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Older Women, Younger Men: In Asian Dramas

Oh My Lady and My Queen

In recent years, more and more Asian dramas have paired older actresses and younger actors as lovers. This does not seem to be a one-off trend as shown by the repeated occurrence in these Asian dramas. When mentioning Asian dramas, I specifically refer to Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese series which I watch more frequently.

Among the 2010 Korean dramas, this trend can be seen in series like Oh My Lady where the young Choi Si Won (of Super Junior) is paired with the “ahjumma” Chae Rim. There is a seven year gap in the series. This is similar to the Taiwanese series, My Queen where Ethan Ruan falls in love in Cheryl Yang who is also about eight years older. Just recently, My Queen was remade into Korean drama, Witch's Romance, which stars the older Uhm Jung Hwa paired with the younger Park Seo Joon.

Oh My Lady: Chae Rim versus Choi Si Won

Oh My Lady promotional poster featuring lead actors Chae Rim and Choi Si Won.

Oh My Lady promotional poster featuring lead actors Chae Rim and Choi Si Won.

Persisting Trend in Korean Dramas

Even earlier on, the younger men older women pairing has been used before like in What’s Up Fox? where Chun Jung Myung loves his “nuna” (elder sister in Korean) played by Go Hyun Jung. In another series Cinderella’s Sister, we see another example, but this time with just a one year gap in age, between Taecyeon (of 2PM) and Moon Geun Young. A slightly larger gap exists between Ji Hyun Woo and Lee Bo Young in the Korean drama Birth of a Rich Man (also known as The Birth of the Rich).

The popular series, Personal Taste or Personal Preference, also features young actor, Lee Min Ho and the more experienced and older Son Yae Jin. Although the focus of this drama is not their age, it was also one of the first things that caught my attention when I watched this drama. 

We Got Married: Kim Hyun Joong and Hwang Bo

Besides Korean dramas, a popular Korean variety show called We Got Married, where two celebrities are "married" also led to a memorable couple which has a six year gap. Hwang Bo, who is formerly from girl band Chakra is six years older than her young bridegroom, Kim Hyun Joong (leader of boy band SS501 and famous for his role as Ji Hoo in Boys Over Flowers). During their interactions in the many episodes, it was interesting to see how they would care for each other and grow closer as a couple.

Taiwanese Series My Queen 败犬女王

My Queen, a Taiwanese series which stars Cheryl Yang and Ethan Ruan.

My Queen, a Taiwanese series which stars Cheryl Yang and Ethan Ruan.

Older Women, Younger Men in Japanese Dramas too

In a recent Japanese series, “Sunao Narenakute” (Hard to Say I Love You) there is also a side plot where the series’ main character Nakaji is having an affair with an older married woman, Kiriko. Ignoring the consequences of the affair and concentrating on just the age gap, what does this imply? Does this mean that there is no longer any stigma associated with this type of relationship? 

Personal Opinion on the Older Women, Younger Men Relationship

Personally, I believe that there is still some stigma. However, it is definitely more acceptable compared to say 10 years ago. It does make you wonder why there is less stigma and controversy when it is the reverse: older men, younger women. Most likely the case is that a younger man is deemed to be unable to bear the responsibility of caring for a more mature and older woman. What do you think?

Older Women with Younger Men


lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on November 07, 2013:

Thanks Elmyrah for sharing your thoughts. I guess age makes for an interesting dynamic in Asian couples' relationships as seniority plays a bigger role here!

Elmyrah on November 05, 2013:

For some reason i find older woman and younger man as leads in Asian dramas completely irrisistable to watch even though i myself tend to be attracted to older I love how the younger male lead always somehow fills up a part of the older females life and complete make her step outside her strict narrow views that society has unknowingly brainwashed her with. I love the emotional angs she/he goes through to choose between a love that seems quite impossible to last through times and one that's more acceptable and secure. The younger male has to come to the realization where he can't take his time with this love because the woman he loves is at an age where marriage and children is part of her current life plan since she's almost half way up the hill and he has to mature right here and now so he can meet her half way mentally and emotionally if not physically. These kind of dramas make me feel like the couple values the relationship even more and will cherish every moment. These are the ones i watched so far,names of those dramas are:



lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on April 27, 2013:

Thanks Ling for your input! Generally yes, a large age gap is still not very acceptable here.

Ling on April 27, 2013:

This works only for women who are still attractive looking. Older women above 40 would find it hard to find a Asian guy younger than her and find her acceptable. Looks is a big factor, age is a big factor.

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lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on May 19, 2012:

Yes. I watch all these with English subtitles. And it is true that mental age does not equal actual age! Nowadays, it is more common and only attracts attention if the gap is large, say maybe 5 years or more.

ThussaysNanaMarie from In my oyster on May 19, 2012:

Interesting hub. Are the movies subtitled?

I think what ever the gender the age barrier depends on their mental age. You could have a 20year old going on 35.

I am surprised that much of these themes are used in Asia.

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on March 17, 2012:

Hi Lisa! I think the age does matter especially in Asian dramas as it is more common for the guy to be older as there were generally considered to be the "head" of the household and hence it made more sense for them to be older. Times are changing though =)

Lisa on March 09, 2012:

This is something that I was aware of and intriged me....

In some of these dramas, are we supposed to know (or be aware of) that in the romantic pairing of the woman and man - that the woman is older than the man? I just thought that the actresses were used to fit the role rather than (or as well as being) used because of their older age and being more 'mature'?

Not that I mind, just curiousity.. !

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on February 20, 2012:

That's true. Age doesn't define maturity!

Cindy on February 19, 2012:

No complaints about this kind of relationship...It all boils down to how mature the love between couple is,doesn't really matter how huge the age gap is.Some women can date older men who can be immature and irresponsible.

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on January 27, 2012:

Yes, I know the drama you are referring to! The Woman who Still Wants to Marry! I loved that but I watched it only after I wrote this article, so it wasn't included!

ela on January 27, 2012:

i think you miss the drama of Kim Bum? i don't know the name of the actress - the title is Still Wants to Marry, guess. and i thought, this drama is awesome!

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on December 13, 2011:

Thanks for the recommendation! I may try it out later when I'm free =)

helloimrs on November 30, 2011:

if any one needs a mature couple drama...Japanese Drama Around 40 (??????????) is the perfect example. both leads are in their 30s. it's actually pretty refreshing to see! i loved it. watched it multiple times..the ending leaves you wanting more.

p.s. not once did i skip the opening theme..xD

"Count what you have now, don't count what you don't have."

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on August 13, 2011:

Definitely agree =)

jessie on August 13, 2011:

hello. I definitely agree with ournote2self, if the guy is already passed their mature stage for example if they already reach their 30s, that wouldn't be a problem. but if the guy is still in their 20s well I dunno about that but guys can be much more immature than women and they tend to be a bit childish at times. don't you think so?

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on July 13, 2011:

Thanks for commenting! What you say does make a lot of sense....

ournote2self on July 13, 2011:

When you're young, I think having a big age gap can be difficult. But as you get older and both people have matured, I feel that it's fine for one to be older than the other. My husband is 2.5 years younger than me and we are as happy as can be. :)

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on March 05, 2011:

Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it!

meow48 from usa on March 05, 2011:

nice hub. thanks.

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on January 03, 2011: matter how interesting the story is, if you can't believe that the leads care about one would be a bad drama~

Ingenira on January 03, 2011:

Enjoyed reading your articles. Interesting topic!

Chemistry between the lead roles are important to make the the drama a successful one, can't agree with you more.

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on November 12, 2010:

I liked MNIKSS too! Awesome chemistry between them.....

not too sure about their age in the drama but I felt that it was quite visible that she is older than him....

Charlene on November 09, 2010:

I really love stories of older woman- younger man... maybe because it's such a big drama... It's like you and me against the world... People won't like your relationship especially the family of the younger man coz they believe that the guy deserves more than a noona... But after the relationship succeeds, they will have more happiness... (Gosh, I don't know what I'm talking about!)

I love stories of (Older Woman/Younger Man):

Dating Now(Kwon Sang Wo)

She's On Duty (Sun Ah and Gong Yoo)

My Name is Kim Sam Soon ( Sun Ah and Hyun Bin)

Changing Partners (Uhm Jung Hwa and Lee Dong Gun)

Foxy Lady

The Ssangchoo couple

I don't think Son Yae Jin is older than Min Hoo in the series...

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on August 02, 2010:

Thanks for reading and commenting. I love Korean dramas too. Since you like You're Beautiful, you will probably agree with me on this list here =)

meow48 from usa on August 01, 2010:

i have recently gotten hooked on asian dramas and asked a question on here as to why they are so addicting. not many responses but it did lead me to your article, way cool. and yes i love oh my lady. and another korean one that i discovered is You're beautiful or handsome, depending on which site you find it. anyway thankyou for sharing this. meow48

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on July 04, 2010:

Thanks dawnM for your input! I've heard of Cougar Town but never watched it. In Hollywood there are also some real life examples like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore =)

Dawn Michael from THOUSAND OAKS on July 03, 2010:

interesting to hear what is going on in other countries, that's what I love about hubpages. In the United States we have many shows that have younger men and older women starting to pop up like Cougar Town and of course a number of actresses in Hollywood.

lilian_sg (author) from Singapore on May 29, 2010:

Haha...The series can be quite addictive. Thanks for your feedback!

jasonycc from South East Asia on May 29, 2010:

Personally i have no qualms on such relationship. My wife is a great fan of the Taiwanese series My Queen. She watched the series till morning and got her daily schedule upside down.

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