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Do Korean couples live together?


Korean culture is known for its unique customs and traditions. One aspect of their culture that is often questioned by outsiders is their dating and relationship practices. One of the questions that frequently arises is whether Korean couples live together before marriage. In this article, we will explore the topic in detail and provide comprehensive information on the subject.

Historical background

To understand the current practices of Korean couples, it is necessary to explore the historical context. Traditionally, Korean society has been conservative when it comes to relationships and marriage. Premarital sex and cohabitation were considered taboo and frowned upon by society. However, attitudes towards relationships have changed significantly in recent years due to globalization and the influence of Western culture.

Current practices

While traditional values still hold some sway in Korean society, things are changing rapidly. Many young couples choose to live together before marriage as a way to get to know each other better and test their compatibility. However, there are still some societal pressures against cohabitation before marriage, especially for women.


From a legal standpoint, there are no restrictions on cohabitation in Korea. Unmarried couples can live together without any legal issues. However, there are some practical considerations to take into account when living together, such as housing laws and taxes.

Social attitudes

Despite the legal freedom to cohabitate, social attitudes towards unmarried couples living together remain somewhat negative. Parents may disapprove of their children living with their partners before marriage, and older generations may see it as a sign of moral decay.

Religious views

Religion also plays a significant role in shaping attitudes towards cohabitation in Korea. Many conservative religious groups view premarital sex and cohabitation as sinful and immoral. This can lead to societal pressure and disapproval for those who choose to live together before marriage.

Gender roles

Gender roles also play a significant role in cohabitation among Korean couples. Traditionally, women were expected to remain chaste until marriage and live with their husbands after marriage. However, as gender roles shift in Korean society, more women are choosing to live with their partners before marriage.

Benefits of cohabitation

There are many benefits to cohabitation before marriage, including getting to know your partner better, testing your compatibility, and sharing living expenses. Living together can also help build a stronger bond between partners and lead to a successful marriage.

Drawbacks of cohabitation

Despite the benefits, there are also some drawbacks to cohabitation before marriage. For example, living together can lead to complacency in the relationship and make it harder to maintain boundaries. It can also put pressure on the relationship if one partner is not ready for commitment or marriage.

Alternatives to cohabitation

For those who do not want to live together before marriage, there are other options available. Some couples choose to maintain separate residences but spend most of their time together. Others may choose to take part in “trial marriages,” where they live together for a set period before deciding whether or not to get married.


In conclusion, while attitudes towards cohabitation before marriage are changing in Korean society, there is still some societal pressure against it. However, many young couples are choosing to live together as a way to test their compatibility and build a stronger bond. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to live together before marriage is a personal one that each couple must make for themselves.


– “Korean Dating Culture: The Dos and Don’ts of Dating in Korea.” 90 Day Korean.
– “Cohabitation in South Korea: Trends and Implications.” The Diplomat.
– “South Korea: Living Together Unmarried.” Global Property Guide.
– “Korean Attitudes Toward Marriage, Family, and Reproduction.” NCBI.
– “South Korean Couples Turn to Cohabitation as Marriage Rates Fall.” The Guardian.

What is the dating rule in Korea?

In Western cultures, there is a common rule known as the “three-day rule” for dating, but this rule doesn’t apply when dating in Korea. In Korea, it is important to contact your date immediately after the first meeting to show your interest and that you had a good time, otherwise, it can be interpreted as disinterest.

How long are Korean couples together before marriage?

In Korea, it is customary for couples to exchange rings to celebrate their 100th day anniversary. While dating in Korea can be enjoyable, it is not necessary to have a partner to have a fulfilling life. There are many great experiences to be had in Korea whether you are single or coupled.

How do Korean couples address each other?

Jagiya, which means “Honey” or “Baby” in Korean, is a popular term of endearment used by couples, particularly in Korean dramas. It can also be shortened to just “jagi”.

Do couples kiss in public in Korea?

Public displays of affection, particularly kissing, are considered inappropriate and immodest behavior among older generations in South Korea. While younger adults view this as less taboo, it is still not widely accepted and is discouraged by elders.

Are men in Korea circumcised?

South Korea is unique among its neighboring countries in that circumcision is common practice for boys, despite the fact that other countries with strong Confucian and Buddhist traditions do not circumcise at the same rate. In fact, circumcision goes against Korea’s cultural tradition of preserving the body as a gift from parents.

What is an acceptable age gap in a relationship in Korea?

In Korean culture, a 12-year age difference between a couple is considered significant because it means that the two individuals are a complete cycle apart in the zodiac.

Impact of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on cohabitation among Korean couples. With social distancing measures in place and restrictions on gatherings, many couples have found themselves spending more time together and considering cohabitation as a viable option. However, the pandemic has also made it difficult for couples to find affordable housing, as rental prices have increased in response to the demand.

The Role of Education

Education is another factor that can influence attitudes towards cohabitation before marriage. Younger Koreans who have been exposed to a more liberal education system may be more accepting of cohabitation, while those who have received a more conservative education may be more resistant to the idea.

The Impact on Marriage

There is some debate over whether cohabitation before marriage has a positive or negative impact on the success of a marriage. Some studies suggest that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce, while others argue that cohabitation can actually lead to a stronger and more successful marriage.

Legal Protections

While there are no legal restrictions on cohabitation in Korea, unmarried couples do not have the same legal protections as married couples. For example, in the event of a break-up, one partner may not have any legal claim to property or assets acquired during the relationship.


Overall, attitudes towards cohabitation before marriage in Korea are changing rapidly as societal values shift and younger generations become more accepting of non-traditional relationship practices. While there are still some societal pressures against cohabitation, many couples are choosing to live together as a way to test their compatibility and build a stronger bond before getting married. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to live together before marriage is a personal one that each couple must make based on their own values, beliefs, and circumstances.

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