Dating Korean guys is not much different than dating other people, but here are top 5 things about Korean guys that are good to know:
Korean age is calculated differently than international age. When they are born, they are one year old (approximation for the 9 months they have spent in their mother’s belly). Instead of gaining one extra year on their birthday, they gain one extra year on New Year’s Day. For example, if they were born 7th of August 1979., on that day they are 1 year old. Then, 4 months later, on the 1st of January 1980. they turn one year old. And so on, adding one year every 1st of January. An interesting thing happens if a baby is born on 31st of December. On the 1st of January that baby is two years old by Korean age, but only one day old by western age!
The easiest way to think about this is that Koreans count the calendar years in which you have existed, instead of counting how much time has passed since you were born.
Since most people like being young, Koreans prefer using international age. Also, international age is used for legal documents.
Korean military service
Almost every South Korean man over the age of 18 has to go through 2 years of military service. If you are going to date a guy who hasn’t finished it yet, you should know that you will have to spend 2 years without him. Even though they get about a month of vacation during those 2 years, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for them to contact you. Especially while they are lower rank. Internet access is restricted, cell phones forbidden and pay they get is around 80$ a month, which is 10 times less than South Korean minimum wage.
If your man has already finished it, be nice and ask him about it. Those were two very difficult years of his life. 2 years which he could have spent furthering his education, getting a real paycheck, hanging out with his friends, watching movies, playing games…
Korean guys’ height
Height is important to many women when looking for a boyfriend. They will be glad to hear that South Koreans are tallest among Asians. An average height of 18-year-old Korean man is 5′ 8“ (1.73 m).
However, is bone length really how you want to choose a person you migth end up spending the rest of your life with?
Kimchi Man is taller than an average Korean, yet he is 3“ (7cm) shorter than me. Believe me that I would have missed something truly wonderful if I wrote him off because of that.
A typical Korean name consists of 3 syllables. Family name consists of one syllable and is written at the beginning. A person’s given name consists of two syllables – one unique and one shared by the same generation inside a family. A name also has matching Hanja characters, in order to further distinguish between people. Thus names that are spelled exactly the same using Hangul, might have different meanings.
Of course, parents are not restricted to follow these rules when naming their children.
Some Koreans may offer to use English name when dealing with foreigner to make it easier for them to pronounce it. If you really care about the guy, you should make an effort and use his real name (unless he wants something else, of course).
Religions in Korea
They say opposites attract but when it comes to religion it is easier if both partners are on the same page. So, what can you expect when dating a Korean? 46.5% Koreans are irreligious (atheist, agnostics, etc.), 22.8% Buddists, 18.3% Protestants, 10.9% Catholics and 1.7% belong to other religions. However, these statistics are just an estimate, because, except for Christians who carefully keep track of believers and nonbeliever, there is no precise way to identify other groups.
Keep in mind, even if your views on religion are different, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. With love and tolerance, everything is possible.
I hope you found this post to be fun and informative. I have aimed to only include the facts they all have in commons since Korean guys I met have been rather different. If there is something you think I missed, leave a comment below.
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