Saranghae, Couple Outfits & Oppa; Etiquette in Korean Dating Culture

Whether you are a study abroad student, an ESL teacher or just someone visiting the wonderful Land of Morning Calm, love can certainly come knocking on your door! 

What’s It Like Dating a Korean?

But don’t let some cultural and linguistic barriers stop you from finding your one and only! Korean dating culture is certainly unique, and some may be wondering, “what’s it like dating a Korean“? Well, like Korean food, Koreans can certainly be hot, spicy and certainly make you want more! But there are some things of note when courting a Korean woman or man.

What to Say to a Korean Girl?

When it comes to dating in Korea, the phrase “subtlety” will come up rather often! Korea still observes many traditional dating rules of etiquette. When it comes to what to say to a Korean girl, being less direct is a good way to not scare her off! 

While this is by no means universal for all Koreans, being a little bit less direct and even going through an intermediary can go a long way, with guys, too! A common general way young Koreans will begin to meet and start dating follows some common rules and methods. 

Going Through Intermediary

For example, if two people like each other, they will try to meet up in small groups first. Often times they may ask through an intermediary to set up a meeting and gauge the other person’s feelings towards them. Over time the number of people they will meet up within these group hangouts will diminish until it is only the two individuals who like each other meeting up directly. These initial group meetings are all casual and non-romantic, so don’t confuse it for some kind of other group meetings

How to Know if a Korean Girl Likes You?

If one is pondering how to know if a Korean girl likes you or a Korean guy likes you some signs are certainly them contacting you first! Which brings up the next key point.

korean dating etiquette

How to Text a Korean Girl?

Almost everyone in Korea uses the messaging app “Kakaotalk”. If you download this app, you are already in the right direction. Koreans like to use cute emoticons, even men, so the more of these Korean guys or girls send to you, the better sign it is. 

If you like a Korean person but they don’t reply back or respond to you, give them time. Some Korean women may want to see if you are willing to wait for them, so proceed as normal for maybe a few days. 

If a young Korean guy or girl does not respond to your messages or to you in-person after a week or so that is okay. Moving on and trying to find someone else is perfectly fine! 

Which is another key item to address when it comes to dating and trying to date Korean women in particular. If a Korean woman really does not seem interested, please respect her choice to not speak with you or contact any longer and move on. The same applies to young Korean men, but usually more so for women who culturally are taught to be more passive and receptive. 

Many young people, in particular, are more averse to conflict and saving face in Korean culture is still common practice. Thus, if a young Korean does not want to see you or wants to break up, they may stop contacting you completely, and in some cases change their contact ID. While any rejection hurts, do not keep trying to pursue them. And certainly do not pressure young Koreans to drink alcohol or go places or do things that they may seem uncomfortable with doing, saying or taking part in. Allow them the same respect you would like with a possible romantic partner. 

how to know if a korean girl likes you

Suitable Dating Venues

But assuming that a young Korean woman or man is interested in you, and you in them, a great and safe first date is to the coffee shop or cafe. Now, let’s assume your first date went well! And this young Korean man or woman would like to meet again, try to take things slow even though emotionally and title-wise your partner may want them to go a bit fast! 

For example, follow your Korean partner’s lead when it comes to the physicality of any sort. Do not be forceful or insistent with them with physical attention. PDA is not a common practice in Korea, so if your partner does not want to kiss in public respect their choice, they are just being socially conscious. 

They may, however, want to take lots and lots and lots of couple photos! Couple outfits and gifts are common ways Koreans show their partners affection. They also like to count and number everything. From your first date to your tenth, your Korean partner may keep track of these things. They may also want to commemorate seemingly random dates too. 

Discussing Marriage?

For example, a two month anniversary is a thing. Don’t be frightened or threatened by your partner if they discuss marriage and children early on, too. Korean culture follows the general assumption that dating couples will eventually get married. If you feel uncomfortable or unready for such discussions be direct but kind and firm if you want to choose to end the relationship with your Korean partner. 

For some, marriage talks after a few months can come off as too abrupt and diving in too deep, do what is comfortable for you as well. 

But on a lighter side of things, a Korean man or woman will love any cute gift, text, picture or post from their partner. Korean partners are easy to please if their respective partner is a little playful, very trustworthy and makes them feel safe.

Cute Things to Say or Text in Korean

Some helpful phrases are saranghae/사랑해, which is the informal form of the word saranghaeyo/사랑해요 meaning, “I love you”. While this phrase carries very heavyweight in Western relationships, it is more cute and playful in Korean. Make sure to use it only after your partner has told you that they agree to be in an exclusive relationship with you. Certainly don’t start off a conversation with it! 

Some other helpful phrases are oppa/오빠 which literally means “older brother” but is used to refer to males older than a woman. Meanwhile, for males, Nuna/누나 means “older sister” and is used to refer to women older than them. Using these phrases will make your Korean partner smile even if they are younger than you! 

dating in korea

What about LGBTQ+?

For individuals who are LGBTQ+, these phrases may be reversed, follow your Korean partner’s lead as to the proper etiquette in LGBTQ+ relationships. Korea is only starting to become more conscious and welcome to LGBTQ+ people and relationships, so be patient with Korean culture and your partner’s choices. 


Some Korean partners get very jealous very easily, and so they may be unhappy with you spending time with people of the opposite sex, so keep this in mind. Meeting a friend one-on-one for lunch, though platonic, may thoroughly upset your Korean partner.

Social Status

Another somewhat unpleasant reality that may come up when dating Koreans is the social competition factor. In some parts of Korea, particularly Seoul and Busan, but certainly regardless of region, some Koreans may only be interested in exclusive or serious relationships with people of high wealth or class brackets. 

If you notice your Korean partner asks or talks a little bit too much about wealth or status, or asks what kind of car you drive, perhaps opt to see other people instead. Then again, if you happen to drive a car up to that individual’s standards, or just so happen to be in a high wealth and education bracket then go right ahead and follow all the other advice and tips we’ve listed! 

Korean Parents and Dating

Our next topic of interest would certainly be Korean parents and dating. Just like the rest of our advice here, being subtle, taking things slow and following lots of your partner’s lead will go a long way. 

Learning Korean and Korean culture are big ways to earn your partner’s parents’ trust and respect. Only use formal Korean if you know some phrases. While saying anyang/안녕 or “hi” is cute for your partner, instead, say anneyanghaseyo/안녕하세요 which is “hello” to his or her parents. 

Your partner may be a little reluctant to introduce you. This is not because you have done anything wrong, but some Korean parents may not be happy to know their son or daughter is dating a foreigner. As mentioned before many times, Korea is still a considerably traditional country, but certainly, one that changes day-to-day. 

This also changes if you demonstrate you know some Korean phrases and show them proper respect. Bring a gift when you first meet your partner’s parents, even if your partner insists not to, which they probably will. 

Dating Etiquette

As mentioned before Korea still observes a mostly traditional dating culture. This includes things like; 

  • The man makes the first move i.e. will ask a woman out first. 
  • The man will also pick out the venue. 
  • The man will pay on the date. 
  • The man will buy gifts and take the initiative in pursuing the woman and proposing becoming exclusive, etc.
  • When ordering food, WAIT until both of you have your meals and are ready. Do not start eating ahead.
  • Also in regards to food, some Korean partners may want to feed you or have you feed them to be cute, so be ready for that!

Love, Korean style

Now assuming you and your Korean partner, either a Korean girl or a Korean guy have fallen deeply in love. Well, the next move would be marriage! But we will save that exciting and momentous occasion for next time. But for now, some key takeaways include, being patient, taking things slow, and certainly learning Korean language, customs, and culture in a wider sense.


The life of New Couples in Cambodia

Generally in Cambodia, there is only men that start courting women even sometime women start to fail in love to men first, they still not dare enough to show their feeling. It can be say that because of the culture reflection. After a man start to feel in love or interest with a woman, he will try to follow that woman. In the past they will write the latter but for recently they will ask her phone number and call her. On the other hand, nowadays since the technology is updated, man can be ask her name in the social media (FB, Line and etc.) and chat with her.

Firstly, if the man and the lady can talk to each other much more or get on well together, they will their let their parents know about relationship between two of them. Each family will let their child to invite his/her partner come to visit home. Each parents will try to look at the attitude, appearance, personality, of child’s partner and ask them something about their family or their education/occupation. After the new couple got approved from their parents, the man will invite his parents come to visit his partner parents and start to propose the girl.

For the wedding, the groom’s family going to give the dowry to the bride’s family with the limit which they discussed. They will invite the monks to search for a good day for the wedding day. After the wedding day is selected, each families will prepare the invitation letter for the guests to join. Parents need to renew something in their house and start to book something for the wedding day such as foods, cameraman and something else for the upcoming wedding day.

Regarding with life of new couple after marriage, most of them going to live with the wife’s family. However, it is not hundred percentage for that because for the couple who are rich they may decide to buy their own house for living the rest of their life. Husband and wife will try their best to increase their income to support their living and save for their next generation. Then if the wife got pregnant and give birth to child, her husband will ask her to suspend the job and look after the family and the baby and even sometime stop the for the period. Man will try harder with his job while his woman is being a housewife. After two or three years till the child grow up and can to enroll the school, wife will seeking for a new job or run their small business to support the family. If the family go smooth, they will continue together till the rest of their time.

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5 beliefs and customs from The Philippines

1.Philippine Belief: Make a child smarter

A child will become smarter if he inserts a miracle leaf (kataka-taka) plant between his books that he uses for his studies.

2.Philippine dining custom: Kamayan

There is one trait that Filipinos happy to do and that is by eating without spoon and fork or natively term as “Kamayan” (eating using bare hands). This custom usually relates more to the poor because it mirrors poverty but can be practiced by whatever social status one has.

3.Philippine gesture custom: Pointing lips

Filipinos also has their own cultural quirks and one of it is by pointing with one’s lips. This kind of mannerism can be annoying if you’re not familiar with it. When you’re asking for something or looking for someone, then they would answer you back by pointing their lips to direct you to what you’re looking for.

4.Philippines customs on love and dating

Is there a way of finding out how your future partner will look like?

You don’t have to sleep to find out how the man or woman of your dreams will look like instead, wake up at exactly 12 midnight, hold a lighted candle and face the mirror. At first, the image will be blurry but after a few minutes, you will see the face of your lifetime partner.

Are you itching to go on that dream vacation just before you tie the knot?

You might as well wait for your honeymoon. Engaged couples are prone to accidents and should not travel before their wedding day.

Thinking about whether your pet dog or cute little toddler should bring the rings during the wedding?

Better ask one of the groom’s men to hold your precious marriage symbols or tie them tightly on their little white pillows. Dropping the wedding ring, veil or arrhae during the ceremony means an unhappy marriage.

Philippine beliefs:Respect and bodylangauge

Pay respect to other creatures when you pass by a vacant lot. We believe that vacant lots and eerily quiet spaces are home to mythical creatures. We say Tabi tabi po” (Excuse me) when we pass through these areas.

When people are lost, they should wear their clothes backward so the spirits can guide them back to where they came from.

Don’t rest your chin on your hand, this invites bad luck.


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5 Major Insights On Chinese Business Culture And Etiquette

The difference between China and other western countries regarding business culture and etiquette cannot get ignored. It’s big and diverse. China’s unique history contributes immensely to their distinctive business culture and etiquette. With China’s economy opening up and joining trade organizations like WTO, it sure has become a darling of many in doing business. If you intend to travel to China for business reasons, there’s no better advice than you having to learn some basic Chinese business culture before traveling.

In this article, you will gain insight on how to conduct a successful business in China as you avoid cultural and social disasters. Here are the tips:

The First Approach.

Chinese prefer doing business with people recommended to them by other business associates other than direct contacts. Referrals form the basis of business relationships. If you have no connections, contact investment committee for direction and advise.


Unlike business relationships in the Western countries, in China, they graduate to a social relationship with time. Business relationships become closer as you share more of your political opinions, personal life, hobbies, aspirations, and family. They accept your deal based on how much they know you.


Chinese business people value addressing each other based on rank. One gets addressed according to his/her seniority and especially in the state-owned businesses. The other party gets addressed as Chairman, Director, Manager, or other titles that represent a particular rank. They avoid addressing each other as Mr., Miss, or Mrs. While giving out any documentation like name cards, always start with the senior person. Make sure you stretch out your both hands.

Giving Face.

Giving face also refers to giving due respect. Respect gets accorded according to rank. When giving gifts, they should differ according to seniority. Those in high positions get better gifts than those in lower levels. Sitting in board meetings or when dining should get accorded according to rank.

Gifts and presents.

Gifts, especially from the western origin significantly enhance business relationships in China and especially in the small cities and towns. Similarly, you will receive gifts from them and especially products with a touch of Chinese art. You should not refuse gifts from them as they refer such an act as impolite and will affect your business relationship.

While conversing with the Chinese, never mention the following topics and avoid them as plague:

  • Independence of Taiwan as a country.
  • Your Friendship with Japanese or show that you praise them over Chinese.
  • Anything to criticize Deng Hsiao Ping.

They term them as taboo and mentioning the above topics results to nasty arguments. Converse anything else under the sun with the Chinese except for the above topics.

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Marriage in Malaysia

Marriage in Malaysia. Indeed, even with noteworthy changes in marriage rehearses, weddings uncover the sharp contrasts in Malaysian culture. Since Malaysia is a country with a higher diversity of religions, there are two approaches to a wedding: enlisting the union with the administration and participating in marriage before a religious specialist.

Different types of marriage in Malaysia

Christian Malaysians may wed Buddhists or Hindus noting just to their families and convictions; Muslim Malaysians who wed non-Muslims chance government authorize unless their accomplice believers to Islam. Marriage hones accentuate Malaysia’s different ethnic traditions. Indians and Chinese attempt divination customs looking for similarity and propitious dates, while Malays have expanded blessing trades.

Malay wedding dining experiences are regularly held in the home, and highlight an expensive dinner with a few dishes eaten over rice arranged in oil (to state one will eat oiled rice implies that a wedding is approaching). Numerous Chinese weddings highlight a various course supper in an eatery or open lobby, and most Indian functions incorporate unpredictable customs. Since wedded accomplices join families and also people, the meeting between imminent in-laws is critical to the achievement of the union. For most Malaysians, marriage is a critical stride toward adulthood. Despite the fact that the normal age for marriage keeps on expanding, being single into one’s thirties produces worry for families and people alike. The social significance of the organization makes interethnic marriage an issue of extensive anxiety.

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Say goodbye to clients

Do not wave your client goodbye at the door. Always walk them to the elevator and walk back after the elevator door closes. For business partners you have been known for a long time, walk them to their car in the parking lot and leave only after their car makes the first turn.

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Wine is important

Wine is very important in Chinese lunch or dinner. Drink as much as you can is an essential sign of your respect to the host. So please never try to reject this while having a meal with your host. Wine from Europe also is considered a great gift to give on a first meeting with the host.

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Giving Rosary to One’s Partner

Most Filipinos are Christian and more than half of them are Roman Catholics. They are very familiar and do use rosaries. A rosary is something that they use to guide them with prayers or how to pray, usually in a bracelet-like o necklace-like form, and has a number of beads and a cross in the middle. The beads were put together by a string or a thick thread-like material. People say that couples should not give each other or a person should not give his or her partner a rosary because if it breaks and beads scatter, the good relationship might as well break.

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How Filipino People Call Older People

While people from other countries can call the older people they know by name, most Filipino people consider it as disrespect if done in the Philippines. Most Ilonggo (still Filipino) people don’t usually mind if the younger siblings call older siblings by name if they are used and raised with that, but  Filipinos from other ethnicities may not want it. It will be considered more respect if men and women will be called, aside from miss, mister, ma’am, sir or anything adopted from the English language to show professionalism and respect, ate (pronounced as a-teh), manang, ale (pronounced as a-leh for strangers), tita, tyang, or auntie (for aunts), lola (for grandmothers), mang (for older males who are not part of the family, and is used before the name of the person), manong and kuya, tsong or uncle (for uncles), lolo (for grandfathers), and mamâ for strangers. Children call their parents with words depending on their orientation but almost 99% of Filipinos use words adopted from the Spanish and Americans to address their parents.

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