As romance rumors circulate, is it necessary for celebrities to affirm or deny them? Opinions vary in the entertainment industry, and it is increasingly argued that the personal preferences of artists should be respected.

Last month, rumors of actor Park Seo-joon dating singer and YouTuber, Xooos, surfaced. Reports cited entertainment industry insiders claiming that the pair, with a six-year age difference, were dating and shared a special relationship, even introducing each other to their close friends. Sightings of the couple were also frequently reported on internet communities.

In response to these speculations, the agencies of Park Seo-joon and Suss pleaded for understanding, stating that they could not confirm due to it being a private matter. A day after the dating news broke, Park Seo-joon opened up during a press conference for his movie 'Concrete Utopia' at the Seoul Lotte Cinema Konkuk University entrance. Usually, in such instances, artists refrain from discussing personal matters to avoid impacting the promotion of their work.

When asked about the rumors, Park Seo-joon acknowledged hearing about the news quite late the day before. He was initially taken aback, realizing the high level of interest in his personal life. Although he expressed his gratitude for the attention, he also revealed his discomfort with opening up his private life.

He struggled to comment on personal matters, instead urging people to focus on 'Concrete Utopia', as it was the first official event for the film. His remarks were seen as a fitting response from a celebrity who prefers to keep his private life away from the limelight.

Singer Hwasa was also in the spotlight last month when her dating rumors started circulating. Reports claimed that Hwasa had been in a relationship for five years with a businessman, twelve years her senior, who now runs his own company. The relationship reportedly blossomed five years ago, during his time in the music industry, following Hwasa's proactive courtship. Hwasa, who recently left RBW for P-Nation, led by Psy, hasn't made any particular remarks about her love life.

However, past comments from Hwasa have drawn attention. In a 2018 episode of tvN's 'Life Bar', she shared a story about dating a regular office worker after a year of unrequited love. In 2019, on SBS's 'Horizontal Channel', she reminisced about the time when "he was my first and last boyfriend. I pursued him for a year. Then, when I had a good encounter, he was the one who liked me more."

These remarks have led netizens to speculate whether her ex-boyfriend, whom she pursued and was a non-celebrity, is the same person involved in the current dating rumors, given the similarities in the timeline of her romantic history.

It's only natural for the public to express curiosity and raise questions. But whether or not it's necessary for celebrities to confirm or deny dating rumors is a topic of debate. Often, agencies make statements on behalf of celebrities after considering various factors. However, what matters most is the voice of the involved party. If they're clear about their intent to disclose their relationship, are comfortable sharing their private lives, or the timing is right, they may not shy away from confirming the relationship.

Conversely, celebrities who feel burdened by public scrutiny of their personal lives behind their professional façade, may not only refrain from confirming or denying rumors but also be wary of any reference to it. This apprehension deserves a certain degree of respect. Just as every individual has a unique personality, so do celebrities when faced with dating rumors, and their reactions vary. When dating rumors about different artists from the same agency emerge, their differing responses are often due to this reason. Even internationally, it's common for stars to withhold immediate reactions to dating rumors. Over time, they're either naturally accepted as a couple or they reveal it was a fleeting romantic fling. The belief that immediate confirmation or denial is a courtesy towards fans and a responsibility that celebrities should bear, is a divisive topic.