madly in love with you and is planning your marriage and your baby's names. She wouldn't introduce such conflict into her family's life unless she was very serious about your long-term prospects.
Otherwise, she's going to date you in secret. She's going to tell her parents she has an English class or is out with a friend when she sees you, which means you're not going to have a lot of sleepovers. An older woman, perhaps divorced, will stay over at your place, but after-sex cuddles and sleep and breakfast in bed with a 20-something is just not going to happen that often. Pressuring her to do so is going to end badly for you, because she's always going to choose her family over you.
You'll Go Native
If you do settle in to a long-term relationship with a Korean sweetheart, and especially if you get married, you'll eventually become Koreanized. It's unavoidable, if at least to appease her family a little. While she'll be improving her English in leaps and bounds, you'll be learning Korean faster than you thought possible. You'll know, without remembering how you learned it, subtle Korean mannerisms and cultural mores. Eventually you'll have a cheesy picture taken with your lady and you in traditional Korean hanbok, and you'll look pretty dumb. You can't fight love, though, and she'll be the happiest girl in the country.
All Her Friends, And Their Friends, Know About You
You may not have met a single one of her entourage, but you can guarantee that she's posted pictures of you and her to all of them on all her social media channels (the ones her family isn't on, at least). She's bragged about you and her girlfriends have asked her a million curious questions about you. Just accept the fact that all of her friends, and their friends, know your income, your tastes and your dick size.
Having a relationship with a Korean girl can be an extremely satisfying experience. If she's in love with you, she will take care of you, defend you, please you and cling to you. Just remember that she is a lot more fragile than the western women you may be used to, and that she is risking a lot by being with you. Her family is so important to her that being with you causes her a great deal of stress. At the same time, you are exotic and exciting and offer a chance for a different life, and sometimes hormones and emotions just can't be denied!