By Song Hye-won
Love, once spoken primarily in private sectors is now studied and taught in public. Therefore, following the recent change of time many universities are offering classes related to love. At Ewha, a class entitled “Love and Close Relationships in Adulthood” was offered as a major course of Consumer Science and Human Development this semester. The Ewha Voice asked two female students from Ewha, Hwang So-young (English Lang. & Lit., 2), Kim Ha-neul (English Lang. & Lit., 2), and two male students from other universities, Lee Woo-yeon (
E.V.: What affect does dating bring to your college life? Is it good or bad?
Lee W: Compared to high school days, I have much time left on my own. It is generally hard to spend those times meaningfully without firm will or determination to study. I think devoting that time to getting to know someone and develop an intimate relationship is one way to spend a wholesome university life.
Kim: I also think it is positive to date. If we enter the society, we are classified into many categories and strings are attached to many relationships. But as a student, we still can see one another from an equal stance with a pure mind towards other people. It is only now that we can utterly pour all the affection into another human being without considering the circumstances.
Lee J: Another good aspect of dating as a student is that socializing with diverse people in school can help in adjusting well to the real world in the future.
Kim: Nevertheless, disadvantage of dating with only one person carries the possibility of making human relations narrower. For instance, a friend of mine met her boyfriend right after entering university. As she had spent most of her time with him, she had little chance to make new friends, neither boy nor a girl.
Hwang: Dating can also affect your studies when you cannot control your emotions. Even though you control yourself, it is only half done because an intimate relationship is formed on the basis of an interaction of two people.
E.V.: Do you think it is possible to develop your current relationship with your boyfriend or a girlfriend to marriage?
Hwang: Even if I truly love the person, I think it is still impossible to marry if the conditions of each person cannot be met. Men say that women measure in too many angles, but I think which social status that he is in or I am in is important in marriage.
Kim: I also think that marriage and love are different. Even putting aside measuring all the conditions before marrying, I think marriage is a contract between two matured human being. Only when I can wholly support myself will I be ready to live my entire life together with someone else. Thus, financial and mental independence are the prior conditions to marriage.
E.V.: Do male students agree to this idea that love and marriage is different?
Lee W: Passionate love leading to making wedding vows is only possible in TV shows. Love needs constant caring and effort, so I think if financial problems strikes a couple, it will be hard to further develop the relationship into marriage. Also, I think the big difference between love and marriage is that setting out a home requires more responsibility.
Lee J: I also agree. Marrying with only love is making an emotional decision. I think emotions cannot last forever even though the sparks between two people may be important in the beginning of the relationship. Only through rational thinking and discussion can the relationship last long.
E.V.: What do you think about “datemate” which is a coined word indicating a relationship which is closer than a friend but not as deep as lovers?
Hwang: On the bottom line, the relationship between datemates can be materialized only if one side or the other has feelings for the other. So, I think there are many chances that datemates become lovers.
Kim: The term seems to be ambiguous, placed in between friendship and love. If comparing datemates to friends between same sexes, I can have a friend who I can share my deep emotion with and a friend I just enjoy eating and having small talks with. I don’t think it is negative to separate my girl friends for different circumstances. However, whether it is my prejudice, I simply cannot understand making distinction in relationship between a man and a woman.
Lee W: I disagree to a relationship of sparing a person merely for dating for the sake of self-satisfaction only. But I think having a date with someone doesn’t always imply I am in love with that person. Therefore, spending time with a she-friend who I feel comfortable talking to, would not harm the relationship with my real girlfriend.
Lee J: However, there can be problems caused by having a datemate. Because of such light relationships, my attitude towards other friends can be also light.
Hwang: Above all, the problem of datemates seems to lie in the discrepancy between illusion and reality. The idealized image of datemates can be easily seen in personal blogs such as in “Cyworld.” Most of them only show the good parts of having a datemate and many wishful replies follow adoring such relationship.