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Love, dating and marriage in Seoul and South Korea
Finding love in Korea - Korea is a fascinating country in many ways and none more so, than when it comes to love, dating and marriage. Finding love in never easy, but in some ways it is even harder in Korea with the majority of Korean men required to do Military Service for two years. (It is possible to work in industry instead, i.e. in a computer company if you have certain skills, but you must do an extra six months service, doing two and half years in total). Many Korean men have girlfriends before going into the army, but most find themselves single again with their girlfriends unwilling to wait the two years.

The soldiers do get some free time, but it is very limited and puts a big strain on relationships. Some lucky blighters do have girls waiting for them when they finish service. It seems only fair that maybe Korean women should also have to do some type of service, but perhaps for the community or local old people or hospitals. Women could maybe do six months of service, while the length of service for men could maybe be decreased to one year. It is becoming clear that North Korea lacks the military hardware and army to realistically attack South Korea in the future, thus the need for military service seems lessened. One-year service would still provide a certain amount of training for the men. Having men do less time in the military though, would of course increase unemployment, with thousands of more men in the employment market for an added one or two years. It would take a brave Prime Minister to abolish military service, although it would be surely be a good vote winner for the 19 - 24 age group.

The process in Korea is set up excellently for meeting a partner and I wish the same system has existed in England when I was at school. I was a very shy kid and that does not bode well for finding a girlfriend. It is not easy to go up to a stranger and ask them out/for a date. In Korea, a wonderful solution to this problem exists with the idea of 'Group Meetings'. Similar to blind dates in Western society, these meetings usually involve three or four people from each sex, all going out on one date together. In addition. Blind dates are very common and popular. Blind dates are in fact, the most common way for Koreans to find a partner. Blind dates of course, are still difficult and it was always interesting when students always told me about their blind date experiences.
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Submitted by: PaulSymonds
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