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Real Life Noona Romances Are On The Rise In Korea

BY Julie Jones | Aug 10, 2015 08:11 AM EDT

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It isn't just k-drama lovers that have fallen for the noona romance. According to the Korean media outlet, Chosun Ilbo, real life marriages in Korea are seeing something of a noona romance effect.

Do the larger numbers of younger men marrying older women have anything to do with the romantic notions expressed in k-dramas? Or do the growing number of noona romances reflect a real-life trend?

The noona romance is nothing new but lately there are more to choose from. There's "Flower Boy Ramen Shop" with Jung Il Woo and Lee Chung Ah, "Secret Love Affair" with Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In, "I Do I Do" with Kim Sun Ah and Lee Jang Woo, "I Hear Your Voice" with Lee Bo Young and Lee Jong Suk and "High School King of Savvy," with Seo In Guk and Lee Ha Na, just to name a few.

In the last few months alone Infinite's L romanced Ha Ji Won in "The Time I Loved You" and Kim Soo Hyun crushed on Gong Hyo Jin in "Producer."

Noona romances make for good drama because there is the forbidden element of dating someone who is not your age and age difference can provide at least a temporary barrier to marriage.

But, statistics say they no longer provide that much of a barrier to romance or marriage in Korea.

The Chosun Ilbo quoted Seoul Metropolitan Government statistics, saying that first marriages in which the man is younger than the woman rose to 15.8 percent in 2014. For the first time the number of wedding where the groom was younger than the bride has passed the number of weddings where the couple is the same age.

How much older are we talking about? First marriages in which the woman is more than three years older grew noticeably. The number of marriages where the woman is six to nine years older has risen from 297 to 457 in the last 15 years. And cases where the woman was more than 10 years older had doubled by 2014.

The preference for marrying woman who are older was also seen in second marriages.

The Chosun Ilbo quoted the Korean matchmaking company Duo on the reasons for these noona marriages. The matchmaking company polled single men and women about the importance of age difference in a romantic relationship and 33.9 percent said that age was no concern when it comes to love.

The real reasons for the changing statistics may have to do with wanting a more financially stable marriage partner or growing awareness of gender equality, but noona romances do make mismatched romance seem appealing.

What do you think about the noona romance in real life or dramas?

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