Why do Korean guys like noonas? Or do they maybe prefer to be oppas? Are large age differences between a couple judged in Korean culture?
First of all I wanted to thank you for the great site and the time you take for answering our questions. I have a general question. Do Koreans prefer older or younger women? Until now I read several times that many would not mind to date an older, more mature woman. I’ve even encountered couples with up to 10 (+) years age difference (usually the man was older). You should know that in m country (also in my family) women with older men are quickly “stamped”. Thank you in advance!
Greetings from Germany
You are very welcome. We love answering your questions so keep them coming.
Korea is similar to most other countries. Bigger age difference (maybe more than 15 or 20 years) is frowned upon and the motives for such relationship are questioned. However, smaller age difference is readily accepted. Kimchi Man says his Korean friend (ok, all his friends are Korean) is dating a woman who is 5 year older and calls her, as is usual in Korea, noona. Until he read this question he never even though about it, and his other friends have never mentioned it either. It is normal and usual for them.
As everywhere else, it is more common for the man to be older, and you may have heard many Korean men enjoy being called oppa, which would be impossible if the woman was older. However, in the last few years Korea has been swept by “liking older women” syndrome, and oppas got replaced by noonas (also: nuna). The culprit for this, according to Wikipedia, is a singer and actor Lee Seung Gi (Korean: 이승기) and his song Because You’re My Woman.
Then there is also SHINee with their song Replay (Korean: 누난 너무 예뻐, lit. Noona You’re So Pretty)
Kimchi Man thinks the culprit is not K-pop, but rather different social dynamics, like the fact that for many guys dating older Korean woman is much more financially comfortable.
Edit (18th of October 2012): 15% of Korean brides are older than their grooms.
Are you a noona (also spelled nuna) or do you have an oppa? What are your experiences about age differences in Korean dating culture?
You might also like:
|What does oppa mean?||[Q&A] Do Korean guys go over-the-top on dates?||Top 5 things you should know about Korean guys|