5 Korean Dramas That Teach You Relationships Shouldn’t Just Be One Way

Five Korean dramas that teach mutual effort in love and the heartache of one-sided relationships.
5 Korean Dramas That Teach You Relationships Shouldn’T Just Be One Way

For those who have ever experienced the joy of falling in love, it can make your heart feel like it’s blooming. And when your crush reciprocates your feelings, the world seems to belong to just the two of you. But what happens when love is unrequited? It can be truly painful and exhausting to love someone who doesn’t love you back.

Korean dramas often depict this kind of one-sided love, offering a window into the heartbreak and resilience that come with it. Here are five Korean dramas that vividly portray how relationships shouldn’t be one-sided.

1. 18 Again (2020)

18 Again

18 Again (Doc. Jtbc/18 Again) 

In 18 Again, we see the story of Hong Dae Young (Yoon Sang Hyun) and Jung Da Jung (Kim Ha Neul), whose long marriage ends in divorce. Despite their years together, they each feel like they’re fighting the relationship battles alone without support from each other. This drama highlights that even long-term relationships can fail if both partners don’t equally invest in each other.

18 Again shows us that relationships require effort from both sides. If one partner feels neglected or unsupported, it can lead to the relationship’s downfall. This drama is a reminder that for a relationship to thrive, both people need to work together and support each other equally.

2. More Than Friends (2020)

More Than Friends

More Than Friends (Doc. Jtbc/More Than Friends) 

Kyung Woo Yeon (Shin Ye Eun) has been in love with her childhood friend, Lee Soo (Ong Seung Wu), for a long time in More Than Friends. Despite numerous chances to express her feelings, Kyung Woo Yeon never manages to do so, and ultimately, she tries to date someone else to move on.

This drama beautifully depicts the pain of one-sided love and the struggle to let go and move forward. It shows how important it is for both parties to communicate and share their feelings to avoid misunderstandings and heartache.

3. A Love So Beautiful (2020)

A Love So Beautiful

A Love So Beautiful (Doc. Kakao Tv/A Love So Beautiful) 

In A Love So Beautiful, high school student Shin Sol I (So Joo Yeon) has a crush on Cha Heon (Kim Yo Han). Despite her cheerful personality and efforts, she struggles to get his attention. The drama highlights the patience required in one-sided love and the emotional toll it can take.

Shin Sol I’s perseverance reminds viewers that while it’s natural to want someone to notice you, it’s also important to recognize when it’s time to move on and find someone who appreciates your efforts and reciprocates your feelings.

4. The Emperor: Owner of the Mask (2017)

The Emperor: Owner Of The Mask

The Emperor: Owner Of The Mask (Doc. Mbc/The Emperor: Owner Of The Mask) 

The Emperor: Owner of the Mask tells the story of Kim Hwa Gun (Yoon So Hee) and the crown prince Lee Sun (Yoo Seung Ho). Despite their different social standings, Kim Hwa Gun falls in love with the prince. Her unrequited love leads to heartbreak, as their relationship faces numerous obstacles due to their social differences.

This drama emphasizes that love often transcends boundaries, but without mutual effort and understanding, it can lead to significant emotional suffering.

5. A Piece of Your Mind (2020)

A Piece Of Your Mind

A Piece Of Your Mind (Doc. Tvn/A Piece Of Your Mind) 

In A Piece of Your Mind, Moon Ha Won (Jung Hae In) has always wanted to be with his childhood friend Kim Ji Soo (Park Ju Hyun). However, Kim Ji Soo never reciprocates his feelings seriously, leading Moon Ha Won to accept his unrequited love and search for someone who will return his affection.

This drama beautifully showcases the journey of accepting unrequited love and finding the courage to seek happiness elsewhere. It teaches that love should be mutual and that it’s okay to move on to find someone who truly appreciates and loves you back.


These Korean dramas poignantly illustrate that relationships should be a two-way street. Unrequited love can be draining and heartbreaking, but these stories also offer hope and lessons about resilience, self-worth, and the importance of mutual effort in love. Watching these dramas, we learn that while love can be complicated, it should never be one-sided.

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