How to be a Korean couple

Written by on June 17, 2011 in Brands & Products, Lifestyle

Traditional Korean groom and bride figurines from

The un-married dating kind, that is. The nausea inducing, honey-dripping, we’re-so-in-luuuurrrrve couple. Of course, that definition is pretty universal. So what makes a couple especially Korean? What do you do to be one? Pick up a few tricks and you’re on your way:


None of that silly second guessing whether you’re just good friends who happen to hang out a lot together or if you’re a couple couple. “I really like you. I want to go out with you. Do you like me and would you like to go out with me, too?” Now that isn’t that hard to say, is it. There. You’ve made the first step.


Couple texting: all the lovey-dovey you can handle, several times a day

Text, text, text, text, text!  Text when you’re glad, text when you’re sad, text like mad, and when I say mad, I truly mean mad! You really don’t want to call your loved one a million times a day; people might think you both have nothing better to do. But texting is fine. Actually, texting is more than fine. You can text a gazillion times a day and no one will notice that you’re not putting your all into that marketing presentation or studying for your finals. Get yourselves the couples’ package from your telecommunications provider or download an app for endless hours of free texting. Oh, and be sure to make up your own special language that makes others cringe and shudder, lay on the syrupy sweetness as thick as you can and text away!


Let’s couple everything! Make couple into a verb! There’s no more me, no more you. It’s couple me this and couple me that.

Couple cellphone straps are a must

Ah, couple cellphone straps and keyholders; the first steps in asserting Korean coupledom. Shun sophisticated designs, for they are for the truly boring. Go for the super cute, the fuzzy, the tooth-achingly sweet!

Couple t-shirts: the design & color matched or the “we are one” variety

Not satisfied with measly cell phone accessories? Need to flaunt your love to the world? Then perfecting the art of the “couple look” should come next. Because if walking as closely as possible to your beloved while creating a heart together isn’t true love, then what is?

Conquer the couple look and then make your way to the pinnacle of couple items: the couple ring. Don’t freak out, it doesn’t mean you’re engaged to be married (yet). It’s just the ultimate show-off couple thing.


…of dates: Birthdays. Traditional holidays. Unofficial holidays. Family members’ birthdays. Pets’ birthdays. Other anniversaries. You gotta remember them all. Or at least save them on your cellphones. With the matching straps.

Don’t forget important anniversaries!

The 100th day, i.e. the 100th day since the first day you’ve met, is most significant in a Korean couple. Heck, after you hit the number 100, shouldn’t the rest be smooth sailing? It’s definitely a reason to celebrate, an occasion to put on a big public showing of your true and longlasting love. Yell “I LOVE YOU!!!” at the top of your lungs while presenting your loved one with heartwarming gifts with a throng of bystanders cheering and clapping and saying, “Aaawwwww.”

Take “couple selca” (셀카, self-camera, i.e. self portraits) of yourselves everywhere you go. Record every single moment you’re together: make the double victory sign in front of popular dating spots, take self-timed “jump” shots in front of landmarks, shoot every dish of every meal you have, and then upload everything online. Add titles to the photos including your beloved’s nickname and lots of hearts.
If the both of you are talented, create a couple song and upload it too.

* Video from Jung Yong Hwa’s official channel


Mildang (밀당). Short for milgo danggigi (밀고 당기기), push and pull. Mildang starts from the very beginning and never goes away. It’s the Korean combination between flirting and power struggle, it’s an art of many skills. Whoever masters mildang will be victorious, so hone those skills!

You get dinner, I’ll get coffee

A practical question: who pays on a date? Guys generally tend to pick up the check more than the girls, but girls “with sense” (센스있는) know how to find the balance without bruising the guy’s pride. (But of course, the guy pays for everything when he is officially introduced to the girlfriend’s best friends. Otherwise, the friends will shred him to pieces afterwards with vile lashes of unkind words.) In conclusion: Boys, be generous! Girls, be sensible!

Long arguments. Try to avoid them. But if it’s inevitable? With the exception of natural catastrophe, just let the girl win. Or be a mindreader. Because the girl will never, ever tell you why she’s mad at you – you’re supposed to know already. And don’t apologize without knowing the exact reason, you’ll sound insincere and she’ll never stop badgering until you submit the correct answer. Bless your poor soul should you try to make feeble guesses – her wrath would be upon you in a nanosecond. Maybe I should just say this in one sentence: YOUR KOREAN GIRLFRIEND IS ALWAYS RIGHT EVEN WHEN SHE’S NOT.

The ultimate sign of affection: the boyfriend handbag carrier

Poor guys. They seem to be pulling most of the weight in this dating game. The girls’ point of view? ‘Hey, I’m definitely worth it, now kneel down and bow! Or even better, carry my purse!’

And girls? Support your guy no matter what. Be a good listener. Be warm, be beautiful, be a Kim Taehee wannabe. Ultimately, be the angelic fairy that floats on air. You can do that, because your boyfriend is carrying your heavy purse.


Shared moments

Together, be a happy couple. Be a sharing couple. Be a loving couple. Above all, be that couple whom strangers take stealth photos of, just because you are being so darn adorable.


About the Author

Suzy Chung

Multilingual editor, writer, and translator. Coffee addict, bookworm, art junkie, foodie, oenophile, and a billion other things. I tend to talk a lot. @suzyinseoul