Dating in Seoul: A Black Woman’s Story

Well, where should I begin? Lets talk about dating in Korea as a foreigner. Wait… not just a foreigner but as a Black foreigner. I can only speak about my ridiculous experiences here as a dark-skinned woman and how I and my friends have been perceived and approached by Korean men.

I dont have negative or positive feelings just one of those “What the hell guys?” type of feeling where I am left just walking away and hoping for something better to come my way.

Anyway, lets talk about the most common scenarios we have encountered:

The Curious Korean 

This guy has never been with a foreigner and would do anything to have one chance with one. They usually expect me to speak in a “ghetto” tone of voice and are remarkably surprised/dissapointed when they hear me speak with such etiquette (most call it talking like a “white girl”). Anyways…

Secret Girlfriend

I dated a guy who I thought was great and we had a very nice connection but it was not enough to tell his family or friends about me. I know that meeting parents can be stressful in any culture no matter the situation but not meeting your friends or anyone you know…after you met every one of my friends over the span of a year…I was a secret girlfriend.We obviously didn’t work out and he would never answer why he did it. I was left thinking maybe he was ashamed of being in an interracial relationship or maybe just wasn’t serious about it from the beginning…I’ll never know.

The (extremely)  Horny Korean Guy

This type of guy makes up about 99% of the guys my friends and I meet in Seoul. Here’s something a Korean male friend of mine told me: The typical Korean guy is very sex driven and has a need that is usually never met because of lack of prospects. They are very willing to, in a way, pay to get sex. Pay in the form of taking a girl out for a drink and pay for a motel afterwards. Yes…a motel. That’s a thing here. I try not to be too offended by it but I still am. Even if I warn the guy to please not ask me to go to a motel, well by the end of the date he will still ask anyway. Korea dating tip: Pay for yourself.

Nuna (noona) Situations

Lastly, this one is a funny one because the word Nuna means older sister but can be referred to as a Cougar (an older woman who dates younger guys). I have been in three Nuna situations and these guys expected me to pay for EVERYTHING! They were like little boys even though they were just two or three years younger than me. I’m ware of the status or hierarchy of the Korean culture where you have to respect your elders even if they are just a year older than you. But I’m not trying to be giving bus fare to a 28 year-old man to get home to his parents or buy his drinks because he’s a 30 year-old student and has no money. I’m just older than you; I’m not rich.


As funny as it sounds these are real life situations that we encounter everyday living in Seoul. Dating here has its challenges but there are a lot of people who do find love and are in interracial relationships. I would say that finding a quality Korean guy is a challenge but certainly not impossible.

Again this only from my personal experiences so don’t assume all Korean guys are this way. I wrote this more as a caution so if you did end up in these situations you know you know what to expect and that you’re not alone.





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