Tuesday, April 26, 2011

KoreanCupid: A Guide for the Ladies on how to Date Online in Korea

Maybe, you have seen the above picture with a young Korean woman in it and the words "Korean Cupid".  After looking at it a few times you might have wondered, what it is like to use an online dating service in Korea. So your curiosity finally peaks and you head over to the site and end up in this world that you might think is just like any other dating site, except it is not.

 Before I get into my guide, let me first tell you that I met JH through this particular site, and just about two years ago. It was after my break up with my first Korean boyfriend (BK), and I didn't want to believe that I could never love a Kboy again. However, I am not the person to walk up to strangers on the street or go to bars/clubs and hit it up with guys there. I needed a place to go to where I could connect with a Korean man but on a certain level. That is why this guide today will reflect an actual user's experience and give you some insight into the site and trying to meet Korean men.

Another last stop before I get into the guide, and that is my discretionary statement. This guide is for ladies interested in Korean men. It might help you if you are of a different sex and looking for women, or whatever, but mostly this is for women looking specifically for Korean men. Yes, there are non-Korean men on the site but I never bothered to get involved with that. 

With that said, I want to state that this is not from the perspective of someone who is obsessed with sex, is interested in drinking and one night stands or is just looking to hook up with a Korean for the thrill of it. I did my search, two years ago, to look for someone to start a serious relationship with. Therefore, my perspective will reflect these (I guess) conservative views.

Let's move on~!!

The Guide To Using Korean Cupid for the Ladies Looking for the Korean Man's Heart:
1. Setting Up Your Profile:
 Yes I am using my own profile there, which is still visible on the site (although I don't use it anymore). Obviously, when you start off on the site you make your profile. This includes all the typical stuff with the most important showing up first. Here are my basic tips:
  • Put up pretty pictures of yourself that are flattering. Unless you want him to see you as a drunk, then show yourself partying in the bar. Otherwise give the guys decent pictures to look at. Also have a variety up there as this seems to be a big feature of the site.
  • Be honest in your descriptions. Just don't lie off the bat that you are skinny but are really not, or don't mind if a guy smokes, but you really do. 
  • Make a simple and useful headline. Not too long as that can be tiring.
  • In the "seeking" section, briefly but accurately state what you are looking for.
2. Browsing Men's Profiles
  • The Search: Be specific or else you will get more results than you can handle. Shoot for people who have been recently active. Look within your age range, unless you really don't care. 
  • The Results: As you can see it will vary who shows up. Since a picture says it all, I mostly see this first and then look at the details. What has always been really strange is most Korean folks are seeking females age "18 - 80." Something tells me they really aren't going to date an 18 year old or an 80 year old either. This already tells you something about their ability to use the site or how sincere they are in making their profile. It could also just mean they were lazy. Sift through the results and see if any catch your eye. Click on their profile and dig into whether they are interesting enough to send a message or set up for a private chat. 
3. Looking at their Profiles: 
  • The most important aspect, I found, is not all the information they fill out or their pictures but what they put as a description of who they are looking for. If they can write two sentences and do it well in English than you can tell they are using the site for more than just peeping. The following examples show how some give you good and bad signs.
 4. Communication and the Private Chat
This is by far the most important and critical part of using the site. If you list yourself as "single" and "available" you will get a lot of profile views, email and chat requests. A chat request works by that a pop up window comes up with a chime asking you to join in. Once opened you can find out who is trying to talk to you via a link to their profile. The following are some warnings and good advice when chatting with Korean men on this site.
  • Most Chat requests are from guys who want sex only. How do I know? Because I cut the bullshit and got straight to the point with a lot of them and told them I wasn't looking for one night stands. Usually things start off nice in a chat and then the guy suddenly starts asking questions like, "What is your bra size?" "Do you like sex?" And from there you can tell that he is just on the site for the thrill of it. When I revealed that I wasn't trying to hook up with guys just for sex, a lot of them got upset. They even would tell me that they thought foreign women don't mind one night stands and I was acting "strange" to them. Gee I wonder where they got those ideas (Hollywood!).
  • Weed them out to find Mr. Niceguy. Of course, you really can't tell if he is good or bad by just a quick chat but as shown above you do want to be straight up honest at first. Otherwise, you could end up meeting a guy with different intentions. So have a method lined up for how you will chat to them. If things get strange or perverted back out. If things are civil and sound good stay in the chat.
  • Move on to your real email and messenger (skype) contacts: What you really want to do is start communicating with these guys outside of KoreanCupid. Once you are comfortable enough and truly feel you can trust them then send out your details. CAUTION: Don't give any personal information (like this) out unless you are 10000% percent sure they won't end up digitally stalking you. My advice: if they ask for this kind of stuff in just the first chat than they are really desperate. Wait after a week or so to know they are worthy. 
5. Picking a Guy to Actually Date
  • This category is to show that there are generally three types of Korean men on the site. 
  • One: In it for the sex and thrill of being with a foreigner. (As mentioned above). If this is what you want to cater too than go ahead. But remember you might be promoting a stereotype here of foreign women as easy. 
  • Two: Looking for a language partner. This kind of guy can fit into them all, but some of them mostly just want a language buddy. Keep in mind you might not really learn Korean and instead speak English the whole time. If you are looking to help a guy out with his English than go ahead, you never know as it could blossom into love.
  • Three: Looking for a loving and lasting relationship or just something beyond the first date. This was the kind of guy I was looking for and managed to weed out the rest. I am still with him so as you can see it definitely lasted beyond the first date.
6. The Meet Up:
  • These are going to be obvious. Pick a public place and one that you are familiar with or if you pick one new to you review how to get there and back (exit strategy). 
  • If meeting someone new for the first time makes you super nervous, ask to meet first with your friend.
  • Let a close friend know you are going on this semi-blind date so that there is someone out there in world caring about you. 
Conclusion: 

I doubt I mentioned everything but I hope this guide shows you what it is like from a women's perspective on the experience to be had when using KoreanCupid. Depending on your goals the site can provide you with many different types of love or lust matches. 

Once out the door and actually meeting a guy it is up to you. Dating a Korean guy in theory is no different from dating a guy from America or South Africa, since they are all men.  But of course, Korean men carry their social treasures and burdens with them that as time passes you get to know and discover. 

Maybe someday I will make a guide to dating a Korean man, but I think I need to gather more evidence from other women, to truly show what it is like. Till then there is this guide.

Finally, it is spring and so love is in the air anyways. What better way to enjoy the beauty and warmth of this season than discovering Korea with someone you met on KoreanCupid. Just do it all with caution and don't get yourself too head-over-heels. 

15 comments:

  1. Joy, I know you're a sweet person who doesn't mean any harm or insult . . . but you need to lay off the judgement a bit. The people out there looking for more casual dating partners (or OMG! sex) are not bad people who are ruining the reputations of foreign women everywhere. They're just people with different priorities, ok?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gomushin Girl:

    I don't see what's wrong with passing judgement on behaviour that one sees as immoral, inappropriate, unethical, or otherwise bad. It's just her opinion -- that's what the blog is for.

    Now, if you disagree with her opinion, and you think the criticised behaviour is actually not bad (or even good), then that's fine too. But you should respond by explaining why you disagree with her. But don't criticize her for merely expressing an opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gomushin Girl. Yes I do agree with you that passing judgment on people who have different lifestyles than mine is not exactly a positive thing to do.
    However, I did try my best to express this guide in a way that didn't criticize those folks too much. But I wanted to make sure people understood that my experience using the site and dating Korean men comes from my different perspective.

    Jon...it is a conundrum. Do I taint my posts with my personal opinions or try my best to stay neutral all the time. I just hope the readers can come to their own conclusions.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Let me make it easy for you, John: Slut shaming is bad.
    Joy has argued more than once publicly that we are collectively responsible for our reputations as western women in Korea. I and other people have disagreed with her (Long story short: I am not responsible for what any random Mr. Kim self-servingly decides to believe about western women, and if Mr. Kim is later an ass to Joy or any other western woman, it is not because I or somebody else was a bad person who stained our collective reputation. It is because Mr. Kim is an asshat, ok?)
    Just because you weren't there for the conversation doesn't mean it hasn't happened. And frankly, the fact that being judgemental about other people's sex lives is generally a bad thing (falling under the category of "none of your business, thank you") should be pretty obvious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you sound like one of those annoying, angry feminazis

      Delete
  5. Gomushin Girl: Sometimes it is extremely important and valuable for a society to be critical of a person's sex life. And other times it's certainly inappropriate. There are so many different situations that can arise that I'm not prepared to say that "generally" it's a bad thing or a good thing.

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  6. "Sometimes it is extremely important and valuable for a society to be critical of a person's sex life."

    When?

    ReplyDelete
  7. The whole post/guide sounds like how any dating site "should" best be maneuvered/used anywhere (Match.com, eharmony, etc...)!
    What's the real difference between all of those & this Korean one? Somehow this guide didn't pinpoint that to me.

    It seems to me Gomushin Girl that you're doing some righteous judging of Joy's perspectives!
    The whole discussion of westerners in foreign countries being representatives of their respective nation/society is as valid as media portraying society etc.... So what If some people feel that way... why are you so offended by it all? As far as I can tell "beauty or slut is in the eye of the beholder" anyway, right?!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mom, don't get too offended by Gomushin Girl. She means well. Her and I are friends (at least I still hope so). She is just referring to a discussion that has been widely discussed on many female blogger's sites. The issue is very touchy and it obviously has made a big impact on our conscious.

    To clarify I tried to express my concern of women meeting men on the site who are interested in just sex with a foreigner, because they are foreign. Whether this keeps a stereotype alive or that really is not doing anything at all is a topic for discussion.

    In my experience some of the men I chatted with really had this view point and expressed quite bluntly towards me. I was really shocked at the time and tried to tell them that not all foreigners are looking for that. They replied in a manner that mocked me and then would never speak to me again. I just hope that this craze of theirs comes from the media and not actual foreign women giving them the impression they are easy.

    Anyways I don't know what I am saying anymore...agh

    ReplyDelete
  9. Of course we're still friends . . .
    The big problem is that it's not how women act, whatever their origin, that creates those bad interactions. The men who mocked Joy or treated her badly on the site because she wasn't looking for a hookup weren't doing it because they have some legitimate reason to believe that's what western women like - they were doing it because they're jerks. It's *their* actions that need to be examined and changed, and it's those guys we need to be calling out for their BS.
    What someone else does with their private life is their business, be it casual sex with dudes who just like them because they're foreign or a long-term serious relationship leading to marriage. The ladies who hook up are not causing men to behave inappropriately towards Joy or anybody else, though - the dudes are doing that of their own free will.

    ReplyDelete
  10. wetcasements:

    There are so many examples that it’s hard to know where to begin. Listed below are just five simple situations where I think you’ll find broad consensus that the peoples’ sex lives are worthy of criticism. I’m afraid Gomushin Girl does not appreciate that many of our sexual behaviours do not occur in a vacuum, but rather occur in the context of a broader society that is affected by those behaviours. And when those behaviours affect others negatively, then they’re inevitably going to be subject to criticism.

    Anyway, here are my examples:

    A young teenager engages in unprotected sex. Society has a great interest in preventing children from being born to mothers who cannot support them. It is extremely important that we criticise the teenager's behaviour to make clear to other teenagers how important it is to either abstain from sex or use birth control.

    A person with an STD engages in unprotected sex. Society has a great interest in preventing the spread of STDs. It is extremely important that we criticise the person's behaviour so that other people with STDs take measures to protect their partners.

    A father visits a prostitute. Society has a great interest in maintaining the basic family structure and preventing divorce. It is extremely important that we criticise the father's behaviour so that married men remain faithful to their wives, thereby keeping families together and divorce rates down.

    A father has an affair and has a child out of wedlock. Society has a great interest in having children raised by two parents who are present and can play an active parental role throughout childhood. It is extremely important that we criticise the father’s behaviour so that married men remain faithful to their wives, thereby reducing the number of kids who are from broken families or who must be raised by single parents.

    A mother and father have four kids. Even with the assistance of welfare, they cannot make ends meet. The parents neglect to use birth control and the wife becomes pregnant. Society has a great interest in having children be born into families that are capable of supporting them independently. It is extremely important that we criticise the parents’ behaviour so that families only have children that they are capable of supporting.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I had lame experiences with okcupid and plentyof fish but recently I tried globogirls.com and I found very suitable matches there. I loved their traveling destinations too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I whant to know how to unsubscribe on this site?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think just delete your account, that worked for me.

      Delete
  13. Beware of Online Dating Scams and know the online dating statistics with the one and only Cupid dating site amorconfiavel running background criminal check.

    ReplyDelete

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