This is the long version of the story of why I told the seemingly perfect guy who would drive to my house unannounced to give me flowers that I couldn’t see him again.
He had wanted to meet some of my friends and go to a certain area of Seoul to which he’d never been, so I told him to meet up with us around 9 PM on a Friday. While there, he slipped away and came back with a bouquet of three red roses for me. What a Romeo. (I had nowhere to put these flowers and had to awkwardly carry them around all night, until I eventually abandoned them later in the night.)
However, a misunderstanding occurred, which I guess was stupid at the time, but suddenly everyone was telling me something he had said or did, and he was the only one who insisted it wasn’t true. I guess it was a problem with him being really naive and over-friendly and also not speaking the best English.
When I tried to ask my friend about it and we tried to go outside to talk, he got really, really clingy and kept grabbing at my wrists (oh, the Korean wrist grab! It really does happen) and trying to force his face on mine. Not cool. My friend and I returned. His clinginess/grabbiness got worse and I started getting really annoyed. I kept pushing him off and yelling “Stop it!” but he wouldn’t stop. Then my friend’s boyfriend wanted to talk to me outside, and we were able to talk for all of three seconds before Romeo ran out, grabbing at me and trying to drag me back inside. Again, I told him to stop, that he was hurting me, and I would talk to him in one second. He wouldn’t listen and just stood there, latching on to me.
I was really fed up so said I needed to go to the bathroom. Unsurprisingly, he followed me into the nearest bathroom I knew, which was a jam-packed bar/club. It was hard enough squeezing through all the people, but even harder when he wouldn’t stop grabbing at my wrist. Then when I got to the bathroom, which was a shared sex one (I’m sure you’ve seen them in Korea; there are stalls for the men and women but then there’s a urinal or two right in the middle,) this dumb girl was like “Oh yeah I’m just waiting until no one is using the urinal before I go in! I don’t want to be rude!” and I just stared at her in silent hatred while pushing off Romeo’s grabby hands every two seconds.
Went to the bathroom, left, he was right outside the door, followed me the whole way out yanking and grabbing at me. Finally, when we were outside the place where most of my friends still were, I really flipped out and shoved him and screamed “Stop it! You’re hurting me!” while crowds of young Korean couples gawked (so embarrassing.) My friend saw and came outside and distracted him while I marched sulkily over to the taxis and waited for her there. She kept telling him to wait until tomorrow and that he was making it worse by grabbing and pulling at me when I obviously wanted to be alone.
We finally got in a taxi and I had a suspicion that Romeo would be waiting for me outside my house. My friend got off, and when I got to my place, I saw him there. I was worried because he was drunk and had already over-powered me with his arm-yanking, so who knows what could happen next? Luckily there was a woman walking by this street at 3 AM for who knows what reason, and he had just turned around a corner to wait under my building’s parking garage, so I was able to sprint over to the side door and get inside without him even knowing. I told him I was sleeping at my friend’s house. He still waited outside my building in the freezing cold for at least another hour. I know this because he kept buzzing my apartment, even though he didn’t think I was at home. I was terrified and my mouth was dry and I was shaking.
The next day he apologized profusely, and I told him he scared me and I can’t date someone who hurts me. He said he was sorry, and that he didn’t know he was hurting me (because me yelling ‘You’re hurting me!’ didn’t make that clear enough) and that ‘that is how couples in Korea fight’ (meaning the guy dragging the girl around and yanking her arm out of its socket.)
Deep down I feel bad, because the misunderstanding was dumb, but he should NOT have acted like that. I’d said to him a few days ago ‘you couldn’t even hurt a fly!’ but it was like I saw this crazy, dark side of him, and it made me uncomfortable. Also, he had been moving way too fast on the emotional front, like telling me he loved me and couldn’t live without me by the second date, so I’d already had some weird feelings about all this, but that crazy night really sealed the deal. Now I have a ton of unanswered heartfelt emails from him that I have to respond to.
If you’re ever dating a Korean guy who tries to push and pull you around and says that it’s OK because it’s part of Korean culture, tell him to shut up. That is just violence, plain and simple! Just because people do it, doesn’t mean it’s right.
And so, my perfect K-drama relationship ended. But actually, I feel very calm about it.