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A Hypothetical Dating Scenario Called "The Perilla Leaf Debate" Is Going Viral, And It Has People Divided Over The Meaning Of Loyalty In A Relationship

"Let's say you're out to dinner with you, your boyfriend, and a really close friend of yours..." ๐Ÿ’‘ ๐Ÿ‘ฉ

For better or for worse, I'm on #dating TikTok, so my For You page is filled with discourse about romantic faux pas and potential red flags to look out for in a partner. And so, the other day, I came across aย clipย that I knew I had to share with you all, because people in the comments were veryyyy divided.

Amy Shin, who goes by @amyyshin on the platform, posted the viral video, which now has over 6.5 million views.

"There is a very popular dating analogy that Koreans are asking each other, and I need to know your thoughts," she said in the clip. "Let's say you have a boyfriend. If you're actually in a relationship, imagine your boyfriend. Let's say you're out to dinner with you, your boyfriend, and a really close friend of yours."

Close-up of woman holding a makeup brush

She continued, "Now, one of the lovely side dishes on the table is ggaenip [or perilla leaves]. It's important to note that the dish is specifically ggaenip, because it is known to be difficult to pick up with chopsticks."

Perilla leaves on a plate

Amy added, "Now, this close friend of yours is having a hard time picking it up. She's going at it for a really long time, so your man reaches over, picks it up for her, and puts it on her dish. You didn't even notice she was struggling, but he did."

Close-up of Amy smiling

She asked, "The question is, is that OK? Does it make a difference if it's a friend that he's met before vs. if it's a friend that he's now meeting for the first time? How would you feel? What would you do? Does it make a difference if it's just a situationship? What if you're already married?"

Amy applying makeup

Since we were so intrigued, BuzzFeed spoke with Amy to get some more details about the perilla leaf debate.

"It's important to note that this 'friend' is the same gender/sexual identity as you," Amy told BuzzFeed. "In other words, it's reasonable for your partner to find attraction to them."

Amy smiling

Amy also added that the reason some people may have more of a problem with their S.O. serving food is that it may "be more romantic for some cultures than others."

Amy sitting outdoors

One person in the comments noted this, reasoning that the cultural significance of placing food on someone's plate in Korea is a gesture of love. "Putting food on someone else's plate is super intimate and like a sign of respect and affection in Korea so I get this, I'd feel some way," they wrote.

Screenshot of the comment

Someone else had a differing opinion and even suggested that they would want their significant other to help their friend in need. "If my friend is struggling and my bf doesn't help her I don't want him lol," they commented.

Screenshot of the comment

There were also tons of comments that said something along the lines of, "It depends." "I think if the friend and boyfriend have known each other for a while it's OK but if it's the first time they've met then ehhhh," one person explained.

Screenshot of the comment

And since so many people were confused about what the big deal was, one person offered a comparable scenario. "Ok for people who don't get the depth, think about it as their jacket. Imagine a girl is struggling with her jacket zipper, and your man zips it up."

Screenshot of the comment

And y'all, the perilla leaf debate is way bigger than TikTok โ€” after doing some digging, we found that BTS had some opinions on the matter too. In a YouTube video, the group members discussed the scenario.

View this video on YouTube

BTS Mbti lab 2 / Via youtube.com

Jungkook and Taehyung were among the members who took issue with the situation. "They peel off one perilla leaf, the next thing you know they're holding hands," Taehyung reasoned.

BTS in suits and bow ties

Other members disagreed, including J-Hope, who said, "It isn't a problem if we trust each other."

But at the end of the day, no matter what you think, there's no right or wrong answer. "In a way, this isn't really a discussion about our significant others, but more about ourselves," Amy said. "I think that's what makes it such a passionate and debatable topic."

Amy and her significant other smiling and standing together

She added, "On top of that, it's so trivial. A perilla leaf is not a life or death situation, and no one NEEDS to eat it. So one can easily say, because it's just a leaf, my partner shouldn't be serving it to others. On the other hand, one might easily say it doesn't matter if my partner serves it because it's just a leaf."

What do you think? Would you be okay with your significant other helping a friend with their perilla leaf? Let me know in the comments!