My First Korean Blind Date

My First Korean Blind Date

foreign-correspondent badge finalJust as I was about to start class, I got a text from my Korean tutor. “When do you meet a guy? Friday or Saturday?”

My first thought was Friday? Saturday? I meet guys all the time. I decided to answer with, “What are you talking about?”

“A Korean guy. Don’t you want a boyfriend?” Turns out my teacher was setting me up on a blind date.

A couple of lessons before, I was talking to my teacher about how poor my Korean speaking skills were. I told her, “I should just get a Korean boyfriend, and then I can practice all the time.”

Instantly, my teacher’s eyes lit up as she said, “Yes! I can do that for you! Finally! What kind of man do you want? I can take care of everything for you! Just tell me!”

Blind dates are very popular in Korea. They’re usually set up by a person’s friend, coworker, or even parents.

“I… no, don’t worry… uh..” I was spluttering words at this point.

“Don’t worry! I’ll get you a blind date. Just leave it to me.”

After this exchange, I had hoped she’d forget about it after teaching other foreigners seven days a week. This was not the case and the next week, she made plans for my first blind date.

Blind dates are very popular in Korea. They’re usually set up by a person’s friend, coworker, or even parents. I’ve had plenty of people offer to set me up on blind dates: my tutor, my coworkers, my Korean friends, my foreigner friends, and a random Korean woman I met on the subway in Seoul.

Everyone wants to set me up on blind dates because everyone wants me to have a boyfriend. I can’t even tell you the number of times Korean people have asked me if I have a boyfriend, and when I’ve said no, have shot me a horrified, “But why?” with varying degrees of shock and sympathy.

“I don’t know why,” I usually answer.

Then the conversation can go a few ways:

Option 1
Korean person: “But you’re so pretty.”
Me: “Oh, I know.”

Option 2
Korean person (grabs male Korean friend): “He’s single; you should talk to him.”
Me: “Uh… okay?”

Option 3
Korean person: “I know lots of nice boys. I’ll get you a date.”
Me: “Uh…. (quickly changes subject).”

However, sometimes I do wish I had someone. I’ve never had a boyfriend before so maybe I should give it a shot.

It’s not so much that I’m afraid of men, it’s more that I’ve been single for a really long time. I don’t want to bother getting emotionally invested in someone because that takes a lot of time and energy. In simple terms, I’m selfish, but at this point in my life, that’s okay. However, sometimes I do wish I had someone. I’ve never had a boyfriend before so maybe I should give it a shot.

With that thought in mind, I told my tutor I’d go on the date the next week. Then I bombarded her with questions and worries. What if he hated me? What if he was creepy? What if this was some horrible prank? What if I fell in love with him at first sight, and he thought I was terrible and then I died alone like I always feared? Like any sane person, she told me to calm down.

I talked to a couple of my friends about the whole situation and they all soothed my mind. First I talked to my friend Lish, who is American, and she told me about some blind date horror stories from home.

Then I talked to one of my Korean friends at a language exchange. “Don’t worry,” he said. “It’ll be fine. Blind dates can be great. I met my wife on a blind date.”

“Really?” I said, leaning almost all the way across the table to hear his answer.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Wow. Phew— Okay I can do this.”

The day of the date came and I was instructed to meet this mystery Korean blind date man in front of the movie theater downtown.

“He’ll be looking for a foreigner. I don’t have a picture.” My tutor said.

I shot her a sarcastic, “Great…”

I’d say the most important thing I gained from the experience was the confidence to go on another blind date here.

As I was about to leave my office to meet him, I started panicking.

“I’m freaking out,” I said between short shallow breaths as I sought comfort from my friend, Lish. “Oh god, I can’t feel my hands.”

“You have nothing to lose! Remember, it’s just meeting a new friend! That’s all it is.”

As always, all of my worrying was for nothing. The guy was really nice, although there was a pretty big language barrier. Did we make a connection? Not really, but it was a pleasant experience overall. I’d say the most important thing I gained from the experience was the confidence to go on another blind date here. Who knows, maybe one will work out?

My First Korean Blind Date

 


 

About Kylie Genter

Kylie GenterKylie Genter is an English teacher in South Korea.

2 thoughts on “My First Korean Blind Date

  1. Avatar
    Phoenix (Shin Woo)
    November 17, 2015
    Reply

    How did you get a teacher for Korean in Korea? I think this experience is so intresting, I might as well give it a try too? (???? this sounds so selfish of me)

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