Drama “Official Blind Date” (2021)- How do blind dates work in Korea?

Actress Kim Se Jeong and actor An Hyeo Seob are set to star in romantic comedy drama “Official Blind Date” (literal title) based on a 2018 webtoon of the same name!

Photo credits, Credits to illustrator

Kim Se Jong will act as Shin Ha Ri, an ordinary office employee who by chance ends up in a blind date with her company’s CEO, Kang Tae Moo.

유준상 김세정 조병규 주연의 '경이로운 소문' 등장인물, 인물관계도, 예고편
Photo Credits Drama “The Uncanny Encounter” (2020)
학교 2017> 김세정-김정현-한주완,학교를 바꾼 학생들&선생님
Photo credits Drama “School 2017” (2017)

An Hyeo Seob will act as Kang Tae Moo, the male lead.

어비스 안효섭 차민 캡쳐, 촬영사진 : 네이버 블로그 | 배우, 연예인, 한국 배우
Drama “Abyss” (2019)
비주얼 담당' 안효섭X신동욱의 훈훈한 브로맨스 예고한 '낭만닥터 김사부 2' - 인사이트
Photo Credits
인터뷰] '낭만닥터 김사부2'의 안효섭
Photo Credits

As we wait for this much-anticipated drama, let’s take a look at how “blind dates” in Korea work! 🙂

Blind Dates

Blind dates are called “Sogae ting” in Korean, with “Sogae” meaning “to introduce”. It’s a portmanteau of hanja “Sogae” and the English word “meeting”, referring to a 1:1 blind date between a man and a woman.

소개팅 할말없을 때, 대화가 잘 이어지는 꿀팁! : 네이버 포스트
Photo Credits Actor Choi Daniel and actress Han Ye Seul

Blind dates in Korea are quite common and usually happen on the basis of people introducing two of their friends/acquaintances to each other. The two people involved in a blind date usually go to a diner and have a chat over a meal. If both of them are interested in finding more about the other, they set a date for an “after”, aka, a second date, which could lead to a third, fourth, and perhaps even an “official” romantic relationship between them.

Unfortunately, the possibility of success in a so gae ting is quite low. According to a survey conducted in South Korea, the chance of a so gae ting leading to an “after” was about 4 out of 10 on average. This is why the general advice is to go for a so gae ting without much expectation and treat it like an opportunity to simply have a meal with a person who could even become just a good friend or an acquaintance.

More recently, the terms “yuh so” and “nam so” have come about as well. “yuh” of “yuh so” refers to “woman”, and “nam” of “nam so” refers to “man”. The “so” is the first word of “sogae ting”, so you guessed it- yuh so and nam so respectively refer to introducing a friend/acquaintance to a woman/man.

우리 갑순이'송재림, 김소은 흔드나? 넘사벽 순돌커플 케미...웃음 넘친 거리데이트
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University students in Korea often opt for “gwa ting” as well. “Gwa” refers to one’s university faculty, and “ting” is from the English word “meeting”. gwa ting is a university version of sogae ting and quite often involves at least 2 pairs of men and women.

고백부부 1회 2회 줄거리 장나라 대박동안 : 네이버 블로그
Photo Credits A scene of so gae ting in drama “Go back Couple” (2017), where about 5 pairs of male and female students from the same faculty meet up in a diner
김성균과 손호준의 생애 첫 과팅! - kakaoTV
Photo Credits. A scene of so tae ting in drama “Reply 1994” (2013) involving two pairs of male and female students
A hilarious example of a blind date on the show “Because I want to talk”, an episode featuring Jang Do Yeon, Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook

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