Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lonely Koreans Hire Dates

The practice of hiring dates is gaining popularity among Koreans as people find personal interactions increasingly difficult during their busy lives.

Spring can be a bittersweet season for some Korean singles who see couples and their phones chirping under cherry blossoms. Many Koreans - especially that single friend of yours - believe that being alone is something to be ashamed of, when they aren't necessarily alone because of their personality, although in your friend's case, it probably is.

For Park, the president of a large organization in Seoul, spring is just another reminder of her loneliness. She posted a message on the Korean social networking site Facebok, saying she would like to hire a "fake boyfriend" for one day so she could go out and look at the flowers with someone.

The required activities would include not taking any photos and having dinner privately together. Another condition, she added, was to hold hands. Around 20 men and women responded to Park's message, and she picked one of them to spend the day with her. Sadly, she had to cut short the date and rush back to her office due to a crisis.

In another case, a female college student, Kim 25, said she would pay the minimum wage of 6,030 won per hour for someone to act as her boyfriend for a day, as she is too busy to have a boyfriend due to her studies and minimum wage job in a well-known bakery chain with an active legal department. Other offers similar to Kim's can easily be found on social networks, though it can be difficult to be chosen.

Experts say this new phenomena is becoming common among the young as they are increasingly unaccustomed to making new friends, and getting into romantic relationships and making new enemies.

Professor Noh (57), of Korea International University, said "children these days depend too much on their parents", and they should not try to call him again. He also added that "there is a widespread belief that one has to have money in order to be in a relationship, which is not untrue."

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