Did you know that since South Korea is still technically at ‘war’ with North Korea, every Korean men are obligated to join the military service for over twenty months? Most Korean guys between the age of 19 to ~24 spend almost two years of their youth segregated and isolated from the society in their own camp serving and defending the nation. Separated from the society also includes, being away from their girlfriends. While their boyfriends are away defending the country the girlfriends of the soldiers wait for them to come back to them, and we have a name for these girls; they’re called “‘GgomMusSin (gomoosin)’ (고무신)” which actually means rubber shoes.
The term gomusin applies to females who have sent their beloved ones into the army. It is still possible to Ccommunicatione and go out on dates, but just not enough is possible and occasional dates can happen, but not as much as they’d like it to.. Most gomusins choose to spend their time focuseding on other work or their studies to keep their mind off the fact that their boyfriend cannot be by their side at the moment. If a gomusinthe shows much perseverance and waits until her boyfriend to get discharged girls can keep their patience and wait for her man to return to the society from the army, then she is then upgraded to a ‘“ggotsin’ (꽃신),” which means a flower shoes.
However, becoming a ‘ggotsin’ is very hard to do. We have a saying in Korean “‘Yil-mal-sang-cho’ (일말상초)” which is an derivation carrying the meaning “‘Ttowards the end of private rank and the beginning of corporal rank” in army terms. ’. This unfortunate saying depicts the reality of a gomusin couple. Usually in about a year, which is when the soldiers become a private or a corporal, either the girlfriend “‘puts on the gomusin backwards,”’ (wwhich means the girl leaves her boyfriendhim, ) or the guy decides he to ‘let her go’. In English we have some similar terms such as ‘writing a Dear John letter’.
A famous gomusin celebrity couple that made it to ggotsin status is singer ‘ Rain’ and actress Taehee Kim‘Kim Tae Hee’. According to sources, these love birds met at a commercial shoot and started seeing each otherdating from the from late 2012. Kim Tae HeeAs Rain got discharged from the army in 2013 summer, Taehee Kim has had officially become a flower shoe on July, 2013 and their relationship is still going on strong.
An example of a celebrity couple that never made it to becoming thea flower shoes status is Yoo In NaInna You and Ji Hyun WooHyunwoo Ji couple. These ex-loversThe duo met on a k-drama set acting as a couple which eventually led to off-camera romance. Unfortunately, their romance ended shortly before Ji Hyun Woo’sHyunwoo Ji’s discharge.
A famous international gomusin couple is a British youtuber Ali Abbot. Her video of reuniting her boyfriend whom she met through pen-pals for the first time after his discharge became viral on YouTube last year. Started out as pen-pals, the video footage captures well the heartfelt star cross lovers story.
Being a gomusin is extremely hard and emotionally exhausting; therefore those who make it through are categorized as the top 1%. But, here’s the thing ladies. Despite the difficulties hardships and the exhaustion of endless waiting, it would all be worth it when your man comes out of the army and the time spent apart made the relationship much stronger if it’s the right man. Hwaiting!