Bottomless depths of Internet are bursting with never-ending scores of seemingly legitimate Russian dating sites full of model-like smiling cuties. Should you check them out, just for fun, or is it better to stay away and stick with what you already know, your favourite local hangout for singles?
If you are tired of dating ladies in your neighbourhood and a visit to your usual app brings bad memories rather than excitement of potentially something wonderful waiting to happen, you may be ready to check real Russian websites offering introductions to pretty overseas hopefuls.
However, before you embark on your journey, there are 8 things you need to check about the site to ensure it is legitimate.
In today’s world, there is a plethora of online entrepreneurs that are swift to take your money but you may get little to nothing, or maybe a headache or a broken heart, in return for your hard-earned cash.
Be safe and wise, learn how to check legitimate places—and get rewarded with (hopefully) finding the Love of Your Life.
Because why else would you seek to meet someone from abroad, if not for a relationship?
It takes 20-30 hours just to fly from a regional town in Russia to the USA or Australia.
If all you are after is some late night chat with hot Russian girls, to get you going, you don’t need legitimacy. Pick any dating site, it will do just fine. But if you want a true relationship that will transfer successfully to the offline world from the pages of an Internet singles portal, this is where you have to ensure, from the beginning, it’s fully transparent and you get what you’ve been promised.
Let’s define what it means in case of online venues with Slavic brides.
8 things that define legitimate Russian dating sites
First of all, genuine Russian dating is not a fiction. It does exist.
You probably have met some Slavic wives living in your area through everyday activities or work. Don’t they look cute? They seem to be proud of their appearance and take care of themselves. These ladies definitely stand out from the crowd with their long locks and fashionable outfits.
You may not know it right now but Russia is also the country with the highest level of tertiary education as per OECD data. 54% of people have degrees in Russia, while in the USA it’s 50%. What’s surprising, more Russian females than males acquire degrees. So, if you are a male who likes a smart and intelligent lady, Russian Federation is the right place to look for one.
Beauty and brains? That’s a great combination.
But wait, here is more…
Russian girls are also brought up, since they were little toddlers, on the basis that a female’s happiness is in her family.
In other words, they are highly family oriented. Loyalty and devotion are seen as essential feminine qualities.
Beauty, brains, education, and family values? Now you got me hooked… So, what’s the catch?
How come such amazing ladies are single?
This is the question every hot-blooded males asks himself and probably the reason why interested guys turn away from bona fide Russian dating websites. Because, as we all have been trained…
“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
Right? In this case, not.
It is the devotion to family values that makes young Russian females eager to find a committed partner (i.e. get married).
But because of demographic imbalances, there are simply not enough eligible bachelors for all the single ladies.
- Fact: There are 86 males to 100 females in Russia, the main reason being high mortality of males due to alcohol abuse and cultural norms praising risk-taking and violence as bravery.
Most pretty girls whom you see on legitimate singles portals for Russians will be happy to marry a local guy or meet a foreigner living in her home country.
In fact, Russian girls from legitimate sites are apprehensive about immigration to an unknown land. They are also highly patriotic and love their homeland. But the pressure from the society towards an unmarried young female, requiring her to “pair up”, is too high. This is the driver of her decision to join a specialized dating site offering introductions to foreigners.
Yes, Russia’s females, whose profiles you see on legitimate web pages, are not desperate “to get out of poverty”. They are desperate “to have a family”, which means a husband who loves her and the kids. A guy who loves his wife and children, wants to be a father and a husband, can provide for the family. That’s basically all her requirements to future Mr. Right!
- See also: 5 reasons why I am not contacting you (by an American male)
Family vs. immigration
If you get this idea—“Russian women seek worthy men for a life-long partnership and creation of a happy and strong family”—rather than “They simply desire to immigrate”, then it will be easier for you to separate legitimate dating sites as compared to the ones that only bring you grief.
Because the baddies play on your ignorance.
- If you think, “They simply try to find a way out of poverty”, then you will end up at a [bad] website with Russian brides that advertises to you what you want to hear, takes your money, and keeps selling you dreams.
- If you understand that these ladies are seeking someone to build a family with and live together forever, then you are unlikely to believe that a 21-year-old hottie from Odessa wants to screw the brains out of a 59-year-old guy from Oklahoma. No, this is not possible. A 40-year-old wishing to do it is realistic, but a 21-year-old’s limit is 45 (yes, it’s slightly higher than what you are accustomed to in your country). However, even though it may work fine in the beginning, any age gap over 15 years may prove problematic in the long term. And even then, the 21-year-old doesn’t want to “screw your brains out”, she only dreams of a home and a baby, being admired and adored by a “worthy man”, who will marry her and make her his.
Does it make sense?
The motivation is the main point of difference.
This is where 8 tell-tale signs, which you are going to be checking for, start and end.
Unless you understand the main underlying impulse of “Russian brides”, as media calls them, in search for a foreign partner, the signs below won’t make sense.
Now that we have finished with the prelude, time to take you through the reference list.
1. Membership vs. PPL
PPL stands for “pay per letter”, the term coined by Elena Petrova, a former Russian “mail order bride” who moved abroad in late 1990s.
- If you compare PPL with legitimate dating sites, it’s like phone sex to an intimate encounter with a girl next door.
- PPL gives you sweet words and no physical action (unless you prefer DIY).
- Legitimate Russian websites don’t have females who virtually “jump” on top of you the second you log in. You actually have to initiate—communication, personal meeting, intimacy, etc. Just like with ladies in your country.
Sorry, guys, there are no places in the world where hot girls solicit intimacy, actual or virtual, in their sound mind, unless they are being paid for their time.
Pay-per-letter is the virtual analogue of phone sex, only in this case the “women” talk about marriage, and not about where they are “touching” themselves or you. These promises of marriage or affection are not real.
If you want to know how it works, check Elena’s research titled “The Ugly Truth about PPL Dating Sites for Ukrainian Women”.
- In short, employees of PPL structures impersonate pretty brides and get paid to pretend to be interested in you and write messages. It is made possible by you paying for each communication.
But for now, all you need to remember is that if you are bombarded by chat requests and emails from pretty young beauties in lingerie when visiting pages of a Russian dating site, most likely you are at a pay-per-letter place.
PPL is a synonym for “fake correspondence”. You pay, they write you love stories. Unless this is what you are after, stay away.
- Legitimate international dating sites charge membership fees for a period of time (3, 6, 12 months). Just like Match.com or eHarmony.
- They do NOT charge for every message you send and receive, as it happens on “paid communication” sites. Chatting as much as you want is free on legitimate websites.
2. Girls are from Russia, not Ukraine
You probably don’t care about the difference—both are Christian, Slavic countries of the former Soviet Union that are famous for pretty women—but if the girls on your Russian dating site are from Ukraine, it’s a definite red flag.
Most likely, if the site promotes itself as “Hot (sexy) Russian brides” but female members you get messages from live in Ukraine, it’s a PPL venture (see p.1).
- Wages in Ukraine are 1/2 of what people earn in Russia. (Average wage of a Ukrainian female is only USD 166 monthly.) Thus, it makes sense for Ukrainians to work as a “dating chat operator” (that’s the official name of positions openly advertised on employment portals like Work.ua). But Russians can earn more in a regular daily job, so they don’t need to fake love interest in foreigners to earn a living.
- Russia is highly regulated. People are scared of doing something potentially unlawful online, as the government has tight controls over digital data. (For instance, Internet service providers in Russia are obliged to store communication history of users for up to 6 months.) Ukraine, on the other hand, is in political and financial turmoil, with lots of illegal activities getting out of control. This is why “paid communication” schemes openly advertise in Ukraine to hire personnel for dating chats.
Of course, there are genuine Ukrainian women on singles portals. But if you are on a supposedly “Russian” dating site, and all women are Ukrainian, then it is probably pay-per-letter, which means, “money grab for fake correspondence with promises to marry you”.
- Stick to girls who reside in Russia. If you are inexperienced, you’ll be better off.
3. No bait and switch
You may encounter women from PPL schemes on legitimate dating sites as well, and not only on Russian ones, but also at places like OKCupid or Match. They start talking to you, quickly “develop feelings”, and then something happens. Her computer broke and she can only contact you through the website where you are required to pay for each message. You think it’s not a problem and the fees are not too large. Now you are on a PPL website (see p.1). The technique is called “bait and switch”. It’s quite popular among swindlers. Or the person may simply ask to send her money (which is never a good idea in case of any online acquaintances).
- If the person you met on a certain dating site asks you to move to a scheme where you have to pay to keep communication going, simply say “No”. If you are required to pay to continue talking to someone, this person wants your money. She doesn’t want you. It’s that simple.
4. No lingerie shots
It is a requirement during photo shots for PPL schemes to provide “erotic” type of pictures for the dating profile on the site, as well as a personal video. Otherwise, guys don’t get enough visual stimulation to open their wallets and keep paying for chats for months or even years. Girls in Ukraine get paid about US $200 for a 3-hour photo session (this is more than the average female monthly wage locally, by the way). Some girls simply sell their photos to pay-per-letter websites that hire another person to chat under an assigned identity.
Yes, some females on non-PPL websites may have a more revealing picture in a swimsuit in their photo gallery. But it won’t be each and every one of them, who has sexy photos.
- Most girls on legitimate websites have normal type photos like you often see on Facebook in newsfeeds of your friends.
5. You are not swamped by letters from gorgeous women
On authentic dating sites, people are hesitant to contact someone. It is the biggest problem of legitimate singles hangouts, how to make users to contact each other. Everyone is just browsing and too shy to initiate. This is why Tinder took off, just a swipe and it’s a contact.
It is also why fake dating sites are doing so well: They have bots that contact users in order to jump start communication.
Bots are pieces of software that are either connected to a listing of a former member, who hasn’t logged in for a long time (Ashley Madison used this trick), or simply to any profile (this is what a great number of “paid chat” Russian sites do).
Initial contacts are automatic, although they appear genuine:
- Yes, you can design a program to send messages that are totally different to one another. Just include 30 different variables for each parameter, and the chance of an identical message is 1 in 10 million.
- For example, you can start with: honey, sweetie, stranger, handsome, and so on.
- Then ask: how was your day, how are you doing, how life’s treating you today, etc.
- Mix & match, and prosper. That’s how dating bots work. They initiate contact, and once a response is received, a human takes over. Thousands of initial teasers sooner or later result in a response from someone tempted or curious to find out more. You pay for the cheapest package initially but with engaging and affectionate letters written by professional sweet-talkers under the guise of an extremely hot sex-kitten, you are likely to stick around for a while. So, you buy another package, and then another one… To keep the good thing going.
On genuine Russian dating sites female members may send you a “wink” (expression of interest with no words) but you will rarely get a letter with a few paragraphs of affectionate lovey-dovey.
Also, among the females that contact you first at legitimate places, most will be older and less attractive—they are desperate, because no one is writing to them. Girls who are prettier and younger do get some requests from gentlemen, so they seldom contact guys first. (They want you to write first.)
The proportion of older and unattractive ladies to younger females who decided to contact you will be about 10:1. In other words, ten Plain Janes to one cute girl.
Some guys evaluate their potential on a dating site by the number of lovely ladies who sent them inquiries after the registration… That’s an awfully poor indication, actually.
- Lots of messages from overwhelmingly gorgeous women should make you worried.
- If only a few women contacted you but lots of them viewed your profile, then the website is authentic.
6. Few women answer your messages
In an ideal world all the hot girls you like would love you back. But this is not a reality, and you know it.
Normally, if you send 10 female members a “wink” (smile/kiss/EOI), only 2-3 will write back, and 50% of them will say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
And that’s what you should expect!
- If 90% or more of your expressions of interest get positive answers, it doesn’t look credible.
- If you have about 10-20% positive response rate, and lots of “No’s”, then it’s real.
Most ladies, however, simply won’t respond. For girls it’s easier to ignore a message than explain “why not”.
They feel that the lack of answer is clear enough indication of her level of interest (0%). Besides, answering takes time, and we all are in a great hurry nowadays with so much to do. But be sure: The girls who like you will respond.
7. Believable success stories
Legitimate sites connecting international singles have a reasonable success rate. Therefore, they will have some success stories with pictures of married couples. Often it will be their wedding photos or even pictures with babies born in marriages.
Pairs that are happy in their relationships want to thank the website that helped them to find each other and encourage others who are just seeking their soul mates.
- When you read their stories, you hear not about how great the website was but what an amazing person they met, how much they loved the country and the people, when they visited.
- It will be full of facts and details rather than praise.
- The narratives will vary in length, language, and structure, because different people write in dissimilar styles.
Never read the website’s Terms and Conditions? Big mistake. Huge!
For instance, pay-per-letter schemes disclaim any liability for wrongdoings of their “agents” (people who get paid commissions for communication on the website and actually recruit women, load their details into the databases, etc).
In other words, paid correspondence sites’ defence line sounds like this, “We tell our agents that women should be genuinely interested in men they are talking to. Our agents are not allowed to pay women for writing letters, it’s against our rules.” But they still pay agents for letters and chats. (Which enables agents to pay women.)
However, this fact is not made apparent on the website itself. Why, ask your legislators: We believe it must be compulsory to clearly disclose payment of commissions for correspondence to a third party. But at the moment, they get away with that.
Read again what you have signed up for.
Can I really meet a genuine Russian woman online and get married to her?
After all the tips and tricks you have read earlier, it may be hard to trust anyone you meet on Russian dating sites. How can people be this devious?
Well, just like giant companies keep pushing their unhealthy products to us, because packaged goods are simpler to store than fresh food—and at the same time make more money doing that, in the same way it’s easy to come across highly profitable but ethically questionable Russian dating sites.
Legitimate Russian websites for singles exist, but pay-per-letter venues occupy the premium online shelf space; just like in massive supermarkets most shelves are filled with packaged goods. Typically, to buy milk or bread you have to walk through the whole store. It’s very similar in the online world.
What about names of good sites?
The list of names may change; some formerly good sites have transformed, regretfully, to the paid chat mode of operation. And as you may have realized by now, no matter how good are the intentions, it’s impossible for the bosses to control what local agents actually do, once they start paying commissions for correspondence. Even if you have rules and requirements, agents in countries with extremely low wages look, first of all, after their own fiscal interests, trying to earn as much as possible. Bosses close their eyes and pretend they don’t know what their agents are doing, although it’s quite simple to stop, but they, too, make money from all the fake mails and chats, so they choose to keep the system going.
There are a few frontiers left of the original authentic personals for Russian singles, as well as some newcomers that strive to do the right thing.
“Seek, and you shall find.”
Follow the 8 check points on the list above to select the right place for you.
The signs of legitimate places remain the same, as they were 10 or even 20 years ago.
The answer to the question, “Where is the catch?”
The catch is that most guys buy into happy-go-lucky PPL dreams where hordes of young beautiful women attack them with chat requests. It’s easy — no need to do anything except keeping your credit card paid on time. They need to keep you chatting to earn money, so they will make sure you respond and get you engaged in communication. Unfortunately, genuine girls behave just the opposite way: They want you to chat them up. If you don’t do it, they think you are not interested.
But if you are willing to break through the seemingly reserved appearance, under it you will find the most kind and caring girl who is sensitive and loving.