Business Proposal Lessons
It’s been a while since K-drama viewers had a good rich-boy-falls-in-love-with-poor-girl plot, but Business Proposal has brought back such a storyline with a fresh take. Not only did the drama break viewership records in South Korea, but it also proves that cliche romantic comedies are fool-proof for hopeless romantics like me.
Apart from getting treated to dynamic acting by a star-studded cast, the drama also taught me 16 love and life lessons. Continue reading to find out what they are.
Warning: Spoilers for Business Proposal ahead, proceed at your own risk if you’ve yet to watch the drama!
1. Arranged marriages still happen in the 21st century
I thought arranged marriages only happened in my parents’ generation, but Business Proposal shows that they are still very real in the 21st century. Although the drama started with Hari attending a blind date on behalf of Youngseo, Hari later found herself tangled in a complicated relationship with her company’s CEO, Taemoo.
The arranged marriage was proposed by Taemoo’s grandfather and Youngseo’s father, who mentioned that they wanted them to get married because it would be a win-win situation for them ‒ both business and career-wise. It is unfortunate to see how even in today’s era, there are people who believe that marriage is still strictly business.
2. It is possible to fall in love at first sight
Youngseo’s first impression of Sunghoon
Youngseo might not have gone on the blind date with Taemoo, but she fell in love at first sight with his secretary, Sunghoon, instead.
The two bumped into each other by accident on the street, and it was in that moment that she saw an “explosion” of flower petals behind him. Surprisingly, it was also the same for Sunghoon, who was similarly attracted to Youngseo. Love at first sight is rare, but as this proves, is not impossible.
3. It is fine to eat alone, even in restaurants
Not everyone finds it comfortable to eat alone, but it is perfectly fine to dine by yourself, even in restaurants. Ever since Youngseo moved into the same building as Sunghoon, the two kept bumping into each other whenever they were headed out for a meal by themselves.
For those who find it awkward to dine by themselves, there are also other lone diners out there, so, at the very least, you’re not really alone. Who knows, as you might even meet your destined one like Youngseo and Sunghoon did.
4. You will pay for your crimes one day
As the male lead of the drama, Taemoo put the wealth and power that he had into good use on many occasions. In one instance, he told the perpetrator who secretly set up a spy camera to film Youngseo that he was going to pay for his crimes.
By reaching out to all his victims and filing lawsuits accordingly, Taemoo told the perpetrator that even after serving time in jail, he would continue to pay for his crimes. As such offences will go on record, Taemoo was sure that the perpetrator would have a hard time finding a job later on. We love a man who seeks justice, and it shows no crime will be left unpaid.
5. You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to express your feelings
Despite knowing Minwoo for 7 years, Hari never found the chance to confess her feelings for him. She thought that it was best to just stay as friends and eventually, we saw how she regretted her inaction when Minwoo got together with Yoora.
Although it turned out for the best for Hari, sometimes it’s better to express your feelings whenever you have the opportunity to do so, to avoid regrets.
6. Knowing someone for a long time doesn’t mean you know their true colours
While Hari had been friends with Minwoo for 7 years, she had not seen his true colours in that time. When Minwoo punched Taemoo, Hari was triggered by how he had meddled in her business. Furthermore, she didn’t like it when Minwoo misunderstood Taemoo without hearing her side of the story.
It was obvious to viewers, me included, that Minwoo no longer had feelings for Yoora but rather, liked Hari. Yet, he did not have the courage to break up with Yoora, and played dirty by acting like a friend who wanted the best for Hari.
7. An office romance has more cons than pros
Engaging in an office romance is always a risk, as things can go south easily, especially if there’s an argument that might lead to being distracted at work. As mentioned by Miss Yeo, who was dating Mr Gye, she shared how “Nothing good comes out of people knowing you’re dating someone at work”.
Gossip is unavoidable, and things can get messy once the relationship is out of the bag.
8. Not every woman is attracted to the high life
Taemoo ticks all the boxes for the “perfect” husband ‒ capable, rich, and good looking ‒ and it is rather foolish to reject someone as eligible as him. However, Hari was not impressed by his extravagance as they caused her stress instead.
Since she was born and raised humbly, Hari was not used to luxurious displays of affection. Some people could find advances such as Taemoo’s overwhelming, and it suggests that not every woman is attracted to the high life.
9. It is perfectly fine to start dating after spending the night together
There is no exact rule book for how two people should date, and it is perfectly fine to only become a couple after having spent a night together. Youngseo and Sunghoon had feelings for each other the first time they met, but it was only after a night of intimacy that they decided to call each other bae.
PerhapsYoungseo and Sunghoon’s relationship reflects an increasingly acceptable trend for couples coming together in society today. Plus, there is no shame, as long as both are responsible for their own consensual actions.
10. Sincere acts go a long way to touch someone’s heart
Taemoo’s constant pursuit of Hari is an example of how sincere acts go a long way in touching someone’s heart. Ever since Taemoo realised that his feelings for Hari were real, he never hesitated to express his love for her.
While there were some hiccups, like leaving her alone at the bus stop during a storm, Taemoo was always truthful. He stayed true to his words like not letting Hari go once she decided to be with him. His dedication towards Hari is admirable, and something which I believe every woman yearns to see from their partner.
11. Guys are scared of cockroaches too
Everyone has fears, and for Sunghoon, it is cockroaches. While Youngseo initially sought help from him to get rid of them, she later realised that he was actually afraid of the creepy crawlies too.
Putting on a brave front before Youngseo, he even tried to explain that he was not afraid, but rather, just grossed out by them.
12. The person you’re in love with will be always on your mind
Imagine going on a business trip as an excuse to stay away from a person ‒ that was what Taemoo did when he was in denial about his feelings for Hari.
He thought that by being away from her, he would have a peace of mind. Yet, little did he know that he would end up thinking about her even more. From imagining she was on the plane to thinking that she was beside him in the hotel lobby, Taemoo couldn’t stop thinking about her.
When you’re in love with someone, you just can’t stop having thoughts of them running through your mind.
13. You can’t always get what you want in life
While society tells us to follow our dreams, sometimes in life, we don’t get to do the things that we want.
Youngseo’s father was enraged when he found out that Youngseo was dating someone who was not on her “level”. He wanted her life partner to be a respectable and successful person, and did not consider Sunghoon one since he was just a secretary. He didn’t like the idea that Youngseo was doing things her way, in this case, dating whoever she pleased.
It is indeed true that not everyone has the freedom to do whatever they want due to the responsibilities they have. However, like how Youngseo ended up breaking ties with her father for Sunghoon, it shows that sometimes you would have to sacrifice certain things to achieve others.
14. Someone who loves you would do anything for you
Taemoo’s courtship of Hari might not have been the smoothest, but his attention to detail had us viewers swooning over him. Using work as an excuse, he brought Hari to the beach, and even rented an entire burger truck just for her.
While Hari thought it was mere coincidence that the burger truck was there, Taemoo actually planned for it to put a smile on her face. He looked into her likes and dislikes, and went all out to make it special for Hari, just because he knew how much it would mean to her.
When you like someone, you will go all out to do everything for them.
15. Not all friends are true friends
Yoora’s confession about her relationship with Minwoo
Not every friend is a true friend. Toxic friends will bring each other down, especially when jealousy is involved. Yoora never liked Hari, and even till the end of the show, there was no explanation for why she disliked her.
Later on in the drama, Yoora confessed that she dated Minwoo because she knew that Hari liked him ‒ a bitchy act that made me question Yoora’s integrity. We should be wary of toxic friends in our lives.
16. Never keep secrets from your partner
There is no good in keeping secrets from your partner as the lies would only snowball.
From the beginning, Sunghoon should have told Youngseo the truth that he had gone on a blind date in place of Taemoo. When Youngseo only found out later, she was furious that he didn’t consider her feelings on the matter, and followed Taemoo’s order obediently just because he was his superior.
While he only didn’t want to worry Youngseo, such misunderstandings could be avoided if Sunghoon was more thoughtful of his partner, and did not lie to her.
Business Proposal Showed How Relationships Work Differently For Every Couple
These 16 lessons show that while every relationship has ups and downs, every couple has their own way of working things out. Outsiders to the relationship might not understand, but as long as the couple is happy, that’s all that matters.
All images courtesy of Netflix.