- Dutch Pay is Different in Korea
- Sharing Food is normal in Korea
- Dates in Korea are Long
- Group Blind Dates in Korea
- Know your Blood Type
- Being in a “Some” relationship
- Most Korean Guys will Escort you home
- Koreans Love to Text
- Couple Matching is a Thing
- Remember all important Anniversaries/Special Holidays
Dating in South Korea can be difficult for foreigners as Koreans have their own dating etiquette, manners, and activities. South Korea has a very unique dating culture that should be understood before dating a Korean person to make sure everything goes smoothly. Through this article, I will provide you with some tips for dating in Korea for foreigners. I’ve also attached my YouTube video below as well. I have primarily used Tinder but South Korea has other dating apps you can check out here. I have used Tinder in Korea for a year now and I have definitely picked up a lot of things about the culture of dating in Korea and even some of the lingo. Just to be clear, these tips are 100% based on my experience and everyone has a different experience when they come here. There is obviously no way to generalize an entire country.
Dutch Pay is Different in Korea
Dutch pay is a little bit different in Korea. Back home in North America, Dutch pay usually means the bill gets split in half. For example, if you go to dinner, the bill will be split, and afterward, if you go see a movie the tickets will be split, and so on. In Korea, this style of Dutch pay does not happen as frequently.
Usually, Dutch pay in Korea means that at the first place you go, one person will pay, then the other person will pay at the second place. Or it could even be that one person pays for the whole date and on the second date, the other person will pay for the whole date. Oftentimes when I offer to pay for the meal on a first date or pay half in Korea, I will get shut down. So what usually happens with me is that I offer to pay for the last part of the evening which could be coffee or dessert.
Sharing Food is normal in Korea
If you go out to dinner in Korea, there is a good chance you will end up sharing your food. Sometimes you will be forced to share many dishes in Korea that are meant for sharing. This is especially true for desserts. The most popular Korean dessert is Bingsu. It is made from finely shaved ice with condensed milk, red bean, and a variety of toppings which might include rice cake, cereal flakes, ice cream, fruit cocktails, and more. Bingsu is very popular during the summer months and is always shared.
Dates in Korea are Long
If you are going on a date in Korea, you need to be prepared to be out for at least half a day (6 hours). A typical date involves eating something and then maybe doing some kind of activity, and eating/drinking more. Here is a typical breakdown:
- Meet around 6 pm for dinner
- Go see a movie or do an activity like bowling at 8 pm
- Check out a bar/club at 11 pm
- Go to another venue for food and drinks at 1 am
Group Blind Dates in Korea
There is something in Korea called group blind dates. Usually, this involves you and two friends getting matched up by a friend to go out with around 3 guys. Therefore, typically a group blind date will have 3 girls and 3 guys. So you eat and drink together and naturally couple off if anyone is interested. However, I have never experienced this personally. A friend of mine told me that a guy might be interested in a girl, however, the girl might want to bring 2 of her friends out and ask the guy to bring two of his friends out for a group date. Therefore, technically it is not a complete blind date as 2 of the group members have already met.
Know your Blood Type
In North America, it might be common to ask your age or height. However, in Korea, many Koreans might ask you about your Blood Type. This is because some Koreans believe that each blood type has its own unique predictive personality and temperament. There are 4 Blood Types (A, B, AB, and O). It might be useful for you to get familiar with what the personalities of these blood types are according to the Korean blood type personality chart.
Being in a “Some” relationship
In Korea, there is a concept or relationship you can be in with someone called “Some”. In Korea, they have created a sort of in-between thing that is not dating, not friendship, and also not in a relationship. They call this concept “Some” which comes from the word “something”. Therefore, there is something there. You’re not casually dating but you’re also not boyfriend and girlfriend. You’re…” Some”. I’ve actually been introduced as being in a “Some” before.
So I was seeing a guy and we went out and we met some of his friends. I didn’t speak Korean and his friends didn’t speak a lot of English so when he left to go smoke and they started up a conversation with me and one of them asked if he was my boyfriend. At that moment I didn’t think to use the word “Some” so I just said he was my friend. This was the wrong thing to say because I didn’t know how to say that we were friends but dating but also not in a relationship. Well, there is a perfect word for this and that word is “Some”. So when he came back into the room after he smoked, his friends called him out on it because he told his friends before the meetup that I was his “Some”.
Lesson learned… if you are in a “Some” you definitely do not want to refer to that person as your friend.
Most Korean Guys will Escort you home
While dating Korean guys, I’ve noticed that most would come all the way back to my station at the end of the date. What made this strange to me was that I did not live close by. What was even stranger was that they would walk me all the way to the door of my apartment. The very first time I was super nervous because I didn’t know how to tell him that he was not coming over…the date is over…I’m going home…nothing else is going to happen. However, as soon as we got to our door he said goodbye and left. So he genuinely wanted to see me at my door. It was the most stressful elevator ride of my life but in the end, everything turned out alright. He just wanted to make sure I was taken home safely.
Koreans Love to Text
I am notorious for not being a good texter. Everyone that knows me knows that I am do not respond to texts in a timely manner. Even when it comes to my family, I’m terrible at texting back. However, while dating in Korea, I had to change that behavior. This is because Koreans text a lot. There have been times when if I did not reply or read a message but didn’t get a chance to reply, I will get a text message asking if something is wrong. So I have learned from my mistakes and I now reply to every message that I read or I just don’t read it because then if you don’t read it then it’s fine because that way they will know you are busy. However, if you read it, you should probably reply otherwise they will get concerned for your safety.
Couple Matching is a Thing
After dating in Korea for some time, you will hopefully end up in a relationship. My last two tips involve something couples in Korea do. Most might have noticed couples in Korea in matching outfits. This is especially common for young couples in Korea. However, couple matching does not have to involve just clothes. Couples can match phone cases and even jewelry.
Remember all important Anniversaries/Special Holidays
Dating in Korea for Foreigners can be tough, especially when you have to remember every anniversary/special holiday. Moreover, this leads us to the 100-day anniversary couple rings. While you can get “couple rings” at any time, most couples in Korea get them at the 100-day mark. In Korea, being in a relationship for 100 days means that you’re able to commit. Therefore, to show your commitment, you get “couple rings”. So if you have been in a relationship for 100 days or more, there is a high likelihood he/she will suggest you get a “couple ring”. The proper way to wear them is on your left ring finger.
While the 100-day mark in a relationship is important in Korea, the 200th, 300th, 500th, and the 1,000th are also important and celebrated. Add this to your first date and special holidays such as Valentine’s Day and White Day and you have a lot of dates to remember. White Day is a holiday in Korea for couples. On White Day, the guy buys a gift for the girl and on Valentine’s Day in Korea, the girl buys a gift for the guy. With so many dates to remember, this is where your smartphone comes in handy. If you see potential with someone, add these important dates to your calendar.