In America you would usually cringe at the thought of being set up on a blind date. Literally all the worst possible qualities in a date start to manifest in your head and you’re already brainstorming ways to make a quick escape in case of disaster. Blind dating in Korea is much more common due to the general dating inexperience the younger generation has before college. This transition into adulthood sees a plethora of blind dating styles and tactics that are meant to mitigate the awkwardness of meeting a complete stranger under an intimate pretext. Here are 4 basic types of blind dating in Korea.

 

Introducing Meeting – Sogaeting (소개팅)

This is the type of blind dating that comes to mind first when you think of the activity: two strangers meeting in a public place, generally set up by a mutual friend or contact. Generally, the two involved will meet at a coffee shop while the person who arranged the meet may drop by to ease the tension. If this sounds like a 3rd wheel, he or she basically is, but they leave upon their discretion based on how the interaction is going. The couple is then free to do as they please which can really lead anywhere depending on how adventurous they may be feeling from the new connection.

 

Group Hangout – Meeting (미팅)

While this is categorized under blind dating in Korea, it is better to think of this as a group hangout. While the premise for romantic connections is a possibility it isn’t the primary goal. Two groups of friends will meet, usually set up by one or two of the participants. The groups will meet for coffee or drinks and play various games to get to know one another. This type of blind dating is probably one of the more fun options in Korea, as it takes some of the pressure off to impress an individual. The point is to get to know more people and essentially expand your network leading to future possible encounters.

Lightning Meeting – Bungaeting (번개팅)

Developed during the onset of the internet, this method of blind dating isn’t so much blind as it is spontaneous. People who have met online using various apps or chatting services will arrange a meeting at a location of their choosing. 번개 meaning “lightning,” is a reference as to how fast these sort of dates can be made. That being said the context of the date itself will usually be discussed before meeting as to not waste time. I would consider blind dating in Korea a bit less on the serious side as well and rather people just looking to have a fun night out.

 

Match Maker – Matsun (맞선)

Okay, fun’s over. This type of blind date is usually arranged by a matchmaker or relatives in hopes of producing a marriage. Korean dramas and movies tend to show this sort of arrangement a lot. These couples head straight to business in finding out personal information such as education and family background. They will continue to date if things are working out, but as stated before, marriage was always the goal in the first place. The truth of the matter is, most travelers and expats will probably never experience this type of set-up outside of movies or television.