We’ve made a list before (which you can find here), but in recent years, there have definitely been a fair share of male leads who have set some high standards when it comes to K-drama boyfriend material. When you think of your favorite K-drama male lead, there are a few obvious ones that come to mind and a few that you know definitely wouldn’t make that list, ie. Joo Dan Tae from “The Penthouse.”

And although it took everything in me to not put the perfect Ri Jung Hyuk from “Crash Landing On You” on the list, thinking about the fact that we would only be able to see him in Switzerland really didn’t make him the most ideal K-drama boyfriend – although a fair share of us really wouldn’t mind the trek. But luckily, here are nine other K-drama male leads who would be perfect on all levels to date in real life.

Note: This list focuses on male leads from more recent years.

1. Kim Jae Wook – “Her Private Life

Kim Jae Wook as Ryan Gold in “Her Private Life” made such a strong impression on viewers that he was known to set the bar quite high in terms of qualities a boyfriend should have. What made him such a solid catch in the eyes of viewers? His patience, humor, style, manners, and ability to love so whole-heartedly made him more than qualified for this list.

Despite his baggage and hardships growing up, it didn’t stop him from loving Sung Duk Mi (Park Min Young) unabashedly. He is always sincere, honest, and truthful about himself and his feelings, which we can all appreciate in a boyfriend. Also a very big bonus is how well he gets along with Duk Mi’s mom! He’d not only be the most perfect boyfriend, but he’d also be a great potential son-in-law!

Catch Kim Jae Wook as Ryan Gold in “Her Private Life”:

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2. Kang Ha Neul – “When The Camellia Blooms”

Whenever Kang Ha Neul and his portrayal as the goofy lovestruck Hwang Yong Sik in “When The Camellia Blooms” comes to mind, I can’t help but hear his voice in my head: “Dong-Baek-Shi~!”

Kang Ha Neul’s character is everything you could ever want and more in a boyfriend. He is devoted, upfront with his feelings, not afraid to commit, and he always sticks up for Dong Baek (Gong Hyo Jin) no matter what. Even moreso, Kang Ha Neul proves he is perfect boyfriend quality when he takes Dong Baek’s son under his wing and makes sure to always be there for him. He stands up for her son when the coaches and other parents put him down; he plays the father figure role so effortlessly. Yong Sik is the perfect countryside boyfriend who is always willing to stay as loyal as a puppy dog.

3. Lee Jong Suk – “Romance Is A Bonus Book”

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Cha Eun Ho (Lee Jong Suk) has been in love with his friend Kang Dan Yi (Lee Na Young) for as long as he can remember. He painfully watches her get married to a man who doesn’t deserve her, and he continues to love her from afar, often finding himself going to her old house when he misses her. Cha Eun Ho’s dedication and loyalty to this one woman is the kind of love everyone deserves. He tells Dan Yi that the only person in the world he needs is her and that she can stay with him for as long as she wants until she gets back on her feet. His generosity and compassion for her is neverending, which makes him pretty awesome.

4. Cha Eun Woo – “True Beauty

Cha Eun Woo as Lee Su Ho is the most recent addition to this list. There are hardly any flaws when it comes to our “straight-out-of-a-comic-book” main lead. He’s a straight A student, incredibly handsome, fashionable, and he doesn’t judge a book by its cover. He fell in love with Lim Ju Gyeong (Moon Ga Young) long before she had that killer makeover! Although he can come across being a bit guarded, Su Ho is sentimental and very loyal to those he calls friends. The way he loves her loudly for all the world to hear, without having any shame, made all our hearts flutter a little. He has a naturally protective nature and respects Ju Gyeong for who she is inside – something every woman deserves undoubtedly!

Catch the first episode of “True Beauty”:

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5. Park Bo Gum – “Record Of Youth”

If you have a look back at Park Bo Gum’s K-drama roles, there are plenty of characters in his repertoire that deem fit for this category. But if we’re pinpointing the more recent roles, Sa Hye Joon in “Record of Youth” is as close to perfect as they come. Sa Hye Joon is a model who is aspiring to be an actor. He hustles, works hard to achieve his dreams, and is a doting son to his mom. He meets Ahn Jung Ha (Park So Dam) and finds himself connecting with her and eventually developing strong feelings. He is honest about his feelings the moment he recognizes they are more than platonic, but he never makes Jung Ha feel pressured or uncomfortable. Sa Hye Joon is perfect in so many ways, and we see it through his relationship with Jung Ha. When Hye Joon gets famous, he makes sure that Jung Ha doesn’t feel insecure. He’s persistent and shows his love for her at any chance he gets – sometimes he even sacrifices eating just to see her. That’s true love!

6. Jo Jung Suk – “Hospital Playlist”

Truthfully speaking, any of the male leads in “Hospital Playlist” were 100 percent boyfriend material, but a couple of the assets set Lee Ik Joon (Jo Jung Suk) apart. There’s his outrageous sense of humor – his first appearance in the series is him wearing a Darth Vader hat – and his strong and unbreakable bond with his son Woo Joo.

Having Lee Ik Joon by your side would result in nonstop laughter, which is what we need in life. He’s your daily dose of happy vitamin, which will undoubtedly bring your darkest of days some sunshine. Lee Ik Joon hardly lets things get him down, and he always thinks positively no matter how hard life gets. He’s also very loyal to those he loves and he’s also a doctor, which means he’s pretty smart. And if this isn’t enough, he’s got a beautiful voice to serenade you with in the privacy of a karaoke room. There’s truly nothing more you could ask for in a real life boyfriend!

7. Lee Jun Ho – “Wok of Love

One of the best things about Seo Poong (Junho) in “Wok Of Love” is that he can cook. He can cook a wide array of dishes and has worked at one of the finest hotels in Seoul. He’s always willing to cook for Dan Sae Woo (Jung Ryeo Won) and she’s always hungry, so this works out so well. Seo Poong had been hurt in the past, but this doesn’t stop him from falling hard for Sae Woo. He connects with her on a deep and emotional level that is very evident on screen.

Seo Poong is sensitive, and beyond his stellar cooking skills, is a guy who wants to love and be loved. One of the best qualities about Poong that makes him so attractive as a boyfriend is that he only treats the person he loves well. He’s also able to see the good in people despite what they look like or what their life situation may be like. He stands up for what’s right and good while giving everyone a decent chance, which are qualities this world could use more of these days!

Watch Junho showcase his cooking skills in “Wok of Love”:

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8. Park Seo Joon – “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?”

Park Seo Joon as Young Joon in “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” is an unforgettable character. He’s a bit arrogant, but when it comes to the woman he loves, he’s willing to lay down his pride completely. He’s hopelessly in love for Mi So (Park Min Young) and constantly tries to sweep her off her feet. He even tries eating certain foods that he detests because he knows that she likes them. He listens to her and takes everything she says into consideration because he respects her opinion. On top of this, his proposal for Mi So is pretty killer. The man knows how to give a proposal of epic proportions!

Watch the journey between these two lovebirds:

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9. Kim Seon Ho – “You Drive Me Crazy

Just because Kim Seon Ho isn’t the main lead in “Start-Up” doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong on this list! Kim Seon Ho had a starring role as Rae Wan in the MBC series “You Drive Me Crazy,” and he is just as adorable and sweet in this one as he is in “Start-Up.” Rae Wan has been in love with his best friend Eun Sung (Lee Yoo Young) for 10 years. She barges into his house, eats all his food, sleeps on his couch whenever she wants, and even wears his brand new limited edition T-shirt that he tries to keep in mint condition. Despite all this, he still loves her. What more could you ask for in a boyfriend?!

Start watching the first episode here:

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10. Kim Soo Hyun – “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”

Moon Kang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun) with a heart-of-gold brother, Moon Sang Tae (Oh Jung Se), is one memorable K-drama boyfriend. In the hit tvN series “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay,” Kang Tae is not only incredibly caring and compassionate towards his brother, but he lives like his only purpose and desire in life is to make his brother happy.

So when he falls in love with Go Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji), his actions towards her are a solid reflection of how he treats his brother. There’s no going back when he falls in love, and his ability to understand and love unconditionally knows no bounds.

11. Jang Ki Yong – “Search: WWW”

“Search: WWW” stars one of the most lovable and perfect K-drama male leads in recent years. It’s a sweeping statement, but he deserves the title. Jang Ki Yong stars as Park Mo Geon, a creator of music for video games. He meets Bae Ta Mi (Im Soo Jung) at an arcade and falls in love with her the first night he meets her. Despite her continually pushing him away, Mo Geon is patient, gives her space, and makes sure that she knows he is there for her. When times get tough for Ta Mi, Mo Geon is the first one there to help her through. He never asks for anything but is that solid shoulder to cry on. Also, who wouldn’t appreciate a guy who cleans and does dishes on the regular?

Catch “Search: WWW” starting with the first episode here:

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Hey Soompiers, which of these male leads would you want as your boyfriend in real life? Let me know in the comments below!

binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG, but she’s been hardcore crushing on Hwang In Yeop these days! She is also the author of K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!

Currently watching: “Youn’s Stay,” “The Uncanny Counter,” “Lovestruck In The City,” and “She Would Never Know”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden,” “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo,” and”True Beauty
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen



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