7 K-Drama Pairings That Are Actual #HealthyCoupleGoals
Everywhere you look in Dramaland, gorgeous people are making heart eyes and falling madly in love. But what would K-drama be without, um, drama? K-romance usually comes with a heaping pile of angst on the side, whether it’s from clashing personalities, easily-avoided misunderstandings, or the occasional crazy parent.
Every once in a while, though, there comes a K-drama couple that works a little differently. They do weird things like talking about their feelings, and they even respect each other’s opinions *gasp*. They’re a breath of fresh air, showing us that dramas can be even more gripping when a couple works as a team, not against each other. See how seven of our favorite couples do it and be inspired to set your own #HealthyCoupleGoals.
Warning: minor spoilers ahead!
1. Eun Ho & Dan Yi in “Romance Is a Bonus Book”
A lot of drama couples meet as children, but usually, they forget each other until Destiny does its thing. It’s the rare couple that stays friends for life, which is a pity because it makes for a great relationship: they know each other inside out and the love is already there before the romance begins.
That’s Dan Yi (Lee Na Young) and Eun Ho (Lee Jong Suk), a couple who would do anything for each other, even if they weren’t dating. They support each other professionally, emotionally, and even when it comes to doing housework. Then when their hard day is done, they curl up together and read books to each other. Fifty years down the line, we’re sure they’ll be doing the very same thing.
2. Seo Ri & Woo Jin in “30 But 17”
You might think that past trauma would make you bad at relationships. That’s certainly how Woo Jin (Yang Se Jong) feels about himself. He’s so scared of hurting others that he hides away in the snow behind a hideous beard, giving us legit Yeti vibes. Then along comes Seo Ri (Shin Hye Sun), who lights up his life like the actual sunshine she is.
Seo Ri is no stranger to trauma herself, and because Woo Jin can relate, he’s the best person to quietly hold her hand through the stress and confusion. He gives her space, warmth, and friendship, even when he’s so deep in his feelings that he can’t bear to stay away. She, in turn, shows him it’s okay to love yourself and forgive yourself *sniff*. Sorry, does anyone have a tissue?
Check out the first episode of “30 But 17”:
3. Bok Joo & Joon Hyung in “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”
Okay, yes, a guy chasing a girl around calling her “Fatty” sounds like the opposite of #HealthyCoupleGoals. But the fact that Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk) starts this drama as a goofy little kid makes it all the more satisfying as we watch him become a grown man in love. The best part is he never stops seeing Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) as “Fatty.” To him, that word has no negative connotations — it’s part of what makes her so lovable.
Bok Joo does her own fair share of growing and maturing, with Joon Hyung by her side for pep talks as needed. It takes her a while to realize where her heart truly lies, but when she does, she throws herself in for the long haul. On one memorable occasion, she even throws herself into a swimming pool to take care of her boy when he needs it.
Check out the first episode of “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”:
4. Kwang Ho & Yeon Sook in “Tunnel”
This couple gets a bit less screen time than the others on this list, but their decade-spanning love story is one of the most memorable. Anyone who has seen “Tunnel” will remember Kwang Ho’s (Choi Jin Hyuk) agonized cry of “Yeon Sook-ah!” as he runs down that damn tunnel, searching over again for his lost-in-time wife.
Their unbreakable bond is the heart and soul of this story. If Yeon Sook (Lee Shi Ah) and Kwang Ho didn’t love each other with such pure, straightforward devotion, we’d be less torn when time tears them apart. It gives us all the feels to watch as they try to keep in touch between past and future, holding on to each other with memories and mementos. Who needs a sparkly couple ring when bae gifts you a shiny new whistle with a promise to always come when you call?
Check out the first episode of “Tunnel”:
5. Ji Ho & Se Hee in “Because This Is My First Life”
Ji Ho (Jung So Min) and Se Hee (Lee Min Ki) are a couple who know that if you want to figure out your relationship, you have to figure yourself out first. They enter into an arrangement that’s weird by anyone’s standards: getting married to a stranger to save on bills (and, of course, to kill it in the recycling game). If they have any chance of making it work, even in a platonic sense, they have to be self-aware and strong on communication.
As they dip their toes into romance, Ji Ho and Se Hee keep checking in with themselves and with each other: “Am I okay? What made me react like that? Is she/he okay?” They find answers in their friends, in their books, in their late night text conversations, and in their timid hearts. Those answers aren’t always easy (sometimes they’re freaking gut-wrenching), but they’re not afraid to face them anyway.
Check out the first episode of “Because This Is My First Life”:
6. Bok Shil & Louie in “Shopping King Louie”
“Shopping King Louie” is a drama with all the cliché trappings: rich girl/poor guy, amnesia, corporate plotting, childhood mysteries. If you casually read the synopsis, you’d probably expect Louie (Seo In Guk) to be some huge jerk who drags poor Bok Shil (Nam Ji Hyun) around by the wrist. Delightfully, that couldn’t be any less true.
Louie is a fluffy ball of love who devotes himself to Bok Shil from the first moment he sees her. He might not remember he’s a wealthy corporate heir, but for a guy like Louie, that wouldn’t matter anyway. Bok Shil, too, is incredibly sweet to this random amnesiac who just showed up in her life, taking care of him when others would run and hide. We could watch these two cutie pies shopping, eating, and chatting all day. Every time they smile at each other, an angel gets its wings.
Check out the first episode of “Shopping King Louie”:
7. Dong Man & Ae Ra in “Fight My Way”
#HealthyCoupleGoals don’t usually involve endless bickering, but for Dong Man (Park Seo Joon) and Ae Ra (Kim Ji Won) we’ll allow it. If they didn’t bicker, they’d probably die of bickering deprivation or something. Their bickering is the good kind, because it doesn’t threaten the rock-solid foundation of their relationship. They know they can get away with it because they trust each other and they will forever have each other’s backs.
They’ve been arguing like that for years, always brutally honest, always wearing their hearts on their sleeves. It serves them well when it comes to falling in love. This couple is not the type to let stupid misunderstandings and poorly thought-out noble sacrifice bring them down. Nope, they’re gonna argue about it till the cows come home, and then they’re gonna kiss and make up and go for a walk in the park or something. How’s that for a happy ending?
Check out the first episode of “Fight My Way”:
Which K-drama relationship do you wish you could live out in real life? Let us know in the comments below!
Azra_A spends most of her waking hours waiting patiently for 2PM’s next comeback (roll on 2021!). She relies on sheet masks and weird ice cream flavors to help her endure (cucumber is great, ceylon is better). When she’s not watching the comeback clock, you’ll find her on Instagram.