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What is the dating culture in South Korea?


South Korea is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and the dating culture in South Korea is no exception. Dating in South Korea is considered to be a serious matter, and it involves a lot of customs and traditions that might seem different from those of other countries. In this article, we will explore the dating culture of South Korea in detail.

The Role of Confucianism

Confucianism has had a significant impact on the dating culture in South Korea. It emphasizes the importance of family and respect for elders, which are essential factors to consider when dating in South Korea. The influence of Confucianism can be seen in various aspects of dating, including the way people meet each other, the role of parents, and the expectations for marriage.

Meeting Someone

In South Korea, people often meet through mutual friends or while out socializing. Blind dates arranged by friends or family members are also common. Online dating is gaining popularity but still considered taboo by some. Once two people have expressed interest in each other, they may exchange contact information to arrange future meetings.

Gender Roles

Gender roles play a significant role in the dating culture of South Korea. Men are expected to initiate dates and pay for them, while women are expected to be passive and not make the first move. This expectation has been changing in recent years, as more women are becoming independent and assertive.

Public Displays of Affection

Public displays of affection such as holding hands, hugging, or kissing are not common in South Korea, especially among older generations. Couples often keep their relationship private until they are ready to announce it to their families and friends.

Introducing to Family

Introducing a partner to one’s family is an essential step in the dating culture of South Korea. It shows commitment and respect for family values. However, this step is often taken only when the couple is serious about each other.


In South Korea, marriage is a significant milestone in one’s life, and it is considered a union between two families, rather than just two individuals. The parents’ approval is crucial before a couple can get married. Many couples still have arranged marriages, but love marriages are becoming more common.

The Role of Age

Age plays a significant role in the dating culture of South Korea. People are often judged by their age and social status. Older men are considered more desirable as they have more experience and financial stability. Women, on the other hand, are expected to marry earlier and younger than men.

The Role of Education

Education is highly valued in South Korea, and it plays a significant role in the dating culture. People with higher education levels are considered more desirable partners as they are seen as having better job prospects and higher social status.

Gift Giving

Gift giving is an essential part of the dating culture in South Korea. Couples exchange gifts on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. Gifts should be thoughtful and reflect the receiver’s interests.

Breaking Up

Breaking up is never easy, but it is especially challenging in South Korea, where saving face is critical. Couples may try to work out their differences before considering breaking up, and if they do decide to end the relationship, it is often done quietly and discreetly.


The dating culture in South Korea has evolved over time, but it still retains many traditional customs and values. It emphasizes the importance of family and respect for elders while still allowing room for individual expression and freedom. Whether you are dating in South Korea or just curious about its culture, understanding these customs and traditions can help you navigate the dating world with greater ease.

What is dating like in South Korea?

In Korean dating culture, couples often express their affection by giving gifts such as flowers, chocolates, and cute trinkets. This constant connection through phone and text messaging, even when apart, adds to the romantic atmosphere in Korean relationships.

What are the dating laws in South Korea?

South Korea has set the age of consent at 20 years old, which is one of the highest in the world. This age was increased from 13, which was one of the lowest ages of consent in the world, based on South Korea’s Criminal Act Article 305.

What is considered flirting in Korea?

In Korean culture, flirting resembles what is portrayed in Korean dramas where sweet and cute phrases are used to appeal to the person of interest’s heart. Aegyo, or acting cute, is also another way of flirting besides using romantic expressions.

Is kissing a big deal in Korea?

Public displays of affection, such as kissing, are considered inappropriate and disrespectful by the older population in South Korea. However, younger generations are becoming more accepting of these actions. Dressing appropriately is highly valued in South Korean culture, as it is seen as a sign of respect.

Do Korean men get circumcised?

While American culture has had an impact on circumcision practices in South Korea, the majority of circumcisions have not been performed on newborns. Instead, the age for circumcision has been steadily decreasing over time, with boys now typically undergoing the procedure at around 12 years old.

Who pays on a date in Korean culture?

While younger people are more likely to split the bill, it is still generally expected that the man will pay for the first date and possibly the next few dates as well, although this tradition is gradually changing with the times.

Modernization of Dating Culture

While traditional dating customs are still prevalent in South Korea, the country’s modernization has also influenced its dating culture. Younger generations are more open to dating outside of their social circles and using dating apps to meet new people. The rise of feminism has also led to a shift in gender roles, with more women taking the initiative in dating and relationships.

Long-Distance Relationships

With many South Koreans studying and working abroad, long-distance relationships have become more common. Technology has made it easier for couples to stay connected despite being far apart, with video calls and instant messaging helping to bridge the distance. However, the challenges of maintaining a long-distance relationship can still be difficult.

LGBTQ+ Dating

South Korea is a conservative country when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, but attitudes towards the community are slowly changing. While same-sex marriage is not legal, there is a growing acceptance of homosexuality among younger generations. LGBTQ+ dating apps have also gained popularity in recent years, providing a platform for individuals to connect with others who share their sexual orientation.

International Dating

South Korea has become a popular destination for foreigners looking to date Koreans, and vice versa. International marriages have increased in recent years, with many couples meeting through language exchange programs or online dating sites. However, cultural differences and language barriers can still pose challenges in these relationships.

The Impact of K-Pop

K-Pop, or Korean pop music, has become a global phenomenon in recent years, and its influence can be seen in the dating culture of South Korea. Many young people idolize K-Pop stars and their relationships, leading to an increased interest in celebrity dating news. Some even try to emulate their favorite stars by adopting their fashion styles or dating behaviors.


The dating culture in South Korea is complex and multifaceted, influenced by traditional values, modernization, and global trends. Understanding the customs and traditions of dating in South Korea can help individuals navigate relationships more successfully. As the country continues to evolve, its dating culture will undoubtedly continue to change and adapt.

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