[Q&A] Korean men do not think foreign women are attracted to them?

Are foreign women attracted to Korean men TVXQ in ParisWe are going to assume: are foreigners attracted to Korean men = are western women attracted to Korean men in the following question. If you were wondering about something else, please leave your question in the comments bellow. This question was submitted on our post Dating Korean guy – the clash of prejudices.

Anonymous asked:

Is it true that Korean men do not think foreigners are attracted to them?

To have any idea what Korean men really think we need to conduct a research survey with large enough sample size. Now we’ll come down to earth and offer you what we can: our opinions.

Kimchi Man says simply: yes. Korean man – Western woman couples are so rare that Korean men assume we don’t find them attractive.

Only experience with foreign women he had before he met me was while he was doing his Korean military service. He came across soldiers serving in American army and he says they were… less than interested in Korean men, to put it politely.

My experience with Kimchi Man also says yes to this question. He was (pleasantly I hope) surprised when I showed romantic interest in him. He took my advances in a stride, however, his opinion never having any impact on the development of our relationship. He explains that he simply assumed I am the kind of person who cares far more about man’s personality than his looks. While I’m going to use this chance to boastfully say that yes, I had been in a relationship not caring about the looks,this is not the case with Kimchi Man. He is exceptionally handsome and the fact he doesn’t seem to know it makes him all the more attractive.

Remembering clearly Kimchi Man’s friend joking about visiting France after he heard what a success K-pop concert was there, I asked if the rise of K-pop and the whole Hallyu wave might have changed Korean guys’ perception a bit. Kimchi Man’s answer: “The chances went from impossible to highly unlikely.” LOL.

Keep in mind though, that Kimchi Man is the most modest person I have ever met. Other Korean guys may be more confident.

Here is what one of our readers has to say about the subject:

Sim says:

The first time I met my Korean boyfriend (before we were dating) he actually stated he was surprised that I agreed to meet him and how most white woman weren’t attracted to Asian man. I disagree with the statement, but all of my family back home in Canada sadly fall more under that stereotype.

-Oegukeen

What was your experience? Do Korean guys think foreign women find them attractive?

 

 
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31 thoughts on “[Q&A] Korean men do not think foreign women are attracted to them?

  1. I find it cute that they think of us that way, but it’s untrue. Most people would rather date inside their own race than have an interracial relationship. I think due to the Hallyu wave, more and more girls would rather date α Korean man than anyone else. Personally, I’ve fallen in love with the country and culture, so dating α Korean guy would be perfect (or at least someone that shares my interest in Korea, right?). It’s all about compatibility, instead of looks and race. If the two people click, they should be together. (:

    Love is like α puzzle – the differences are what makes us fit together like pieces of α puzzle.

    • Kimchi Man checked Korean blogs and message boards for this post and whenever a Korean man – western woman photo showed up comments from Korean guys included words “envious” and “jealous”

      But as I said at the beginning, we can’t truly know from just a few examples we come across in our daily lives without a real scientific research. :)

      You are right that it is all about compatibility.

  2. Opinion from one Korean male. I do agree with Kimchi Man, I guess the Korean Man/foreign women pair are so rare in Korea we just cross it out as a possibility. I don’t think there is a problem with attraction, Koreans just consider interracial dating/marriage as taboo but times are changing in Korea.

    Personally I happen to travel/live overseas and meet a lot of interracial couples and attend school with biracial children so I don’t think it is taboo at all. I personally have met a Korean man/Zimbabwe couple and my own father dated foreign girls and married an Austrian. In my father’s case he just didn’t care what his parents thought and wad quite the aggressive playboy type. So honestly too many variables to consider and one can talk forever about this.

    • It’s great you have experience with so many interracial couples. It’s good to know people fall in love all around the world.

      I like the idea that there are too many variables to describe a person. Certainly labeling them with their nationality and hoping to predict their behavior is silly.

  3. My husband has a lot of other Korean guys saying they are shocked and jealous that he has an Australian wife. He has been quizzed many times on our relationship and how he met me etc.

    The problem is, society and the media have been giving out a message that Asian guys are lesser men somehow for a very long time. It’s been soaked into Asian men’s consciousness for a long time and it’s hard to get rid of. Even now a quick search on youtube brings up videos about why Asian guys can’t get Western girls and stupidity like that.

    I have friends who mean well but say things like “Your husband is good looking for an Asian guy.” Why do they need to say it like that? Or they say, “I don’t usually find Asian guys attractive but your husband is cute.” It’s reinforced again and again that Asian men are less attractive or less manly or something. And even some of my friends, instead of rethinking their view on Asian men, just assume my husband is the exception to the rule because it’s that ingrained in their minds. Even with a big Asian population in the US, Asian characters in movies are usually some stereotype for humor. The male romantic lead is never Asian in Hollywood movies.

    Everyone has preferences for what they find attractive but Asian males have been overlooked for a very long time. I still get some snide comments from white Australian males because I’m a white woman with an Asian husband. Again this idea is bandied around that how can a white woman want an Asian guy. Why doesn’t she want a “real man”? Ugh.

    There can also be accusations that Western women interested in Asian guys are only interested because of the hallyu wave and that the only Asian guys we are attracted to are ones that are super handsome and different from the average Asian population. Not true. There have always been women attracted to Asian guys. Unlike what some people think, there isn’t some innate repulsion towards Asian guys. Strip away all the stereotyping and impact society has and there will always be plenty of women attracted to Asian men. I first dated an Asian guy long before I had heard Kpop or watched Korean dramas.

    I’ve done a bit of research on early Chinese settlers marrying white Australian women. From around the 1850’s there were lots of marriages where a Chinese man married a white Australian woman. Although some may have been marriages for economic reasons, there were enough of these partnerships to know that many also married because of affection and love- and they were willing to risk societies censure for it too. Even in the very conservative and racist 19th century.

    I think partly its because Korean men may have just absorbed so much of the negativity about being an Asian man that they can have a hard time believing that a foreign woman, especially a Western woman, would be interested in them. Also because they just haven’t seen enough examples of it.

    It’s slowly changing because of the hallyu wave, but in general most Korean guys have no contact with the women now interested in Korean men, so in general they do get surprised when a non-Korean is interested in them. They may be starting to hear about it more, but it’s easy for them to dismiss because still on average a Western woman is unlikely to approach them, and the media still dismisses this type of pairing as too strange.

    Some negativity even comes from the hallyu wave itself. I’ve seen fans on forums say many times that only the Korean guys in dramas/movies and Kpop are handsome and no normal Korean guys are handsome at all. I’m assuming these girls are judging by the very limited Korean population in their own school because within the big Korean community here there are plenty of very good looking guys who can rival actors and Kpop stars. Of course, as in every population, most people don’t look like stars, but there will always be very good looking who are normal people. But the point is- a Korean guy doesn’t need to look like a star for a woman to be attracted to him anyway. And attraction is only one part of love anyway.

    The other thing is that it’s always more surprising for a Korean to see an interracial couple than it is for… say the average Australian. Because it’s way more multicultural in Australia, though a bit more unusual, people aren’t shocked, but always when we meet Koreans they are surprised at our relationship, which I think is also for cultural reasons.

    Anyway, sorry, that ended up being an essay!

    • It’s good to see you are aware of this. You do a Google search, and you’ll see the African American female and the Asian male are the most marginalized in Hollywood media. I mention Hollywood because it affects everywhere wherever you are. So media has a huge sway in changing the perception and this has affected everyone.

      Now I really do like the attention Korea is getting through Hallyu, but now there is both positive and negative stereotypes accentuated. Everyone knows dramas, movies and pop culture is fiction but one can forget this isn’t reality at times. I do meet women who are obsessed with Korean male stars and find it unsettling. I fear they will be disappointed once they see the real Korea not the fictitious one.

      @Nic, a former Korean Sydneysider here. There are lot of Asians and Koreans in Australia now and it the population continues to explode compared to my last visit! I’m sure mixed couples isn’t considered unusual anymore.

      In addition, there’s an Australian stereotype that still pervades everywhere I go that Australian are white racists. If you’re from an older generation they’ll remember the White immigration polices back in the past. Australia is very different from that past and are they a happy and accepting bunch!

      • That is true that Australia is very different from the past, and many other countries seem to have more issues than here. On a whole, multiculturalism has been successful here, so it’s a shame that there is still that racist stereotype. My husband and I live in an area of Sydney where there are many many Koreans. It’s really good for us.

        • Happiness is a relative term. Were ppeloe centuries ago unhappier because they did not have much of the amenities (but also problems) we have today? They simply had no clue that such things will ease lives one day. And it is similar in North Korea. The country is so isolated that they do not know anything else (except for the few priviliged ones who do not spread the word to not lose their advantage). The best way to try to understand the system is a trip there it will be a lasting experience.

          • I have to disagree with you there. Yes people in previous centuries had no clue about things in the future, but of course there were varying levels of happiness. I’m sure those who lost all their family because of illness were not as happy those who had a happy family, regardless of the fact that neither had future amenities.

            And why are so many North Koreans escaping if they apparently don’t realise they are unhappy? Even if North Koreans don’t know about the outside world, they are not dumb, they feel grief when loved ones die, they feel shame when they can’t feed their children, they feel anger at injustice, just because they haven’t experienced a life outside of Korea doesn’t mean that they don’t feel those basic emotions and those type of emotions can really hinder a feeling of happiness.

            For years the propaganda of North Korea was that the rest of the world has it so much harder than them but North Koreans don’t all believe that any more, even those in remoter areas. The world is seeping into North Korea, and it’s too hard to stop now. There are so many written accounts from North Koreans about what their lives were like, the anger, the distrust, feeling that they can’t even trust their own families. All these things lead to them making the decision to leave, even if they knew nothing about the outside world. It’s offensive and wrong that you are insinuating that North Koreans are all happy because they don’t know the outside world.

          • I really agree with Nic and disagree with you.

            A mother can not be happy her children are dying just because she doesn’t know immunization shots will ever be invented.

            Being cold, sick, hungry and in pain makes people miserable. Something you never have to experience because of the amenities of today’s world.

      • I don’t think you need to worry about Hallyu wave fans getting disappointed. Most of them are teenagers and it is perfectly normal to daydream, fantasize and idealize at that age. We all go through it, and we all grow out of it.

        Maybe we should sometimes be more like that, and see the world in the more positive light.

    • You have explained the problem so well. I have written about this Korean-men-are-not-attractive/are-only-attractive-because-of-Hallyu problem in previous post on the clash of prejudices.

      I didn’t know about Chinese men in Australia, I really appreciate you brought it up. I was surprised that interracial marriages in USA were outlawed until recently. But what comforted me is that to have the need to outlaw them meant that average people WANTED to get married in the first place.

      I live in a country without almost any immigrants, which is good and bad at the same time. Good because I was naively ignorant about all these prejudices against Asian men. Met a guy, fell in love, and that was it.
      Bad because sometimes people can be insensitive and ask questions that people in the USA know are not appropriate. (Sorry I am using USA as an example, I really know too little about Australia)

      • If you’re interested you should read up on Liverpool and its Chinese seamen in the 1800s. A very interesting account of their Eurasian children and their lives. Liverpool is also home to the first Chinatown in Europe.

  4. I remember the first time I talked to a Korean guy that I had a crush on when I lived in Korea, he was incredibly surprised that I was interested in him. Love the discussion on this here!

  5. This post is pretty much what the Korean guy I’m dating thought — that I wouldn’t like him because he wasn’t Western.

    It surprised me because it wasn’t something I’d considered. In fact, I was worried that he didn’t like me, because I’m blue-eyed, tall, and not part of Shoujo Jidai… pretty much the same reason he was worried. :)

    So in my teeny-tiny sample size – he was surprised that I’d like him.
    And I was surprised that he would be surprised, since I thought he didn’t like me.

    • It seems so far we all had the same experience. But as you say, it is teeny-tiny sample size ;)

      I guess it is normal to worry when you fall in love, and worry is magnified if we come from different sides of the world. While I look like any other woman in my country, compared to Korean girls I am very tall and hairy. I was terrified what Kimchi Man would think when he sees me. It went better than I could have ever dreamed about :)

  6. I recently began dating a Korean man in his late 30’s. He’s not married and that I can ascertain has never been married. He’s a little different from most Korean men I’ve met. He enjoys traveling, likes to surf, and (so far) hasn’t been put off by the fact that I am by no means a waifish, demure woman. And I’m not white. I’m mixed-race and from the United States. He has told me that he thinks I am fun, funny, smart, and that he likes the fact that I enjoy Korean food. The last one is amusing. I always found Korean men attractive but was never approached by any of them, and even in this case I was the one who made the first move. I’m not sure what will happen. He keeps calling me so I am glad to see where it goes.

  7. My God. All of you guys are very attractive :).!Do any Korean guys like bigger girls?I’m coming to korea and was planning on dating when I’m there.

  8. From my experience, I have the impression that Korean guys can be very interested in Western girls, but they find it difficult to accept that Western girls might be interested in them, especially if the guy is young or inexperienced, and the girl is attractive.

    I really like a guy in my university, we have been staring at each other for months, and from his behaviour I came to the conclusion that there is mutual interest. Of course I didn’t expect him to make a move, knowing that Asian guys find it difficult to approach Western girls, but when silence between us became almost ridiculous, I tried to speak with him (with enormous effort from my part, because I am also shy and would never speak to a guy in any other circumstances). He looked very happy when I talked with him, but the fact is that every time we meet randomly he becomes very shy, tries to avoid any conversation, and only when he is a bit farther away he stares at me with love in his eyes. I have tried to get closer to him, but it seems impossible, because he seems always unsure on what to do. Korean guys, if a girl looks at you independently from her nationality, she likes you!!! Dont be scared of, please.

    • I’m glad to hear that you mustered up the courage to speak to him even though you are shy yourself. I believe the person who is more outgoing of the two should make the first move, regardless if they are male or female.

      Maybe his shyness to speak to you is also stemming from having to speak in a foreign language. I’ve been using English to communicate daily for 4 years when I found myself in a situation where I wanted to leave a good impression on an older woman (wasn’t even a good looking guy!) and I was completely tongue-tied.

      But that resolves in time so don’t give up. I can’t tell you how much perseverance it took to get Kimchi Man to talk to me for the first time :)

  9. As a Korean male in mid thirties living in Australia since moving here from Korea at the age of fourteen, I can tell you a lot of things about Korean men and what we like and want. One of my first girlfriends in high school was a white blond girl and we loved each other dearly. I loved her blue eyes and blond hair and she loved my jet black hair with dark brown eyes. I love pretty white girls. All my Korean friends do. But I love any girl that is pretty regardless of race. The probelm is that in Korean culture, we are not supposed to marry non-Koreans. Whether it is Chinese or Japanese, it does not matter. A Korean is supposed to marry a Korean only. This is especially so for men, but not so much for girls. For example, my sister almost married a Jewish guy and is now married to a non Korean man. My parents have no issue with that. But with me, I must marry a Korean girl because I am a man with a mission to continue our Korean lineage. So I feel guilty to even date a foreign national. I am not shy. I just cannot break out of this cultural boundary. I am sure every race has this same issue. In every culture, marrying a foreign race is a challenge. Dating or marrying a foreign national is not very well accepted or tolerated in Korean culture. Because we are brought up in such a culture, we cannot approach other races easily. But trust me, we love foreign girls as much as we love Korean girls. After all, we are attracted by beauty, not by their race. Our cultural tradition that we should not be marrying foreigners coupled with our understanding that the same would be true for those foreign girls is a big hurdle to overcome. It seems the white society is more open and tolerating in this regard (on interracial relationship). Because I have had a lot of foreign girls hitting on me which I rarely capitalise on.

    • Hello, and thank you for sharing your insight.

      I’m really curious, if Korean culture does not support relationships and marriage with foreigners, how do you explain that everyone, including my boyfriend’s distant and close family, friends, and classmates, is fine with the fact that I’m European? Do you think that maybe Korean expatriates are more strict about keeping their cultural lineage?

      • I have found that Oegukeen… almost all the questions I get on my blog or in my blog email from people whose parents won’t accept their nonKorean boyfriend or girlfriend were not actually living in Korea. They are usually Korean American or Korean Australian. As you know, like your situation, my husband’s family was very accepting of me.

        In Seoul I met many other couples like this who also did not have any big issues with it.

  10. hi i love your article if you don’t mid i have a question. i’ve just read an article saying that koreans hate foreigners and they might violence toward them.IS THAT TRUE? thank you

    • Not true, of course.

      Well, there are all kinds of Koreans, some are of course xenophobic. But I’m not sure what you mean about being violent towards them? Just attacking them on the street out of a blue? I never heard of that.

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