by HappySqueak, August 7, 2016

*Warning* This article may contain some minor spoilers.

As a fan of the romance genre, it’s intriguing to watch the attraction of our leads grow through various means: love at first sight, or a heated battle of wits, funny repeated encounters of meeting each other, or that instant love-hate tension that unites them together later in the story.

In a 'second chance at love' storyline, our characters have had their first shot at romance but things are stacking up against them in a different light!  With their ongoing issues, their relationship is starting to crack.

When we dive into the story, time has now passed! Their relationship might have been strong to begin with but life itself is now chipping away at them. Things are taking a toll!

In many of these second-chance romance stories, we see that married life is not all that it’s cracked up to be for our couples. Partings which are near, or have ended in bitter divorce, are often the starting off point in these rekindled romances.

It’s when our leads with a romantic history, are thrown back into the mix that the drama, tension and heart stirring begins for round 2!

#7 Emergency Couple

Young marriage doesn’t pan out for our leads Oh Jin Hee (played by Song Ji Hyo) and Oh Chang Min (played by Choi Jin Hyuk). After an emotional final show down of relationship frustrations, our leads part ways.


They are later brought back together when they both begin work as Interns at the same hospital. Annoyed to be in each other presence, they do their best to ignore each other. However, the familiarity resurfaces as they ‘know’ each other all too well.


While at work, they pretend to be strangers and hide their previous relationship. But as new romantic potentials for Oh Jin Hee start to pop up, it stirs some envy and jealousy in our male lead as he realizes that he still loves the girl who he bickers with everyday at work.


They realize they both made mistakes when they were together.  But is there a chance for them to learn from those mistakes and find a way back to one another?

#6 I have a Lover

A weekend drama mixed with some makjang and amnesia, received some high ratings but mixed reviews. Kim Hyun Joo rocks both twin sister roles Do Hae Gang and Dok Go Yong Gi. Ji Jin Hee plays Choi Jin Eon.
Our leads have had a hefty marriage, they have also experienced the loss of a child and other family member conflicts. With their relationship salty and cold, it doesn’t feel like there is much left to keep it going. It’s a frustrating development when a gorgeous, young intern sways her husband’s heart, sending his marriage into its final destruction. His wife, despite their downfalls, still wants to keep their marriage but he devastatingly breaks her heart. I’ll admit seeing this heartbreak was very hard to watch. This cast nails it, and the performances are very moving.


Hae Gang later finds out she is a twin. In a twist of fate, the two encounter each other. One twin, in the act of desperation, unknowingly steals the car belonging to her sister. In pursuit of her twin to get her car back, Hae Gang gets into an accident. Meanwhile, Dok Go Yong Gi continues fleeing into hiding due to a whistle-blowing company issue.  When Hae Gang is discovered, she is rocked by amnesia and is only recognized as Dok Go Yong Gi by second lead oppa. So she takes on her sister’s identity and makes a life for herself.

4 years later, Hae Gang bumps into her ex-husband. He is immediately drawn in curiously by the woman who does not recognize him, but her mannerisms and appearance are exactly that of his ex-wife.


Her innocence and kindness touch his heart and he vies hard to win her affections, even casting aside the young intern that is now overly obsessed with him.


As the viewer, you love and hate this guy. His actions leave us wondering if Hae Gang will forgive him when she regains her memory of his cold-hearted betrayal.


This one is long and heavy on the dramatics!! If you’re looking for a deep connection between the leads, this might be worth checking out.

#5 Discovery of Romance

Hey, Eric fans! if you enjoyed him in Another Miss Oh, then you will like his performance as Kang Tae Hae in this drama. Han Yeo Reum (played Jung Yu Mi) is our leading lady, who steps up her game in this mix of heartbreak, moving on, and re-kindled romance. Our leading pair have dated for years, but when the love and connection begin to fizzle, Yeo Reum no longer has the patience to put up with it. She feels like it's in her best interest to end this unhealthy relationship, and breaks it off.

With the passage of time, we dive back into the current situations of our leads. Both are successful in their careers,. When Yeo Reum’s current boyfriend is set up on a blind date by his mother, she follows him to the hotel. As she seats herself nearby, she unknowingly has sat down opposite to her ex. He is both amused and intrigued to see her again.



Fate tosses our leads back together as they end up having to work together on a joint company venture.


This drama has a really honest, in-depth views from both character's standpoints of breaking up, moving on and seeing if they were meant to be together after all. 

#4 My Secret Hotel

When a divorced couple meets again, Nam Sang Hyo (played by Yoo In Na) is shocked to discover her ex-husband is getting remarried. The kicker is that her she is hired to be their wedding planner. Meeting again after so many years apart, drops in a series of flustered emotions and flirty attacks from a confused Koo Hae Young (played by Jin Yi Han). His bitter but lingering feelings, are still festering for his first love.


Our second lead oppa Jo Sung Geyom is played by Nam Gun Min (who is also in the more recent Beautiful Gong Shim.)


This romantic comedy features an amusing cast of characters and will have you laughing at out loud as these two navigate their re-encounter. 


They have a lot of work ahead of them to see if there is still something there worth fighting for.

#3 18 vs 29

This 2005 gem is a fun romp through the trials and obstacles of married life. Top star Kang Sang Young aka Kang Bong-Man (played by Ryu Soo Young) is always busy with his film work. Being in close company with a beautiful actress also complicates things. His cute and quirky wife,Yoo Hye Chan (Played by Park Sun Young) is fed up with her husband’s nonsense. She also see's this other woman slowly approaching the fragile relationship she currently has with her husband. She wishes to file for divorce but is in a car accident (which leads to amnesia) before she can do so. Yay more amnesia. Her memory places her back at age 18 and not the 29-year-old woman that she is. Her mannerisms, style, and ideals are those of her 18-year-old self. Her only memories of Kang Bong Man are her loathing him in High School.


Through various flashbacks, we see the beginnings of their relationship.


Kang Bong Man is flustered and caught off guard by the guarded nature of his wife’s 18-year-old persona, and does his best to help her remember their relationship. Even though pictures are not enough. It also doesn’t help that a cute high school boy begins to fall for her. This drama is funny and though looks a little dated, it’s an enjoyable story.

#2 Goodbye Dear Wife

A rocky marriage is left on the back burner when Cha Seung Hyuk (played by Ryu Shi Won ) realizes that he’s fallen out of love and attraction with his wife Kang Sun Ah (played by Hong Soo Hyun). She is a dowdy woman now and very unlike how she was when they first fell in love. As a fighting champ and public icon, he is a bit of a celebrity.. On the sly, he yearns to get a chance with another girl his heart is set on. Which leads him up to the point of "Let's.."


But when Sun Ah re-meets handsome second lead Oppa Kim Hyun Chul (played by Kim Min Soo) after years apart, Kim Hyun Chul wants nothing more than to reach out to her. However, she is a dedicated wife and maintains the sweet friendship the two had before.


Seung Hyuk’s jealousy begins to brew when he notices the admiration of Hyun Chul toward his wife. Seung Hyuk begins to realize his wife’s sweet qualities and falls in love with her all over again.  


This drama is about bitter sweet relationships with an ending that will touch your heart.

#1 Cunning Single Lady aka Sly and Single Again

Another pair of bitter divorcees Na Ae Ra (played by Lee Min Jung) and Cha Jung Woo (played by Joo Sang Wook) are not too enthused to see other again after many years separated. Jung Woo has achieved the highest level of success, which was the very thing that jeopardized their relationship and caused the divorce. And Ae Ra is barely holding on to what little she has, but her determined and modest spirit, keeps her strong through her fluctuating situations. They meet under less than savory circumstances, and as fate would have it, Jung Woo gives her a helping hand. The bitter Jung Woo selects her for an internship at his company.



With a slew of personal attacks and new love interests emerging from the shadows, this dynamic drama is very well paced. Their new-found time together at work sheds light for both of them, on the situations that drove them apart.



This drama is filled with humour, regained attraction and admitting past mistakes. Finding a way back to each other is challenging. Our second lead oppa (played by Seo Kang Joon) is also very cute!


Prepare for some second lead syndrome here!

I hope you enjoy these second chance at romance selections! If you have other favourites, let us know :)