I Need Romance 3: Episode 10


Wow. This drama is really messing up with my feelings right now. I suddenly don’t understand the hullabaloo over Tae Yoon. Why are these two women fighting over him? On top of that, Joo Yeon finally takes her friendship with Se Ryung into account. Instead of dismissing everything Se Ryung says as a manipulation, she realizes that Se Ryung is a person to, who has feelings even though she claims otherwise.

Episode 10: Without Any Flowers, Without a Ring, and Without Any Words of Love


Joo Wan is still angry that his Joo Yeon has changed so much, but what’s surprising is that Joo Yeon cares so much about his opinions now. She goes looking for him and sheepishly asks for advice. What should she have done instead when faced with Se Ryung’s manipulative side? She doesn’t understand what she did wrong, to which Joo Wan replies that if she’s going to live ignorantly then she should just stay ignorant. It would have been better if she just focused on loving and wanting to be loved, rather than mixing those feelings with jealousy and competitiveness.

Funny since clearly Joo Yeon wants to be loved by Joo Wan at this moment.


Joo Wan sends her off from his room and then heads out. It hurts him to see her moping on the couch but he’s not going to cave in. Yet. He heads off to the neighborhood restaurant when Joo Yeon starts texting him, asking where he is and when he’s coming home. When she says that she won’t sleep until he’s back, Joo Wan finally caves in. No matter how angry he was with her before, he can’t stay that way for long.

He heads back home to his Shing-Shing and then tries to send her to bed. He flips the channel to a movie and she tries to watch it with him. Her affectionate hugs are a way for her to make amends with him, and he apologizes for his harsh words.


The following morning Hee Jae is at work early and has gathered all the online sales orders that they’ve made already. Min Jung notices that Hee Jae took down her little motto “Youth Means Pain!” sign and discovers that Hee Jae and her boyfriend broke up. It wasn’t because of Hee Jae kissing Woo Young (who is also surprised to learn about her new single status) either. Hee Jae feels embarrassed and angry that Ji Seung had passed his exam a while ago but never told her. In a way, he was testing her and her devotion to him.

Jerk. Well, she’s a jerk too.

Woo Young catches Hee Jae when she’s running an errand for Joo Yeon to see if she’s okay. Hee Jae doesn’t know if she is. She’s been so busy preparing for their broadcast and working overtime that she doesn’t have time to process her feelings just yet.


Min Jung and Joo Yeon prepare to meet with another stylist, who now has interest in managing the online shopping mall because Se Ryung did it. Little do they realize, Min Suk has come to their building to meet “Lee Woo Young!” Shenanigans!!!! Of course, the real Lee Woo Young comes down, which totally confuses him for a moment. When he looks around the waiting area, he spies Joo Yeon, whom he thinks is his neighbor Min Jung. And when the real Min Jung arrives at the waiting area with coffee… boy are both of them shell-shocked.

Min Jung runs off in the middle of that meeting and Min Suk makes chase, calling her a con artist! He manages to grab her ID and realizes that she’s the real Min Jung who lives next door. They’re gonna need to talk.

Woo Young is so affronted by the fact that Min Jung used his name. Since his name was involved she should have told him about the relationship and if it ended! Otherwise he wouldn’t know how to act or cover for her.

Over coffee, Min Suk discovers almost everything about Min Jung except for the fact that she’s pregnant. She tries to brush him off as a good memory but he doesn’t want to just be a fling. He wants to be with her, no matter how old she is. He clearly likes her, but Min Jung refuses to see him anymore.


Se Ryung calls up Joo Yeon with bad news. Another home shopping network has featured a jacket that looks very similar to theirs. Joo Yeon quickly rushes over to Se Ryung’s office to discuss. Uh-oh. Is it possible that Se Ryung leaked the design to a competitor to mess Joo Yeon up?

They’re going to have to find a new concept since it will look like an imitation even though their product is better. Se Ryung asks if Joo Yeon trusts her. After some hesitation Joo Yeon says she trusts Se Ryung’s judgment. That’s not what Se Ryung was asking though. She wants to know if Joo Yeon trusts her as a friend. “Friend” – that tricky word where Joo Yeon isn’t sure if Se Ryung is sincere or not. Joo Yeon says she does, and with that they head back to Se Ryung’s room for some ramen.


Joo Yeon wants to know if there was truth to the rumor that Se Ryung seduced guys by asking if they wanted ramen in her room. Not that it would have mattered either way. Even if Joo Yeon did believe it was possible she didn’t care back then because she enjoyed Se Ryung’s company so much. She didn’t pay attention to the rumors because she just liked Se Ryung for who she was. That is, until Se Ryung stole her first love.

Se Ryung comes clean. She didn’t really mean it when she called Joo Yeon a friend the other day, but she still likes Joo Yeon for being someone who doesn’t just ‘talk the talk’ but also can ‘walk the walk’. No matter how much they may dislike each other their lives and histories are intertwined, making them friends in some way.


Because of that one basic truth about their relationship, Se Ryung begs Joo Yeon not to date Tae Yoon. Even though they’ve broken up she wants one more chance to change and win him over. There is no one else she can love more than Tae Yoon. That just puts Joo Yeon in an even more difficult position.

Joo Yeon calls up Joo Wan in need of advice. He’s at his studio so if she desperately needs him then she needs to come to him. He then dismisses his rookie idol singers because the “girl he likes” has come. Hehe.


They go for a walk, and Joo Yeon can’t figure out if Se Ryung is sincere when she says that she loves Tae Yoon. Is it real or is it just obsession being misplaced as love? What is love anyways?

Joo Wan laughs at her, but reminds her that when they were younger he asked her the same question. Joo Yeon’s response back then was that love was made up of brightness, lightness and laughter. Just being happy with one another is enough to prove that they’re in love. He says “I love you” once again, which makes her shiver from the cheesiness. But they walk home with Joo Wan’s arm around her body, keeping her warm.


Se Ryung presents her new concept: a sweatshirt with a cartoonish character on it. It’s simple, childish, and perfect for layering. Joo Yeon’s team doesn’t like the sweatshirt because it’s too risky, but Joo Yeon says they’ll go with Se Ryung’s concept. She’ll trust her friend’s instinct.

After the meeting Se Ryung visits Tae Yoon’s office in the hopes of seeing him. He’s not around but she spies Joo Yeon’s note about what and what not to eat when undergoing gastritis. She takes the note, claiming to know about Tae Yoon’s gastritis, to presumably make healthy food for him. She’s really trying hard here.


Meanwhile Woo Young tries to invite Hee Jae out on a date. Even though they’re both really busy perhaps they can find the time to go bowling together. He sets the date for Sunday morning at eight, and waits expectantly for her to arrive. Just when he thinks she’s not coming, Hee Jae appears. He gives her some bowling shoes – which he bought a month ago because he so happens to know the shoe sizes of all the women in the office – and then holds her hand when he introduces her to his friends. So… yeah. They’re kinda sorta dating now. Well… so he thinks.


It’s also the day Joo Yeon is supposed to go on her date with Tae Yoon. She is dying – and by dying I mean kicking her legs in the air on her bed and wailing over indecision. She doesn’t know if she should cancel or if it’s good to cancel if she was the one who suggested the date in the first place. It shouldn’t be a big deal but it is for her. Joo Wan just stares at her and tells her to eat breakfast. Heh.

Joo Yeon’s angst is resolved when Tae Yoon calls first to cancel. He’s feeling quite sick from drinking all night, plus still has gastritis, so he’s in no condition to go out. Joo Yeon then realizes that Joo Wan just made some soup that has all the ingredients Tae Yoon can have for his gastritis. Cue puppy dog eyes! And finally Joo Wan lets her take the soup to him.


Joo Yeon scolds Tae Yoon for drinking just because his superiors told him to when he was already feeling unwell. She speaks to him familiarly, which is something Tae Yoon likes and could get used to. Just then the door opens and Se Ryung walks right into Tae Yoon’s apartment. She’s not happy to see Joo Yeon there.


Joo Yeon herself doesn’t feel comfortable about being in this weird love triangle when she’s already trying to get out of it. So she offers to leave first. But Tae Yoon orders her to stay. He dislikes the fact that Se Ryung just barges into her ex-boyfriend’s house without permission. Joo Yeon tries to leave again but Tae Yoon forces her to sit down. At this point, if Se Ryung has anyone to get mad at, it’s Tae Yoon.

Se Ryung pleads for another chance and promises to change. But Tae Yoon won’t hear of it. He tells her to leave and never come back. Harsh.

Once Se Ryung leaves, Joo Yeon cries out that she doesn’t want to be in the middle of their lovers’ quarrel. Just because she appears to be fine with being used like a tool, she really isn’t. She has feelings, too! And unfortunately, she feels weakest around Tae Yoon because she will do anything to make him happy and to hear just a word of praise from him. That gives him something to think about.


Joo Yeon leaves his apartment and catches Se Ryung, angry and in tears in the parking lot. She suggests going out for a drink but Se Ryung spitefully refuses. Why should she drink with her? She’s not someone to be pitied for being rejected and embarrassed by Tae Yoon. And Se Ryung drives off. As soon as she gets to the office she wants her contract with Joo Yeon to be faxed over to the lawyer. Is she seriously considering to cancel her contract?! Over love!?


Joo Yeon sadly goes home and requests that Joo Wan play some music for her. Music that evokes sadness. No, pain! No, rage! No… funeral music is best! She’s so angry that she wants Joo Wan to kill Tae Yoon in the most cruel way possible! Somehow. Clearly she hates that her life is complicated. Joo Wan gives her a wake-up call: Life IS complicated.

She also happens to be really hungry but has no energy to cook or find food. Joo Wan carries her on piggyback and brings her to the kitchen, where she starts choosing what she wants to eat for lunch. Wahhhh – this is such a cute sequence. I need a boyfriend to carry me around on his back for food!


Min Suk rings on Min Jung’s doorbell and then leaves his gift on her door handle. He still calls her Lee Woo Young, heh, but wants them to continue dating. They end up crawling up against the wall to see if they can hear the other’s reactions. Min Suk knocks on the wall, and Min Jung responds with knocks in surprise. They can communicate to each other!  They’re both so cute.


The show goes on with Se Ryung’s new sweatshirt concept and it ends up being another hit with another sold-out show. We finally get a glimpse of Tae Yoon’s boss, who recognizes Joo Yeon’s talents and hints that she may getting a promotion soon. Joo Yeon goes over to Tae Yoon’s office, as is her habit, but he catches her before she knocks. Tae Yoon congratulates her, and then asks her out to dinner.


It’s dinner at a very fancy restaurant and Joo Yeon doesn’t have much of an appetite because she’s not sure about how to take the meal. He clarifies that this is not a work related dinner, but a personal one. He wants them to start dating.


He admits that usually he has flowers or a ring or something nice to say to preface the proposition. But he doesn’t want to waste either one’s time. He can’t even say that he loves her just yet. However, he promises to try his best in this relationship.


Joo Yeon suddenly wonders what Joo Wan would say if she told him about this. Joo Wan would most probably find it all incredulous and say that this relationship is not going to go anywhere because Tae Yoon barely shows any signs of love towards Joo Yeon. But Joo Yeon actually likes that. Instead of having material things like flowers or rings, he gave the promise of trying his best. Their love would be of the practical sort because after all, the initial honeymoon phase will disappear. The honeyed words of love and the material things will disappear. All that’s really left is two people working hard to maintain a relationship. And that’s what matters the most to her.


So Joo Yeon accepts Tae Yoon’s “proposal.”

Just when Joo Wan buys a bouquet of flowers for her because he loves her. OH MY HEART.

Thoughts and Comments:

Joo Yeon has grown quite a bit in this episode because she is slowly seeing the world through Joo Wan’s eyes. While she’s still cynical and worries that Se Ryung might be manipulating her, she has also come to give people the benefit of the doubt. I like that she has come to rely on Joo Wan as an advisor and that she is trying to be a good friend even though she didn’t mean it before. I like that she also has come to stand up for herself and tells Tae Yoon outright that she doesn’t want to play his love games.

What I don’t like is the way Tae Yoon treats the two women in his life, and how they regard him as a prized possession. Honestly for me, he’s becoming less worth it by the second. The love triangle between Se Ryung, Tae Yoon, and Joo Yeon is not based on love but who can win over the other. I still have this feeling that Tae Yoon wants to use Joo Yeon as part of his revenge against Se Ryung. At this point, if I were Se Ryung I’d give up on him. I also feel like Tae Yoon is being a little hypocritical. If he was going to try his best in a rational manner with Joo Yeon, why didn’t he do it with Se Ryung? Trying one’s hardest does not mean breaking up with a girl just because she hangs out with some guys at night. One might argue that Tae Yoon tried loving with his heart with Se Ryung and got burned, and so he’s trying to love with his mind with Joo Yeon. But it’s a bit ridiculous for me to see that because he knew what Se Ryung was like, so when they started dating again shouldn’t he have tried loving her in a rational way?

It’s quite unfortunate but not completely unrealistic to see love treated in such a pragmatic and cruel way. Questions like, “Is it really feasible to love with just the mind instead of the heart?” or “What is the perfect balance of mind and soul when it comes to love?” keep cropping up. Joo Wan’s perception of love is naive and sweet, but 10x preferable to the way Tae Yoon – and to an extent, Joo Yeon – treats it. While I find that pouring one’s heart all over a relationship is dangerous I think it’s better to just say how one really feels. It’s just like Min Suk, who’s earnest and honest. Thinking too rationally about a relationship is a recipe for disaster, like in Hee Jae’s case, because it forces these characters to overthink what the other person is doing. Loving pragmatically brings in a whole new set of factors that may not be a big deal, but becomes a big deal. Money, careers, family, a house – those are all things that aren’t important or relevant to a person’s relationship with another, but Hee Jae and Joo Yeon seem to treat it as important.

I wish people in this drama would just shut up and listen to Joo Wan.

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