Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dating in Korea: The Beginning

This is the first of my many posts that will cover the topic of heterosexual dating in Korea from the female expatriot perspective. I am going to be looking to have a few guest posts providing different viewpoints on the subject of dating in Korea, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. So here we go, diving right in:

When I first arrived I was not attracted to Korean men. There, I said it. It's not that they aren't handsome and/or sexy, far from it, it's just that I was completely uninterested in pursuing them. I would admire them from a distance but would rarely fawn over them.
How stupid was I?!?!
Most of this, I feel, is due to my initial cocooning of myself in Western culture. When I first arrived, as I have said before, I attended a massive orientation put on by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. This allowed me to make a plethora of new friends who were doing exactly the same thing I was doing. The thought of talking to Koreans outside of work was more than a little daunting; I didn't know the culture, and my personality can be more than a little abrasive and I may or may not be guilty of making far too many cultural references in casual conversation.
Not only can you not quote all of Ghostbusters word-for-word, but also you have never seen Ghostbusters?!
So, naturally, when I first started dating here I was looking to date only western guys. This, my friends, is a horrible, terribly, awful, no-good idea for an expat woman living in Korea because of two words:
Are you kidding me?
This is just not fair
How the hell am I supposed to compete with that?!
They even look good in hats!
I hate to break it to you, ladies, and I'm happy to inform you, gentlemen; if you live in Seoul there will be an obscenely disproportionate number of hott Korean women to ugly Korean women in FAVOR of the hott ones. This is only very partially due to the Korean obsession with plastic surgery and mostly due to the fact that KOREAN WOMEN ARE GENETICALLY MODIFIED HOTTNESS AND CUTENESS MACHINES! Korean women also have extreme pride in their appearance and those in their prime dating years (20-35) pull out all the stops every second of every day. You will rarely see a woman in this age range looking schlumpy; her makeup will be perfect, her outfit will be adorable and flattering, and she will be wearing heels that make her legs look like they reach her neck.

It's like they're breeding an army of hotness to take over the grossness that is America

This is why most western men very rapidly are hit with a massive case of Yellow Fever. I know, that's super racist, but it's not meant to disrespect Korean women (I think they are superior, for why, I suggest you re-read everything I've said so far). I totally understand why expat men would be desperate to pick up a Korean girl; it doesn't make it any less annoying to expat girls who are looking to date someone from their own culture. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with English speaking guys about how they now will only date Koreans. This is followed by a sad number of men who have turned me down because "you're awesome and all, but I this one Korean girl is currently recognizing my existence, so I'm going to work on that for a while."

I think the majority of the resentment expat girls feel towards the Yellow Fever of their male counterparts is because, by and large, Korean girls are WAY more likely to flirt with/ return affections to western men than Korean men are to western girls. This is a really good article, written by a Korean high school student, exploring the reasons why. Also, a lot of the time when a western girl IS flirted with by a Korean guy it's because he's had a little bit of liquid courage.
Drunk Korean Men: The World is Their Bedroom
To make a long story short (too late): pursuing only western men in areas where western men hang out is likely to not only cause massive ragefail, but may lead to a resentment of Koreans: neither of these things are awesome. This isn't to say that expat-coupling is impossible or not worth attempting, I am just saying that bars and clubs are NOT going to be the best places to go about it. Go to non-alcohol or sex-driven activities that are specifically for westerners looking to hang out with other westerners. Things like English-speaking volunteer organizations, group vacations (like those from AdventureKorea), and MeetUp activities would probably be the best way to finding an expat counterpart.

One last thing: why is it that there are so many expat man/ Korean woman couples where the guy is NOWHERE NEAR as attractive as the girl? Please, give me your thoughts in the comments section!


  1. Uh - i see a loooooot of minging western guys with very attractive korean girls - I think they choose them as they either "make them laugh" or it is a good way to get out of what is often a cultural and social straightjacket for Korean women. Not always of course - but I do wonder a lot of the time what they see in their vile overweight, hairy, greasy geeky lookin whitie bf. (they cant all have big dicks!) That said, it takes all sorts. So I am not tarring everyone withthe same brush and some are indeed in love, but I think it is the reasons above and curiosity for Korean girls.

    Also, I have no research to back this up, but I feel linguistically Korean women are more likely to be English speakers than men - a large number of FLUENT english speaking men I have met are either GAY or they have had to learn for their this can also make a big difference. Also where there is a communication or cultural gap, men tend not to care so much as women about a 'connection' as long as she is hot...lastly the % of the expat crowd in Korea is very male you see it more...just my 2pence!

  2. lolllllll... I think that the reason why there are hot Korean Girls with White guys are 3 fold.

    1. They're not hot. That's right the girls that are "attractive" to foreigners aren't hot to Koreans (i.e. they're too fat). So the Korean girls don't get no love from the Korean men so they go for the Western guys.

    2. Not all westerners get the hot Korean girl. For a long time when I came I didn't pick up. The reason: I'm not a nerd/nice guy. Korean girls like nice guys which usually tend to be your more uglier variety.

    3. Haven't you noticed yet? Most Korean girl/Foreigner boy relationship the Korean girl is above the age of 25 usually in their late 20's or early 30's and that's because once they hit 30 they are dead to the Korean guy and don't get not nearly as much affection from Korean men because they aren't marriage material.

    So the reason why K-Girls are with ugly ass foreigners is because of perception.

  3. Part of the ugly white guy / hot korean girl probably comes from differences of what koreans and what westerners find attractive. things like high and big noses, small face, big eyes, etc. A lot of white guys have those features, even if the rest of their face is meh.
    Or maybe Korean women are just less shallow. Ha. I joke.

  4. M
    Agreed points:
    Korean women are beautiful. Yes, they are and they are incredibly superficial as well and much of the above avg. Girls are due to plastic surgery and lots of time spent oggling their own face and worrying about every misplaced hair and lipstick. I think the biggest thing in their favor is that they are petite and can wear cute clothes due to their size. However, the above pics you posted are not the avg. Korean girl, most are not THAT pretty. All in all when I lived in Korea I never found myself envious of Korean faces, frankly I think westeners have more attractive faces but their bodies I was envious of and that is something most westener girls can't compete with because we just aren't built as small as they are...fsct of life....but that isn't to say all western girls are gigantic amazonians in comparison. I'm 5"4 and 115 lbs and felt perfectly fine in Korea and could wesr the one size fits all. But most expat women aren't as small as me and it is more difficult because well, Koreans like skinny and especially the men.

    2) I agree that most westener men who go to Korea are much more interested in Korean women but in my personal experience, aI was hit on by expat men as much as I was hit on by Korean men when out....actually I think more by expat men...I had a several Americans, a Russian, a German, a Mexican, an Irish and a Canadian pursue me in Korea as well as many Koreans. If you are an above pretty girl in the USA who is slim like Koreans and play your feminity up then foreign men will hit on you just as much. Men love pretty girls no matter the race. The problem I think many expat women have is that they are too large and not feminine enough.....if they lost weight and embraced looking girly then men would be more attracted tobthem. Its a harsh truth but if you want to compete with Korean girls (and yes westener girls certainly can if they are willing to try to improve themselves) then you must do as the Koreans....lose weight, wear heels and skirts and makeup and be classy and charming.

    3) Korean men are very much interested in cute expat girls and no they ddont have to be drunk to do so. I received so much attention from Korean men I hated going out alone and had one scary encounter when a Korean man attempted to rape me while I was walking home alone. I had to constantly keep my guard around them and when I went out to party, would be groped by Korean men sometimes up to 30 times a night. I also had men offer me money to be a drinking companion (I was often mistaken as Russian because of my small size and girly clothes). I went to Korea certainly open about Korean men because I happen to be verrrrry attracted to asian men and this was reflected in my attitude and I flirted a lot with them and had more attention then I wanted and ironically, had plenty of K girls get insanely jealous of their guy friends checking me out and telling me I'm beautiful.

    3) I personally found most of the expat men in Korea to be ugly by westener standards and had no interest in them. I also agree with above statements that 9/10 k girl/ foreign guy couples are nothing to be envious of. The kgirls with foreign men are usually not very pretty and are considered outcast by other korean men and women. They are usually the girls Korean men don't pay attention to. Korean men date the prettiest korean girls, not the foreign men. However, I did see some exceptionally attractive kgirl/expat men couples occassionally.

    Honestly I felt like a movie star in Korea because of how much attention I got from men and women too. I would have kgirls buy me drinks at clubs so I would dance with them and tell me I'm beautiful. I also would have groups of teen girls follow me around telling me I'm pretty (probably trying to practice their english). My personal experience was great and I actually ended up marrying a Korean man from Korea and we just had a beautiful baby a few months ago.

  5. Oh by forgot to say, I like your blog, its interesting :)

    1. Wow! Thanks so much for your reply! Where are you originally from and when did you live here? Any recommendations for topics you'd like to see?

    2. LOL.. the politically correct way to ask is "Where was your family originally from?" if asking about someone who lives in the US. A lot of Asian Americans get offended by the latter, because it implies that you can not allow us to be American even though we live and breath being born in the States. And, btw Kate is not Asian by decent but carries the Choi name by marriage if you saw her blog.

    3. I didn't mean it that way, I was asking where she lived before she moved to Korea.