[Q&A] Korean boyfriend won’t tell his parents about our relationship! What to do?

Korean boyfriend keeps me secret from his parents won't introduce me secret relationshipKorean boyfriend won’t mention her to his parents or tell them about their relationship.

Writer1986 asked:

Hey Oegukeen and Kimchi Man. It’s writer1986 once again. I just thought I’d drop by with one more dilemma (and maybe more to come): So my Oppa is still not comfortable with telling his parents about our relationship, and they’re still pushing him to find someone and commit (preferably a nice Korean girl still in their home country.)

Though my guts want Oppa to make us public and known, I also respect him enough not to push him in any direction. Still, his parents call at least 2 times a week, and his dad never stops finding names and numbers for him. And all this makes me question if I’m in a one-way relationship (with me as the only pole.) I’m starting to feel I’ve put in a lot of effort into this relationship (including introducing him to my family and taking the consequences) and I get very little in return. Part of me wants him to continue his loyalty to his parents and contact a Korean girl and stick to her. And then I’ll just pretend we’ve been only friends this whole time…. With so much pressure from both sides of our family, I just don’t know what to do anymore. Slowly my fantasies of us fades away as reality and “what if’s” consume me…. Help. I don’t know who to turn to anymore.

Hello Writer1986. We are glad to hear from you again, but we are sorry your troubles are not resolved.

You need to tell your boyfriend how you feel. Maybe he is not close to his parents. Maybe he doesn’t want them to be rude to you when they find out. Give him a chance to explain why he won’t tell his parents before you decide.

We would advise him to tell his parents, if he was the one that contacted us. However, the reality is that there is nothing you can do about that since it is his decision, not yours. What you can do is decide how much it bothers you. And from what you’ve written it seems to bother you a lot. Some woman might not care at all if he tells his parents or not and she may gauge his loyalty from other gestures. But that’s not you. And it is alright to react differently.

Only you can judge if you are ready to stay in a relationship with a man who hides it from his parents.

But don’t pretend you were never more than friends! The reality of your relationship is not determined by how many people know about it. And surely both of you had some amazing moments together, otherwise you wouldn’t be in a relationship. You have a right to keep those memories. Whether you stay together forever or decide to break it off, it did happen and it was real.

This is what Kimchi Man wrote when I asked him to give his opinion. As much as his answer made me laugh (and still does^^), he is being serious and I think you might benefit from his clear and rational approach to the problem.

Kimchi Man:

Problem. You need his explanation to end “what-ifs”.

Condition.  He needs to understand your feeling so he can know what he needs to explain.

Solution. You explain -> get his explanation -> gather information -> make a decision.

Hopefully we’ve been of some help.

How about you readers? Kimchi Man told his Korean parents before we’ve even met in person. What was your experience? Is your Korean boyfriend keeping your relationship secret from his parents? Does it bother you?

12 thoughts on “[Q&A] Korean boyfriend won’t tell his parents about our relationship! What to do?

  1. If only things were easier done than said…. I’m still looking at the bright side of things, and I hope we can come to a solution together soon. (If only he’d stop looking away and ignoring the topic whenever I bring it up though.)

  2. Hi.. im the indonesian women, well ok, actually maybe we are in some different way, actually its not only him, but me either, i still don’t have courage to tell my parents bout what’s going on between me n my korean BF, but all of my friends knows bout him, and also he introduced me to some of his closest friend, and even his brother knows about me. but, we still keep in this track, no idea when we will open it up, since he’s still continue study, so we should find the right time. maybe this december i’m planning to celebrate christmas in seoul with him probably there would be a chance for us… hopefully

    • Thank you so much for giving your opinion. We are really glad that this blog is growing to be a little community where we can all help each other and hang out. :)

      If we understood correctly, even though he didn’t tell his parents, he told his friends and his brother and for you that is enough to make you feel accepted and that he is serious about you. That’s really good. :)

  3. Look if he.cant tell his parents because of.fear.i wouldnt want a realtionship,because hes marry me not his parents.so if he cant tell his.parents who else can he not tell.if he is.ashamed of me,he.would be ashamed of.our children.so i would break it off no matter what.

    • I can see your point, but I really think he is not ashamed of her. You can read among comments in the “Ask us” section that he introduced her to his brother and his closest friends.

  4. I continue to be surprised at how universal this phenomenon is. I dated a Korean American university classmate after we both ended up working in Tokyo after university. I am white, and she was raised in America since she was 10. Even with her Americanization, she was deathly afraid that my presence would be revealed to her aunt and uncle that took care of her in Tokyo. She said she thas only allowed to date Koreans, and she would aggressively shut me up when her uncle called her. She even said that she preferred to date Caucasians, but I was shocked at how I was such a dark secret for her. Eventually I moved on, her unwillingness to invest in me was driven by an abject fear of familial rejection. I’m suspecting that this attitude is widespread in Korean culture. Japanese culture on the other hand seems extremely accepting of foreign relationships, even encouraging in many cases.

    • It’s really not universal.

      It’s just that people who have no issues with it usually don’t have a reason to talk about it. My Korean boyfriend told his parents that he liked me even before we met in person, and they knew about our relationship from the start.

      It seems that this unwillingness to date foreigners seems somewhat more common among Korean-Americans than Korean, which is the same human reaction that arises among any immigrant community who feels alienated.

      But it’s really up to each person.

  5. I know Korean culture is very strict but I have a question. I know a little about Korean culture but I’d like to hear your opinion. Is it hard to have a Relationship/marriage with a Korean having a son from a past relationship?

    • That really depends a lot more on what type of custody he has, how old his son is, what kind of relationship he has with the child’s mother and what kind of relationship he has with his son, rather than on the fact that he’s Korean.

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