This article is addressed to Korean women that want to marry “Western men”. Are you ready for this? You ask, what makes YOU qualified to write this article? Well, I lived in South Korea for 19 ½ years. (Yes, I suffered through the IMF crises!) I’m an Inter-faith Spiritual Counselor and taught East & West Culture Classes in South Korean Universities. I am married to a lovely Korean woman (18 years). Have worked with many cross-cultural couples in regard to relationship and marriage counseling…. So yes, I think I’m qualified.

There are many young Korean women that travel to “the West” and may work or study for a time. Many are amazed at the social freedom the women in these culture enjoy, like women’s soccer, women’s studies, etc. They have a great time and then return to the Republic of Korea~ where men come first and sometimes women don’t come at all! 😉 They experience reverse culture-shock and feel very much confined again and are desperate to get out. They may then consider a Western man as a panacea to escape the land of the midnight noise.

Well, I want to share a few things that I’ve gleaned over many years of counseling. I hope that this might help you as you go forward:

1. When dealing with Western men, remember, you don’t know, what you don’t know! I want to encourage you, do not make any assumptions about anything. Assume that you don’t understand. Be careful how you proceed. It can be like a minefield in the beginning, every step can be quite treacherous. Instead of assuming that you know, ask open questions. Take things slowly.

2. Are you brining any “baggage” into the relationship? Did you recently break up with someone? Do it properly. Tell them why and that it is over. Develop good boundaries. Take some time to grieve your losses. Sieve through your baggage and reflect on what kind of men you attract and if there is a pattern with the men in your life. (What might Freud say about your father? J ) Don’t rebound — jump into another relationship with some new person. Take some time for yourself. Talk to a counselor.

3. Be very weary of online dating apps. They may not be quite as helpful as you think. Eharmony might be a cut above the rest. Since they have remarkable ways of finding many forms of compatibility. If the person takes the time to write out the extensive eharmony profile, it may say something about the seriousness of their intentions. Just something to consider.

4. Connect with someone that you share a common interest with. My wife and I connected via music and dancing. Two things that we love doing.

5. Reflect on how important issues of faith are to you, and if you and your potential mate might share common interests. Remember, you cannot change another person, but you can change yourself.

6. Ditch the drama queen act & park the soju bottle. Most young men like to have fun and party. Yet, when thinking about bringing a woman home to meet their parents, they may prefer a certain amount of maturity.

7. Keep your addictions in check` drugs, alcohol, gambling, internet, opioids, shopping, Codependency, ACA, etc. Check out a 12-step program and get the help that you need.

8. Learn to manage your anger. Learn to listen carefully. When he asks for space, give it to him. When he wants to meet with his friends, let him. Have a life outside of him.

9. Grow up! Put away the Hello Kiddy dolls and childhood toys.

10. Move out of the house and get your own place. It’s important to develop your own identity away from your parents. Fix your apartment the way you like it. Pay bills, learn to clean your space and be a responsible adult.

11. Practice safe sex. Be careful who you sleep with. Agree to get tested for STDs and wear/get protection.

12. Be on the lookout for “Red Flags” which are warning signs. Why did he break-up with his last girlfriend? Is there anyone in his home country waiting for him? Is he already married? Is he divorced? Any children? Take things slowly. Get to know each other. Honesty and communication are very important. Remember, you want to enter into a relationship with eyes wide open.

13. Share your hopes and dreams with one another. Ask yourself: Are you both headed in similar directions? Sam Keen once wrote: In life, you have to answer two questions: 1. Where am I going? 2 Who will go with me? If you reverse the order of their importance, you are screwed. You cannot manipulate someone to go where they do not want to go, if you do, they will resent you. Are you on a parallel track? For example: If you think that you would like to stay in Korea for the rest of your life, you better tell your Western BF ASAP. Make sure that they are on board with a similar plan.

14. What do you value in life? Travel? A home with a white picket fence? Work? Family? Etc. Make sure that the two of you share these things and that you are on the same page.

15. Learn how to communicate and resolve conflict. Pick your battles carefully. Not everything is worth fighting over. Communicate with one another. Share your point of view and then actively listen to your BF’s point of view. Learn the art of compromise~ give and take. Remember, I have never met a Westerner that enjoyed being with a drama queen. Do not be addicted to drama. It’s important to forgive one another, not hold grudges and try not to go to bed angry with one another. You want to build a hearth that is peaceful and full of tranquility.

I hope that you find the love you want. I cannot overemphasize that if you are under the age of 29, then you’re probably too young to get married. But if you’re able to not get upset, and simply laugh at me, then maybe you have just proven me to be wrong. I wish you all the happiness in the world!