My friend just sent me a link to the website mykoreanboyfriend.com in which women who have married, are dating, or want to date Korean men talk about their cross-cultural relationships. This has inspired me to share some tips on how to get a Korean boyfriend which are not entirely serious but still kind of true. The truth is, Korean culture is hot right now all over the world, and only growing in popularity. Korean pop music is cute and fun; Korean dramas are great fantasies for lonely girls (myself included;) and Korean people are good-looking and we want to be like them or be with one of them. Since I have been on dates with many Korean men and have been dating my k-b-f for like 10 months, here are some tips on how to obtain your Korean dream.
(I feel like I have to state that this is a joke because foreigners have actually been deported from Korea for ‘slandering’ or making fun of the culture. This is not serious. I mean no offense to Koreans, because I love Korea. I don’t want to see my blog on the KBS 6:00 news, because then my co-workers could see what I write about them. Please don’t make me go back to America. There are all kinds of horrible things going on there. To make it fair, you could call me a lazy, french-fry-loving American, and that would be entirely truthful, and I would forgive you.)
1. Live in Korea (Korean men live in Korea. What’s with all these random Malaysian/Mexican/Southeast Asian teenage girls writing all over Big Bang’s Facebook page like “Oppa I love you I want Korean boyfriend” “Oppa come to [city] I love you, I love Korean men” etc. You are not Korean; you are not going to get a Korean boyfriend by being a creep on Big Bang’s Facebook page. Or there was this girl from the Philippines who friended my boyfriend and hundreds of other Korean guys and was trying to chat with all of them to get a boyfriend. It really doesn’t work like that. Stop being creepy. If you get a Korean boyfriend, you really don’t want him to know that you have a weird Korean man fetish/fantasy that he is fulfilling, do you? Don’t be so desperate)
2. Be white (the paler and blonder you are, the better. Koreans think the ugliest blonde person is beautiful just because they are so exotic. I love Koreans but most of them, even ones I know who have traveled and lived abroad, are still racist. Koreans are still racist against white people, but less racist than they are against black people and non-Asian Koreans. I am white, and I am constantly being complimented on my ‘small face,’ ‘high nose,’ ‘blue eyes,’ ‘big eyes,’ ‘S-line,’ etc., etc. Korean people are nicer to you if they think you are pretty. Korean people sometimes give me free stuff because I am white. This is not fair, but true. If you are a white woman, when Korean people see you, they will be reminded of the images their media portrays of white women: Hollywood actresses and lingerie models. But being a beautiful, exotic ‘white horse’ has its downsides, because then the ahjussis will think you are the Russia woman and try to proposition you on the street when you are just walking to the grocery store to buy some orange juice. Learn how to say “I am not Russian” in Korean soon after your arrival. However, if you are not white but have ‘white facial features’ like big eyes, you can also be loved. )
3. Be thin (have you ever seen a Korean couple where one person is significantly larger than the other? It just doesn’t happen, unless it’s two gay men [according to my K-BF.] Korean people are really focused on looks and appearance, and your weight is a reflection of your health and self-control. And, the thinner you are, the better your clothes look on you, and Korean people are all about clothes. You can be thin by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, or you can maintain your weight like a Korean girl by consuming nothing but coffee and diet pills all day, and regularly going to the Eastern medicine doctor for fat-busting acupuncture. A lot of foreign women complain that Korean guys aren’t interested in them because they are too scared to talk to them; I think it’s because most of the foreign women here are kind of overweight and don’t put enough care into their appearance, which brings me to #4. Also, your weight is not a personal subject in Korea. Your co-workers and students will openly comment on your weight; I’ve gotten “You look fat today” as well as “You have lost weight.” It is really annoying but what can you do? This is a “cultural difference”)
4. Dress nicely (Korea is the most fashion-conscious place I’ve ever been in. Brand names are highly valued, but it’s super-easy to get nice-looking (but not high-quality) clothes cheap. So, there’s really no excuse to look sloppy. Another reason I think Korean men aren’t interested in foreign women is that they dress too “American.” I’m not saying you should wear high heels and a miniskirt every day like a Korean woman (I never wear heels,) but I always see foreign women wearing over-sized flared jeans from 5 years ago and dirty shoes here. Or, at night, clothes that are too revealing for this country. That kind of look doesn’t make you look good, and it isn’t going to encourage a potential date to approach you when you look like you can’t even handle taking care of yourself properly. I wear skirts and dresses just about every day, because I actually hate wearing pants, and my Korean co-workers always tell me how pretty and ‘unlike’ a foreigner I am.)
5. Be approachable (it’s true that Korean guys are nervous to approach you; in addition to worrying about you rejecting them, they also have to worry about speaking English well.)
6. Go on meetings (if your friend has a Korean boyfriend, it is your friend’s duty to organize meetings, at which the friends of the foreigner and the Korean can meet and potentially date. A meeting with six people is ideal. First you will eat Korean barbecue, and then you will go to the hof to eat more and drink Korean beer and play games like Baskin Robbins 31 and the game where you point your chopsticks at people. You must immediately try to get the seat across from the most attractive man, otherwise he will spend most of his time talking to the girl across from him. Try to make a good impression at the meeting. I met my boyfriend at a meeting, and he barely spoke at all, and didn’t eat because he had already eaten; I concluded that he didn’t speak any English and we didn’t even talk until about two hours later.)
7. He has to speak your language (unfortunately, the attractiveness of a Korean man is almost always inversely proportional to his English skills. Creepy, ugly guys who stop you on the subway or on the street in Itaewon will be fluent in English (like the weird guy who got on my bus, tried to follow me home, and called me 5 times a day until I told him to stop); the hot model guy at the club won’t even be able to say “What is your name?” You’ve got to either speak Korean, or just give up. I went on date with two separate guys who were training to be Korean pop stars. They were drop-dead gorgeous, had perfect style, and were really nice. However, we couldn’t communicate well at all. A five-hour date really drags on when he can’t say much more than “I am tired” to you, and your Korean is even worse than his English.
8. Korean guys are not perfect (real life is not a Korean drama [Unfortunately.] You are probably not going to find a perfect chaebol flower boy like Gu Jun Pyo. Accept it, and move on. You don’t want to act like a Korean drama girl, anyway, because you are not stupid and helpless. You are not going to drink a whole glass of vodka because you were so innocent you thought it was water and then throw up on your boyfriend’s shoes and pass out and then he has to carry you home on his back over a bridge spanning the Han River. That is not true life. We have taxis here.)
Once you have acquired your Korean boyfriend, you can spend the rest of your Korean days in bliss, exchanging chocolates on Valentine’s Day, sharing a Baskin Robbins snowman-themed ice cream cake on Christmas Day, wearing couple shirts to Lotte World, and so on. Just don’t date a university student or company worker if you ever want a boyfriend with enough time and energy to devote to you. Wait, what? That’s 99% of Korean men between the ages of 18 and 40? Oh.