Singles feel the stress at significant other’s family gatherings

January 2, 2014

By Do Je-hae

Single men and women find it intimidating to participate in family gatherings of people they are involved with, according to a latest survey by match-making agency Soohyun.

Around half of the male respondents said they were most reluctant to travel with their girlfriend’s families. There were 427 men among a total of 839 participating in the survey. The survey showed what women have the hardest time with were gatherings around major holidays like New Year, with 38.4 percent selecting this category. faceOther events men feared were special occasions like birthdays or funerals (25.5 percent) and major holidays (16.4 percent).

The survey indicated that men feel significantly less pressure around “Myeongjeol” or major holidays than women. Major holidays are a serious cause of stress and anger for many married women in Korea as they are forced into excessive kitchen duty. The holiday stress is in some cases so extreme that it sometimes leads to divorce.

A 39-year-old PR manager in Seoul, who got married last June, said she wasn’t at all surprised with women’s frustration of myeongjeol shown from the survey.

“Before I got married, I was invited to join my fiance’s family for a New Year gathering at his house. I felt like I needed to help with the other women in the kitchen, but since I wasn’t yet an official member of the family, I also felt I should conduct myself as a guest. All in all, it was very uncomfortable.”

The survey showed that women were also uneasy about family travel (32.1 percent) and special occasions like birthdays or funerals (20.2 percent). It seems that family travel is a big source of stress for both men and women.

“Planning a vacation is hard as it is, and when there are parents involved, the situation becomes more stressful,” a 33-year-old male participant said.