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How to Reject Love in Korean
Hello everyone! Many people asked me how you graciously reject someone you are not interested in. Today I will tell you how to reject someone who asks for a date in Korean! I know! This sounds somewhat cruel, but if you know these expressions, you might hurt him or her less, right?
Before going further, in Korea there is this special culture, that is 고백. The literal meaning of 고백 is confession, but usually 고백 means “asking someone to be official girlfriend or boyfriend”. Not all Korean people do 고백 but 고백 is a common thing that most Korean people have experienced. Before becoming an official couple, most Koreans ask “will you be my girlfriend/boyfriend?”
Now is the time to think carefully. If you answer yes, you will be officially in a relationship. If you’re not sure about this person or if he or she is not your type, we would want to say “no”. So, today, let’s talk about how to reject in a situation like this in Korean! Let’s start.
- 친구로 지내자 / 아는 오빠 동생 사이로 지내자
Let’s stay as friends / We are in the friend zone
Perhaps this method of rejection is the same in most countries in the world. Lol. This is a very common expression when you think that he or she is a good friend, but not as a lover. So let’s see an example.
뭐하고 있어? 나 할말이 있는데. Hey. How are you doing? I have something to tell you.
응 뭔데? What is it?
나 너 좋아해. I like you.
미안… 난 친구로 지내자. Sorry. I think of you just as a friend.
- 좋아하는 사람 있어 / 남자친구 여자친구 있어
I like someone else / I have a boyfriend/girlfriend
These expressions are not used when you reject 고백, but rather to reject someone who asks for a date. You are not that close to this person, but he or she is interested in you.
이번 주말에 뭐해? What are you doing this weekend?
딱히. Not much.
그럼 주말에 나랑 데이트할까? Do you wanna go on date with me?
미안 나 남자친구 있어. Sorry I’m dating someone.
- 지금은 일/공부에 집중하고 싶어요
I want to focus on my work/study now
This expression sounds like the best white lie. Many people want to focus on their work or their own experiences. Especially in Korea, many people believe they should not be in a relationship when they are a student. These beliefs seem to have made them think that even when they become an adult, they should not be in a relationship in order to be able to focus on their work. It’s kind of sad though.
왜 이렇게 얼굴 보기가 힘들어! 어떻게 지냈어? It’s been a long time! how have you been?
진짜 오랜만이네! 요즘 진짜 바빠, 이직 때문에. Long time no see. I’m getting too busy. Trying to change my job.
진짜 바빠보이네.. 이번 주말에 시간있으면 드라이브라도 갈까? I can tell you’re busy. If you have time this weekend, do you wanna go for a drive?
물어봐 줘서 고마워! 그런데 나 정말로 일에 집중해야할 시기라서. 미안해
Thank you for asking! But now I am really trying to focus on my work. I’m so sorry.
- 연애를 하고싶지 않아요
I don’t want to be in a relationship
There may be various reasons, but there are people who feel satisfaction and happiness when they are alone. So they don’t want a romantic relationship at the moment, because they are already happy and comfortable even when they are alone. In that case, most of them say, “I like being alone”, “I don’t want to date.”
크리스마스 이브에 계획 있어? 없으면 우리 데이트할래? Do you have any plans for Christmas Eve? If you don’t, do you wanna go out with me?
미안. 시간이 없는데.. I’m sorry. my calendar is full.
괜찮아. 그럼 다음주는 어때? That’s ok. What about next weekend?
미안, 나 연애할 생각이 없어. Sorry dude. I don’t want to date someone now.
- 당신에게 잘해 줄 자신이 없어요
I am not sure that I am a good match for you
Oh, it sounds really sad, but also very honest. In my personal opinion, I prefer to reject firmly when I have to reject someone rather than giving them any hope. This expression is very decisive to express your rejection to the other person. It’s not that you are not interested in dating, but you don’t want to be in a relationship with this person. Let’s see an example.
나랑 오늘부터 사귈래? I want to be your boyfriend.
미안.. 나 너에게 잘해줄 자신 없어. Sorry I don’t think we are going to work out.
그렇구나. 그래도 너와 좋은 시간을 보내서 좋았어. That’s fine. I was glad that we could spend time together.