Puzzled by greetings; a girlfriend full of surprisesQ.Why do some women call me “Eonni,” especially when they do not know my age and when they might actually be older than me? I know women use eonni when addressing an older woman. I do not know how to deal with the situation, so I do not object. But it bothers me, and I think it is rude. What should I do?
A.Many Korean women try to make themselves appear younger by addressing others in this way. It does not seem to matter to them if they are right or wrong about your age. If there are men in the group, many women do this because they think it makes them more attractive compared with the person they are addressing. In the end, however, they often end up revealing themselves as immature, selfish and unrefined. You are probably better off just ignoring them.
Q About six months ago, I was introduced to a 21-year-old Korean woman and I found her to be very kind and sweet. After three dates I asked her to be my girlfriend, and she accepted. She lives with her parents and grandparents, and I live with my mother. So when we spent the night together for the first time, we went to a motel near my college.
I was shocked when the motel owner recognized her and welcomed her back. I asked her about it later, and she confessed that her last boyfriend liked that motel and that they used to go there “often.”
It turns out that she has been to quite a few motels in the area. After a while, she started telling me which motels were nice and which were not.
At first I did not mind the fact that she was a lot more experienced than I had imagined her to be, but recently I have felt strange seeing her. But my friends tell me that her sexual experience should not bother me. Why am I feeling so confused?
A.Before you begin to evaluate your girlfriend, before you begin self analysis and before listening to your friends’ advice, you should feel free to express your true feelings.
Do you feel cheated, because you thought she was a conservative, virtuous woman? Do you feel that you made a poor choice, because she has had sexual experiences with several men? Do you feel angry, thinking now you have got to find a girl who is more suitable to your standards? Whatever you are feeling, be honest with yourself ― there is no shame in being more conservative or more liberal than other people
To be content, you probably need to be paired with someone who shares your values. Your girlfriend’s attitude toward sex and relationships is not necessarily wrong, but it might diverge too far from what you think is right. You need time and space to think the relationship through to really find whether you can continue seeing her.
by Ines Cho
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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