[Q&A] Do Korean guys act like in Korean drama?

Korean drama guy Kimchi ManAre Korean men like what we see in Korean drama? Does an average Korean guy behave like characters do in Kdrama? This is the latest question we answer.


Are Korean guys like in Korean drama question

Linda asked:

I happen to like Korean drama, but not like a fanatic fans who hunts everything about k-drama, but I am able to do a marathon in watching k series ^^

Ok, to make it brief, since i’s enjoying k drama very much, I found that there are these typical manly things about K Drama male main character. They tend to be a proud person, dominant, protective, etc (but in a good way i think). Now, at first i think it’s just a mean of building a protagonist character, but after many k dramas, i started to wonder if that is actually a picture of average korean men.

I know there are many character of people no matter what their nationality is, but do korean man are somewhat like those general character in kdrama?

I’m Indonesian by the way. Trying to learn korean too, so i won’t have to rely on subtitles so much :D


Do Korean men act like in Kdrama

This was a really difficult answer for us to give. Partly because Linda is right that people have vastly different personalities despite sharing the same nationality, but mainly because neither Kimchi Man nor I really watch Korean dramas.

In the three years since I met him I’ve only watched two: Coffee Prince (Korean: 커피프린스 1호점) and The Slave Hunters (Korean: 추노), and before I met him I didn’t even know they existed. We do watch a lot of Korean movies together, though. Some of them do have similar plots and character development to the dramas, but all in all, we didn’t feel equipped to give the answer.

That’s why we turned to our kind readers, asking them what they thought was a typical Korean guy as depicted by Korean dramas. We got many great answers! Sadly, we couldn’t include them all but here are some:


Typical Kdrama guy according to our readers

  • strawberriimilkk: Doing anything for that special girl and working hard to make sure she’s happy. I would love to meet a guy like that one day <3
  • quickdrykoala: I like it when they seem sorta mean at first, but they have a secret soft spot that is just too adorable! XD
  • somethingfruity-cutie: Being stubborn! But also really smart and nice ^_^ But stubbornness makes them funny.
  • love2june: If a guy likes a girl he can do anything for her and it doesn’t even matter if that girl doesn’t like him or likes another guy :D
  • nutingz: I’ve seen a lot of k dramas and the guys are either kind and generous, sweet and humble. Or rude, obnoxious and mean but inside they are a lot more humble and don’t like to show their feelings.
  • dreamingofkorea: Holds your bag, holds your hand, grabs your wrist when you’re leaving in anger. Grabs your neck for a kiss, piggy back rides, stubborn
  • the-weenie-hut-general Flower Boy dramas: It’s where there’s a group of extremely good-looking guys (usually in high school) among other guys (who are just as attractive but are considered ugly compared to the Flower Boys). The main character is usually a poor girl, while the Flower Boys are rich and spoiled. The lead guy is usually a snobbish asshole who treats the girl like crap in the beginning but when she speaks out against him and acts like a psycho towards him, he changes his feelings towards her while the other lead guy is trying to win her over. Then she ends up going with the guy who treated her like crap in the beginning. There are usually four guys in the group; the other two are usually just background guys for comic relief.
  • Marlo Ito I’d have to say the “common” traits aren’t very positive that I have noticed. Lots of dominance and pulling girls around. I would think the positive aspect would be that when they guys finally fall for the girl they become like crazy LOYAL. But even to the extent that it is shown in dramas isn’t very positive…but why can’t I stop watching them!?!?!?! So conflicted. and someones always gettin cancer…
  • My Korean Husband In so many dramas the guy starts out being a jerk and is really rude to the girl. Of course he is rich and handsome and usually thinks the girl is below him. Something changes and he will start liking her. There is usually a lot of wrist grabbing and he is usually more dominant than the girl. And when he kisses her she just stands there with her eyes open like she doesn’t know what a kiss is haha.
  • Georgia McCarthy protective♥ and he will put the girl before him♡
  • Lysa Zehra Hussain When he grabs her hand when she was about to walk away and give her a kiss ^^

Do you agree with their ideas of a typical guy in a Korean drama?

We even had one real Korean guy chime in:

  • David Parker Kim Unrealistic part? All Korean guys ain’t a son of business tycoon. We ain’t kinda walking ATM. Mother in law ain’t b****. Heroine with pure heart is always in deep s*** but all of sudden handsome and wealthy prince comes up to her as a savior. if guys fall in love, they want to do everything for her. right? but women here only want to get their perfect love with MONEY and the RISE of STATUS which they think is worth loving no matter how much they pretend not to be like that. This might be one of the reason korean guys also want to get married to foreign girls who might be able to put LOVE over MONEY. I didn’t mean money is not important in love. I mean it in terms of priority. when it come to Korea, what really matters is Money not just pure love
Korean dog tags gift from Korean guy meaning

His dog tags that spent 2 very difficult years around his neck. Now they are around mine whenever we are apart.

Kimchi Man knows a lot more Korean guys than I do and he said most guys are not on the romantic level of the dramas. But he also thinks that some guys do get influenced by them and use them as a blueprint of the type of perfect guy they want to be.

But probably the best and the most valuable answer we can give is to take the most typical traits that you described in your comments, and tell you if Kimchi Man is like that or not.


Does my Korean guy act like in Korean drama

Stubbornness: Oh yes, he is stubborn. Until I met him I was always considered the most stubborn of the group. Now, I’ve finally met my match. But I’m not a Korean guy (last I checked), so it would be unfair to say that Kimchi Man’s stubbornness is due to his nationality or gender.

Cute romantic Korean fluffy socks

First package he ever sent me was filled with fluffy socks because I randomly mentioned my feet get cold in one of our countless chats.

Doing anything for that special girl and working hard to make sure she’s happy. Again, a big yes here. I’ve dated Europeans before and I was always frustrated because I had the impression that I was working much harder to make them happy than they were to do the same for me (in European guys’ defense, I did date only 0.0000004059 % of population of Europe so it’s not really a representative sample ^^). Their behavior made me feel unappreciated.

With my Korean boyfriend, this can never happen. I tried to make it clear that I don’t require any gifts from him, but even when he doesn’t have enough money to buy stuff he needs, I still receive big packages from him. And the most wonderful thing is that they always contain something very thoughtful, which usually I just mentioned in the passing ages ago. Even I forget about it, but he never does!

The first package I received from him, which was before we’ve ever met, had so many meaningful items. It was unusual but incredibly romantic for me that someone who was so far away and from completely different culture knew me so well. I think he’s really good at showing me two very important things in the relationships: that I’m more important to him than money, and that he listens and cares about what I say. (But still, when you are reading this Kimchi Man, buy stuff you need first!) I enjoy being able to go all out in making him happy and never having for a second to worry I am being taken advantage of.

Treating girl bad in the beginning but changing afterwards. Definitely not. He was always sweet and polite, from the moment he sent me the first message.

Rich and handsome Well, he’s very handsome :)

Korea couple holding hands foreign woman Korean man

No wrist-grabbing. Only hand-holding.

Wrist grabbing Thankfully no. Wrist grabbing sounds rather aggressive and disrespectful to me. If I want to leave I get to leave.

This can be generalized to other things in our relationship as well. If I get angry and say I don’t want to talk to him, he respects that and doesn’t make any effort to talk to me anymore. It feels like if I didn’t make the first move he would remain forever silent. I do sometimes wish he would let the romance take over him and come after me, but when I see the alternative, I am glad he is the way he is.

Protective I’m actually not sure about this one. I think our situation makes it impossible to tell. We are always in my country, where he doesn’t understand the language, doesn’t know the way, and looks different than anyone else. I am on my home turf and that makes me want to protect him and provide some kind of buffer between him and the rest of the country.

We traveled outside of my country only once. I got very sick almost as soon as we arrived and he went out into the middle of the night to find a pharmacy even though he didn’t speak the language or ever been to that country before. He made it seem like it was a really easy thing to do, but I know he was just pretending to make me feel better. So if I would have to guess, I would say that yes, he is protective.

Dominant Not at all. He’s very shy and timid. That’s not to say that he’s not capable or self-sufficient, which I admire a lot, but he’s not dominant in any way, not physically and not when we’re choosing which tv series to watch, hehe.

Piggy back rides You see, I really don’t like being carried. I’m always worried for the person who’s trying to carry me, plus I am anxious that they will drop me so I prefer to stand firmly with both feet on the ground. Also, I am 3 inches taller than Kimchi Man, so we always joke that if he tried to carry me my feet would just drag along on the ground.

But once when his friend visited my country, I was recovering from surgery, and would get tired easily. Every time I would start lagging behind his friend seemed genuinely annoyed that Kimchi Man didn’t offer to carry me, and was admonishing him what a crappy boyfriend he is being. I actually quite enjoyed this little bickering of theirs. Of course, when Kimchi Man would offer, I declined every time. However, one time I was being in a teasing mood so I suggested that Kimchi Man actually isn’t strong enough to carry me. I knew it was not true since he lifts twice my weight in the gym, but I couldn’t help myself but tease him a bit. My punishment for teasing him was that I had to let him carry me cause of course he had to prove that he can ^^

Pepero day romantic Korean holiday

A very special box of Pepero I’ve been keeping for the last 3 years. Sadly it’s also been empty for the last 3 years :)

Romantic Well, this really depends how you define romantic. I think he is, but I believe some (most?) girls would disagree. You see, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, nor any of the Korean romantic holidays like White day, Pepero day…. I was trying to get him into celebrating Pepero day, but he wasn’t interested and honestly only reason I did that was because I really like eating Pepero (ok, ok, there was another reason that something happened for the first time in our relationship on that day but that would be TMI ;) ).

But he wrote letters that brought tears to my eyes, he stood by me in impossible situations, he wrote a love message in the snow in Korea when we had to be apart, and he gave me his dog tags which I know meant more to him than any other possession. All of those little gestures in my eyes make him the most romantic man alive.

So there it is. Kimchi Man is only one Korean man, but we hope now you can better judge for yourself if Korean guys are anything like how they are portrayed in Korean dramas.



You might also like:

Korean man wants to be more than friends How to get Korean guy to like you Top 5 things you should know about Korean men
Does Korean guy want to be more than friends? How to get a Korean guy to like you? Top 5 things you should know about Korean men

24 thoughts on “[Q&A] Do Korean guys act like in Korean drama?

  1. In my opinion, I would advise other women not to use Kdramas or Kpop as an expectation for what a real Korean man would be like. I can say from personal experience that almost every Korean man I’ve met has been very kind and polite upon first impression and are usually very quiet and humble. Not arrogant and overly-dominant like they are in the dramas (typically). As for my own boyfriend I can’t say that he was ever timid or shy but he was definitely never anything like you see in the dramas. I think men get the shorter end of the stick in Korea and are always expected to put in the extra effort to please women, I think this makes them very dedicated and loyal boyfriends but I’d also advise people to take in the Korean culture as a whole when considering whether or not you would want to date one. There are many things that Korean culture has affected on my boyfriend and sometimes it drives me crazy cause it’s very conservative and driven on success. I would say that most dramas are written to please the interests of Korean women, which as stated usually involves money. Korean women tend to look for men with money as the ideal type and that’s why men in Korean dramas are portrayed the way they are.

  2. This was a beautiful article Oegukeen. Most girls would disagree that he’s romantic? Would they heck! Love messages in the snow? How can you not fall for that kind of gesture. Ahhhhh. *sigh* :)
    Anyway, you really explained it all so well in such a good way too. We should NEVER generalize. Everyone’s unique even if we do get constantly influenced by our surroundings. :)

    • That’s so sweet of you, thank you! :) What a nice comment.

      Yeah, you’re right that’s very romantic, haha. I just know that some women would be unhappy with a guy who completely ignores Valentine’s day, anniversaries and such.

      But I ignore them too, and I let him know right away in the beginning of the relationships so there were no awkward moments. He quickly and happily accepted my suggestion to ignore them. :)

      You said that well, we do get influenced by our surroundings, but not enough to stop being unique.

      • Honestly I agree with Lily and her whole comment. I even had tears in my eyes reading your description of your boyfriend which to me had a lot more value compared to any Korean male character.
        Normally you see the guys having a very edgy personality which is easy to understand and relate to, but people comes with different traits and that’s reality.

        This is only the second article from you and Kimchi Man, but yet I was deeply moved by the impression I got. Kimchi Man may have good and bad sides, he might be timid and shy but yet he seems all the more composed and balanced. He knows exactly what to do at the right time and on top of that he’s loyal, caring and thoughtful. WAY TO GO KIMCHI MAN! xD

        No, I’m serious about this topic because I’ve been where you were (dating all these European guys) and their lack of respect and indifferent personality drives me insane. I have never even once met a guy who could hold the mask on for more than just a month before crumbling and pushing me away. I have always been the type who is willing to listen and do everything for the people who are closest to me, but if you don’t meet that comfort from others you start to close up and lock yourself in. As a girl I feel discouraged and on the brink of giving up because if I don’t then I think my heart will really shatter into so many pieces that It’s impossible to repair.
        … But still! I wont give up hope! :) And neither should any girl do for that matter, because love always finds a way ~

        I’m sorry for my long post, but I truly wish the best for both you and Kimchi Man :)

        Love always 사랑해 ~

        • Thank you! Your description of Kimchi Man made me feel so warm and fuzzy on the inside :)

          I’m worried people will think I’m just painting him too perfectly because I love him, which certainly may happen, but I am glad you noticed I try to point out the good and bad side. He does have both, just like I do, and everyone else for that matter, but I truly believe that as a whole individual he is a high quality human being, hehe :)

          I know how you feel. I really have nothing against European guys, there are just as many good ones here, but we just never know where we will find the person who will fit our personality perfectly, and that’s a bit scary but also magical, even more so once you do meet them.

  3. One thing for sure, you two are so cute together.^^
    Thank you for the effort on making an article on my question, which -I believe- is also the question of many other girls/boys out there who are interested in Korean Culture.
    I had two Korean friends when i was in high school, but i vaguely remember how they really acted (bc it was ages ago, :D).
    I just having these curiousities on people personalities from different culture and different POV, and I think your post is quite informative. Both of you look very tolerant and broadminded. Cross cultural understanding is not easy, moreover between couple, but you two adapt quite well, so SALUTE on that. ^^ life is so full of mysteries, isn’t it?
    Maybe you can built a forum, so we strangers can share more, kkkkk. I notice some active respondents. :)

    • Thank you, it really means a lot to us that people see us as tolerant. But to be honest, we have such similar personalities we almost don’t even notice any cultural differences ^^

      Life sure is full of mysteries, just when I think I figured it out, so many “impossible” things happen :)

      Hm, maybe we should look into starting a forum, but is seems complicated. But just look at the articles we wrote as different “threads” on a forum, feel free to comment on any of them, and someone is always around to reply.

      There is always the “Your story” section for people who want to share their cute and romantic stories, and lately even in the “Ask us” section our readers have started helping each other. We think it’s great! The more opinions, the better :)

  4. Hiiii ^^ I am a korean guy although I wasn’t born in Korea but born in an european country. I am not adopted and my parents are korean. I have never seen a K-drama although I have seen a lot of korean movies. No, I don’t think I am romantic but if I had a girlfriend then I would take care of her and definitely show her some respect. Being romantic would not be a problem, whatever that word means. Does it mean that a boyfriend should cook food, buy unexpected presents, economic support etc? If she was requiring something like that I could just adjust and do it more in order to please her. If a person is doing the same things and can’t even make a small change, then he is probably a bad boyfriend. Oh, I wish I had a girlfriend but I guess I have to wait T_T! Still I would probably not have much time to spend with her at the moment, but I could try at least :D.

    • Hiiii to you too ^^

      I think being romantic means different things for different couples. The best display of romance is when you are able to show the other person that you are ready to put them before yourself sometimes.

      Like everything else in life, it is a fine balance. If one always puts him/herself first, then that’s selfish and unromantic, if one always puts their loved one first then they are just being a doormat.

      I can tell you specifically what I think is romantic, but that might not be helpful as other women have different ideas. :)

  5. I have a Korean classmate, when I first met him he seemed kind of rude and obstinate, but after a while he was seen as funny and well, mostly funny. He brings the class together. I don’t know about guys in Korea, but the one I know seems a pretty good catch to me (not that I’m interested in him, kekeke).

  6. please can someone tell me how to say “please let us love” i became obsess with the term after watching protect the boss, ^_^ i just love the ost so much!!

  7. Well, I have a korean boyfriend. And he does act like in korean drama. At first, I thought I was just comparing him to korean dramas, but after a long time of dating, chatting,etc… I came up with a conclusion that he’s really like a guy from korean dramas. Sweet, sometimes over protective, etc… BUT HE NEVER HITS ME. There’s this one time when he visited me here in my country and we were walking on the streets and there were like several cars which are moving too fast then suddenly he grabbed me and i was like “wtf”? Then he said “That car might hit you, I should protect you always.” Then he hugged me tight. I’m still fascinated by that experience with him and I can’t still get over with it even though 1 month already passed by.

  8. Judging Korean people from KDramas is like judging Americans from what you see in a Hollywood film. None of my boyfriends have been Brad Pitt or Colin Firth! There are grains of truth and lots of fairy tale and sparkle in romance films. Knowing it is a fantasy doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of KDramas. Yet I wouldn’t expect a Korean guy I met to enact the drama tropes like piggy back rides and wrist grabs unless he has been brainwashed by KDramas himself.

  9. Pingback: Editorial: Dating Korean - Fantasy vs. Reality - ATK Magazine

  10. Pingback: Where is Oegukeen? | Loving Korean | Boyfriend in Korea

  11. HEY im a guy :p well I like to watch kdramas im very into the stories and some makes me feel sad :'((cry sometimes) lol I learn many things sometimes and I feel like ill be better after seeing all those good relationship :D

  12. This is disturbing…Does American TV represent all American Men? Do men from America act like Hannibal or the cast of the Notebook? I like kdramas but a lot of these koreaboos fans have lost the ability to think.

Comment (you DON'T need to fill in e-mail address)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.