Posts Tagged ‘밀당’



Some of you may have heard of the term “밀당” before… and some of you may be unfamiliar with this term.  I first heard this phrase about a year ago and I didn’t quite understand it.

밀당 can be a really confusing concept to understand but it is a good cultural phrase to know, especially for those interested in Korean culture and perhaps living in Korea.  With that said, I will do my best to explore the meaning of 밀당 and I do have my opinions about it… so beware of my bias. ㅎㅎㅎ

What is the origin of “밀당”?

The phrase 밀당 mil-dang is a combination of the verbs 밀다 mil-da, to push, and 당기다 dang-gi-da, to pull.  Together, the 2 verbs create a phrase that represents the flirting and power struggle between a couple in a relationship.

How is “밀당” used?

There is usually some confusion as to what is and what isn’t “밀당”… It’s hard to explain, but I will try to give you examples of “밀당.”  For example:

  • A guy and girl have a lot of fun on a date, but then the guy doesn’t call the girl for another date until 1 week later (and he really likes her and wants to see her again)… he is doing “밀당.”
  • A girl picks up a phone call from a guy she really likes after the 3rd time he calls (and she is not busy), then she is doing “밀당.”
  • A guy asks a girl to see a movie and she says she is busy (even though she really likes him and has no plans), she is doing “밀당.”

So “밀당” is kind of like doing something on purpose to make the other person work harder to get you… I guess it’s like “playing hard to get.”

Why do “밀당”?

Most of the time, the girls do it because they want to see how far their guy will go for them.  In other words, they like the attention and want to feel cherished by their boyfriends.  On the other hand, the guys who do it want to establish themselves as the “man” in their relationships.  The guys also want to see some love from their girlfriends!  And… most Korean guys like 밀당”– so it works for most couples… I think.

Now, I personally don’t like “밀당.”  I’ve always liked guys who are straight-forward- if they like a girl, then show it… there is no need to play the whole “catch me if you can!” game…  It’s annoying to have to go through the whole pushing and pulling thing when I have enough to worry about.  My thought is, if 2 people like each other, then like each other happily and openly.  I can understand why girls do it- it’s totally understandable to want to feel special and unique… but isn’t that why the guy chose you out of all the girls in the first place??

 And another thing about “밀당”– I have heard of cases where things go wrong because of this whole concept of “밀당” in Korean culture.  As you know, there are many foreigners in Korea these days and not all of these foreigners are familiar with “밀당.”  So, sometimes, a girl doesn’t like the Korean guy who is hitting on her and rejects him, but then the Korean guy thinks she is doing “밀당,” so he continues to pursue her (most cases, forcefully) because he thinks she really wants him.  In their minds, because of the use of “밀당” in their culture, they think a spoken “no” actually means “yes.”

So, I hope you are a little more educated about the phrase “밀당” and can form your own opinion about it.  I personally don’t like it, but many people do… and even though I don’t like it, I respect it as being a part of Korean culture.

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