While many are buzzing about the unexpected wedding announcement between two singers, Haha and Byul, some are upset over a break-up between Korea’s oldest public couple, Gong Hyo-jin and Ryu Seung-bum. The two stars met during on the set of SBS drama, Wonderful Days back in 2001 and naturally became a couple. These two were open about their relationship from the start, which was a rarity, especially a decade ago and have managed to garner support among fans. Some attribute their ability to date in public to their “unique looks” and quirky personalities. They weren’t sought after by crazy fans who fantasized about marrying them, instead they were admired by fans who loved their confidence, talent and style.

And because of their swag and their open attitude about their love-life, as they went through a public break-up at once point of their ten year long relationship, fans learned to evaluate these individuals based on their individual performances. Gong Hyo-jin is by far, one of my favorite actresses. She’s not necessarily the prettiest, but the model turned actress knows how to act. She can convey various emotions and always hits it off with her co-stars. Just in case you haven’t had the glorious opportunity to see her in action, make sure to check out her works out.  Gong Hyo-jin does a great job picking roles that are very different from her previous works, a strategy that is very different from other “ul-zzang” actresses, who stick to their ditzy romantic comedy roles and rely on their co-stars to carry the drama.

In The Greatest Love, she showed us a glimpse of a has-been star who is doing everything in her power to remain relevant.  In Thank-You, she made the viewers sob every episode by showing us the life of a single mother who’s caring for her HIV infected daughter and in Pasta, she inspired the little chef in all of us by learning to cook a dish.  And if you want to see a cheesy but your typical feel good romantic comedy with Rain, make sure to check out Sang-doo, Let’s Go To School.  

Despite her relationship status, Gong Hyo-jin was able to surpass her relatoinship status and embrace all of her roles.  To be honest, I also wondered if she was able to progress her career and hone her acting skills because she had the support of her boyfriend.  She had stability and I’m sure it didn’t hurt that her boyfriend was also working in the industry.  Come to think of it, Gong Hyo-jin and Ha Ji-won are the only actresses that display awesome chemistry with their co-stars, regardless of how good or bad of an actor they are paired with.

To be fair, I’m not as familiar with Ryu Seung-bum’s works, for he focused on growing his presence in film rather than drama compared to his former girlfriend.  However, based on all of his cameo appearances to support his girlfriend, such as Pasta as well as his cheerful and down to earth nature portrayed in variety shows and interviews, he seemed like that boy next door, who would always be loyal and faithful to his girlfriend.

Because the two have been together for a decade under the limelight, the fans had the opportunity to also see their relationship progress under the public eye, which makes the news about their break-up even more upsetting.  Based on press releases reported by their management company, the two decided to call it quits this April but waited until today to officially announce their break-up.   While I feel a bit cheated that their management took their sweet time to break the news to us, I understand why and am quite curious to see how the two cope with this break-up and start a new relationship.  In fact, I’m curious to see if Gong and/or Ryu will delight their fans with another public relationship.  It may seem possible, for the two appear very open and honest with their fans, but only time will tell.