Dating Abroad (국제 데이팅): Meeting Friends & Family – Part 9

On my trip to Korea early this year my relationship with my boyfriend grew even more. For what may have been the first official time, we started introducing each other to our longtime old friends.

While this might sound a little odd after 2 years of dating for us it was not an issue. For one thing, (*which is still a cultural norm practice in Korea and the U.S. for some couples), we have been dating conservatively. Due to not wanting to float our relationship from the beginning we kept it to ourselves until we each felt comfortable enough to let our best friends, school friends, siblings, and family know of each others existence. Eventually, within a few months of our relationship we both let the cat out of the bag. However, meeting friends and family in-person still had not occurred.

By the time we reached one year of dating all of our friends and family knew of our existence. But, even so we had not done in-person self-introductions just yet. A main reason for not doing so was uncertainty of our own future. Around that time we were entering into a semi LDR, which dampened our first opportunity to meet friends and family. However, during our year of LDR we had each had gotten to know one anothers close friends and families and vice versa they had gotten to know us via video-phone calls, photographs, and in friendly conversations.

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A late-night date night in Dongdaemun -2017

As a LDR, international, interracial, and nearing 30s couple we have come to understand that who we introduce in-person to our friends and family will be someone who deserves us, treats us with respect, cherishes the memories that we have made, and sees a future with us in it. Thinking in sync over the years, my boyfriend and I each want to introduce long-term companions whom we are not only just dating, but want to marry.

For all couples, especially couples like us, it can be hard to tell what the future may hold when dating for 1 month, 6 months or even 1 year, but there is a point in any relationship when you know time has shown you your BF/GF’s true character and you can make a clear choice on whether or not that individual is not only right for you, but the one for you. From then on you have ended one stage of your love life and started another – the long haul. Me and my boyfriend reached the long haul stage this year when we reaffirmed upon meeting in-person again what we wanted for our future. Stating that we wanted our relationship to reach a new milestone my boyfriend and I(*boyfriend’s gift to me) made specially engraved promise bands for one another.

Starting 2017 off with clear views and matching visions we have also begun our long-awaited goal of in-person self introductions with our close friends and family.  Just last month we each attended multiple lunches/dinners and were introduced to those who knew of us, but had not formally met us. Surprisingly, every meeting went very well. Not only were they cordially, but the atmosphere was friendly and non-stressful even around strong topics such as marriage and work.

Currently, marriage and work have been major topics for me and my boyfriend, as well as, our families.  Focusing on the two with work a priority we are looking forward to approaching the second topic in due time. The reason for the wait is readiness. In my case waiting is the best course especially as we both continue to pursue supportive career paths. For my boyfriend, culturally in Korea, couples wait until their ready and once ready quickly hold a ceremony. It can happen in a day, a week, a month due to the quick culture that Koreans follow. So, waiting is definitely good.  With that said more formal introductions will be planned this year, which is the one thing I can’t wait to begin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Note: All  pictures posted are owned by the Yeppunshikan author, usage of these pictures without the owners consent is strictly prohibited.
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