If you’ve been interested in K-Pop for a while, you’ve likely learned by now that “dating bans” are common for idols, especially those newer to the industry. Dating bans are to prevent idols from pursuing romantic relationships in order to focus on their career and keep their image clear – after all, a lot of the appeal for idols comes from their fans’ fantasies of what they might be like to date, and seeing the celebrities with someone else can tarnish that image.
Of course, it’s likely that many idols date each other, or even non-celebrities, in secret, and sometimes rumors or confirmed cases of idols dating come to the surface. One example is BLACKPINK‘s Jennie, who was confirmed to be dating EXO‘s Kai from October 2018 to January 2019. The relationship was met with both support and hate, as with most idol relationships that come out to the public, and though they claim that conflicting schedules broke them up, it’s possible that the backlash played a part as well.
Jennie has had other rumors about her dating life as well, including with producer Teddy Park, Harry Styles, and even BIGBANG‘s Taeyang – all of which YG Entertainment vehemently denied and threatened legal action against those spreading the rumors. A comment from Jennie back in 2016 showed just how stern YG was about them avoiding dating:
Since the first day I entered YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun Suk sajangnim told me to always be careful of boys.
The members of BLACKPINK have spoken up before about just how strict YG Entertainment’s ban is, not only for dating but drinking, smoking, clubbing, and getting tattoos as well. In a 2017 interview, Rosé even admitted that she wasn’t allowed to get a driver’s license.
Jisoo, too, once spoke up about how YG made sure to prevent dating rumors back in 2016. She, along with Lisa and Rosé, have barely had any kind of dating scandals, which is likely due to just how stern the company is about their dating ban.
The first time I met Yang-Hyun Suk, he asked me, ‘Do you happen to have a boyfriend right now?’ At the time, I was wearing a ring, and he even asked what that ring was. I didn’t have a boyfriend, and It was just a ring.
It sounds like YG Entertainment goes to extreme measures to specifically prevent dating within their own company, which would obviously be the most likely place for idols to meet and mingle.
Even the eating times of trainees are different. At YG’s cafeteria, if the boys eat at 6 o’clock, the girls will eat at 7 o’clock.
It’s no wonder that the girls have managed to mostly avoid dating rumors, with how hard it would be to even meet someone to date. Hopefully in the future, there will be less stigma and controversy over idols dating so that they can experience healthy, loving relationships while still managing to keep their careers.