Min and Han Ji-yul breakup in Once Upon a Small Town explained

Once Upon a Small Town recently saw Min and Han Ji-yul part their ways, with the latter putting a definitive end to their relationship that already broke apart a year ago. Here’s why the couple broke up in the first place.

Arriving at the scene with an abrupt entrance, shocking Ji-yul and disrupting a cute moment he was sharing with Ahn Ja-young, Min seemed like the biggest nip in the bud that is Ji-yul and Ja-young’s relationship.

However, with the latest episode of Once Upon a Small Town, Min is already out of the picture. The biggest contributions that her character made to the plot are delaying the inevitable, albeit by not much; adding more clichés, and providing some background on Ji-yul’s love life so far.

Her arrival at Huidon village is immediately followed by the revelation that it has been a year since Min and Han Ji-yul broke up. However, she has come to resume the things she perceives she put a pause on, but Ji-yul has moved on from her and that relationship.

Why did Min and Han Ji-yul break up?

It is not made clear from the start, the reason why the two broke things up a year ago. However, with the way Han Ji-yul talks about her to Ja-young, it looks like the one to cause the breakup was Min.

Ji-yul alludes to how Min always does what she feels like and does it without paying much heed to others’ feelings of comfort. It paints a picture that’s very much congruent to the Min who keeps imposing herself on Ji-yul, despite his evident discomfort and displeasure.

In episode 10, the reason for their breakup is revealed, and the viewers learn that Min had presented two choices to Han Ji-yul that led to them calling it quits.

Min was going to the US and made Han Ji-yul choose between going with her and breaking up — two rather unfair and cruel choices for someone who loved her dearly.

ahn ja-young, min, han ji-yul
Ahn Ja-young, Min, and Han Ji-yul in episode 10

Min apologizes to Han Ji-yul for making him choose between the two and taking his love for granted. Her come around in episode 10 helps her realize she needs to move on, from both Han Ji-yul as well as the regret she feels for the breakup.

The final moments that Min and Han Ji-yul share also help the viewers empathize with her in a way not many had been able to until then.

How the breakup helped Ji-yul and Ja-young’s relationship

When discussing their breakup, Han Ji-yul talks about how he was such a morose soul after Min left and they called it quits. He thought of himself as incapable of loving again, that is until he found Ahn Ja-young.

Han Ji-yul has always been a quiet and reserved individual, maintaining clear and firm boundaries around him. It is understandable how an individual like him; who is actually full of compassion and love inside, but silent and dejected on the outside, would wonder if he can even love and be loved again.

That is why Ahn Ja-young’s return to his life is so crucial and convenient for him to find he’s able to love and be loved. Ahn Ja-young destroys his personal space, annoys him with her relentless selfless acts, and is also his secret friend from childhood.

It takes all of the aforementioned elements to shake Han Ji-yul from his jaded and miserable state to something that makes his heart flutter for a crush; ruin his sleep over his vulnerability in front of someone he loves; and increases his desperation to express his feelings for the one he loves.

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