Let’s face it: dating is hard. It was hard back in the days when the lack of cell phones prevented young couples from constantly communicating with one another. It definitely hasn’t become any easier today. Meanwhile, any advice about romance circulating the web seems so incredibly obsolete in the 21st century, when the rules of romance are continually changing at a rapid pace. Besides, do we really want to take seriously the advice found on Google, which could have been written by anyone with an internet connection?
However, not all hope is lost. In fact, as any avid fan of K-pop might tell you, some of the best dating advice is to be found in, you guessed it – Korean dramas! So to make up for all the times Tinder or eHow failed you, here is some foolproof dating advice we learned from Korean dramas that will keep your love life from becoming an absolute train wreck.
1. Win Affection by Being Horrible
If you’re trying to get the person of your interest to like – or even love – you back, all you need to do in order to win them over is to be a horrible human being. Be the bad boy your girl has always dreamed of, or even just enigmatically brood over your “dark past” and pretend you don’t have an ounce of kind-heartedness in your soul. It’s a counter-intuitive method of attraction that works wonders: just ask Kim Woo Bin of the hit series “Heirs,” as he (almost) won over the heart of his love interest by being a bully.
2. Hold On Tighter When He or She Says No
Does your significant other want to break up with you? Don’t let his or her wants dictate your relationship, just say no! Does your date want to stop seeing you regularly? Don’t let him or her physically leave you: grab them by the arm or hand, and give them a big hug. Or, you can just be like Ji Jin Hee in “I Have a Lover,” and refuse to leave your ex-wife alone, even if she no longer wants to associate with him both for his own sake and for her sister’s. No need to worry about perpetuating rape culture by thinking “no” really implies, “I actually want you to hold me closer and never let me go.”
3. Drink Until You Blackout
Whether you’re upset over your fuming stepmother or your terrible love life, fear not. The best solution to whatever is making your day terrible is to go to a cart bar (pojangmacha) and drink endless shots of soju. Your significant other isn’t going to think you’re a mess; this is the perfect opportunity for you to divulge some heartfelt monologue. Your date will surely appreciate your drunken honesty. We promise this works very well, like how the protagonist of the series “She Was Pretty” played by Hwang Jung Eum was able to (almost) relay the causes of her distress to her love interest over the phone while inebriated.
4. Stalk Him/Her
Especially if you’re a guy, remember that you must do everything in your power to protect your significant other, even if it means stalking her. As So Ji Sub does to Shin Min Ah in “Oh My Venus,” it is your duty to appear out of thin air whenever the girl of your dreams is in some sort of impending danger – it’s pretty romantic, no? Follow her everywhere: down the alleyway, in the grocery store, even in the park while she’s just taking a stroll to get some fresh air. And if you’re not a guy, don’t worry. Even if it has nothing to do with protecting your significant other, you have the right to ogle or longingly stare at your significant other from afar. There’s really no reason to feel creepy about it.
5. Give Up Everything for Them
Although most of us keep up our own lives independent of any romantic relationships, let’s be real: our lives are incomplete without romance. That’s why it’s so important to give up life as you know it to pursue or gain your love interest’s attention, even if it costs your own sanity. Just ask Park Han Byul in “I Have a Lover,” who initially gives up the opportunity to study at the prestigious Stanford University and devotes the next several years of her life pursuing the affections of a married man on whom she has a budding crush. And like her, you’ll surely spice up your life for the better, as you battle vindictive wives and murderous in-laws.
6. Keep Secrets and It’ll All Be Okay
We’ve all got our own share of secrets: you might be harboring a terminal illness, or you might be pretending to be a boy when you’re not. Or, if you’re Hwang Jung Eum in “She Was Pretty,” you’re keeping your identity a complete secret from an old childhood friend you really like. Certainly, some secrets are just not appropriate topics of discussion to blurt out on the first few dates when you and the other person are just getting to know each other. In fact, none of these secrets are those you should disclose down the line, even if you do end up getting serious with the other person. It will only tear your relationship to pieces.
seehkay is a contributing writer for Soompi. In her free time, she likes to read, discover new music, analyze Korean dramas, and drink coffee every chance she gets.