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Quirks of Korean dating explained (5) Always connected

Kim Da-mi and Choi Woo-shik star in the SBS romantic comedy series “Our Beloved Summer
Kim Da-mi and Choi Woo-shik star in the SBS romantic comedy series “Our Beloved Summer"


They say love is universal, but when it comes to dating culture, Korea has a different love language, according to five international couples that The Korea Herald interviewed. From love ‘confessions’ to matching outfits, here are some dating norms that set Korea apart. – Ed. 


Whether through phone calls or text messaging, Koreans like to stay connected with their loved ones throughout the day, asking each other where they are, what they’re doing and what they’re eating and so on, much more often than what is customary in other cultures. 


(Clockwise from top) Lee Kyu-ho and his Canadian wife Sarah (Courtesy of Lee) / Kim Hyun-kyu and his German girlfriend Lara (Courtesy of Kim)/ Lee Chang-wook and his Swedish girlfriend Linnea (Courtesy of Lee) / Lee Ru-bin and her Lithuanian boyfriend Paulius (Courtesy of Lee) / Aybuke and her Korean boyfriend Jeong-gyu (Courtesy of Aybuke)
(Clockwise from top) Lee Kyu-ho and his Canadian wife Sarah (Courtesy of Lee) / Kim Hyun-kyu and his German girlfriend Lara (Courtesy of Kim)/ Lee Chang-wook and his Swedish girlfriend Linnea (Courtesy of Lee) / Lee Ru-bin and her Lithuanian boyfriend Paulius (Courtesy of Lee) / Aybuke and her Korean boyfriend Jeong-gyu (Courtesy of Aybuke)


Linnea from Sweden who has been seeing a Korean guy was surprised that many Korean couples keep communicating even when they’re busy with their work or hanging out with other friends. 

“In my country, when couples are apart, they don’t constantly call or text. But many Korean couples seem to want to know about the whereabouts of their loved ones in near real time,” she said. 

On this, Sarah from Canada said, “Of course, it’s important for a couple to keep in touch and have conversations. However, giving each other some time alone is as important as close contact.” She is married to a Korean.

Aybuke from Turkey who is also dating a Korean guy advised that a continued failure to reply promptly to messages from lovers could have unwanted consequences in Korea. 

“It may not be a problem for a Turkish couple if they reply late. We may think they’re just busy. But for a Korean couple, the reaction might be different.”

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)
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