Why Interracial Dating in America is Different Than in Korea

Why Interracial Dating in America is Different Than in Korea!

Could interracial dating in America be RADICALLY differentthan in Korea? Why is dating for non-Koreans different.

How could interracial dating in the States be so different than in Korea?

How come America and even China and Japan are more open to interracial relationships than Korea?

What is it about Korea that makes their society resent intercultural dating as much as it does? Why are interracial couples in Korea still facing public discrimination in the 21st century?

Especially in an ‘international’ city like Seoul?

Before we can understand why we face the interracial dating problems that we do in Korea there’s something we must understand:The differences in mindsets and beliefs between Koreans and Americans.

Racial Supremacy vs Racial Unity

Back until the 1960’s interracial dating in America was still quite taboo. The main reason was that in America the W.A.S.P.s (White Anglo Saxon Protestants) had a subconscious belief of racial supremacy.

In other words racism in America came from an ‘we are better than you’ ideology.

On the other hand Korea’s form of racism and discrimination comes from another source: racial unity. Koreans have always seen themselves as one race and to date interracially would mean having to compromise that.

So when you’re dating a Korean you’re challenging an age-old Korean belief that is still taught in schools and via the media.

Differences in Parents’ Mindset


Racism and interracial dating in America has become much more acceptable. The main reasons are that the baby boomers have challenged society and have made it more open-minded.

This allowed the younger generations to enjoy a more racially acceptable ‘America’.

So if you want to date inter-racially in America your (and your partner’s parents) would be more accepting of it. Not only that but American parents place a strong value on ‘independence’ and ‘freedom of choice’.

In Korea there hasn’t been any confrontation to society’s racially closed-minded opinions. Koreans and their parents have not challenged society’s racially closed-minded stance. If anything they encourage it.

The reason is again – to promote Korea’s unity (or ‘ouri nara’ which means ‘our nation’ in Korean.)Also Korean parents value ‘family unity’ and ‘loyalty’. The children make choices for the parents.Yes this is changing but at a very slow pace and it will be a decade at least until we see the same racial open-mindedness that we do in other Asian countries!

Differences in Society’s Mindset

Interracial dating in America is more acceptable because of America’s liberal stance on racial mixing.

For example you can see racially mixed casts on T.V., student aid given to minority groups and even an African American president!

In Korea there is nothing of the kind! All the T.V. shows show Koreans. Foreigners (especially foreign men) get a bad reputation on the news and the American military has to deal with bad press and reputation (even though South Korea appreciates them.)

Korean society values unity and family. More so than China with their multi-ethnic groups and Japan with their mixed-race citizens.

Differences in Expats

Another major fact that makes interracial dating in American and Korea different – the foreigners.In America most foreigners live in America for more than a few years. Not so in Korea.

Most Western foreigners come to Korea either to study, teach English or for the U.S. military. In my experience these foreigners stay in Korea for one maybe two years on average.

Since this is the case most Koreans don’t mingle with the foreigners (since they’re leaving in a few years anyway.)You can even argue that Koreans prefer it that way. In fact the Korean government rarely promotes naturalization or foreigner visas except the E-2 (education) visa.

You never learn about the F-class visas that foreigners can get to become permanent residents in Korea (unless you’re of Korean descent.)

The foreigners who DO make lives in Korea in general are other Asians. Now you can only imagine how Korean’s (pure) society perceives Indians, South-East Asians and even other East Asians.

It’s sad.

Final Thoughts on Interracial Dating in America vs. Korea

Granted racism is everywhere but how is it that a “21st” century country like Korea, with an economy in the world’s top 15 can take this stance towards foreigners?

How come you can’t even walk down the street in Seoul without getting stared at maliciously? How come Koreans feel like they have the right to walk to your girlfriend and insult her because she’s with you?

And it’s culturally acceptable and understandable!

Granted these are just some of the differences between interracial racism in American and in Korea. If you dig deeper you’ll find that there are more reasons for Korea’s anti-foreigner stance.

For example if a Korean woman were to marry a foreigner then her ‘family name’ is lost and can no longer be a part of her family (technically.)

Then again Korea is changing. I honestly believe that sooner or later Koreans will stand up and confront their society’s anti-racial stance. They’ll have to because of the new challenges they face such as immigration, interracial dating and mixed-race Korean children.

Until then we can only make the best with what we have.

Good luck with that! 😉