And not in a good way.
I suppose it’s not a terrible thing when a nice cute guy likes spending time with you, but I just don’t have the patience for dating.
A few days ago, I headed to his coffee shop thinking I was meeting up with friends. Unfortunately my friends never arrived, but LP and I had a nice chat about Chungju, coffee and travel. As always he was pleasant and funny. He’s got a great sense of humor and most of the time he understands my sarcasm–a rare trait for a Korean. He asked me if I wanted to hang out after work. I said yes since I’m always up for eating. Besides after two weeks of silence I thought for sure he knew I was thinking “friends.”
The next night, we road bikes around Hoamji. In the cool dark night, I started getting this vibe from him that was along the lines of I-like-you-ness in a way I was not comfortable with. I took a deep breath and then did the most unKorean like thing I could.
“I want to be friends,” I said. “What do you want?”
I looked right at him, doing my best to be as Western and honest as possible.
“I want you to be my girlfriend,” he said.
“I’m sorry. I don’t want that.” Then I tried to explain that this isn’t a great time for me to try and be in a relationship. Meanwhile I kept thoughts of dealing with his clinginess (phone calls everyday, checking where I am) to myself. In the short time I’ve known LP, he has done a few things that make me uncomfortable and angry.
I think most of the behavior I don’t like can be chalked up to cultural differences. Most foreigners dating in Korea admit to constant texting and calling from K-Men. And I guess some people like it, I just like to be left alone. Asking where I am seems to be a polite thing to do, even though it totally causes me to freak out about potential stalker-ness. But then there’s the times where LP tells me what to do. It’s not always intentional and at first I was taking it as a joke. (I mean seriously, why would you tell me what to do when you just met m?.)
But then I realized, he means it. I’m supposed to shut up and do what he says. It’s usually small things like buying that piece of ginger root instead of this one, but it still bugs me. Plus telling me how to cook when you are in my kitchen is way not okay. I know how to cook! I don’t care if it’s Korean food. I’ve got a handle on the recipe if I’m willing to feed it to you.
So I was glad to have the adult talk of wants out of the way at Hoamji. I thought that would bring an end to our relationship or at the very least stop the constant contact. It hasn’t.
I don’t have the patience for this. So after dinner tonight, I have every rude intention to ignore his texts and phone calls. (I’m also taking it as a sign that the thing I’m most upset about is no longer going to his coffee shop for some amazing coffee.)