Sunday, 19 October 2014

A Look at Korean Dramas and the Modern Relationship

Korean dramas have become accessible on an international scale, through multiple outlets such as YouTube, DVDs, videotapes, endless websites dedicated solely to posting videos of Asian dramas—you name it and they’re there. The one thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the storyline. There is always a love triangle, usually involving two men and one woman. One of the men is perfect, a close family friend or someone she has always had a great relationship with, while the other man is a wild card; he’s someone she has petty fights with until the fateful day she realizes he’s “the one.”

The roles of the characters are also very similar across all Korean dramas. Women are always typically beautiful, with their double eyelids and 24-inch waists, while conveniently incapable of carrying out their lives without being “saved” by her man at least once through the drama. She is a hard worker and less professionally accomplished than her male counterpart. She is a damsel in distress. Even though she tries to give a tough girl impression, at the end of the day when all is said and done, her rightful place is being on the arm of her man. The men are dominating, protective of their women and stubborn. Unlike the female leads, male roles are often given more of a character range, coming from different social classes and professional backgrounds.

In the hugely popular Korean drama “Boys Before Flowers” for instance, Jan Di, the female lead, is a kind person from a poor family who attends a prestigious school. Upon arrival, Joon Pyo, the school’s biggest bully and heartthrob, who comes from a wealthy family, sees to it that Jan Di’s time at school is miserable through extreme bullying (getting people to throw eggs at her, yelling at her in the halls to leave the school, etc.). Then there’s the good guy, Ji Hoo, who is an incredibly good friend to her and falls for her also. Love triangle ensues, and accordingly, Jan Di goes for Joon Pyo regardless of how poorly he treated her and becomes dependent on Joon Pyo to save her in various situations.

Regardless of the intention of dramas as a mere outlet of fantasy, the enormous popularity of these dramas and their addictive plotlines has made their storylines and expectations a staple of modern Korean culture. As much as dramas have influenced popular culture, they are also a reflection of traditional Korean culture and its view on relationships: men should hold a dominating, leadership role, while the woman’s duty is to follow and obey their husbands.

Korean dramas often corner women into a limiting stereotype by stating that the ultimate happy ending means being with your man. When there’s a love triangle, the two men fighting for a woman are enemies and the friendships between women are portrayed to be flaky and something that can be destructed at the drop of a hat over a man’s affection. In addition, there is always a power struggle in the way relationships are portrayed. Women play hard-to-get and seemingly have the upper hand, only to take on the role of a submissive girlfriend or wife after the relationship has been determined. These dramas do an amazing job of encouraging the archaic gender roles that were assigned to men and women in past generations, prompting women to look, dress and act a certain way. In doing so, they give the impression that these outdated roles are applicable in today’s modern world.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some dramas that I would watch religiously and there were times where I would think, “Wow. I wish I could be her.” When I got in fights with a guy, I couldn’t help but think “Wait… this happened in the drama I watched last week. Does this mean that we’ll go out because we’re getting into a lovers’ quarrel?” The way I interpreted my interactions with guys became completely skewed and my expectations for men became completely unrealistic: He had to be tall, handsome, successful and have a “bad” side.

Though it’s easy to become spellbound with the romantic stories that Korean dramas fashion, it’s still important to not take it too personally and realistically—relationships aren’t black and white, and to follow the ideals that Korean dramas offer would be backward thinking. Though dramas may satisfy our boredom and stir up some elaborate fantasies, it’s good to remind ourselves that at the end of the day, dramas are exactly that—a drama.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Pros and Cons of Friends with Benefits

Call it friends with benefits, a booty call, whatever you like. The fact is that when two friends hook up just for the sake of having sex, they must both have the understanding of that's all the relationship is: sex. Anything else can mar or muddy the advantages of being friends with benefits. If you've got a friend in mind that you wouldn't mind getting tangled up in the sheets with, consider the pros and cons of being FWB (friends with benefits) before you give it a go.

Benefits of FWB

Casual sex and usually whenever you want it. Your friends with benefits partner will usually be more than happy to accommodate you since they get sex out of it as well. The idea of a sexual relationship without the emotional attachment or drama is one of the main attractions to friends with benefits relationship. Neither party is required to commit anymore than their bodies. This makes the hook up even more favorable to anyone not looking for a commitment or has recently left a relationship but doesn't look forward to a dry spell. Lastly, when you think about your friends, there is already a level of comfort established. The pressure to impress in bed is off-though participation is always appreciated!


While you might not be dating your friend or anyone else for that matter, it may not stop him or her from feeling that the sexual relationship is something more. We are, after all human and humans are wrought with emotions that many times, we can't control. So while you might be having fun in the sack, they might be wishing there was more intimacy in the act. The truth is that FWB can destroy what was once a perfectly good friendship. Unlike other relationships friends with benefits aren't easily discussed among friends. Discretion is usually best so while you can talk about the amazing things your sexual partner did to you last night, if you run in the same circle of friends, it might be better not to name drop otherwise it cause awkward moments among the group when everyone is together and that can be another drawback

Lastly, when it comes to dating, if your next squeeze learns that you've carried on in bed with your best guy pal, he may not feel comfortable with the two of you being together. Jealousy can happen even after the FWB relationship is over. Friends with benefits have gained popularity in the dating scene as more people are looking for fun and not the lasting commitment a real relationship can bring. If it's something you're open to, make sure clear rules are set so no one ends up with less or more than they bargained for.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Want a happy relationship? Stop doing this .

I want to talk about the number one way most women sabotage their
Over my many years as a relationship writer, I have observed women tripping
themselves up in one main area and that is: caring too much about the relationship.  
If you want true love, you have to stop caring about it. It may sound counter-
intuitive, but hear me out.  
When I'm talking about caring about your relationship, I'm actually talking about
*stressing* over it...
I care very much about my family... I love them.  My parents, siblings, extended
family-- they are the center of my world and I do everything I can to help them.
I care about them, but I don't stress over them...   
True caring is just simple, it doesn't involve stressing over the person/people you
care about.
Relationships are about discovering the TRUTH about how compatible you are with
another person.  That's all.
That "compatibility" is already set before you and he meet.  It's predetermined... a
relationship is simply the unfolding of events that occur naturally, like two
chemicals combining and producing a reaction.   
It just happens naturally and you watch, observe, and enjoy. You don't attach to it.
You don't force it. You don't fight with it. You just enjoy watching the process
naturally unfold as it's going to.
When you're happy, enjoying the moment, and feeling at ease, you are allowing the
process to just flow naturally.  When you start thinking in a way that feels negative,
you destroy your vibe and you block the process from unfolding.
In essence, all you're doing in a relationship is enjoying being around the other
person. Nothing to think about. Nothing to plan.  Nothing to "make happen."
When two people are incredibly compatible, they will naturally be drawn to one
another and will both want to get closer. Nature has programmed us to be this way.
It's taken care of.
If you come into a relationship with the attitude that there is nothing to care about
or stress over, you won't need to analyze his texting habits or spend endless hours
trying to determine if he likes you and what he meant when he said XYZ. And you
won't be gripped by a fear of loss.  
Personally speaking, when I look at things in a way where I perceive that I could lose
something, then I feel that fear of loss feeling and I start to stress over it.  That stress
feeling can turn something that should have had me feeling only slightly bothered
into a full-blown, long-lasting depression.
Like I've been saying, though, it's all under your control.  It all roots back to the
perspective you take on things. If you look at things in a way where you believe you
could lose something and you're afraid of losing it, you will always experience a fear
of loss. As a result, you will inevitably end up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy (that
is, your negative emotions and mindset will have you behave, or make decisions, in
such a way that brings about exactly what you don't want)...
One of the biggest differences between people who are successful in an area of life
and those who aren't is that the unsuccessful people take on a perspective that
causes them to stress over that area of life, whereas the successful people don't take
on a perspective that stresses them out.
I know you can't turn off the care with the flip of a switch, especially since you've
been programmed to treat relationships a certain way for your entire life, but it's
essential that you have an awareness of what is causing the problems.  From there
you will hopefully find a way to re-train yourself and get to a place where you can
enjoy your relationships without stressing over them.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

How to Get Over a Guy Who Doesn't Care About You

Have a crush on someone? Like someone whom you thought liked you back when in fact he couldn't care less? Or it could be he doesn't know your existence at all? Whatever it is, many people suffer from such situations, leaving them sad, hurt, and depressed. The truth is, the world isn't going to end just because he doesn't feel the same way you do; in fact, it's time to discover your own inner strength and resilience.



1  Be strong and think: So what if he doesn't like me? He is not the only guy in the world. Remember this, he is not one in a million, but rather just one out of a million. Yes, he is not that significant if you put this matter in that perspective.
2 Ask yourself a few questions that can strengthen your resolve to forget him:
  • Why should I waste my time on someone who doesn't care and isn't willing to spend his time on me?
  • Why should I waste my emotions on someone who doesn't reciprocate?
  • Why should I waste my tears on someone who will never know, never care, and wouldn't care?
  • Why should I subject my heart to such pain over someone who doesn't give two hoots about me?
  • Why should I put myself through the arduous torture of missing him, thinking about him, caring about him, and loving him when I gain nothing in return?
  • Why should I get depressed over a man who isn't "the one" and who can ruin my chances of meeting my soul mate?

3 If you have resolved to forget about him and move on, stick with it. Do not hesitate. Do not invent different excuses for you not to move on. 
4  If you are in the situation where you think he might have liked you, and then you realized he wasn't interested, know that it's OK. It happens to everyone. Just move on and please don't dwell on any past 'experiences' that made you think that he liked you. Do not give yourself the opportunity to think that you might still have a chance. If there really was something between the two of you, don't you think something would have already happened? Why wait till the time when you finally realized that it isn't mutual? 
5 Do something that can take your mind off him and this one-sided relationship, even if it's just for a little while. Do not lie in bed, cuddling underneath your blankets and listen to depressing songs. Nope, that isn't going to help-- it will only make you feel worse because all you're going to think about is him, him, and still him! Go for a jog, walk your dogs, clean your room, cook something, bake, do anything! 
6 Think of his negative side. Think of that side of him that isn't favourable. Yes, you might say that you love him so much that you love his negative sides, too. Girl, that isn't going to help. What you are trying to do now is to forget about him and to diminish all those romantic feelings you have for him. (Soon to be- had, remember?
7 Ask yourself: Why do I want to go out with a guy who makes me cry more than smile? Find a guy who will make you smile, dry your tears, and who is always willing to spend his time. A guy who will shower you with love, concern, and affections, not this guy who has indirectly made you give him all and doesn't appreciate it. He is so not worth it.


  • Think about the fact that you will find that one special guy later on in life. Sometimes, women/girls think that because their temporary crush doesn't want them, they will be forever alone. Move on!
  • Be gracious and don't take rejection personally. Know that it wasn't meant to be for a good reason, but that you learnt and grew from the experience; it will help you learn what is right for you.
  • Keep yourself busy, for example in a hobby or simple task.
  • Spend more time with your friends or family. The more you spend with them the easier it is to fill all the sadness in your heart and replace it with happiness.
  • Make more friends! Don't talk too much to him if possible!
  • Don't block him on Facebook or Twitter. He will be able to see how happy you are and that you are strong enough to get through the pain he caused you.
  • If you start to pretend that you don't care and that it doesn't bother you, eventually you really won't care and it really won't bother you. Live your life, invest in yourself.
  • Think about what you deserve and never settle for less than what you deserve.
  • Everyone has faults, so find his and dwell on them. It will make you realize that he's not as good as you thought he was.
  • Every time you see him focus on something you don't like about him.