One of the most taboo and sensitive topics when it comes to the K-Pop industry is dating. Most idols have restrictions in place when it comes to dating because of the impact it has on fandoms and their popularity.
Over the years, K-Pop has seen some of the most iconic couples be revealed…
There are even idols who are married to non-celebrities who are building a life alongside their idol duties by getting married and having children.
Yet, one international fan has recently gone viral after their tweet about the topic of idols dating. In the post, the OP has gained over 400,000 likes as they explained how shocking it was that K-Pop idols feel the need to hide relationships and even have to apologize if the news is revealed.
isn’t it insane how kpop idols have to hide their partners, and if they get caught not being single they’re forced to APOLOGISE for ruining the delusion of their fans’ parasocial relationships
— yasmin (@ycsm1n) November 8, 2022
Even though the views are changing on idols dating, the OP raised some points as most relationships are revealed by news outlets, such as Dispatch. Also, when news is released, most idols issue “apologies.”
For example, when Crush‘s relationship with Red Velvet‘s Joy was released, the idol shared a statement where he seemingly apologized to his fans.
My heart is heavy thinking about my fans that will be even more taken aback at the sudden news and also perhaps even sad about it.. I’ll be grateful if you can look upon us positively with benevolence. I will make sure to take responsibility and show everyone who has always supported me unconditionally and supported me with love, a good side of me.
Similarly, after iKON‘s Bobby announced he was getting married and having a child, his own Instagram post included the phrase, “I sincerely apologize to those who feel hurt or confused by this.”
Even when HyunA and DAWN announced their relationship, they were made to leave CUBE Entertainment. Although HyunA was a soloist and could continue performing, DAWN was made to leave PENTAGON.
Yet, although these idols have recently gained more positive views on dating from fans, in the past, many weren’t so lucky. When EXO‘s Chen announced his marriage, fans started a campaign to kick the member out of his group. It cemented the attitude the OP believes many fans have.
After the tweet was shared, thousands of fans reacted to the OP’s message. While many tried to defend international fans, explaining that their views weren’t as extreme as Korean fans, some agreed that netizens could react in similar ways.
Others shared how serious the issue of “parasocial” relationships with idols was, sharing that the media and K-Pop companies’ narrative around idols and fans was enforcing these ideas that it wasn’t “normal” for stars to date.
The issue of dating in K-Pop is also something Western stars are shocked about. Musician Christopher appeared on Lee Young Ji’s drinking show, and during the episode, the idol shared his shock at the approach to musicians dating in Korea.
I heard that’s the thing here like you can’t have a nice relationship and be a pop star.
Although it seems like idols are more open to revealing their relationship status with fans voluntarily, it still seems like a risk whenever it happens. K-Pop idols are humans and deserve to have happiness, yet, the sensitivity surrounding dating in the industry makes it hard for this to happen.