Awkward invitation; odd opening line; misunderstood giftQ.Every time my girlfriend is out of town, her best friend calls and asks me to go out. I know that my girlfriend, as confident as she is, trusts both me and her friend and will not be upset. But should I tell my girlfriend about this?
A. Your girlfriend would definitely appreciate it if you told her about it. She would appreciate it even more if her friend could bring a date along.
Q.Often when I go out on a date with a Korean man, he starts the conversation by asking, “So, how come you are not married?” To me, it sounds like he is implying that there’s something wrong with me. This seems surprising, since many of the men I’ve dated are the same age as me or older.
Is this question their way of suggesting that I’m not desirable? And how should I respond to them?
A.Even in modern Korean society, many Korean men have been conditioned to accept the age-old custom of women being married by the time they are about 25. Once you’ve gone beyond that milestone, many Korean men may consider you “too old for marriage.”
Traditionally, women considered too old to not be married have been stigmatized. So, “How come you’re not married yet?” might seem like a natural conversation starter to some people. But it can be a good thing for you. For example, it can be a quick-and-easy indicator that the man is old-fashioned and insensitive to more modern values.
Try to be understanding; if he’s really that traditional, this question might not seem rude to him. Instead of getting upset, just say something like you’ve been too busy with your career to meet anyone. Then turn the tables by asking: “And why aren’t you married yet?”
Maybe that kind of response will open his mind a little. After all, you go on dates to meet new people, right?
Q.I bought my girlfriend a ring, and now she’s telling everyone that we’re going to be married. To be honest, I only gave her the ring because she asked me to buy it for her. I like her a lot, but I don’t know if I will marry her. What should I do? Should I just forget about it, or tell her how I feel?
A.Sounds like your girlfriend is a lot more serious than you are about your relationship. The more she tells her friends and family about her future with you, the more she will be hurt if you break it off. If you want to stay together and see how things go, maybe you should start dropping hints that the ring does not necessarily mean you want to marry. If she doesn’t get the hint after that, you’ll just have to tell it to her straight.
by Ines Cho
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