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[One True Pairings] Do I really have an OTP?


Healer

By @Jellybn

One True Pairing: This phrase was one that I did not actively use until I started watching K-dramas. I had heard of it, I had seen it floating around on the internet, but I had never used it to describe a couple I was reading about or seeing on TV. I was never invested enough in a couple to use it.

Even now it’s sometimes hard to use. I use it as a placeholder to mean the main couple of a drama, but to use OTP as the true couple in your book is hard. Sometimes it gets a difficult to understand why a couple in a drama like each other. If the guy is a jerk, why is the girl attracted to him? Yeah, we get to see his softer side later, but why does she stick long enough to see it? If the girl is purely Candy, why does a guy who seemingly has everything pursue her? We know she is more than meets the eye, but what about her makes him stick with her? Sometimes I just don’t get it, but I still root for them because that’s what romantics do. You wish the best for the main couple and get extremely happy alongside them during their fluttering moments together.


Strong Woman Do Bong-soon

I don’t really think there is just one couple I feel strongly about. The true OTPs in my book are the ones I always think about as a pair when I think about their drama and not as individual characters. Couples that fit well in each other’s lives and make each other better. Those that made me root for them from beginning to end and whose actions I mostly agreed with. Couples that made my heart flutter by being together and not separate. A pair that made a drama that much better because of them.

The Healer couple first comes to mind. The thing that I loved about Seo Jung-hoo and Chae Young-shin was how they trusted each other. Trust was an underlying theme in Healer, and Young-shin openly talked about trusting at least one person. When I look back on Healer I think about a great show with great writing and direction, but I also think about a great couple that made me flail around.

The Strong Woman Do Bong-soon couple is also another one I really liked. I loved the patience they had in each other. Ahn Min-hyuk knew Do Bong-soon liked someone else since the very beginning, but he respectfully waited for her to love him back. A vain person would have easily been swayed by his good looks and money, but in the end she waited for her heart to turn towards him because it was him. It might have been a superhero/comedy/romance/thriller drama, but when I think about it, the moments between the main couple are what I remember the most.


Just Between Lovers

Most recently, two new OTPs have reached my heart. Just Between Lovers made me cry my eyes out, but the love story it painted seemed very realistic. Gang-doo and Moon-soo were two deeply hurt people who needed love, and who better than each other to give it to them? I loved that they became friends first. They might have wanted to push each other away at some point, but it wasn’t frustrating for me because I knew they would soon look for each other.

I’m Not A Robot gave us the pretty couple of Kim Min-kyu and Jo Jia. What I loved about them was their double confession. Sometimes the love line between couples seems one-sided. Only one confesses, the other accepts, and then they kiss. The end. I love how they both had the chance to say how much they individually needed each other. It brings butterflies to my stomach just thinking about it.


I’m Not a Robot

There are many other couples that made me giggle and grin goofily throughout their respective dramas that I didn’t mention. Probably because they aren’t true “OTPs” in my book or because I have the tendency to ship the main leads with myself (I know, I’m delusional, but I sometimes can’t help myself with all these swoony guys). But I think these four couples really show what makes an OTP for me. Trusting each other, waiting for each other’s hearts to catch up, sharing each other’s lives no matter what, and speaking up about your feelings for the other person. All things I wish to find myself in a respective partner.

Will that be possible for me one day? Who knows. In the meantime, I’ll be over here shipping myself with Yoon Shi-jin (Descendants of the Sun), Crown Prince Yeong (Moonlight Drawn By Clouds), Jung-hwan (Answer Me 1988), Lee Jae-ha (King 2 Hearts), and Park Seo-joon (Kill Me, Heal Me, She Was Pretty, Hwarang, Fight My Way, in basically any character he plays).


Kill Me, Heal Me

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@jellybn

So...is that pic basically you and your love for PSJ lol??

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Hahaha that pic cracked me up 😆

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It's the perfect picture XD

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I can't stop giggling from that picture 🤣!

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Basically, yes. Baahaha!😂

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that pic, OMG.. perfect!!.. hahaa..

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I'm in the middle of Healer right now. Actually halfway through ep 15.
I adore these two. I admit I end up liking pairings that I know in real life would be problematic, but not these two.
I think I am enjoying them so much because I like them separately and find them interesting.
This ep they are so cute. When she is trying to cook breakfast and then introducing themselves on the bridge.

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Healer is just so good! And the couple is just so right together that in my mind they always come as a pair. Enjoy the rest of the episodes!

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I really liked your article. I tend to root for the main couple but some couples are just ....special.

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Thank you @Katrina. Yes, sometimes you can't see one person without seeing the other and I think that is what makes them special.

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Ahhh. Wish I could relive the experience of first time watching Healer. Every rewatch *still* turns me into a puddle of squee and giddiness, but nothing beats the first time.

Enjoy the rest of the drama! :)

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I'm having so much fun with it. They make me smile so much.

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Hi Beverly. I am so glad you are enjoying Healer. It is a wonderful series. It was my first kdrama so I am a bit sentimental about it.

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I'm in luck, I still haven't got to it yet

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Yes, an ace in the hole.

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Exactly, I really like Ji chang -wook

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ahh healer couple my one and only favorite couple

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Awwww you're giving me healer feeeelllsss!!! you'll really enjoy yourself.
I'm suddenly wishing there was a season 2 (which would have been completely unnecessary) or it was a 50 ep drama( i absolutely stay away from more than 20ep dramas but for healer i will😚)

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Yes, to experience favorite shows or books again for the first time. Even if not a favorite but the right story at the right time in the right mood.

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Hi Klike234. I have this weird idea/concept that when Ji Chang-wook and Lee Min-ho complete their military complete their military service they could join up together in a Healer meets City Hunter series.
Would that work?

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Lol! Really? Hmmm.... I'm not so sure of the combo(JCW and LMH) though- it may be potentially hazardous to many of the viewing public lol and I'm not so certain of they both acting together
anything can work though with a good script and awesome director.
But then they'll have to be extra extra good

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Hi. I have been recently out of DB contact and just returned from a trip to Spain/Portugal and checked in and saw your reply. Thanks. I am glad you got a laugh. I can see it now: A Netflix Original!

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I’m also just starting Healer (just finished episode 5) where his alter-ego, Boo-song, allows her to be the “brave” one, allows her to indirectly face her PTSD, and that knowing smirk he directs towards her (the one we see, but she doesn’t) as she leads him out of that greenhouse, that’s where I was gone. I didn’t even care if she liked him back at that point. But she’s so endearing already that you can’t help but pull for them. Looking forward to the rest!

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I usually like shows gradually, or just watch the first couple of eps and conclude "Oh, I like this show." But with Healer, I can tell the *exact* the moment it became cracktastic to me, and it's the same scene you were talking about. When he secretly smiled at her at the end of episode 5. :D

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Mary hi! Always a pleasure to see your comments😊😊👍🏽

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Yes.
Liking the heroine on her own, the hero too, just makes it so much better when they come together.
So, the one song they play when they are together sounds a little 80s to me, but I love it too, lol. I love they play this ballad even when he is doing action scenes to save her. Something playful about it.

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Great take on this topic! Boy, there have been so many times I've wondered "why is she/he sticking around???" when OTP-ness seems awfully far away.

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For real! But in order to enjoy a drama I make myself root for them. Or I start shipping myself with the lead lol😆.

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You're a better person than I. I get ticked off and rail against how stupid the stupider party is (obviously, this is in cases of not-cute actors!). Then I might (gasp!) drop the show. But if the actor is cute, I do what you do and just devote myself to ignoring everything else 😉

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LOL!!! 😂😂😂😂You make me remember @justme's comment about liking "beautiful people getting together". Ha ha... this is the key factor. We live part of our fantasies through them, and even when they act the way we wouldn't, we stick to them until the happy end because we know at least they will have that, that is why they are the OTP. That being said, some of them deserve to be abandoned. No guilty feelings about it. Some better will come for sure. 😉

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What a nice surprise to end my day with! Thanks lovely people of Dramabeans for accepting and posting my submission. It's truly an honor!

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Congrats! Lovely read!

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Thank you:)

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I agree! Healer, Robot and Strong Woman in my Top 10 fave dramas, with Healer being #1. The OTP, the writing, the acting and the satisfying endings are what makes them tops. I have not watched JBL. Is it good? I want to make sure it’s got a happy ending.

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JBL was great! I highly recommend it. And don't worry about the ending. :)

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The only three couples in dreamland that I feel can answer the question 'what do you like about each other' in a satisfactory way.

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Dramaland! Damn autocorrect

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I want to add one: I also felt that with the Live Up To Your Name couple. They were aces.

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Ooh, I haven't seen that one. Although judging from my list, I may have to resign from work and watch television full time.

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Instead of resigning, you could take a week's holiday, stay at home and do nothing other than watch dramas. Would make a good dent in your backlog.

Would save you lots of money that you wouldn't have to spend on flights and hotels.

This could well be very bad advice.

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They catch you right away. They are perfect together

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Fist bump sister👊. I feel ya 😎 @the healer comment. Lol
I think i better stop reading comments or I'll react to everyone on healer lol!

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I really enjoyed and loved JBL. I tend to stay away from hard and sad stories because they sometimes hit too close to home, but I really thought this one was well done. I cried a lot, which I usually don't do, in the finale, but the ending is satisfying! Let us know if you watch it:)

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Congrats! @Jellybn... Beautiful article🙂. After reading and discussing so much @Greenfields' about the non-TP's out there, it is very nice to remember few which have been true OTPs and have made us even dream about them.
I have watched all these dramas with all the OTPs you mentioned and I agree with you 100%. Trust, respect and true friendship within the attraction is what makes any OTP either in fiction or in real life work.😍
Two more examples of an OTP that worked out and you can imagine them really growing old together: kim book jo and Joon Hyung in WFKBJ, and of course Louis and Bok shil in SKL. I know, I know they seem too "perfect" to be true, but hello, Boon song is the strongest woman on earth?
I think all of them are really iconic partners which have repectively made their dramas better! 😀 And for us as viewers, that is what it counts. 😊

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Agreed 100%! ^^; There are so many OTPs that are indeed amazing, like WFKBJ as you said. I can think of more - The Princess' Man, Queen In Hyun's Man, King2Hearts, Go Back Spouses are the first that come to mind. ^^

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From this list I have only watched Go back couple and there I had a second lead syndrome 😅😅😅
But I will watch one day the queen in hyun's man, I have heard it is good.... 😉

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Thanks @javinne:) I have also seen WFKBJ and SKL and you are right those two couples are also great OTPs. In WFKBJ, I really loved how they took care of each other and didn't let each other give up on their dreams. For our two puppies in SKL, it was really sweet how just having each other was enough. They really complemented each other which is always beautiful.

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What is SKL?

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Shopping King Louis:)

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Thanks! I should watch that.

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@Tizzy
SKL is a feel good drama filled with lots of fluff. Hope you like it😊

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I really liked that although Louis was rich, he was somehow simple in his personality, and that matched very well with Bok shil: they were very innocent, and although you cannot imagine them remaining like that in that pink bubble forever, you can definitively imagine them growing mature together. Actually, although it was played for fun, I liked the scenes when they were imagining how their lives together would be until they are old, and Louis would be watching TV and shopping, and Bok shil cleaning the house and upset because he is kind of useless😂😂😂😂😂, but still together!!!!!
I don't know if you get what I mean, she knew he was a shopaholic, but she still loved him that way, and so much, she even asked Yoon Sang Hyun's character to take care of him, because Louis was a "high maintenance kid"! LOL😂. And Louis knew Bok shil was the head of the house. He never thought he had to become such. If he would not have been originally rich, they would have still worked out, because as people they were true to themselves and also together. Their romance was so refreshing and pure and tender!! and somehow realistic, under the beautiful pink world they lived in. They make me believe.
Obviously the Non-TPs would never ever have this effect. That is why I liked your article, true OTPs make you feel it, and then you can only imagine them together. I also liked Suspicious Partner, but in my heart Bok shil belongs to Louie, and Healer belongs to Chae Young Shin.

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Healer & JBL couples in one post. ❤️

That last pic though. 😂

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It may or may not be a picture of myself lol!:)

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Love your take on this, @pbnjelly513 !! Totally relatable too..
this line especially :
"because I have the tendency to ship the main leads with myself"
and this :
"Trusting each other, waiting for each other’s hearts to catch up, sharing each other’s lives no matter what, and speaking up about your feelings for the other person. All things I wish to find myself in a respective partner."
Cheers for us to be less delusional (or not, whatever is happier.. ahaha..) and to said partner, may he exist in real life!!

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Let's just be delusional together! I'm already lonely as it is, lol.

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very nicely writen and you have shared auch sensible points about the OTPness of the lead pair. i used to wonder many times (as my SLS is pretty strong in such dramas) as to why the girl had to be stick to brat-rich-rude male lead when she has one nice-loving-caring second alog her side but your post made me realized "yeah they are the OTPs so no matter how good Second Lead is she cant look around"
and yayyyy for another beanie from Tean Jung Hwan... i finished R88 just 2 weeks back and guess i still haven't got over the pain and suffering of Jung hwanie....
thanks for sharing ur views.

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forgot to mention that last pic is epic. and it shows the plight of us poor souls who are so deprived of love of our Oppas that we dream abt them (my oppa list pretty long to even have one in my dreams...😂😂😂😍😍😍)

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Thanks @KdramaSwimmer :) Second Lead Syndrome is another word I learned to use when I started Kdramas. I started to wonder why do romantic interests come in twos and why does she always not go for the one I'm rooting for? Baahaha! Anyways, at the end I'm like good for her, she chose the one she truly loved, welp that means more SL oppas for me lol.

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I'm so glad Healer got a mention. I actually wrote a third one this month that concentrated on them as well, (although I never expected it to get published for obvious reasons). So congratulations @pbnjelly513 on getting published and for bringing up one of the dramaland's best couples.

I personally think Healer was not very well paced or plotted. But the OTP was so good it didn't matter overall. This is one of those shows where a great romance papers over a lot of cracks.

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Thank you @ChinguMode :) I read your pieces and really liked them, but I didn't get the chance to comment on them. You are a really gifted writer:)
I can personally see no fault in Healer, but that's what happens when its your favorite:) You shut your eyes and ears to all things that went wrong, lol. The OTP really did make the show that much better!

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Omg Healer!!! Favorite otp forever!

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Agreed!

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Healer or the ultimate OTP

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They are basically the same thing!

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I love Healer ! For a lot reasons (the characters in the past and the present, the action, the story) but the couple is really great ! It's like Superman, she falls in love with him without knowing it :P

My favourite one is Suspicious Partner's couple. No childhood love, no innocent girl falling in love with a cheabol (she wasn't innocent and naive, she was a normal woman that was very refreshing), a normal relationship (falling in love, skinship and more, fighting against the daily grind) (I mean normal for a kdrama, there is some killer in the picture...)

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I love your comment on suspicious partner....at least it seemed relatable and normal normal.....

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Suspicious Partner had a great couple and that's what got me through the end of the drama. They were normal and relatable. I'm normal (maybe) so is there a normal guy that looks like JCW out there for me? Hopefully, lol:)

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Thanks for the writeup....I just saw the first pic of healer and I started smiling sheepishly.....Healer is one of my very best kdrama and I liked the OTP too.......

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Healer does that to me too!

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The healer picture brought me to read this
HEALER!!! I MISS IT! The only drama I've watched twice. I love how you described them to bits. Totally accurate. And every other couple too. *thumbs up
And thank you for mentioning my dearest healer 😍😍😍

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I love Beanies that love Healer because we can just be like HEALER! and get heart eyes. The only real life person I know that saw it didn't like it as much as I did so I can't rant about how good it was, but Beanies know what's up!

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I knoooooooowww!
My boyfriend watched it because i loved it so much(such a darling😄) and then after watching it he said it was just "ok"😑😑.... my heart! Lol

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Oof, been there. When you totally love something and the other person finds it meh. Whenever I watch something with someone I always gauge their reactions before I start my endless flailing and talking jeje😊

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@jellybn Have you seen Midnight Runners yet with Park Seo Joon? He was great (as always) in it! ^_^

... Oh, and this was very well thought out and well written! Sorry, got distracted by the PSJ mention...

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@hotcocoagirl I have totally already seen Midnight Runners and loved it!!! Obviously because of PSJ, but also because of Kang Ha-neul. It was totally my style of movie, but of course PSJ made it that much better, jeje!

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Kang Ha-neul was so great too! At the I wanted the two of them to adopt the girl they saved as their dongsaeng and be overprotective oppas and scare all potential suitors and cry at her wedding and panic when she has kids 😹😹

I’m glad you already saw it so we could fangirl together ~ ☺️

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Baahaha! Yes, there needs to be a sequel! We have to seem them as actual officers now and more on their romantic pursuits, haha.
It's always fun to fangirl:)

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*starts chant* sequel sequel sequel sequel !!!

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@hotcocoagirl
*chants right along with you*
We just have to wait for KHN to get out of army!

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Two years is a normal amount of time to wait for a sequel ^_^

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What I like most about the Healer couple is that they reiterate over & over again that their relationship works not just because of inevitable fate that draws them together, but they have that constant desire to fight for each other. They know that a relationship is not sustainable if it's built on the foundation of attraction alone. In the face of hardship they choose to give each other space to work through their emotional response to it and come back to communicate & straighten things out afterwards.

And I like that they're both equals, in the sense that no one loves/needs/depends more than the other. Seo Jung Hoo puts himself in danger and makes countless sacrifices, knowing full well that Chae Young Shin would do the exact same for him should the tables turn. Like, he'd never ask Chae Young Shin of something that he himself wouldn't be able to give - be it trust, sacrifice, etc.

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Yes! You put it into much better words than I did. The Healer couple just make it work because they want to make it work. And you are right, they are very much equals which I totally love about their relationship.

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Yes, that feeling when you don't know if you ship them because they are leads, or if they are actually good together. But I realized with Black that there are couples you don't want to get together, and you can feel the writing trying to force you into liking them as a couple.

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Yeah, so throughout the whole drama, that you just can't quit, you're like, "well, I guess I ship them" and at the end you're like, "well, at least they love each other, right?". I almost always stick to the end just cause I'm curious and those writers are just so forceful, lol.

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I fall in love with preserving couples. The couples that face hardships together but don't break up completely. Maybe they temporarily separate but no noble idiocy. I think of Strongest Deliveryman, when Dan-Ah literally tells Kang Soo that they were going to work out. Or in Fight My Way when Ae-ra requests a "break" but still stays by Dong-Man's side and supports him. This is accurate. Relationships aren't a series of heart flutters but the sumtotal of life's ebbs and flows.

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I really enjoyed Strongest Deliveryman and Fight My Way especially because the couples worked so well together. They were also normal couples with jobs and responsibilities so they were more relatable than others.

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Dang ! reading all the comments about Healer makes me wanna watch it again. Yay... this OTP will remain in my books forever. Super love them. Thanks for this very nice article.... brings back lots of fun memories during the airing of this drama.

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I still have some philosophical reservations about the 'I'm not a Robot' OTP. The heroine started the series an independent resourceful young women only to find personal fulfillment through being objectified as a household implement. It was especially creepy towards the end, the guy continued to pat her on the head like he did his robot, as though wishing for that simpler time when she was just an appliance.

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Currently rewatching "Healer" (yet again) and it's still enjoyable. Bong Soo/Jung Hoo and Yong Shin will always be a favorite!

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