|My favorite dates always include a good meal!|
One of the first lessons I learned was:
Some are More Successful than Others
Dating is mindblowingly easy in Korea if you are of a certain demographic. I think we can all guess what that demographic would be. Here's an example:
I first came to Korea in 2010. I was working at a small kindergarten with two other foreign coworkers, both of whom were male. One was American.
One Sunday morning, I headed to the American's apartment looking for help. He told me that he could assist me. He offered me some water, and vented some of his frustration to me.
He ranted about a Korean woman who simply wouldn't leave him alone.
You see, they had met on a night out, where he made the mistake of giving away his phone number to this particular gal. She kept calling and texting him. He showed me the texts where the Korean woman kept asking to meet up with him at night, presumably for sex.
While this guy didn't like that girl, I noticed the thing that stood out: A Korean woman was begging this guy for sex?
I was in a relationship at the time, but the idea of it stuck with me.
I think you can get an idea, and there are plenty more where that came from. However, I'm sorry to report that it isn't so easy for everyone!
What are My Experiences?
For me, compared to my hometown in the states, I would say that dating in South Korea is easier and harder.
Let me explain. I say that dating is easier here than in my hometown for two main reasons: The pool of men is better and I find new dates easily. Most of the men that are around me are university educated and have decent jobs. I don't have to ask people about their criminal record or whether they graduated from high school. Physically, the men are much more fit compared to the USA. In essence, I don't need to "worry" about a man's weight or fitness. To be honest, I'm not that shallow as far as looks are concerned because his character and motives are much more important to me.
In some ways, it's harder. While I find myself having many first, second and third dates, I experience the pitfalls of big city living. Men have many options, and they have an idea of what kind of woman they want to commit to. I usually do not fall into that category. Men seem to date Korean women more seriously, and whether the man is foreign or Korean doesn't matter. While many men ask me out, they usually don't have the intention of getting to know me if you catch my drift. I find myself having to screen for a man's motives in order to avoid wasting my time.
Usually, when I meet someone new, he's very sweet and charming. We discover things in common and have good conversation, giving the prospect of a good connection. Then, it becomes clear that he only wanted to sleep with me. They're often quite sneaky about it. At the same time, they're usually shifty about any kind of commitment -- they want that sex with no strings attached. Simply put, most of the men put up a big act which will always eventually crumble. Once it's clear that I'm not giving it up, the men give up and move on to the next chick. Typically, I'm given what they call the "Korean breakup." Who knew there was such a thing?
Who do I date in Korea? I mostly date Korean men and some foreign men. There are some African-American men here, but they're pretty rare. Not hating, but I'll say that they very much know that they're a hot commodity. I'll tell the truth and say that I tried dating only one in my three years here, and I did not succeed! The rest don't really approach me outside of blatantly looking for one night stands.
Sometimes things can really go wrong! For example, I once went on a date with a possibly racist Korean guy. He seemed to be very hung up on skin color, implying that something was wrong with me because my skin was brown. On top of that, he told me that I should be grateful to get a chance to be with him! All of this was despite his history of only going out with darker-skinned ladies. The man clearly had deep-seated issues and I wasn't interested. He texted me a couple of months later with pictures of his new Thai girlfriend saying that she was "black" like me. I replied that she was Asian, just like he was. Hadn't heard from him since and I'm okay with that.
Thankfully, there are a few diamonds in the rough. After spending time looking, I eventually find nice guys that are actually worth it. It may not always work out due to our circumstances, but they do exist and are out there.
Overall, dating is fun, and I at least get some free meals out of the deal if it ends up not working out. It can get exhausting though. I date more for companionship than for fun times in bed. Because of this, I know I'm looking for a needle in a haystack as far as men are concerned. Sometimes I take breaks, and then I start up again. I always try to keep my hopes up and I have faith that I'll meet someone special eventually.
In the meantime, I'll just keep living life as usual and continue working toward my goals!