I thought it’d be fun to share a funny first date experience I had this year. After coming to terms with the shock of it all, I think it’s pretty hilarious how I didn’t see it coming.

First meeting

Him: Hi.

Me: Hi there! Nice to meet you. My name is Julena, what’s your name?

This is how the conversation that led to my first date here in Korea started. The conversation, harmless as it was, started under the pretext of language exchange through an app called HelloTalk and the whole conversation continued under that pretext. I had heard that some guys used this app to pick up girls but he hadn’t happened to me in the nearly 3 years I had been using it, so I didn’t really pay attention to it.

Word of advice: If you are learning a language and wish to speak with native speakers from that country but aren’t looking to date, be clear about it.

I had been messaging and had many people messaging me about language exchange on this app, so I didn’t think anything of it when he messaged me. Through the messages, I could tell he was kind of quiet and I had carry most of it but he did well with responding to my questions, so I held my end of the deal and responded back. Our messages were friendly and light. Nothing in them would suggest anything otherwise so when he asked if we could meet in person I agreed. I mean, I had met most of my Korean friends through of this app previously, both guys and girls, so I wasn’t too concerned.

We met up on Sunday afternoon. I was coming from another language exchange before meeting up with him and hadn’t eaten lunch, so I decided to get lunch with him. I don’t know when things shifted from a mere language exchange to a date, but, sooner than it realized night had fallen and we had been hanging out for the past 8 hours.

What exactly did we do for that long?

The meeting started off with us eating lunch together and since it was my idea to go for lunch, I offered to pay for both of our meals but he insisted and paid for the both of us. Feeling kind of awkward about it, (it’s not normal for people to pay for each other if they are just exchanging languages, right?) I insisted we go for ice cream or to a cafe, my treat. We ended up getting ice cream.

Due to the nice weather, I asked him if he wanted to go and sit down in a cafe or go to a park someplace and walk around for a bit. Him, in true Korean fashion, was okay with anything. As I said before, I had just come from another language exchange meeting before this guy and didn’t really want to sit inside a cafe for another two hours, so I thought it’d be great to get some exercise in while talking with him. Kill two birds with one stone, right?


As soon as we started walking it got unbearably hot, and instead of going a cafe, like a normal person, I took him to the cafe and we sat under a pavilion.

It got awkward fast.

Hating awkward silence, I asked him if he was bored and surprisingly he answered back with an fast and honest, “yes”. 😂 I asked him what he wanted do and he responded with the classic, “I don’t know. I’m okay with anything.”🙄 Recalling our earlier conversations through messaging, I remembered him saying he loved watching movies so, I whipped out my phone and suggested we watched a movie together.

Things picked up from there.

Having something to talk about, the time flew as we walked and talked about various things and before I knew it, night had fallen.

Telling him goodbye, I went home thinking to myself that it was an odd language exchange outing. Up until that time, if I hadn’t become friends with that person online and met up with them, the outing only lasted for a couple of hours, so I naturally,I thought it was slightly odd it lasted for so long. However, I didn’t want to assume anything without solid evidence, and besides talking and walking around for the past 8 hours, he didn’t show any signs of interest. Besides, I had thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Yet, I didn’t count this encounter as a date. Sure, it lasted longer than normal but that could happen, right?

It was excusable.

It was on our second meet up however, that I started to feel that maybe this guy wasn’t just interested in exchanging languages with me. Taking someone for a late, night drive and whisking them off to an island suggests that you aren’t just interested in learning English, right?

But that’s a story for another time.

Until next time,

See ya around, friend~~

Posted by:ThatKoreanLife

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