What are your goals for 2015? Weight loss, saving up, quitting bad habits? How about the most amazing feeling in the world – love? For those singles out there, you might have put down finding my ideal man/woman as the New Year’s goal. If so, keep a close eye on this post. Even if you’re not single, you might want to pay attention to this because we met Korea’s No.1 love & relationship expert Lee Jae Mok. Let’s have a quick peek into his job and listen to his relationship advices.
在新的一年你有什麼目標？減肥？儲蓄？還是戒掉壞習慣？那麼追求愛情又如何呢？如果你早以放棄追求理想對象，那麼你就要留意這篇文章！名草／花有主的你，也不要錯過，因為我們將會跟韓國首屈一指的愛情關係專家Lee Jae Mok來個對談，了解一下他的工作以及聽聽他對兩人關係有什麼建議。
L: Lee Jae Mok | Hf: HOKK fabrica
Hf: Hello. Please introduce yourself.
L: I am a professional love consultant of Korea’s largest marriage information company DUO. I have been working here for 13 years. I plan events, speak at lectures, appear on TV shows and write books on relationship advices.
ON BEING A LOVE CONSULTANT
Hf: How did you become a love consultant?
L: I actually started off my career as a comedian after graduating from Dongguk University with a degree in political science. Back then, being a comedian was what I was good at, so I did that. Afterwards, I switched my career as a love consultant by working at DUO. Through the past 13 years at DUO, I have been recognized as a star consultant and have been invited to TV shows and seminar/lectures to give love advices. One common factor that runs along my life path is that all the activities I did focus on relationships and how to influence others. Maybe that’s why I became an expert in this field.
Hf: What does your job entail?
L: I write columns, books and do interviews for matchmaking. I manage matchmaking programs and events such as choosing the location, target and ways to promote events. In a nutshell, I do matchmaking through parties. Normally at these events, we have a MC and different programs to get strangers know each other.
Hf: What kind of people seek for your help?
L: Mainly introverts come seek our help or those who haven’t had the chances to meet their life partner due to grueling work. We regard ourselves as assistants in which we could make a comfortable atmosphere for event participants to get to know each other and possibly develop good feelings. I feel like Koreans don’t receive proper education on love whether it’s emotional or physical, and they never question the nature of marriage itself. I think the Korean society has communication problems. It is DUO and my job to create as much opportunities we can to provide education on human emotions and relationships – how to relate with others.
Hf: What are some perks and downs of your job?
L: I would have to say the best part of my job is to see people who were inept in relationships to find someone through my company’s events and eventually tie the knot. I found myself shedding a tear recently when I officiated two weddings – both of which were possible with the help of me and my company. However, sometimes there are situations when event participants cheat on their existing partners. Since our company holds events aimed at finding the best partner for marriage, there are situations when the male participant’s girlfriend (or someone they’re seeing) rant into the event hall and accuse him of cheating. Our company would be able to check out the participants’ marital status by going through office databases, but we can’t possibly figure out if the participants are seeing anyone, so it breaks my heart sometimes when I see situations like that.
Hf: Should you be friends with your ex?
L: To answer this, I have to say that I am against the statement that men and women can be friends. Attraction to the opposite sex is natural, and I don’t see how or why reason can overcome emotions and split couples can see each other with 100% reason. There are two consequences for the split couple if they see each other after the breakup – the one I just mentioned, and the other with being sex partners. Which one do you think will have a higher chance? Definitely the second one. However, if someone out there would disagree and rebut my statement saying “I am good friends with my ex,” then I have nothing to say since it goes back to the bottom line that everybody is different.
中：要答這個的話，我必須說我反對「男女是可以做朋友」這道理，異性相吸是正常的，但我看不見也找不到為什麼理由可以蓋過情感，也看不到為何一對分開了的情侶會有百份百的理由去見面，一對情侶會在分手後見面只有兩種情況，一種是我之前所說（在相親活動碰面），另一種則是把對方當作性伴侶，而你認為那種情況的機會會較高呢？當然是後者。 不過如果有人反駁說：「我跟前度是好朋友。」， 那我也沒話說，畢竟每個人也不同。
Hf: Should you move in together with your partner before marriage?
L: I would say no. People talk, act and behave differently on various occasions and moving in together with your partner before marriage would impose less responsibility on the two compared to marriage. Therefore, couples would show their ugly sides, not go out on dates a lot and break up easily if they think living together doesn’t work out. However, for married couples, it’s different. They have responsibilities and duties as a married couple and will try to maintain the relationship if living together was a bit rusty.
Hf: How should couples overcome religious differences?
L: I think it’s all about understanding. If two people couldn’t have that much space to understand each other, they shouldn’t have begun the relationship in the first place.
Hf: Any final remarks?
L: Everyone is different. You never know anyone until you meet them in person and get to know them better. I would advise the readers not to take trending relationship advices such as “10 ways to make a boyfriend” or “5 things that guys would find attractive in girls” seriously, since, after all, everyone’s different. For instance, some people like being greeted loudly upon entering a restaurant, and others, simply just don’t like it and find it annoying. Same rule goes for human relationships. You have to get to know that person and find out what his/her tastes are like and act accordingly. Treating people at a party has to be different for alcohol lovers and those who don’t drink. Wise decision needs to be made on how you will act with these different kinds of people and people need to know how to embrace diversity.
Photos courtesy of Lee Jae Mok