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It’s Valentine’s Day, and I am enjoying making chocolate on my own.
I no longer categorize this activity as a womanly activity. I also recognize that so-called girlish behaviors like are not the preserve of women. The revelations on my part may be uncomfortable for some South Koreans to bear.
It dawns on me that my battle isn’t just about fighting South Korean men’s expectations of how women ought to behave.
I realized that I might have forced myself until then to be this independent, outgoing girl with an “optimistic character,” fixing problems by myself without relying on my man.
Dating him, and others before that, has allowed me to see my self-contradictions and insecurities.
I am self-conscious of my independence and womanhood.
The more we talked about our future, the more afraid I became that I might not be his perfect life partner.
I kept on worrying about whether I could satisfy his friends or parents’ expectations of a “good woman.” My fears were not the only reason we parted ways, but they were certainly a factor.
I finally had an answer to the question I had first posed in my early twenties: My outgoing personality, which attracted men, was not an obstacle to developing stable relationships.