Dear kfangurl: Is it normal to wince when you learn Oppa is dating?

First of all, I wanna thank everyone for your enthusiastic support for this Dear kfangurl series.❤

You all have been so very sweetly encouraging since the first Dear kfangurl post that I have been (and continue to be!) completely blown away. I was also a tiny bit worried that if no one actually asked another question, that I’d have to disappoint all of you guys who requested more of this series.

Happily, someone did ask a second question, and I’m super pleased to unveil the 2nd post in this – it’s official now! – series.

Lemme put on my thinking.. glasses. ^.~

Today’s question is brought to us by Mawiie, lone VIP member of this blog (hers was the 1,000th comment on the blog, many moons ago), resident maknae among my pals in the twitterverse, and also, regular contributor over at Musings of a Twinkie.

Mawiie asks:

Dear kfangurl,

Is it normal to feel a slight pinch when you learn that Oppa is dating? D: Not in the delusional “He could have been mine” way, but it’s as if you’ve embraced your fangirl persona for so long that when the Oppa you’ve been associated with for so long is suddenly officially dating, you feel as if…a part of your identity shattered?

Okay I just made myself sound like a creep. >.< When I learned that LSG was dating (it was New Year’s Eve, I was at a family party), I was so shocked that I just started to look for tweets and news to see if it was a joke LOL. And then a few girls on Twitter were asking among themselves “Who is going to break the news to maknae?” It made me laugh, but for a good 1min I was in denial haha!

Dear Mawiie,

Yes, it’s perfectly normal to feel a pinch – slight or more than slight – when you learn that Oppa is dating. In fact, depending on how much of your heart went / goes into your fangirl love for Oppa, and how much of your fangirl world has shifted as a result of the news, your recovery time will vary.

Your one minute of denial makes it sound like your recovery was much faster than most, in fact.

I remember last September when the news broke that Kim Woo Bin was dating Yoo Ji Ahn. My entire fangirl world tilted, and even though it took me only several minutes on a mental level to come to terms with it, I was much slower to bounce back emotionally.

On a mental level, I was all, “Well, of *course* it’s just like Woobie to be so open about his relationship. And why *wouldn’t* he be dating someone, he’s so affectionate and so hawt?”

On the inside though, my heart was kinda like this:

Help.. Can’t.. Breathe.. Need.. Antidote..

Something had changed, and I wasn’t even sure what it was.

All I knew was that even though I still loved Woobie, that I now felt wistful when I looked at his photo, and that’s something that I never used to feel before that point. (You can read more about my immediate fangirl response here.)

They say hindsight is 20/20, and maturity brings wisdom and time heals all wounds. I don’t know which it is, but now that almost a year has passed, I feel like I have more insight into the whole mechanism of the fangirl heart and mind around this. And no, I believe this has nothing to do with the fact that Woobie and Yoo Ji Ahn have since announced their breakup.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 3 main angles from which one might reel, when faced with Oppa’s dating news. And yes, it’s possible to reel from more than one of these angles. Those who reel from all 3 angles would tend to require the most recovery time, I believe.

1. It messes with your fangirl fantasy

For one major sector of fangirls, part of the fangirl fantasy is imagining that:

(a) someday, you’ll meet Oppa, and you two will fall head over heels in love, and live happily ever after, forever and ever and ever,

(b) Oppa is already your boyfriend / husband, and he’s just off doing work stuff, and that’s why he’s not by your side, &/or

(c) Oppa is yours, all yours. Never mind what anyone else / reality says.

Certainly, if a fangirl were indulging in any these fantasies, then the news that Oppa is now dating would throw a major spanner in the works. It’s kinda hard to block it all out and keep on imagining that Oppa is still all yours, when the entire blogosphere is about exploding with Oppa’s dating news.

2. It tilts your fangirl reality

Oppa was single when you first fell head over fangirl heels in love with him, and you’ve known him to be single for as long as you’ve loved him. In your mind, Oppa’s singlehood has become a part of his identity. The fact that this part of his identity has changed means that you now need to recalibrate your perception of Oppa.

This applies to Real Life too, as a matter of fact. When a close long-time friend of mine first started dating his then-girlfriend-now-wife, I remember it shook up my mental perception of him, coz he had been single, and happy about being single, for such a long time. It was a bit of a mind-bender that this friend of mine was no longer single, and that certain aspects of our friendship might now need to change, to accommodate his new status.

3. It alters your fangirl identity

If you’ve loved Oppa for a long time, and when people begin to associate you with your fangirl love for Oppa, it can feel like a loss when Oppa becomes officially unavailable. This is particularly true for fangirls whose screen-names reflect their love for Oppa, like Mrs. [insert Oppa’s name], for example.

How much this affects you, would depend on how much of your fangirl identity was rooted in your love for Oppa.

In Real Life, this would be similar to how someone might feel after breaking up with their Significant Other.

For example, if someone had created her whole identity – or almost her whole identity – as someone’s wife/girlfriend, then upon a divorce/breakup, it would be a completely disorientating, confusing experience, because the source of such a large part of her identity is now.. well, gone. Changed.

On a tangent, this also reminds me of Empty Nest Syndrome, where mothers feel lost when their kids leave the home, coz so much of their personal identity has rested on being their kids’ moms for so long.

In all of these cases, the degree and depth of loss really depends on how much of your identity was rooted in your relationship with that person.

If your fangirl identity was deeply rooted in Oppa love, then the time you’d need for adjustment and recovery would likely be more than someone whose identity was less deeply rooted in Oppa love.

The Case for Mawiie

In your case, Mawiie, I think it’s perfectly normal that you felt like part of your fangirl identity was shattered when Lee Seung Gi’s dating news broke. After all, by the time the news broke, you’d loved him for several years.

In fact, I’m impressed that you only took a minute to get over your denial. But perhaps like me, the emotional part of you might’ve taken longer to settle?

Having said that, let me also acknowledge that there is a sector of fangirls who fangirl a little differently, and are completely supportive of Oppa finding himself a girlfriend or wife. A little more on that in a bit.

The Reality Check

[This is not so much for Mawiie, but for other readers who might find this useful.]

A couple of questions that I find helpful, as a reality check, are:

1. Do you want to destroy the relationship / Oppa’s girlfriend?

2. Do you want Oppa to be alone forever?

If your answers to either or both of these questions are yes, then I think you might be in a more obsessive frame of mind than is healthy.

Coz if we truly cared for Oppa, then surely we wouldn’t want him to be alone forever? And if we truly cared for Oppa, surely we’d want him to find happiness?

On a slightly different note, as much as we think we might know of Oppa and his new girlfriend, the only persons who should have any say in whether or not they belong together, is, ultimately, the two of them.

Which is why it might be good for us to take a leaf out of the books of the 2nd sector of fangirls that I mentioned. It’s not a bad thing to indulge in some fangirl fantasy, but let’s also genuinely wish Oppa happiness. Coz everyone deserves a chance at happiness, right?

At the end of it all, my philosophy about this, is that the best fangirl response is to mourn for a while, and then come to terms with Oppa’s new reality.

Plus, you can always take comfort in the fact that Oppa is always all yours in your dreams.

Oh my dreamscape.. How I love thee <3

I hope that helps!

Love! ❤



1. Dya have thoughts or advice for Mawiie? Or a story of your own? Share with us in the comments!

2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment on the Contact page, or send me an email!

3. It’s been an insanely intense traveling week for me in Real Life, which is why I’m behind on comments again. I will get to all comments soon, I promise!

30 thoughts on “Dear kfangurl: Is it normal to wince when you learn Oppa is dating?

  1. 1sunnylady

    your words remind me of the song jae lim’s itw i translated this week. He says that you never date the person you fall for. You fall for someone b/c of the image of them being single you have. The moment the two of you start dating, the person you fell for is gone and you have to discover someone else, the person he/she is when your dynamic is about being boyfriend/girlfriend and not just friend…

    Well, i don’t have that many k-celebrities that got me fangirling. Even my passion for my one and only for 9 years is so low-key right now, that i sometimes even wondered if i was still a fan. And i mean, he’s been such a constant in my life that i never really wondered about how it’d feel when he openly dates someones (although my theory has always been that if he’s straight, we will find out about his love life when he’s about to get married and might even have a kid on the way…I just feel that’s what’s going to happen) Back to my point, when there were rumors for the first time ever of him dating an actress… I must say that my chain of reaction was: he’s dating? yay, but wait, he’s dating [insert name of said actress)? idk how i feel about her specifically, then it’s “do i think they’d be happy together?” and that’s when I had to stop b/c the feeling of entitlement was taking over me. I don’t know her, I don’t know my K-celeb either. Maybe they are indeed a good match in real life.

    So I think it’s also about who “oppa” is dating. If it’s someone who is not in the industry, it actually encourages the fantasy that “yay! oppa does look at us, commoners. i could have had that chance if…”. But if oppa is dating a celebrity too, there’s also the feeling that you don’t want the girl to hurt oppa’s reputation, especially if oppa has a very clean reputation, so it does change your perception of oppa, that constant of your life, not only because he’s dating but b/c he’s dating someone you would have never thought of. And IF he happens to be dating a celebrity you don’t like, the reality check is even harder. I mean, while oppa is old enough to decide who he should date and while you don’t know his true personality and the girl’s personality, if oppa does get with someone you don’t like for some reasons… it might take a few more days to accept it than when oppa is dating another celebrity that you like or you can at least tolerate?

    i’m tired. i don’t know where iw as going with this.

    1. kfangurl

      Hee. You might’ve been tired when you wrote this comment, but you actually make a lot of sense, Sunny! 😀

      If we truly love and support Oppa, then that love should extend to his choice of dating partner / life partner, even if Oppa wasn’t dating when we first fell for his charms. That’s all part of growing with Oppa, after all. If we were to stop being Oppa’s fans just coz he’d started dating, then we weren’t very true fans to begin with, right?

      And “entitlement” is such a perfect word to describe how many fans feel over their chosen Oppa! That possessiveness is totally an inflated sense of entitlement, and doesn’t respect Oppa’s decisions and preferences. At the same time, your point about whether Oppa is dating a celeb or non-celeb, and what that means for the average fangirl in terms of the varying degrees of adjustment, also makes a lot of sense. I guess at the end of the day, the important thing is, whether it takes us only a quick minute to adjust, or a few long days of mourning, it’s important for us to respect Oppa’s decisions about his own life and his own happiness. That’s what Oppa would want too, right? ^^

  2. HopesDD

    I totally understand Mawie (considering the person) I adore Lee Seung Gi and love everthing about him. I was actually in denial for an hour or some untill I told my sister (who knows I have this undying crush on Seung Gi) that he’s dating that I really believed it.
    I was rewatching Brilliant Legacy those days, and was so hating on Seung Mi but after a week (getting myself together), I cried with her for her loss of Hwan (and yea mine for Seung Gi).
    After a week I started listening to his songs again and everything went back to normal, it’s just that I ignore her (GF) but sometimes it’s hard with her name mentionned in all his articles and her fans butting in everywhere .
    I convinced myself Seung Gi is ahumanbeing who has a life, and so only wish for his hapiness

    1. kfangurl

      Awww.. Sounds like you had a pretty hard time grappling with Seung Gi’s dating news, HopesDD. To your credit, it sounds like you allowed yourself a proper adjustment (& even grieving) period, and have now come to a new balance point, where you’re able to sincerely wish for Seung Gi’s happiness. That’s a big deal, and a very gracious a mature step, so kudos to you, my dear. I’m sure Seung Gi would be proud of have a sincere and supportive fan like you! <3

  3. Pingback: Dear kfangurl: Is it normal to have a heart attack when you learn Oppa is gay AND dating? | The Fangirl Verdict

  4. evez

    before anything else i would like to say this is an awesome post! 😉 as always!…

    i think wincing is just so normal with us fangirls…in my case i do that all the time…. 😉 of course i knew that i am a fangirl and my oppa is a hallyu star!…so my thought is sane and intact that oppa is a normal human being capable of falling in love and have a love life though he’s a superstar…. though sometimes i wonder in k-ent why is it that dating and having a relationship is such a big issue that they have to hide their private life so private that we can’t see and know even a little details?…come on!…they are humans they need some leisure and pleasure that we normal people usually enjoy….Kfangurl do you somehow think this is why our Gong Yoo ssi doesn’t have any relationship until now and remain to enjoy being a bachelor because of that strict views of the Korean fans to their oppas on having a relationship?…you see? Hyun Bin, Kang Dong Won, Song Seung Hon, So Ji Sub…i don’t believe somehow that these stars don’t have somebody close to their heart…:)

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks dear evez, I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post! 🙂

      I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal in k-ent when Oppa announces that he’s dating. I think it’s much more intense among the kpop fans than the drama fans. The intensity among the kpop fans can get pretty scary. I think those are the ones that tend to take it hardest when Oppa announces he’s dating. The extreme ones take to hurting themselves when they find out Oppa is dating/married etc. I think perhaps partly to protect these fans from themselves, the stars tend to keep things as private as possible.

      On the other hand, I feel like Gong Yoo is the kind of guy who would be pretty candid about it if he was dating someone. He just doesn’t appear to be the secretive sort. And as a more mature star, it would be perfectly acceptable if he were to announce that he’s dating or getting married, I think. That’s just my take, of course. My estimate could be totally off. Only time will tell 😉

  5. asotss

    Actually, it’s when they are not dating and even more strange, when no record of any love story is known (Hello Gong Yoo… and many others !), that a flashing red light appears. “How come that a bunch of talented hot males are constantly single ?”, “What is wrong with them ?” I wonder… So I rejoice when I hear that one of them is actually normal and do what the guy next door can do (Hello Lee Seung Gi… and not so many others !).
    Now, I have question too : “Dear kfangurl, Is it normal for fangirls to have a heart attack at their (supposed) young age (by the way, is there any age-limit to fangirling, dear kfangurl ?) when they learn Oppa/Dongsaeng is gay AND dating?” 😉

    1. kfangurl

      The lack of public dating in k-ent is not so much that the stars aren’t dating, but that the pressure from fans is so great that most of them find it preferable to date quietly. Lately, more and more k-celebs have come out to date publicly, so perhaps things are finally starting to shift in terms of fans’ expectations of Oppa 🙂

      Woah, that’s quite a doozy of a question, asotss! Let me think about that for a bit! 😉

      1. asotss

        “date quietly” , ok so or there’s no paparazzi in Korea or those stars have some serious skills.

        I didn’t tell you but I was competing for the tough-cookie-question-asker prize and it seems I won it XD

        1. kfangurl

          Lol. You certainly did win the tough-cookie-question-asker prize, my dear! XD And while the paparazzi is always working hard to sniff out dating news, there are still some celebs who manage to date quietly. Like Yoon Sang Hyun, who managed to date singer-songwriter Maybee so quietly that no one had any idea they were dating until he recently announced wedding plans for early 2015! Of course, they’d only been dating for less than a year at the time of the announcement, but still, that’s some skills, isn’t it? 😉

  6. Carole McDonnell

    I’ve felt my heart drop a few times when i heard someone i liked was dating…although sometimes after i learn more about the girl, my heart either rises or falls deeper depending on her personality/life history (and my idea of how shallow his tastes are.) On the other hand, I’m a real big fan of Yoon Sang Hyun and I keep hoping and praying for him to get a girlfriend or a wife. HE really deserves a good woman at his side.

    1. kfangurl

      Aw! Yoon Sang Hyun! I have to agree with you, Carole, even though I’ve not given it thought before you mentioned it. I WOULD want him to find someone special and settle down. He looks like a good guy who deserves a good woman to appreciate and support him. 🙂

    1. Lady G.

      So funny! At least in K-drama they are more open to ‘farting’ and bathroom humor than in American shows. But of course Oppa’s farts smell like roses. haha!

      1. INTJ

        oh, k-dramas (with all their flaws) are in a lot of ways better than american shows … that’s why we watch them. 🙂

        “like roses” is good, but it’s best when it doesn’t smell a all (anymore) … because that says a lot about the couple. 😉

      1. INTJ

        lol, i know from experience it’s on-point 😀 … in a few months we’ll celebrate our 25-th wedding anniversary and yet, when i look at her, i still only see that awesome girl i fell in love with a long time ago. of course: my mind protests by reminding me of the time that has passed, but as they say: love is (and makes one) blind. 🙂

        1. kfangurl

          Aw, congratulations on your 25th wedding anniversary, INTJ!! That definitely calls for a special celebration!! I do love how much you love your wife. You two sound like you have a wonderful relationship. 🙂 Congratulations!!

    2. asotss

      From which series/movie this excerpt is from ??? Whatever it is , it seems it would be a good thing to watch…

  7. bakazen

    Slightly off topic but this just hit my inbox & it seemed so appropriate: Kim Hyun Joong is being charged with assaulting his girlfriend. Now, typically, I just don’t pay much attention to who is dating who but KHJ is definitely a bias and this is a disturbing allegation. No judgments yet but reading comments (steroid abuse?) is as discomforting as thinking it could be true. Time will tell…

    Great series by the way…I’ve been looking for something like this. Fighting!

    1. Lady G.

      I’m not quite the fan, but regardless, it’s so disheartening to read stuff like that. I can imagine what his fans like yourself think. Yes, it’s best to reserve judgement because you never know all the facts of a case. I learned that after serving nearly 3 months on a jury. Even after it was over, the newspaper reported a few more facts that were kept secret from us. That was upsetting. But I guess it didn’t matter in the long run.

      It really sours a person’s reputation, even if it’s not true, there’s always that niggling, ‘what if?’ that sticks in fan’s minds. :/

    2. kfangurl

      Thanks bakazen, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series! Also, thanks for your comment on the KHJ allegations.. Your comment is one of the things that spurred me towards writing a post to formally weigh in on the whole thing. And yes, the allegations (and subsequent developments since) are disturbing indeed. Withholding judgment and hoping for justice to be fully served is my stance through it all. Must be harder for you since he’s a bias. Hang in there, bakazen.. Fighting~!

  8. Mawiie

    I feel like a reader of a magazine whose question got picked by the editor and featured in the next edition xD
    Thank you for your really reasonable reply and intake on a subject that could possibly turn into creepy fangirl territory.
    To be honesty it took me more than a minute. I think I was glued on my screen for about 15min, at a family party, and when someone asked me what was wrong – because my face said that something was wrong – I just blurted out that Seung Gi was dating >.< I think that I went home that night and look up more news articles, but that was it.
    I later learned that he's been pinning for her for *years*, and saw how giddy he was around her on some programs, so I was happy for Oppa ^^
    SO girls: when Oppa is dating, don't turn into a rabid obsessive and possessive fangirl and voodoo his girlfriend just because you're not her! Instead, tell yourself: I am a fangirl with a noble heart, as long as Oppa is happy I will be too (and then you can sniff back tears-of-honor)

    But funny story: Just yesterday night mtoh sent me a tweet about LSG kneeling down to sign an autograph for a fan in a wheelchair. I just read "Lee Seung Gi kneeled down at KCon" and I nearly had a heartattack because I thought that he proposed to Yoona (she was at KCon as well) LOL

    1. kfangurl

      Aw. I still think you managed excellently, my dear. ❤ Sounds like you had yourself more or less sorted in less than a day. It took me at least a full day before I felt somewhat settled over Woob’s dating news 😛 Guess you’re made of stronger fangirl mettle than I am?

      I LOLed at your KCON story, tho! XD Sounds like maybe Oppa is “on loan” to Yoona only on a dating basis, and any potential terms around marriage have not been discussed, Lol! XD

      On a related note, I realized that I actually felt sad for Woob when news came out that he was single again. I mean, I just couldn’t bring myself to whoop over his singlehood like some other fangirls were doing, coz I couldn’t shake the thought that Woob had gone through heartbreak. :/ Poor Woob. Eventually I quietly came to terms, and am used to his singlehood again. But now I’m a little anxious for him coz he’s hurt his knee and has been hospitalized. Gasp! Woob! Let me come comfort and nurse youuuu~ ❤

  9. Lady G.

    I LOVE this question but I have to run to work then run to my next job and won’t be home until late at night. GRRR!! I can’t wait to answer it. I also love your answer, it’s reasonable and so true. The fan-girl love ‘pinch’ you get is a very real pinch, that no matter how foolish you feel (because you know in your heart of hearts this love is not ‘real’ and in your own head) it’s like a tiny spasm on your heart and you cross them off your mental checklist. Weird sounding, but it’s probably done within a few minutes after hearing the news. Unless of course you are desperately obsessed and fanatic and really can’t let go, (I will bring up a scenario later) which in that case, I suggest counseling.

    1. Lady G.

      Now that I think about it. Kfangurl has basically said everything I could say. The scenario I thought of dates back to the early twenties when the first Hollywood male Idol, Rudolph Valentino, died tragically at the tender age of 32. At the height of his fame. The scene at his funeral in New York was utter chaos, fans stormed the funeral home and busted down the glass doors, injuring police and the funeral attendants in the process. They draped over the glass casket heaving and sobbing until the funeral directors had to hide his casket. Women across the country actually committed suicide when the news broke. They had never seen the likes of a ‘hot movie star’ before that. If you google him with the word funeral, you can see pictures of the mob that formed outside.

      Anyway, I guess i was just saying that there is such a thing as being a ‘fan,’ and then being an overly obsessive fan that can ‘cross the line.’ Particularly when hearing news of an actor’s significant other. I’m content to just imagine the awesome characters in my head. Real life is an intrusion. Like thinking of Badass Song Il Guk as Jumong or in ‘A man called God,’ then suddenly seeing him tired and struggling to run after his naughty triplets on a reality TV show. Ummmm…I’ll take the characters please. LOL. Because that makes it all hits home, he’s married with children, and has to do things every other father on earth must do, chores, cooking, cleaning and babysitting! lol The whole image is just POOF!!

      I loved this comment, “It was a bit of a mind-bender that this friend of mine was no longer single, and that certain aspects of our friendship might now need to change, to accommodate his new status.”

      That is very true. Whenever my friends got married, I wound up ‘leaving them alone’ so to speak. And it’s like without meaning to, the relationship sort of dissolves. You have to learn how to adjust, get to know ‘the wife’ and what she would approve or disapprove of. Some women get really jealous and I am very conscientious of that. Though in my head I may be like “Chill out will you, believe me, your husband is NOT interested in me at all.”

      In fan world, some fans get so jealous they literally ‘hate’ the wife/gf for no reason at all. Or they talk bad and say stuff like, ‘she better treat him good!’ etc. etc. It’s kind of funny. But I think we all have those thoughts for our biases.

      1. kfangurl

        Oh my. I just went and looked up more details on the story about Rudolph Valentino, and it blows my mind that women killed themselves when he died. O.O! That’s extremely disturbing. And I hate to admit it, but I suspect there is a sector of fans today who would tend to fall into a similar category. I do hope that more fangirls will learn how to fangirl in a more healthy and balanced way.

        On a tangent, I never set out to be the voice of reason for healthy fangirling, but somehow, this series has happened and I’ve unwittingly become that voice of reason, lol. I guess I’ll wear the shoe since so many people seem to think it fits? 😉

        Oh yes, I am disturbed by the amount of hate that a celeb’s wife/gf can receive from fans. It’s a total invasion of privacy, fans thinking that they can impose their personal opinions on Oppa’s private life. I think that’s partly why so many k-celebs prefer to date quietly.

        Ah yes, about my friend – I did end up leaving him alone for several months after he got married. That was pretty huge for me, considering that we used to speak several times a week before he left singlehood behind. I’m so thankful that his wife is not the jealous sort, which means that he & I can still meet up for catch-ups over tea, and she doesn’t mind. I would’ve been really sad if she couldn’t “approve” of that, coz I’ve been friends with her husband for years and years.

  10. cookie

    Great post!
    Its hard to see Korean Celebrities especially those in amazing boy bands..or girl bands..get bashed for dating…and apologise for doing so.
    Lets let them live a little!

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks Cookie, glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

      It’s true that Korean celebs have a hard time dating publicly (or privately, for that matter). They’re becoming more open about it of late, judging by the number of couples going public. Hopefully that’s a sign of things changing for the better in the k-ent scene around celebs dating!


Leave a Reply