Chapter 1: Finding Your Dating Problem
“Sorry. I’ve been holding it in for a while. We’re not meant for each other. You’re too clingy.”
“What… what are you saying… clingy? I love you. I did it because I love you.”
“Let’s stop now. I’m sick of it.”
“What? What did I do to you? How can do this to me!”
“Don’t call me anymore. Han Shi Won, I’m sick of you.”
“Hey!! Lee Yoon Hoo!! Stop right there!!”
She suddenly got up from her bed with a shout and looked around her room. It was a dream.
“Whew… gosh… again…”
It has already been two months.
‘We broke up after dating for six months.
Dating for six months was a very happy and sweet time period, but I was dumped.
I’m the clingy type? Me? How?’
No matter how much she screamed in anger and frustration, she couldn’t change the situation.
Han Shi Won. Twenty-seven-years old.
To this girl, love has become the most difficult thing in the world.
Up till now, not a single one of the four men that she dated lasted over a year with her; they all broke up with her.
Their reasons were all different.
“Just because. I thought about my future… and I don’t think you’re the one.”
“Sorry. I fell in love with another girl.”
“Right now, dating is a luxury for me. In order for me to become more successful we need to break up.”
“Let’s break up. I’m sick of it.”
The reasons for breaking up were all different, but they all said, “It’s not you.”
Shi Won woke up from the nightmares she wanted to escape from and got ready for work.
“Assistant Manager Han. You came early today.”
“Yes, I have some work to do.”
Manager Moon passed by his co-workers who greeted her and he walked to his seat.
“Manager Moon, you came early today.”
Manager Moon usually gave a short and concise answer, so Shi Won sat in her seat and shrugged her shoulders.
The man who sits behind her, 32-year old Manager Moon Suk Han.
‘He is a quiet man. It’s not that he is quiet, I think that he just doesn’t know how to communicate with others.’
The name of the company she works at is “Dream Netpia”.
It started as a cellphone development company but it soon expanded into many other businesses and grew from a medium-scale company to a large-scale business.
Manager Moon transferred over three months ago from a different company.
‘At first, I thought he wasn’t talking because he was in a new environment, but that wasn’t the case because three months have passed and none of us have seen him talking to anyone.
Of course, he’s totally different when he’s working.
Whenever he’s giving a presentation or leading a conference, I question whether that person is actually Manager Moon, because he is a charismatic speaker so no one can talk back and give a different opinion on his perfect presentation.
That’s why even the team leader had difficulty handling him as well as the co-workers that he works with.’
Of course, it was also difficult for Shi Won because he sits right behind her.
“Um… Manager Moon. Here’s the data that you asked for yesterday.”
“Put it over there. I’ll take a look at it and wrap it up.”
After a while, a message came from him.
[Assistant Manager Han. This part here is different from what I talked about last time. Please correct it.]
Shi Won who read the message, abruptly got up from her seat and looked back.
She saw Manager Moon’s hand handing her the file while he was looking down at his desk, working.
‘What are you doing? Are you mute? You can just speak to me. Why message me… Do you hate speaking to me?
I really hate attitudes when people ignore other people.
I grabbed the file from him and slammed it back on my desk unintentionally, and I got subtle stares from my coworkers because of the loud noise.’
But Manager Moon wasn’t fazed at all and continued working.
‘He’s definitely a weirdo.’
She shook her head and made the correct changes to the file that she received back from Manager Moon.
Shi Won heard a sound behind her and turned around.
Manager Moon wasn’t eating lunch with his co-workers today as well. He went off somewhere by himself.
This was a regular occurrence so she didn’t think of it as a big deal and got up from her seat.
“Let’s go eat!”
The everyday lunch group members that went to a spaghetti restaurant included Manager Park and Assistant Manager Kim.
“Wow! It looks delicious!”
Assistant Manager Kim looked at the delicious-looking carbonara spaghetti while drooling.
“Make sure you eat plenty. I don’t feel like eating.” Shi Won said.
Manager Park smiled and raised her eyes and lips.
“What are you doing manager? What’s with that horrible expression?”
“I’ve been thinking that it’s been a while…”
“What?” Shi Won replied with a weak voice.
“Have you still not gotten over your break-up?” Assistant Manager Kim looked at Shi Won with an expression of disbelief.
“See? You’re upset. So, you’re still not over it. Assistant Manager Kim, let’s eat.”
“That’s not it!”
Shi Won grabbed her fork and began swirling it furiously.
“What in the world could be troubling our Assistant Manager Han? Did you really get dumped from four guys?”
She got a forkful of her spaghetti and put it into her mouth.
“Possibly… did you have problems making love?”
*Cough, cough, cough*
All of the spaghetti in her mouth came back out as she hatefully glared at Assistant Manager Kim and coughed uncontrollably.
“If you didn’t… then forget it.”
She looked away with an uneasy expression.
“I never slept with them!”
“Are you serious?”
“That’s the problem…”
Shi Won who was drinking water spat it all back out.
“Ah! You’re so nasty!”
“Hey! Why’s that the problem? If you date someone do you have to sleep with them?!”
“Assistant Manager Han. Lower your voice. There are a lot of people from the company here.”
Manager Kim lowered her head with an embarrassed expression and she looked around their surroundings.
Shi Won’s face turned bright red because people were staring at her.
She grabbed a napkin and wiped her lips and took a deep breath.
“Assistant Manager Han, you might not know these things but, sex is really important to men.”
“Where in the world did your theory come from?”
“This girl… then do you start sleeping with them as soon as you start dating?”
“Why are you twisting my words? If you love him, you should give him permission to have skinship with you. Are you sure you dated before? No way… Assistant Manager Han…”
The two women looked at Shi Won with questioning eyes.
“No way… Assistant Manager Han… you’re not a virgin right? No way, right?”
“Oh my… Really? Wow… you’re really amazing!”
“What’s so amazing?!!”
She grabbed a pickle and began munching on it.
“Wow… seeing a genuine virgin these days is rare.”
‘Why do I feel so bad from that compliment?’
Truth is, she had an opportunity to have sex. It’s not like she was trying to refuse. But the situation was confusing.
“Maybe I’m fated to grow old and die without ‘dating’.”
She looked down and she lowered her self-esteem. The two girls saw her and shook their heads.
“They all said I’m so-so. I thought that I was good enough… I must’ve been thinking too highly of myself.”
“What are you talking about? If you went to a matchmaking company, with your appearance, education, and personality, you would be in the 99th percentile.”
‘No matter how much they compliment me, it won’t boost up my confidence that has already hit rock bottom these past few years.’
“If I ask anybody out, I might get dumped.”
“You’re digging your own grave!”
After hearing Shi Won bringing herself down, Manager Park thought about it and suddenly her eyes brightened. You could see a light bulb shine above her head.
“That’s right! You should date a man who you think is below you in the status quo and if you get dumped even from him, you should just give up and live by yourself the rest of your life.”
She glared at Manager Park whom she didn’t know whether she was joking or not.
“I’m just saying that if you date someone who’s below you, then your confidence that hit rock bottom will come back up. Why are you glaring at me…?”
‘Is that so?
It sounds like nonsense but it sounds like it might work. But where in the world can I find someone like that? A man that’s below me in terms of social status…’
“But that kind of man…”
Assistant Kim clapped aloud and her eyes lit up as she smiled.
“Assistant Manager Han, what do you think about Manager Moon?”