Dating may be banned at many K-Pop agencies, but that doesn’t stop idols from engaging in romance. Of course, they can’t just do it out in the open. In an episode of YouTube‘s new documentary series, K-Pop Evolution, first-generation idol Kim Tae Woo of g.o.d revealed his clever yet somewhat extreme method for dating in secret.
Even back in K-Pop’s first generation, dating was seen as a taboo for idols. In fact, when member Joon Park—then 32-years-old—was caught dating in 2001, their agency kicked him out of the group without warning. Were it not for the support of fans and Park’s fellow members, who were able to get management to back down, his career may have been over.
As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Kim Tae Woo didn’t want to get caught in a similar scandal. However, that didn’t stop him from pursuing relationships at all. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t date anyone,” he said to K-Pop Evolution, “But it was always a secret.”
But how did he manage to keep his dates hidden from his agency and the public? Kim Tae Woo came up with a clever but somewhat extreme method. Since he needed to keep his relationships on the down-low, the star says he never had a normal date during his ideal career. Instead, he met up with his partners in his car.
Of course, a car isn’t the ideal setting for a romantic meeting—which is where the more extreme part of Kim Tae Woo’s method comes in. To create a better dating environment, the g.o.d star began making expensive upgrades to his car. First, he added a sunroof so he and his date wouldn’t feel cramped. Next, he installed a DVD player so they could have movie dates together.
But it gets crazier than that. Kim Tae Woo even planned on adding a bathroom to his car. In the end, he didn’t go through with it, but it says a lot about the lengths he was willing to go to just to have a normal romantic relationship.
“Thinking back,” said Kim, “I made those big sacrifices,”—and he’s not the only one. In the same episode of K-Pop Evolution, former KARA member Han Seungyeon said all she did when she was in a relationship was “sit in a car all day“. Despite her agency technically allowing dating, she revealed that even a lack of dating ban can be an issue.
Thankfully, after Kim Tae Woo terminated his contract with his agency, he was eventually able to pursue a healthy and happy relationship without fear of losing his career. He married his wife, Kim Aeri, in 2011, and went on to have three beautiful children with her.