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What is dating in Korea?


Dating in Korea is a unique experience with its own set of rules, traditions, and expectations. The dating culture in Korea is heavily influenced by Confucianism, which emphasizes family values and respect for elders. As a result, dating in Korea can be quite different from dating in other parts of the world. In this article, we will explore what dating in Korea looks like, from the initial meeting to the first date and beyond.

Meeting People

In Korea, it is common for people to meet through mutual friends or social events. Blind dates, known as “sogeting,” are also popular. These are arranged by a matchmaker or through an app. Online dating has become more popular in recent years, but meeting someone through a friend or acquaintance is still considered more desirable.

First Dates

The first date in Korea is often quite formal and may involve going to a restaurant or cafe. It is common for the man to pay for the meal. Public displays of affection are not common on first dates, as it is considered inappropriate. Instead, couples may hold hands or link arms.


In Korea, relationships are taken seriously and are often seen as a step towards marriage. Couples may begin discussing their future together early on in the relationship. It is common for couples to celebrate monthly anniversaries and holidays such as White Day and Valentine’s Day.


Public displays of affection are generally frowned upon in Korea. Couples may hold hands or link arms, but kissing or hugging in public is considered inappropriate. This is partly due to the influence of Confucianism, which emphasizes modesty and self-control.

Dating Etiquette

In Korea, there are certain rules and expectations when it comes to dating. For example, it is considered polite to wait for the other person to initiate physical contact. Couples may also exchange gifts on special occasions or anniversaries.

Meeting the Parents

Meeting a partner’s parents is an important step in a Korean relationship. It is seen as a sign of commitment and respect. Men are typically expected to meet the woman’s parents first, and may bring a small gift or token of appreciation.


Marriage is highly valued in Korean culture, and couples may begin discussing marriage early on in the relationship. There are certain customs and traditions associated with Korean weddings, such as the pyebaek ceremony and the giving of yedan.

Breaking up

Breaking up in Korea can be difficult, as there is often pressure to stay in a relationship even if it is not working out. Ghosting or cutting off contact is considered impolite. It is more common for couples to have a frank discussion about their feelings and reasons for wanting to end the relationship.

Challenges of Dating in Korea

Dating in Korea can be challenging for foreigners who are not familiar with the culture or language. There may be misunderstandings or misinterpretations due to cultural differences. Language barriers can also be a challenge, as many Koreans do not speak English fluently.


Dating in Korea is a unique experience with its own set of rules and expectations. From meeting people through mutual friends to celebrating monthly anniversaries, Korean dating culture emphasizes respect, modesty, and commitment. While it can be challenging for foreigners, understanding these cultural differences can help pave the way for a successful relationship.

What does dating in Korea mean?

In Korean culture, expressing love through various means such as couple menus, matching clothing, and special days dedicated to couples is very prevalent. Although these celebrations may be commercialized, every month has at least one of these occasions for couples to enjoy.

What is dating like in Korea?

In Korea, couples may coordinate their clothing, but they tend to be more conservative when it comes to showing affection in public. While holding hands is common, kissing on the lips is not. If you come from a culture where public displays of affection are more common, it’s best to save them for private settings while in Korea.

What are the dating laws in South Korea?

In South Korea, the age of consent is set at 20 years old according to Article 305 of the Criminal Act, which is one of the highest ages of consent globally. Previously, the age of consent in South Korea was only 13, which was among the lowest in the world.

What is the age gap of dating in Korea?

In Korean culture, a 12-year age difference between a couple is considered meaningful because it represents a full zodiac cycle.

Is kissing a big deal in Korea?

Among older individuals in South Korea, public displays of affection such as kissing are frowned upon and considered highly inappropriate. While younger generations are becoming more accepting of this behavior, it is still discouraged by elders. Dressing well is highly valued in South Korea and is seen as a sign of showing respect.

Is it normal to kiss in Korea?

It is common to see couples holding hands, giving small kisses, or even more overt displays of affection in South Korea. This may be surprising to those from European or American cultures, as Korean couples are more likely to express their love publicly.

Another challenge of dating in Korea is the pressure to conform to certain beauty standards. Physical appearance is highly valued in Korean culture, and there may be expectations for both men and women to look a certain way. This can lead to body shaming or unrealistic expectations for physical appearance.

Another factor that can impact dating in Korea is age. Age is seen as an important aspect of social hierarchy and respect in Korean culture. As a result, there may be pressure to date someone who is around the same age or older. This can be challenging for younger couples or those with a significant age gap.

Religion can also play a role in Korean dating culture. While Christianity is the dominant religion, there are also significant populations of Buddhists and other religions. Couples may need to navigate differences in religious beliefs and practices.

Despite these challenges, many find love and happiness through dating in Korea. The emphasis on commitment and family values can lead to long-lasting relationships and marriages. By understanding and respecting Korean cultural norms, foreigners can also find success in their dating endeavors in Korea.

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