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How do Koreans view marriage and relationships?


Koreans have a unique perspective when it comes to marriage and relationships. While traditional values are still prevalent, modern attitudes are also making their way into Korean society. In this article, we will delve into the cultural and societal factors that shape how Koreans view marriage and relationships.

Historical Context

Korea has a rich history and culture that has influenced the way its people view marriage and relationships. In the past, arranged marriages were common, and women were expected to be submissive to their husbands. However, with the emergence of a modern society, these practices are slowly disappearing.

Growing Trend of Delayed Marriage

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of delayed marriage in Korea. This can be attributed to various factors such as economic instability, changing gender roles, and a focus on career advancement. Many young Koreans are choosing to prioritize their careers over starting families.

The Influence of K-Dramas

Korean dramas have gained immense popularity not only in Korea but also worldwide. These dramas often portray idealized romantic relationships that are unrealistic in real life. However, they have influenced the way young Koreans view love and relationships.

The Pressure of Conformity

In Korean society, there is a significant pressure to conform to societal norms. This includes getting married at a certain age and having children. Many Koreans feel pressure from their families and society to follow these norms, which can lead to stress and anxiety.

The Role of Gender

Gender roles play a significant role in Korean society, especially in relationships. Men are expected to be the breadwinners while women are expected to take care of the household and children. However, with more women entering the workforce, these roles are slowly changing.

The Importance of Family

Family is highly valued in Korean culture, and this extends to relationships. It is common for couples to seek approval from their families before getting married. The family’s opinion is critical, and they often play a significant role in the couple’s decision-making process.

The Influence of Religion

Religion also plays a significant role in how Koreans view marriage and relationships. Christianity and Buddhism are the most prevalent religions in Korea, and both have different beliefs about love, marriage, and family.

The Concept of “Honjok”

“Honjok” is a term used to describe individuals who prefer to be alone. In Korea, there is a growing trend of people choosing to remain single or not get married at all. This can be attributed to various factors, including changing societal attitudes towards marriage.

The Rise of Online Dating

Online dating has become increasingly popular in Korea, especially among younger generations. This has changed the way Koreans view relationships as it offers a more convenient way to meet potential partners.

The Impact of Globalization

Globalization has brought about significant changes in Korean society, including its views on marriage and relationships. With the rise of Western influence, Koreans are becoming more open-minded and accepting of different relationship styles.


In conclusion, Koreans have a unique perspective when it comes to marriage and relationships. While traditional values are still prevalent, modern attitudes are slowly making their way into Korean society. Understanding these cultural and societal factors is essential for anyone looking to form meaningful relationships with Koreans.

How does Korean culture view marriage?

The wedding signifies the merging of two families into one, and therefore, the parents from both sides play an active role in many parts of the ceremony. They dress in special clothing, exchange meaningful gifts, and offer blessings to the newlywed couple during the celebrations.

What are relationships like in Korea?

In Korea, it is common for couples to wear matching outfits, but they tend to be more conservative when it comes to showing affection in public. While holding hands is acceptable, kissing on the lips is not as common. If you come from a culture that is more open with displays of affection, it is best to reserve them for a more private setting.

How long are Korean couples together before marriage?

In Korea, couples often exchange rings when they have been together for 100 days. While dating in Korea can bring many enjoyable experiences, it is not necessary for a fulfilling life. Regardless of whether or not you have a partner, life in Korea can be fun and rewarding.

What is the best age gap between husband and wife in Korea?

For these celebrity couples, age is just a number as they were able to overcome significant age differences to find true love. In Korean culture, a 12-year age gap is considered significant as it means the couple is a full zodiac cycle apart.

What do Koreans look for in a partner?

When considering a significant other, both men (73.4%) and women (72.4%) prioritize personality, followed by values (55.8% and 58.2% respectively). Men often also consider appearance (47.6%) and hobbies/interests (33.8%), while women place importance on financial stability (39.4%) and family background (25.4%).

What are dating norms in Korea?

In Korean dating culture, public displays of affection (PDA) are common, although considered sinful by some. While overt displays of physical intimacy should be kept private, holding hands, giving a peck, or even a kiss is frequently seen.

The Influence of Education

Education plays a significant role in shaping how Koreans view marriage and relationships. In Korea, education is highly valued, and many young people prioritize their studies over starting families. This can lead to a delay in marriage, as many Koreans prefer to establish their careers and financial stability before settling down.

The Importance of Communication

Communication is essential in any relationship, and this holds true for Koreans as well. However, many Koreans find it challenging to express their emotions and communicate openly with their partners. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflict in relationships.

The Role of Social Media

Social media has become an integral part of Korean society, and it has also impacted the way Koreans view relationships. Many young Koreans use social media to meet potential partners or maintain long-distance relationships. However, social media can also create unrealistic expectations about relationships and love.

The Stigma of Divorce

Divorce is still considered taboo in Korean society, and many Koreans view it as a failure. This can add additional pressure to married couples, who may feel reluctant to seek help or end their marriage due to societal pressures.

The Impact of Economic Factors

Economic factors play a significant role in how Koreans view marriage and relationships. The cost of living in Korea is high, and many young people struggle with financial instability. This can make it difficult for them to start families or even date, as they may not have the financial means to support themselves, let alone a partner or family.

The Importance of Physical Appearance

Physical appearance is highly valued in Korean society, and this extends to relationships as well. Many Koreans prioritize physical attractiveness when choosing a partner, and this can create additional pressure for individuals to conform to societal beauty standards.

The Concept of “Sampo”

“Sampo” is a term used to describe the concept of giving up on three things: dating, marriage, and having children. This trend is becoming increasingly popular among young Koreans who feel disillusioned with traditional societal norms and expectations.

The Impact of Aging Population

Korea’s aging population is also having an impact on how Koreans view marriage and relationships. With fewer young people entering the workforce and starting families, there is a growing concern about the declining birth rate and its impact on the economy. This has led to government policies aimed at promoting marriage and family, such as providing financial incentives for couples who have children.

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