This drama also known as "Condition of Love" shows how devastating and hurtful it can be for a woman to live with a boyfriend before marriage and not end-up tying a knot with him. Korea has the second highest divorce rate in the world as more families become ruined-mostly because one of the spouses cheats. On the other hand, the mass media keep championing premarital cohabitation as a choice that unmarried couples are free to make. "Terms of Endearment" depicts today's harsh reality where so many families get ruined, and once again reminds about the sacred meaning of marriage and the importance of family.
Kang Keum-pa (oldest sister ) : Chae Si Ra
Keum-pa's married life is quite enviable on the surface: her husband is a lawyer, and they have a child. But in reality, she is one of the unhappiest women. Her husband cheats on her with his co-worker, and Keum-pa doesn’t have the courage to divorce him even though she knows about her husband’s cheating and suffers a lot from that. One day, she runs into her elementary school boyfriend, her first love, through online chatting. The two become close, and Keum-pa even finds spiritual consolation in him. But eventually Keum-pa's husband learns about their precarious relationship, and Keum-pa ends up divorcing her husband.
Jin Jeong-han (Lee Jong Won)
A prominent lawyer specializing in divorces, Jeong-han wins the majority of his cases and makes big money. He loves his job, and currently lives with his in-laws because his apartment is under reconstruction. Although he is cheating on his wife with his co-worker, he has no intention to leave his family. For Jeong-han, cheating is just a stimulant and a way to relieve stress. That is why Keum-pa's numerous questions always irritate him. One day, he learns that his wife has a relationship with a man she has met through online chatting. Shocked and feeling betrayed, Jeong-han decides to divorce Keum-pa.
Kang Eun-pa (Han Ka In)
Eun-pa is a protagonist of a tragic life. Since her childhood, she has been treated coldly by her mother, who always compared her with her older sisters. While in college, Eun-pa falls in love with Jun-sung, who is very popular with girls. Eventually, Jun-sung moves in with Eun-pa, who lies to her mother that she wants to live with one of her college friends. Although she is scared that her family may find out that she is living with a boyfriend, Eun-pa firmly believes that Jun-sung will marry her one day, and does her best to become a caring girlfriend to him.
Noh Yun-taek (Ji Sung)
Yun-taek once dreamed of becoming an ethics teacher. He had to take a leave from college because he didn't have money, and went to the army. He is vibrant and witty, and has a good sense of humor, but on the other hand he is also very prudent, gentle and warm-hearted. As soon as he becomes discharged from the army, he embarks on looking for Eun-pa, his first love, but to no avail. One day, he suddenly meets Eun-pa at a nightclub where he works as a waiter in order to earn money and go back to college.
Na Ae-ri (Cho Yeo Jung)
A renowned jewelry designer, Ae-ri is a vibrant and self-confident person. She is a typical prototype of a selfish but smart modern woman who draws clear distinctions between work and fun. She realized at a young age that she is the heroine of her life, and everything she does complies with her needs. She thinks about men as her accessories that exit solely to serve her. Although she insists she will never get married, her beliefs become shattered when she meets Yun-taek.