Nowadays, may people can see couples cuddling together to stay warm. No matter where you look, you can see Korean couples.
But there are a lot more international couples in Korea these days, even among famous celebrities and athletes.
Soccer Player Park Joo-ho And His Argentine-Born Swiss Wife (Source: Koreaboo)
Basically, most Koreans will find a partner through recommendations from groups of friends or acquaintances, including blind dates, which are mostly held between Koreans only.
Some Koreans still believe in strong conservatism, considering people of the same race to be the best option for marriage (not that they're racist, they just have a preference regarding marriage).
However, these days are seeing a change in the social atmosphere regarding international couples. For some Koreans, they have changed their attitudes completely and say, "I don't want to be with Koreans."
Korean actress Choo Ja-hyun and Chinese actor Yu Xiao-guang got married in 2017 (Source: Yu Xiao-guang Weibo).
This group may not be very large in the present, and there might still be many people who are willing to date foreigners but still prefer to only marry a fellow Korean. But this is still considered a big change in Korean society.
That got everyone wondering: Why do some Koreans want to date foreigners more these days?
Let's see some of the reasons.
Many Korean relationships can require a lot of effort to maintain. Koreans love to text, call, and send pictures non-stop throughout each and ever day. That's why Kakao is so ubiquitous in Korea.
For some Korean couples, the frequency of texting can be an indication of their love for each other. Some couples expect their partner to message them every time they go somewhere and dedicate their free time to messaging each other.
This might seem a little extra to many foreigners, but it is really common in Korea.
It is also somewhat of a common expectation to spend your weekends together. So many couples have to sacrifice their needs and personal time for their relationship.
But all of this might be overbearing to most foreigners. Not that non-Koreans don't care about their relationship, but they value individualism as well.
So they can be more understanding and welcoming to the idea of a more hands-off relationship.
This can seem very appealing to many Koreans who don't want to jump into a relationship that feels like a job. The idea of having a little more breathing room is something that they want to experience.
Some may find that they like it, and some may find that they don't. But it's worth finding out.
Some people may have heard Koreans saying, "You can't trust Koreans." Maybe it is because they have experienced being cheated on?
Either way, it can be a little interesting to hear Koreans insult their own fellow Koreans.
This could be because Koreans tend to jump into relationships very quickly instead of taking it slow at the beginning. Koreans might consider their partner to be their monogamous boyfriend of girlfriend after one or maybe two dates.
So without taking enough time to really get to know each other, they find themselves in relationships with people that they don't really know.
Therefore, it can be appealing to take it slower and date someone with a more straightforward character, which many people from other cultures expect to have. It's seen as more trustworthy.
Whether foreigners or Koreans are more straightforward is case-by-case and not really worth debating, but some people have the expectation that foreigners are at least more honest about who and where they are.
Source: Yonhap News
As many people know, in traditional Korean society, some people think that male is the superior sex.
Therefore, when a woman is married, she has to act as a housewife and obey her husband's orders. In addition, it is also considered more prudent to get the male's parent's permission to marry.
Some Korean women who have been married have been forced to quit their job. Some people even did not return to visit their parents, and if they really want to return, they have to ask permission of the husband and the parents-in-law first.
This has all lead to a gender inequality problem in Korean society that even now cannot be resolved (This does not mean that it is the same in every house).
Source: Yonhap News
So many Korean men and women are bored with this feeling of inequality. Therefore, choosing to look for relationships with foreigners of different cultures can give them a sense of fairness.
Source: The Korea Herald
Any couples who take their relationship all the way to marriage will find another problem in Korean society: pressure from the family.
This may include having children, making money, taking care of the family, etc. There are many couples who, after they get married, still have to live with or near their parents, which makes them feel uncomfortable.
Koreans also bear a lot of expectations, such as the expectation that they are successful and earn a lot of money. Many Koreans are unable to bear this pressure.
It is especially common to hear stories about the crazy mother-in-law (or monster-in-law).
Koreans can feel like marrying a foreigner will spare them from those expectations, especially from the in-laws side as foreign families are expected to be more welcoming and less aggressive.
Having open-minded Korean parents who are supportive of an international relationship can be a blessing in disguise for young Koreans who don't want to deal with the incessant nagging of Korean in-laws around the holidays or the constant judgement of their parenting skills.
However, saying that dating a foreigner can be a cure for these negative expectations should be taken with a grain of salt. Nobody knows whether in the end the chosen partner will be the same as you imagined or not.
In addition, marrying a foreigner presents its own issues as well that can easily spark fights later on, including schooling, which country to live in, cultural differences, language barriers, and so on.
This article is not meant to say that "Koreans are bad."
There are Koreans who behave and believe in none of the negative things mentioned above and foreigners who do. The main thing is that you find someone who makes you feel happy and comfortable.
We just wanted to address a topic that is a pretty common point of discussion these days and is getting popularized in pop culture.
Do you have any experience? Maybe you've dated a Korean? Maybe you've gotten married to one?
Let us know!