Are They in a Relationship?

A discussion on how Ji An and Dong Hoon’s interactions would make it seem as if they are in a relationship


Because of the ladybug, we saw their first interaction. It was also the topic of their first conversation:

Dong Hoon: Isn’t it a bit too cruel to kill a ladybug? What’s the worst thing that you’ve killed? 

Ji An: A person 

Dong Hoon: Sorry for trying to make small talk.


I still laugh every time I watch this scene. Anyway, I googled ladybug and found out it’s often associated with good luck. According to this site, “A ladybug (or ladybird) is believed to be an embodiment of Lady Luck, bringing good fortune and prosperity along with it. As the insect leads a vibrant and colorful life, it influences you to experience the joys of living to the fullest.”

In another site, “Ladybugs as a symbol of self-reliance: Although the ladybugs may be tiny creatures, they are well capable of protecting themselves from larger predators. When the ladybug is endangered it will release a ghastly scent which the predator will find so repulsive it will go elsewhere to find its next meal. After observing this kind of action, people have said that the ladybug is a good example and a symbol of self-reliance no matter how small a creature is.” Very Ji-an.

And interestingly, in this website, “Ladybug symbolism in your dreams or in your midst: something magnificent deep within is waiting to be born through you, something that brings fulfillment and happiness to your soul.” “Ladybug is also a powerful totem of healing, Ladybug speaks: healing energies surround you….release your worries and let healing energies flow.” Hmm sounds familiar.

However, according to the very same website above, “Killing a ladybug is considered extremely bad luck. If you should be so unfortunate you killed a ladybug it is told you will be in the Virgin Mary’s Bad book for nine days. This is certainly not something to desire.”

As I was watching episode 10, I couldn’t help but notice this particular line from Ji An. This scene is from the latter part of episode 10, when Ji An met with Do Joon Young at a café. (Where later on that night, Ji An confessed to Dong Hoon). Do Joon Young was asking Ji An: “What kind of manager repays a female employee’s debt or even takes care of her grandma?” Part of Ji An’s response was this: “And he’s never called me, nor have we ever texted each other, so what relationship? It’s not like we held hands or hugged.”

Poor Do Joon Young, always being burned by Ji An.

We all know Ji An used to text Dong Hoon (not that it was anything intimate) when she asked him to buy her food in the early episodes. Dong Hoon also once called her phone, when she forgot to pick up the persimmons that fell from her cart.

Going back to the episode 10 scene, it’s interesting how through the above statement from Ji An, the writer has already shown us a glimpse of what is to come in the succeeding episodes, and this time it’s reciprocated: (another) text, (another) call, a hug, and holding of hands [why writer-nim, must you omit the kiss???]. What is even more interesting is that Ji An and Dong Hoon took turns when it comes to initiating these means/points of contact. And before each of them would take action, they’d hesitate at first.

After episode 10, let’s recall what happened…

WHO TEXTED FIRST? Ji An in episode 13. Hesitated at first, eventually texted him. Got a reply in ep 14 when DH became director.

Ji An: Good luck with your interview tomorrow. It’s no big deal.

Dong Hoon: I became a director. Thanks.

WHO CALLED FIRST? Dong Hoon had the urge in episode 11, but called her many times only in episode 14 when she left. Got the chance to talk to her via the payphone call.

In episode 11, the day after Ji An’s confession, Dong Hoon was further stressed by the fact that Ji An took the slippers from his drawer. Moreover, he had to attend to the meeting where the anti-DJY directors asked him about Ji An.

Dong Hoon went to Jung Hee’s bar afterwards. His hyung was talking, but Dong Hoon was having none of it. Dong Hoon suddenly had this weird look directed outside and eventually he went out. Pretending to be smoking, he was looking at both sides of the road obviously looking for signs of Ji An, and then he took out his phone but put it back his pocket. He looked at the other side of the road again, as if that would make Ji An appear.

Lol with this looks:

WHO WANTED A HUG? Ji An asked for it in ep 13, got it in ep 16.


Loved the part where they’re both teary-eyed after the hug and Dong Hoon tells her to go twice, but she wouldn’t budge, so he forces himself to leave.

WHO WANTED TO HOLD HANDS? I think Dong Hoon had the urge in episode 15, finally caved  in episode 16.

In episode 15, after they had that intense conversation at Choon Dae’s place, Dong Hoon was staring at her frail hands.

And this. I can never recover from that 30-second handshake/holding hands whatever.

FOLLOWING THE SEQUENCE ABOVE, it’s supposed to be JI-AN’s turn. To ask. For a kiss.  After all, she’s the one who initiated it in as early as episode 3, though during that time, she didn’t really want to. I wonder how she’ll ask for it the next time. I’ll leave it to our fiction writers.




5 thoughts on “Are They in a Relationship?”

  1. DJY was asking JA: “What kind of manager repays a female employee’s debt or even takes care of her grandma?”

    ———— that line, I remember scrolling through the MA twitter hashtag. There was this user who didn’t give a 10/10 score, I think he/she gave a 9 or an 8. Her reason was that it wasn’t too realistic how DH was uber nice to JA. It just doesn’t happen in real life, for a manager, to go out of his way to pay someone else’s debts, act like a chief mourner at her grandma’s funeral. It’s not too realistic unless ofcourse there’s something more there from DH.

    And really, so many of us have been torn between them being together in the end. Now for me, it’s no longer a doubt that their feelings, certainly not platonic but rather that deep love of a person for someone special. It was glaringly obvious but I feel like we were kind of forced to see it in a blurry way because of that no loveline statement. Thats why so many were confused. Because what they show versus what they were shoving down our faces really contradicted each other.

    We kept holding on to that statement when further into each episode, instead of supporting that claim, we find that it shows otherwise. And then you start doubting yourself, am I reading into it too much? But ofcourse not! Just look at those smidgen of clues and hints here and there. That’s why we’ve got this fansite in the first place. It is such a beautiful story and certainly very tastefully done

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you for saying this. All that confusion certainly made it a fun watch for me, though not without a whole lot of angst, too. 🙂


    2. Exactly my thoughts, yes!!!! Thank you!! We were literally forced to see it the other way round just because they couldn’t blatantly show it and that is the beauty in this show I feel. I mean, even after DH receives that call from the loan shark regarding JA stealing his bribe money to pay her debt and putting it in trash to save herself and not him, DH asks her if she is coming from her part-time when outside the bar. Who would do that?? Given, he is a guy who doesn’t hold people against himself even when they do him bad – that’s one negative point to my logic. That’s also what makes his character so selfless and so special. That moment, he is conditioned to try to spot or look or her outside the bar. His eyes look for her everytime.

      Liked by 1 person

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