From back hugs to dramatic rescues, k-dramas have so much to teach us about romance, but perhaps even more importantly, they have much to teach us about how to ruin a romance faster than you can say saranghae. Below are five no-nos gleaned from k-dramas that show us all that there are some things love just cannot endure.

1. Never co-sign a loan for your bae

If there is one thing I have learned from k-dramas, it is to never let someone else touch my money. My solution? I bury it all in jars in the backyard. But even if you aren’t a prepper like me, k-dramas teach us that the road to hell is paved with loan sharks and scurrilous ex-boyfriends. Unless you have a Goblin handy to slice a loan shark’s car in two, know that love does not equal loans.


(Goblin)

2. Always keep your eyes on the road

They say love makes you blind, but do you know how many k-dramas would not even exist past episode 2 if people just freaking looked both ways before crossing the street instead of staring off longingly at the one they love? And conversely when you are the driver, keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel so you don’t go and have an accident of your own. You can’t have a romance when one of you is dead (okay, actually in k-drama land you totally can, but you get my point.) Safety first. Love second.


(Eyes on the road, Oppa! From Nice Guy)

3. Don’t plot with his evil mother or your evil mother or anyone evil

A healthy relationship with the family is great, but no matter how much you love the other person, you need to not be making deals with the devil or devil-in-law to get you there. And if you are trying to win your bae’s family over to gain a competitive advantage against a love rival, don’t plot, don’t lie, and especially don’t ever send your rival to any isolated places alone like rooftops or alleyways. Nothing good can come of this. Nothing.

(The evilist of evil moms, from Boys Over Flowers)

4. Don’t pretend to be something you are not

Okay, whether you are a nun in training pretending to be her rock-and-roll brother, a girl sneaking into an all-boys school to help her athlete crush, the spitting image of someone else who happens to be rich and you are poor, or just a Goblin with a heavy past, there is so little that is right about pretending to be something you are not. All’s well that ends well, but really why not just be yourself and save everyone 16-20 episodes worth of heartache and lies? Exceptions allowed for amnesiac chaebols and time-traveling princes, because what choice do they have, really.

(Mask)

5. Don’t fight fate. But fight fate.

This is a tricky one, because either way you are screwed. But nothing is harder to watch then a second lead trying to break into a predestined love story. It is just not going to happen, bro. Conversely however, there is nothing more frustrating than watching someone refuse to fight for the one they love because it seems hopeless because of money, family, or destiny. Just get in there and fight for love. Or don’t. Whatever. 

(Heirs)

So there you have it, five moves from the k-drama playbook destined to take you from hero to second lead of your own love story in a hot minute. Any no-nos I missed? 


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COMING SOON

Tomorrow With You

Starring Shin Min Ah and Lee Je Hoon

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