The 5 Best Dating Sites in South Korea (What I Learned)

korean_woman

A Korean woman

Here is the quick list of the top five dating sites in South Korea. I’ll go into more detail in my reviews later in this article.

  1. KoreanCupid
  2. AsianDating
  3. Tinder
  4. MEEFF
  5. 1km

I’m a big fan of South Korea and always have been. I have members of my family who are of Korean-descent, and, when I was a child, I used to eat Korean specialties such as kimchi and bulgogi. Korean women can be quite attractive too.

Your best bet if you are looking to have success is to book a ticket to Seoul and find a hotel or apartment somewhere in the center part of the city. From there, you can then begin to send messages on the sites I mention below and line up dates.

If you are determined to get a Korean sweetheart, you definitely can succeed. You will have to work hard and prepare for the inevitable rejections, but that is a small price to pay for having a hot Korean woman on your arm.

dating_in_south_korea

Dating in South Korea

Without further ado, here are my detailed reviews of the top dating sites and apps in South Korea.

1. KoreanCupid

KoreanCupid is the best online dating site in Korea. If I only had money to spend on one site, this is the site that I would sign up for.

korean_cupid

Korean Cupid

KoreanCupid is run by one of my most favorite online dating companies, Cupid Media. Cupid Media owns sites that I’ve used in the past like LatinAmericanCupid and Afrointroductions, when I was living in Brazil and South Africa, respectively.

The site was started in 2004 to help singles worldwide connect and match with South Koreans. KoreanCupid is something of an anomaly when it comes to dating sites, because there are actually more women on the site than men.

If you’re looking for Korean women, this will be a valuable resource for you as the vast majority of its members are actually from South Korea. Look out for obviously fake profiles using celebrity photos for their profiles though.

Sign up Process

Life is busy these days, and KoreanCupid makes signing-up a breeze. Start by entering your name, gender, email and a password or syncing your Facebook account. Finish by describing yourself and your life, and what your ideal match would be like.

Your profile is not actually complete at this point, but it’s up to you whether or not you want to finish it now, or start searching profiles right away. If you elect to move forward with your profile unfinished, get ready to be occasionally asked to complete a bit more of your profile before continuing.

How to Locate Potential Matches

You have two options for searches: browsing matches and performing your own detailed search, narrowed down by criteria such as location, education, body type, ethnicity, and much more. Browsing is helpfully customizable, with different options for viewing profiles and sorting the search results.

How to Communicate with Other Members

As a non-paying member, your basic communication options are restricted to visiting profiles, “showing interest” in them, adding them to your Favorites, and sending messages that can’t be read until one of you decides to upgrade to a Gold or Platinum plan. Though upgrading may feel like a forced decision, the perks are adequately rewarding: IM, audio, and even video chat.

Unique Site Features

Three unique features have served me well on KoreanCupid:

  1. Video messages – Whether it’s chatting with someone live, sending video messages to potential matches, or posting a video welcome-message on your profile, KoreanCupid puts video to better use than most any other dating site out there.
  2. Anti-spam protection – Profile ID verification and vigilant spam-profile removals ensure that for whatever profile you see, the person on the other end will be who they say they are.
  3. Message translator – How does it get any better than this? Type out your message as normal, select your target language, click and button, and voila! Just like that, you are bilingual, or at least, close enough.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Standard – Craft customized searches, browse recommended matches, send interest, communicate with premium members
  • Gold – All of the above, plus: Unlimited messaging and communication with other profiles (text, audio, video, Instant Messaging), ad-free browsing, invisible browsing
  • Platinum – All of the above, plus: Better search rank for your profile, double the profile space, access to advanced matching algorithms, message translation, VIP profile highlighting, extra search features

2. AsianDating

asian_dating

Asian Dating

AsianDating is part of the Cupid Media network and has over 1 million members. Like the rest of the sites in the Cupid Media network, AsianDating has a user-friendly interface and design.

Although sign-up is free, the free membership is limiting; however, the site does provide excellent features to its premium members.

My only real complaint with the site was the amount of spam messages I received shortly after signing up. Luckily, after weeding these members out, you are left with real women who genuinely want to make a connection.

Overall, AsianDating is an excellent site. If you are Korean or are simply looking to meet a Korean single, then check out AsianDating.

Sign up Process

Signing up for AsianDating is fast, easy, and convenient. You can use your Facebook account to initially join or sign up by typing in your personal credentials on the website. The last step in the sign-up process is to write a little about yourself, specifying the traits you want in an ideal match.

Once that is done, sign-up is complete. Although your overall profile is not technically finished, you can leave it as-is for now and begin browsing.

How to Locate Potential Matches

The two methods generally used to find potential mates and ’match-hunt’ are browsing and searching. Browsing offers a mode where you can briefly peruse through matches or access full profiles if desired.

The search feature is more extensive and allows you to craft a search according to a specific criteria. This can be age, location, education, body type, ethnicity, lifestyle choices, marital status, religion, and even astrological sign. Naturally, you can save these custom searches for future use.

How to Communicate with Other Members

If you’re serious about connecting with other members and forming romantic connections with them in real life, I strongly recommend that you upgrade to a Gold or Platinum membership.

Members who are not Gold or Platinum are limited to the few options offered by basic messaging. You are only able to visit profiles, “show interest”, add profiles to your list of Favorites, and send messages that are otherwise private and can only be read if you are a premium member.

Upon upgrading, all messages can be accessed, and communications are freely open to both you and your potential match. Media communications such as audio, video, and IM chat options are readily available as well.

Unique Site Features

What sets AsianDating apart from other matchmaking and online dating sites is its unique message translation feature. With this feature, you can translate your messages into your preferred language with just one click. The language barrier that might otherwise pose a problem is completely broken down with this convenient tool.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Standard – Sign up, fill out profile, upload photos, customize searches, send interest to other profiles, communicate Gold/Platinum members
  • Gold – All of the above, plus: Unlimited messaging and communication with other profiles (text, audio, video, Instant Messaging), ad-free browsing, invisible browsing
  • Platinum – All of the above, plus: Rank above other members in searches, doubled profile space, VIP profile highlighting, platinum-exclusive search features, advanced matching algorithms, message translation

3. Tinder

Tinder

Tinder

Tinder is a geosocial online dating application that enables users to swipe anonymously on other profiles within a certain radius to secure matches. Since it’s launching in 2012, Tinder has become one of the most popular dating apps worldwide.

Sign up Process

The sign-up process to register for Tinder is relatively straightforward, and there are three main options: Facebook, Google, or your phone number. When it comes to creating your profile, plan on sticking to five hundred characters or less and try to say something witty or funny. Be up front about what you’re looking for. Include your height (since some men and women can be very picky) and a number of photos. All in all, the profiles for Tinder are basic, but they work.

How to Locate Potential Matches

Locating potential matches on Tinder is simple: you’ll be shown the profile photo of a potential match with the opportunity to view their full profile, and then you either swipe left or right.

If the person you swiped right on swipes right on your profile as well, you’ll make a match with the ability to communicate with one another. You’re limited to fifty to one hundred right swipes a day, unless you upgrade to a paid membership.

You can narrow down the potential matches shown to you by age and geographical location, but your options for doing so beyond that are limited. There are no personality quizzes (like many other dating sites have, for instance) to further narrow your options.

How to Communicate with Other Members

You’re allowed to exchange messages with other users only after you’ve made a match, meaning both of you have swiped right on each other’s profiles. You can then text message one another directly through Tinder’s messaging system, or you have the option to video call or voice chat one another as well.

Unique App Features

Tinder offers many general and advanced features. Examples of Tinder’s basic app features include the location-based social search, the ability to set dating preferences for potential matches, location-based suggestions, and the in-app messenger.

However, the application also has recently added a number of advanced features that help improve its overall functionality. These include the passport feature (where you can search by city on a map to begin liking and matching) and the ability to access the app offline without an Internet connection. The latter feature alone has greatly helped to increase Tinder’s engagement.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

Besides the basic version of Tinder, you can upgrade to two other membership levels: Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. 

Tinder Plus offers you unlimited likes per day, rewinding, five super likes, one boost, passport, and no advertisements. 

Tinder Gold offers all of the Tinder Plus options, in addition to the top pick features (where Tinder will match you with other profiles who it believes you will be most compatible with) and being able to see who has swiped right on your own profile (so you can decide whether or not to match with them). 

4. MEEFF

Meeff

MEEFF

Whether you are planning a trip to South Korea and want to make friends beforehand, or simply enjoy South Korean culture, MEEFF is the site where you can make Korean friends. Although it is set up as a dating site, the main objective of MEEFF is to find friends for a language exchange, tour around Korea, or to talk about Korean culture such as K-Pop.

Whether you are interested in simply finding friends or looking for something more romantic, MEEFF is a discovery app for all things Korean.

Despite the premise of the site being to meet Koreans, you can actually change your setting to look for speakers of over 54 different languages. This can be with the goal of finding friends within those nationalities or to learn one of those languages.

Sign up Process

Signing up on MEEFF begins with the option to do so through Facebook, your Apple ID (on iOS), or your email.

You will be asked for your preferred name, gender, date of birth, language you speak, the language (and level of ability) you want your friend to speak, and finally your nationality. It is important to note that once you input your nationality you cannot change it, and you can also choose the option to not be seen by those of the same nationality.

Next, you should upload at least one photo, but you are allowed up to five photos of yourself. You will also be asked to write an “About Me,” that will allow you to write what you are interested in and who you are looking to meet. After you finish your About Me, your profile will be complete, and you can begin with changing your settings regarding what you are looking for in friends.

How to Locate Potential Matches

There are two tabs in which you can look for potential new friends, Explore and Lounge. 

Explore allows you to scroll through different profiles, while pressing the X icon to pass, or the heart icon to “pick”. The match options are located on the top right corner of the explore tab. Here you can say which gender or genders you would like to meet, as well as their age range, distance from you, languages they speak, and preferred nationality. 

In the Lounge tab, you can view who has picked you and have 24 hours to respond. If you want to chat with any of the people who have already picked you, simply click on their profile and press the heart button. This will place them into your “ready to chat” folder which allows either of you to begin a conversation.

How to Communicate with Other Members

In order to move from a match to a chat, you will need to select a member that is in your “ready to chat,” and click “start chatting.” You will then be moved into a chat room in your “Chat” tab.

The chat room has an automatic translation option for 20 rubies. This will allow you to speak with anyone all over the world (within the approved 54 languages), even if you cannot speak the same language.

You also have the option to start conversations with people on the “Today” tab. You can take your chance to send a “pick,” or pay 10 rubies to immediately start a conversation.

Unique App Features

Pass or pick: Sift through the different friend options by pressing “pass” or “pick”. 

Filter options: Choose between what gender, nationality, or language speaker you would like to make friends with. 

Rubies: This is MEEFF’s currency. Rubies allow you to perform different filtering options, become invisible, enjoy premium chat rooms (with auto-translation), secretly re-enter a chat room you left, or immediately begin chatting with friends by presenting them with rubies. You can purchase rubies in the “Shop” section of the settings. 

Ruby Quest: Found on the setting page, each week you will have a set of quests in order to earn rubies. This might include 2 rubies as a reward for liking 10 members, or 3 rubies for opening a new chat with five members. There is also the opportunity for free rubies by completing sponsored quizzes and surveys in the Ruby mine. 

Daily Quest: Each day that you log into the app will continue your streak, and each day missed with reset your count. There are milestones within the daily quest that rewards you with bonus rubies. 

For example, day 3 will give you five rubies, day 7 awards you 15 rubies, an 11-day streak provides a 30-ruby bonus. The longest streak day, 15, is 50 rubies. 

How Popular Am I?: This feature tells you which country you are most popular in, and which country you are the least popular in. 

Features that must be purchased with rubies:

TODAY page: This tab allows members to post their profiles by paying with rubies. The idea behind this is that by being on the today tab you will be viewed by more friends (or potential lovers) and have more options to choose from. To be a profile on the Today tab you must bid (with rubies) for spots 1, 2, 3 or 4, on page 1-25. The higher page and spot you bid for, the larger number of rubies required. You will retain your spot for 24 hours. 

Travel flag: 30 rubies, allows you to explore friends in a specific location. 

Cross filtering: Starts at 2 rubies per day and only allows the people who you have set in your filter conditions to request to be your friend. 

Invisibility: Starts at 2 rubies per day, and allows you to be invisible while swiping through the Explore tab. 

History viewer: Starts at 10 rubies per day. It allows you to view the profiles that you have said pass or pick to within the last 10 days. 

Premium chat room: This 20-ruby purchase provides automatic translation as well as the ability to send photos in the chat room. 

Restore chat room: For 20 rubies, if you happen to leave a chat room, you can secretly re-enter without hurting your friend’s feelings. 

Chat now: For a 30 ruby initial purchase, you receive the option to pay 10 rubies to a potential new friend in order to chat immediately without needing to match. 

Undo (X): 5 rubies to undo a “pass” decision. 

Reset All: For 50 rubies you will be able to maintain your entire friend’s list, but reset every pass or pick choices that you have made. 

What is Included in Each Membership Level

There are not necessarily membership levels on MEEFF, but rather the option for the free or ad-free version. The purchase of rubies will also greatly affect your experience in the app, but can be earned slowly through quests, or ruby quest quizzes and surveys.

5. 1km

1km

1km

The title of the app itself gives you the basic premise about what the dating app is all about. Anyone within 1 kilometer of each other can match up using their mobile device. Of course, the one catch is the app is targeted towards the Korean population. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be Korean to join the site, but most of the content on the app is in that language, and more than 95% of its users are Korean.

1km is most popular in South Korea but can also be used throughout the world to match Koreans up that are near each other.

Sign up Process

If you have a Facebook account, you can join and login through there and verify your phone number or email account to quickly be set up and ready to go.

Like most all social networking dating apps, you will need to verify yourself before getting started. After that, you fill out your preferences in what you are looking for and construct a basic profile of yourself.

You will be required to fill out your age, region, gender, and what you are looking for in your ideal match. You can add photos and be creative with your 1km profile. You can choose four photos that you want to be displayed to your matches. There isn’t much of a verification process, however, so you need to be careful of communicating with other members who aren’t real.

How to Locate Potential Matches

Searching for matches is straightforward since 1km will display to you all the people within one kilometer of where you are based on your phone’s GPS data. You can also search for other users further than 1km, and the matches will list exactly how far away they are from you.

What’s unique is, unlike most dating apps that show you just one photo, 1km will show you four photos all in a line. It also tells you the last time they logged in before having to click on their profile. Navigation is smooth, and you can set your filters to search exactly what you’re looking for. Each profile shows you status updates, just like you can make on Twitter or Facebook, and lets you see when they made that update.

The caveat with 1km is you could be in a region and area where there simply aren’t a lot of users. Outside of South Korea or in a population where there aren’t a lot of Koreans living in that city, it can be very desolate. You may not be able to match up many other potential singles. Just keep that in mind when looking for your ideal match.

How to Communicate with Other Members

Once you match with another member, you are free to send that person a message. Just a note of warning, however; if you don’t speak Korean to them, they may not respond. However, it’s pretty straightforward on messaging compared to many other services. You can also take part in daily chats with other members and meet people through there, including clubs.

Unique App Features

One of the best site features is the clubs. You can join different clubs and chat with others who have the same interest you do.

You can join running clubs, hiking clubs, computer clubs, and so many others. Just keep in mind many people on the site are Korean and will communicate in Korean, so unless you have special software that translates appropriately, it could be tough to chat with others if you are unable to communicate in a language they are familiar with.

One recommendation that many have made is adding a translation feature so non-Koreans can chat with Koreans. Other apps have used it, and it will be beneficial for 1km to take the next step and move to a translation setting on their app.

Final Verdict

1km is free to use so there are no restrictions on what you can do. It is similar to an enhanced version of Korean Facebook. It’s a social networking app that can match you up with others close to you and allow you to connect with others through clubs that have similar hobbies as you.

In South Korea, there’s no doubt this app can be successful for you, and for Koreans in America who live in areas where the Korean population is high, it can work out. But it’s simply not going to be popular if you are away from those areas.

Further Reading

  • Worldwide Online Dating Site Reviews: Be sure to check out my country-by-country reviews of the best online dating sites in the world.

  • Worldwide Moving Guide: Everything you need to know in order to plan your move to 65+ countries around the world.

  • Worldwide Jobs Guide: If you are interested in working in this country, be sure to check out my posts on how to find jobs in this country and other countries around the world.

  • Worldwide Apartments Guide: If you are interested in renting an apartment in another country, take a look at my articles on how to find an apartment in various countries around the world.

About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. You can learn more about me here. Connect with me by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or check out my website Automatic Addison where I build robots and embedded systems.

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