My first date with a Korean

Cross one off the bucket list, I have officially gone on my first one-on-one date with a Korean man. I didn’t really realize it was a date until we met up though. We had exchanged phone numbers at a bar and had arranged to meet under the pretense that it was a language exchange. He spoke perfect English since he had studied in the States. He had never been on a date with a foreigner before though, and by our conversation, it was quite apparent.

Since all the great Korean dating blogs name their conquests, I’ll nickname this one “Potato Head.”

I don’t pretend to know how Korean couples talk. I don’t know if I misinterpreted things, or if I just bring the crazy out of people, but this date was terrible.

I should have left right when we met up that night. There were two major red flags. First, he greeted me by saying, “I looked right through you because I thought you were Korean!” I really don’t like when people bring up whether I look Korean or not until I get to know them better. Then, when I asked him how I should save his name in my phone, he replied, “Your Korean boyfriend!” Yeah, seriously, should have went home at that point.

Potato Head is a vegetarian, but he picked a chicken hof to have dinner in. First of all, fried chicken and beer for a first date? I’m a casual girl, sure, but at least try to impress me, please. Second, do you know what a vegetarian can eat at a chicken hof? Potatoes, or fries. Which I don’t like. And, he said he didn’t want me to eat meat in front of him, so basically, I just sipped my beer while he chowed down on fries.

Our conversation was so ridiculous, I almost didn’t believe it was happening. He just talked on and on. I didn’t know how to respond, so I just nodded in disbelief most times, and shook my head when necessary.

Some gems from the evening:

“You have very sexy eyes but cute behavior. I think that is a good combination.”

“I think your eyes are telling me that your mouth wants to be on me.”

“Please be more comfortable with me and call me all the time.”

“Oh, you live alone? Can I spend the night now?”

“I can give you a massage, but you have to buy oil. And you can only wear your panties. Nothing but panties.”

“It would be good if we were a couple because you live very close to my favorite bar.”

“You speak really great English!”

In the middle of the date, he left to watch soccer with the restaurant owner. Korea was in a qualifying game, I guess? I’m not sure of the details. Most women would have left at this point, but I wanted to see what further ridiculousness was in store. In hindsight, I should have left.

At this point, he’s buzzed (or drunk?) because he’s had three beers. I am hungry and bored. He points to the bill and says, “Your treat?” He has “forgotten” his wallet. Of course! I literally laugh out loud as I pay the bill.

Then, he asks where I live. I am adamant that there is no way I will allow him to walk me home. After a few words, he admits defeat. He wants to walk me down the block at least. I allow him, which leads to him whining when I won’t let him carry my purse. When I won’t link arms with him, he whines, “Why do you make me the girl? Why don’t you love me yet?”

Oh, Potato Head, I never want to see you again.


Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.



Re: My first date with a Korean

amazing! hahahaha i totally hear ya sister! had very similar experiences myself!! hate to tell you...but the foreigner guys aren't much different here! ;)

Re: My first date with a Korean

Yeah, we foreigner guys love to call someone our girlfriend after one date, always insist on carrying her purse, never pay for a date. I personally love to give awkward compliments, and regualrly leave my date alone while I watch sports.

Re: My first date with a Korean

Haha, thanks for the comment. Good to know I'm not the only one! I've had good and bad experiences dating foreigner guys in Korea. ;)

Re: My first date with a Korean

Epic! It's almost a like a horror date from a movie. I think dating and travelling are similar, you never know what you're gonna get, and bad experiences at least end up as a fun story (less kidnapping... the beautiful untouched beaches in southern Philippines are NOT worth it).

As I'm a creepy (straight) western guy, I can't say I have much experience dating guys in Korea. I have noticed though, that many of my male students who have lived abroad struggle with the gap between the Korean shaming of any sex that's not paid for and the way people where they had lived were very open about their sexuality. It's like they're caught between two cultures and some seem to grab the negatives of both.

I've noticed that most of my students have no shame in asking me to pay their bill. They even to go the point of arguing, "but you have a job!" Even when I bluntly tell them I need one because mommy and daddy don't take care of me, they don't understand. Still, nearly every girl I've dated in this country has either offered to pay the bill or flat out paid and not allowed me to even try (the latter is more common). As entertainly terribly as your date was, I'm most shocked that he made you pay for the date. 

Keep on keepin on. I hope that you find the guy, Korean or not, that you're looking for. Along the way, enjoy the nights of absurdity, ambiguity, awkardness AND meeting new people in a different culture that (unless you're kidnapped in Southern Philippines), will only open your mind. Have fun!


Re: My first date with a Korean

bad date..certainly!

don't really get the part about him being Korean?  You said yourself its your first (and at the time of writing, only) date with a korean guy.  You also said you don't know how Korean couples talk?

He sounds like a asshole but hardly representative of korean men


Re: My first date with a Korean


It was really unique experiences which sound more like adventure instead of date. But I will suggest don’t lose hope from Korean guys because one guy really doesn’t represent a whole country. I am saying this because I have met really some great people here and trust me except few most of them are kind, generous and great people.

For surtij I can say only one thing please try to understand Korean culture. When we are living in another country we can’t expect from them to behave like native people. They are Korean and behave like Korean. There is really no way to say feeling shame. In Korea Its their culture that whenever they go out for treat or party most of time professor have to pay the bill. Actually it’s just not about Korea I guess it’s same in most of the part of Asia.


Just one tip for stacy, these kind of Korean guy normally are those people who study abroad and got a special attitude. After that they even can’t get settle properly with normal Korean life. They develop this kind of special attitude which I realize after meeting some of them. They also feel little bit superior then normal Korean people too. Its just my personal observation may be I am wrong but this is what I feel. ;)

Stacy here are some tips to get Korean boyfriend ;) just for fun


have a great time guys  

Re: My first date with a Korean

That's ridiculous, and NOT SURPRISING at all!  I love it!  Thanks for sharing! :)  I read through the whole thing and then had to read it again for my husband so we could have a good laugh together!  Way to take one for the team (the Koreabridge team that is!)  - Jill

Re: My first date with a Korean

I hope everyone realizes that I don’t think that one person can be representative of an entire country, culture, etc. The date with Potato Head was ridiculous, but I have not been frightened away from any future dates with Korean men. Thank you for reading though!

Re: My first date with a Korean

Can I just say, I was surfing the net and came across your article.

Sorry to say, it had me in stiches. Apologise because it wasn't in a negative way but I finally read something I could relate to. Most posts are so positive they're practically imaginative, but this was a refreshing prospective on how, unfortunately, not all Korean first dates work out.


If you decide to try again I hope its more successful, though albeit not with the same guy! :)