Hugh and Daniel talk about other couples that are also Korean guys and Western girls.
This question is a bit hard to answer. Our perspective is affected by what we see through the blog. We get lots and lots of emails and comments from other couples like us. So we are personally seeing a lot but compared to the general population it’s still a small amount. It does seem that in the past 5 years there has been a kind of surge in marriages between Koreans and foreigners though. Much more than before. There are other couples like us because more people are going to Korea to work and study and more Koreans are going to other countries. Both Hugh and Daniel went to Australia and started dating Australian girls.
From what I see, most couples like us are somewhat recently married. We get emails from people who married a long time ago occasionally, but they usually mention that they were always very different to everyone around them. We meet many people through the blog, but even without the blog there are many are connections forming. For example, Sophie and Chloe knew each other growing up, and just happened to both end up with Korean men. From my hometown, a predominately white area in the countryside, there are 2 other women who also married Korean men.
As well as people travelling a lot more and meeting people they wouldn’t normally ever get to meet, the interest in Kpop and Kdramas have opened a lot of doors, especially in regards to how Korean men are perceived. If you look at the history of Asian men in movies and western media, it’s a pretty sad story. Asian men are rarely cast as leads, unless it’s an action movie, and never cast as the lead male in romance movies. They get stuck in roles of villains or bumbling side kicks. What Kpop and Kdramas has done is changed many women’s perception of Asian men and shown that they are sexy and masculine and so much more than what western media says. I know some people worry about Korean men being fetishized, but you gotta cut teenage girls some slack. Any one who goes into a relationship with a Korean guy just because he is Korean will find that the relationship does not last very long. The guy will work it out pretty quickly, give him some credit! If someone starts dating a guy because their views were opened up by Kpop, if it turns into a long term and loving relationship, well it’s no one’s business but their own. It’s mean to make judgements about someone else’s relationship, (though people still seem to do it all the time).
Another aspect that comes up a lot is what actually constitutes a Korean guy when we talk about international couples? If my husband had grown up in Australia as a Korean Australian would I have made this blog? Probably not. How many cultural differences would we have? It’s hard to say and would depend so much on what his home life had been. It’s such a blurry line. There are people who identify as Korean but it was their parents or grandparents that were born in Korea, not them. It also means they grew up in western culture so there aren’t as big cultural differences when dating. But I’ve heard from people married to Korean Americans that even though their husband grew up in the US, there are still cultural things he does that Mr Gwon also does. Then there are others have almost no identity with Korean culture. We are always emphasising the culture and cultural differences on this blog. We aren’t interested in just physical aspects. We also shy away from identifying ourselves as an “Asian male/White female” couple and don’t really like those types of tags. It’s not about our looks and within the terms “Asian” and “White” there are a vast amount of differences and cultures. When we share our lives with people we want to talk about our relationship and our cultures and what life is like for us.
That’s why the people we end up being friends with are very similar to us. Usually they are Korean men who grew up in Korea with Australian women. We also have a wider circle of friends who are mostly Korean men with Western women.