South Korean Dating Culture – 17 Traditions and Customs

Wanna know about South Korean dating culture? Is it the same a Kdramas that you watch? Are people there really cute in real life? Find out here!

South Korean Dating Culture – Traditions and Customs

As the Korean wave spreads across worldwide, Korean culture becomes more and more known everywhere. You never seem to get off of their dramas. One after another continuously. After watching all these Kdramas, you’ll come to notice that they indeed have a particular culture, including in dating. 

Out of many relationships between men and women you often see appear on Kdramas, you will find a lot of things in common. Yes, that is their dating culture. To be more precise, here I present you South Korean dating culture and customs.

1. Your friend will set up a meeting for you

Matchmaking is crazily popular in Asian countries, indifferently South Korea. This culture was truly popular back in the 1990’s, and still going strong up to this day. South Korean youngsters like to go on a blind date and set up a meeting for their friends! Sometimes the meeting involved a group of boys and girls with the same number.

For example, if your peer consists of four people, you will go on a meeting – or blind date – with four boys. Not only for youngsters, adults also go on matchmaking sessions. They are usually introduced by a mutual friend. In this matchmaking you can ask about general information of your partner including education, work, hobbies, likes, and dislikes, and also age (yes, age is something very important in South Korea). You may go on to the next step if you find yourself interested in each other.

2. Couple thingy thing is not cheesy – it’s cute!

South Korean people (mostly women, but sometimes the men as well) like to act cute towards their partner. They use various ways to express their love. One of the things that is very common is buying a couple things. 

Name it couple tee, couple ring, couple phone case, couple shoes, couple bracelet, and any other thing that will identify you to each other. This is the most common indirect way to tell the world that you were dating. If you are used to it yet, you may find these things cheesy. But in South Korea, this is a very cute thing.

3. Be prepared to pay

While in some other Asian countries men should pay the bill, this is not applied in South Korea. South Korean women are open minded and they’re not afraid to swipe the card on the cashier. 

It’s very awkward to decide who should pay on the first date or first meeting, so who takes the action first would pay the bill. South Korean couples never split the bill, but they never put the burden on the men’s shoulders. Really helpful when you’re low in the cash, isn’t?

Read More: Why Do I Miss My Boyfriend Right After He Leaves?

4. Take your phone with you anywhere, even in the bathroom!

When you start dating someone, get ready to be more attached to your phone! Have it everywhere you go or else your partner will worry about you. Yes, exchanging text and calls every minute is important for South Korean couples. 

Say good morning after you wake up, and say take care thirty minutes later when (s)he will set off somewhere. Half an hour later you will get a reply saying that your partner safely arrived.

This will continue till the end of the day. After a long date the whole day, you still have to say good night and thank you for the day. South Koreans love to receive love and attention from their partners. Million texts you send show how much you care about them.

5. Anniversaries and holidays are important

This is something you can only find in South Korea. If a couple from another country normally celebrates their anniversary once a year, in South Korea you may celebrate the special day multiple times a year! 

100th day, 200th day, 300th day, and so on are really important for couples. You have to spend those days together with them. Some rituals like blowing the candle, having a romantic dinner and sweet date surely have to be done. That’s about South Korean dating culture.

6. No PDAs allowed

Being shy and staying humble are the original traits in Asian countries, including South Korea. This was also applied when you are dating. No matter how much you are in love and passionate with each other, keep it for yourself and stay low in public. 

Is kissing allowed in South Korea? Holding hands and a light peck on the cheek in public is okay, but anything beyond is considered crossing the (invisible) line. Not that South Korean are conservative, but rules are rules, right?

7. Dating doesn’t always end up with marriage

It’s okay for you to date someone that you don’t have plans to marry. Dating in South Korea is something to enjoy and have fun of, but marriage is a different thing. You may date some pretty and sexy girls, but end up marrying the one with good motherly traits. South Korean prefer to date within their own race, and still hesitant about interracial marriage.

8. Everyone should have ideal type

Look back at number 1, which matchmaking is common in South Korea. Before that day finally happens, one question that will be asked by your friend is, “What is your ideal type?” Somehow the ideal type is something everyone in South Korea should have. 

It can refer to a certain personality such as easy going, open minded, introvert, shy, etc. Or it can also refer to physical appearance such as height, skin color, long or short hair, long legs, even beautiful hands. You may also name someone famous to be your ideal type.

9. Seniority also applied on dating

In South Korea, age defines everything. Contrast to those in Western, South Korean are open with their age and birthday. This is important in daily life, including dating. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked about your birthday on the very first meeting. Even in a dating relationship, you have to respect the older ones.

10. (You have to) Act cute to your partner

Regardless of gender and age, acting cute to your partner is a must. This one method would melt your partner’s heart and bring warmth and joy to your relationship. You can appeal to your partner by acting cute towards them in the middle of fighting. While some thinks this is cheesy, trust me that relationship without some cuteness overload would be extremely boring for South Korean.

Read More: Break Up During Quarantine, What to Do? — A Tragic Personal Experience

11. Treat your women like a princess

Here’s more about South Korean dating culture. South Korean men are devoted to their partners. They would treat their partner like a princess because she loves it. Never let her carry her bag, you should be the one carrying it. 

Give your jacket to them at night, open the door for them, pull the chair for them, take her home after the date. Men who treat their partner this way would be the ideal type for every woman in the country.

12. No sleepovers

Many singles or unmarried people in South Korea live with their parents. This is why you shouldn’t spend the night together. People still aren’t used to unmarried people spending the night together or living together. They are not cool with it. 

If you ask is virginity important in South Korea, then it depends on the couple. Sexuality is their own rights. Some people can do that before marriage, some may not. 

13. Mind the curfew

If you think the curfew will end once you come of age, put that away right now. Curfew is still applied even when you’re an adult and living with your parents. Although this is equal for men and women, the rules are often set by a dad who worries about their daughters. Even when you’re old enough and make a lot of money, as long as you live in the house, parents are the ultimate ruler.

You may also wanna read about Learn about Dating Culture Differences between East and West

More Dating Rules in South Korea

South Korean dating culture is unique. Check it out more here:

1. Every 14th is special

You may only know February 14th – the Valentines – as the special day for romantic couples. But when you’re dating in South Korea, be prepared to memorize what day it is in what month. Every 14th of every month is a special day in South Korea. Let me make you clear with this one:

  1. January 1st, Diary day: Exchange diary with your partner to write down everything that happens in the year ahead.
  2. February 14th, Valentine’s day: The women should give presents to the men.
  3. March 14th, White Day: In turn, the men should give presents to the women.
  4. May 14th, Rose Day: The day you give roses to your partner.
  5. June 14th, Kiss Day: Kiss everyone you meet (but this is conservative).
  6. July 14th, Silver Day: Exchange silver accessories to each other.
  7. August 14th, Green day: Have a date out in nature while enjoying a bottle of soju.
  8. September 14th, Photo Day: Take a couple photos together.
  9. October 14th, Wine Day: Time to enjoy a glass of wine with your partner.
  10. November 11th, Pepero Day: As the pepero stick (biscuit stick) resembles the date (11), people give pepero sticks to their partner.
  11. December 14th, Hug Day: Share hugs to keep each other warm in the cold.

Too many dates to remember, isn’t it? That’s about the South Korean dating culture. 

2. Still single? Celebrate the black day on the April 14th

Following the special events of two previous months where couples spent romantic events together, South Korean culture also considers those who are still single to have their own special day. Singles usually eat black bean noodles (jjajangmyeon) on the black day. South Korean dating cultures are really one of a kind, right?

Read More: What to Say to Your Ex on New Year’s Eve?

3. What do you call your Korean girlfriend?

You call 여자친구 (“yeo-ja-chin-gu”) is girlfriend. You can also call your South Korean girlfriend with these cute names: 

  • 공주님 (“gong-ju-nim”) — Princess
  • 귀요미 (“ki-yo-mi”) — Cutie

For men, you can call it by the names: 

  • 남자친구 (“nam-ja-chin-gu”) — Boyfriend
  • 오빠 (“o-ppa”) — Older brother
  • 왕자님 (“wang–ja–nim”) — Prince

4. What is a some relationship in Korea?

It’s the terms used for someone who is not officially in a relationship, but has a close and romantic bond with somebody. In English, you call that “seeing someone”.

Indeed, South Korean have their own unique cultures of dating their lover. In case you ever heard, always spread love in every corner.

정말 친절하네요!
jeongmal chinjeolhaneyo!
You are so sweet! @yourdevan