American man dating korean women
Maybe this “me” comes out when I meet a guy who makes me relax, and I don’t have to think too much about what he thinks about me.Maybe I was finally enjoying a moment of repose, showing who I really am, in a safe space free from conventional definitions of gender roles.Dating him, and others before that, has allowed me to see my self-contradictions and insecurities.
I wanted men to accept me the way I truly am, complete with my outgoing, straightforward personality which I thought didn’t go together with girlish behaviors. For a long time, he never commented on my social gatherings or asked me to see him as my sole source of emotional support. Many of my friends started to point out that I had changed a lot.I’m not exactly quiet, and I’m definitely not the ‘submissive girl’ that many people see South Korean girls as. But somehow, my personality became a problem when I started dating men in South Korea at the age of 20. I thought, is my outgoing personality — which was attractive to them in the beginning — an obstacle to developing a stable relationship? A bunch of my girlfriends had similar worries when dating South Korean men.Many men approached me, expressing an interest in my outgoing personality. But sooner or later, they started to complain about things that energize my life, what I think are important, like interacting with people and having fun at interesting social gatherings. The biggest source of complaint was the irony of men applying different standards on their female friends and “girlfriend.” Some guys I knew loved hanging out with girls whom they called cool and funny — for example, girls who could drink two bottles of soju straight.I finally had an answer to the question I had first posed in my early twenties: My outgoing personality, which attracted men, was not an obstacle to developing stable relationships.I had never been the problem; I was fine the way I was in my entirety, whether independent, outgoing or girlish, and I could express myself fully if I was given space, without judgment.
Maybe I had been trying to prove something, in this society where people expect girls to be quiet and submissive. I wish I could say my realization brought me complete freedom from gender norms or expectations of others, but it didn’t.