I have started dating a wonderful Korean guy who is my coworker at a restaurant I work at. I’m a 19 American girl and he’s a 27 year old S. Korean. The first date was so wonderful. He baked for me, took me out for a movie, the whole she-bang. He insisted on buying a few things for me on the date. That’s fine but I really don’t want him to feel like he has to. The next date that we have set up, he’s informed me that he’s going to rent out an entire restaurant so it’ll just be the two of us there. I am flattered, really but that’s so over-the-top and I don’t want him to throw-away money on me. Is this a cultural thing or is this just him?
I would have to say both. Certainly there are many Korean guys who would not do this much and he is trying hard to impress you. On the other hand, what he is doing is neither strange nor unheard of in Korea.
Judging by the relationships I had before Kimchi Man I am not the best person to answer this question. I had always tried to show that I don’t require my boyfriend to pamper me nor pay for me by offering to pay for myself, and somehow I would end up paying for EVERYTHING all the time.
I can tell you this: whenever something is making you uncomfortable, talk to him about it. Kimchi Man thinks it won’t offend your date if you tell him what you said to us: that you are flattered but that you feel what he doing is over-the-top.
In general, my opinion is that no person should put up with something they do not approve of just because it is tagged as “cultural difference”.
You may also read a Korean article “Who should pay on dates – guy or girl?” It may give you more insight into their culture, but keep in mind that opinions expressed in it are individual and other Koreans might not feel the same.