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Wednesday, Oct. 4
The Indiana Daily Student


Blind dates, matching shirts and 3 Valentines

I’ve found three types of dating in Korea.

First, the more casual kind of date is a “meeting,” or a group date. It is typical to have a group of your girl friends meet up with a group of guy friends at a cafe or a restaurant.

I have heard that the girls will put personal items, like jewelry, on the table and have the guys pick and the guys will mainly spend their time with the girl whose item they chose. These dates are not particularly to find a girlfriend or boyfriend, but mainly to make friends and have fun.  

Second, they have dates called “sogeting” – blind dates set up by a friend. Let’s say you have a single guy friend and you meet a girl in your class who is also single and looking for a boyfriend; it would be almost natural to match them up. 

Blind dates are very common in Korea. Sometimes the mutual friend who set up the date will come on the date to avoid some of the awkwardness. A “sogeting” is more intimate than a “meeting.” Here people are looking for a possible boyfriend or girlfriend.  

Another form of dating is called a “matseon,” which is a date where people are looking for marriage prospects. Most often the parents set up these dates.

In these dates the qualities that each person looks for is most often related to social,
educational and professional background and has less to do with romance and love.

People who partake in these dates are usually in their late 20s or 30s. 

Match-making is also quite popular in Korea. It’s a very large and growing industry. There are online sites that have patented systems to match couples. 
It is quite common to see Korean couples wearing couple shirts and couple rings. For many Westerners this is seen as a little corny, and I don’t think any of my guy friends back home would even consider wearing a couple shirt. 

I hardly ever see couples holding hands or kissing in public; it is considered improper. So wearing couple shirts is their public display of affection.

In Korea, couples celebrate their 100-day anniversary. This three-month mark is considered a milestone in the relationship.

Valentine’s Day is different in Korea: The girl gives the guy chocolates and gifts. 

A month later on March 14 is “White Day,” when guys give their girlfriends a gift or take them out for a fancy dinner. Then “Black Day” is a month after “White Day,” and all the single people get together and eat jajangmyeon, a popular noodle dish with black sauce (thus “Black Day”).

Without having much knowledge about the dating culture, it is obvious that many foreign students can find themselves in very interesting and unfamiliar situations while attempting to join the Korean dating scene.

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