Thursday, 24 November 2011

Korean Blind Dates

Education is seen as the most important key to success in Korea and competition is very fierce. Students are often studying too hard, or they may be attending single gender high schools, so dating is not that common among Korean high school students. Thus, many Koreans only have the opportunity to date during their college years or after graduating high school.

In Korea, being set up on a blind date is very common.

Source: Traditional Korean bride and groom figurines from

소개팅 - Single's Blind Date

소개팅 (so-gae-ting) is the single’s blind date and is typically arranged by a mutual friend or coworker. 소개 means "introduction" and 팅 is an abbreviation of the English word "meeting". Coffee shops are usually the preferred location for these pre-arranged single's blind dates.

미팅 - Group Blind Date

미팅 (mi-ting) is a Koreanised term refers to a group blind date. It might be anywhere from two girls and two guys up to five girls and five guys. Coffee shops that are not too crowded are often chosen as the meeting place. The group dating organiser uses games for these group blind dates to relax everyone.

번개팅 - Speed Dating

번개 (beon-gae) means lightning (referring to its speed). This term was created after the internet dating began in the late 90s. Parties who chatted online might decide to meet on the fly without extensive pre-arrangement as in the case of 소개팅 or 미팅.

맞선 - Matchmaking Blind Date

맞선 (mat-seon) or 선 (seon) is an ‘official’ date set by either a professional Korean matchmaker or a relative. This is strictly business with marriage in mind, so the location for these types of dates are set at high end hotels and conversation revolves around checking out each others’ educational, financial and family background.

Following the initial meeting, the couple typically date for several months to a year before the actual marriage. The distinction between this type of arranged marriage and a "love" marriage is often blurred, although in an arranged marriage the families tend to be more closely involved throughout.

There are 맞선 related scenes featured in Episode 2: Second Cup of my favourite K-drama The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince.

Han Gyul hires Eun Chan as his boyfriend to show up at his matchmaking blind dates. Half way through the blind date, they put the plan into action, pretending to kiss so they can be “accidentally” caught by the woman. They repeat the same procedure date after date.

Their victory handshakes evolve into more and more complicated gestures with each successful encounter.

On the very last date, Han Gyul is so thrilled at chasing away the last woman successfully that he plants a kiss on Eun Chan's lips, causing her to react in mild distaste. She says it was her first kiss, and he says it was his first too — with a MAN.

No copyright infringement intended. For entertainment purposes only.

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