Who Should Adapt — Slavic Women or Western Men?

International dating means that people belong to different cultures, for example, Slavic women and western men.

While there are differences between certain Slavic nations (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, etc) and western nations (Americans, Australians, Brits, etc), there is a prevalent cultural paradigm in every group.

Slavic Women vs. Western Men

Slavic cultures of post Soviet societies have a lot in common, although they always had their differences.

Slavic Women vs. Western Men

Slavic cultures have a lot in common, although they always had their differences.

For example, even before the great divide between Russia and Ukraine (caused by Russian takeover of Crimea, which used to be a Ukrainian territory after 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union), they had certain typical features that separated the nations.

  • Ukrainians are more outgoing and down to earth.
  • Russians are more reserved and take pride in being cultured.

And so on.

By the same token, while there are known differences between Americans and Britons, they have a lot in common and can easily adapt from living in one country to another.

The same with Slavic women: They won’t experience a shock when moving to another post-Soviet country.

However, when western and post-Soviet cultures collide, there are lots of differences. These differences often cause misunderstandings between men and women when they try to establish a relationship.

Who Should Adapt?

When I try to explain cultural differences to guys and girls, both western men and Slavic women believe that it should be the other party that needs to change.

  • Western men believe that girls are the ones who need to change: Guys insist that because Slavic women are moving countries, they should learn to think differently and behave accordingly. (“If she wants an American husband, she should think the western way.”)
  • Slavic women believe that western men are the ones who need to be sensitive and change their courting style. (“If he wants a Slavic wife, he needs to treat her accordingly.”)

Both these attitudes are doomed to failure. Girls and guys who think this way are not going to succeed in an international relationship.

Who Should Adapt?

Try to assist each other and make your relationship smoother for both of you.

To succeed, each party needs to give it 100% and do all he or she can to adapt: They won’t be able to do a perfect job anyway. But if both parties do their best, they have a chance.

This is why if you believe that finding a partner in Russia or Ukraine may be an option for you, learning as much as you can — and giving the woman what she needs — should be your priority.

The same for Slavic girls, but they are not your problem. You cannot make them change.

You can assist your future partner in learning more about your culture when you are together, or she may be smart and start learning on her own, making your relationship and dating smoother for both of you. But you cannot hope that the woman will do all the work.

In fact, in relationships with Slavic women it is the man who is the leader and propels it forward. This means that she expects you to initiate the moves, and she will be happy to follow your lead.

From one hand it is enjoyable, from the other hand it means that you have more responsibility and the result of your relationship depends on you more than on her. Thus, learning isn’t optional: It’s compulsory, if you wish to succeed.

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Relationships is always US, not you and me. And can’t exist rules who has to adapt. In each couple it depends from the people. I am from Russia and my boyfriend is a greek, our communication language is english. And both of us have made some steps to adapt in this situation. He gives me flowers for example, although in Greece it’s not at all popular. I started to cook greek food. The main point is to make everything with love and pleasure, not because you HAVE TO adapt.


I absolutely agree with Anastasya, both partners should adapt to each other. But I think it is wise to change your behaviour if you live in a foreign country. They say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, so it’s not about “who should change”, it’s more about “where we should change”.


If you understand that this is your man and you want to see him as your husband or wife, you need to take him as he is . Even if you belong to different nationalities, both need to adapt to each other, as well as to study the characteristics of another nationality. This is the key to successful family life.

I just started talking with a beautiful lady on the site. She apologized for not knowing much English. I told her not to worry and that we can learn each others’ language and culture together. That is what it is….50/50….or 100%/100% as Elena writes…Why should I learn Russian? How would I be able to get around when I go to see her? How can I communicate to her family that I will take care of their little girl? She is making a HUGE sacrifice if she chooses one day to live with me. I would make sure she got to… Read more »

“She is making a HUGE sacrifice if she chooses one day to live with me.”
My god that sounds awful…… If there are real sacrifices she would have to make you must make sure asap she is aware of them…


It’s not a small thing to leave your country and your friends and family behind to start a new life. I think. 🙂

I think both in a couple should at least show respect to the partner’s native country, its culture and traditions. The best way to look at such situations is “I will get rid of my drawbacks and become better and develop myself”. We know that western people are very polite and kind and Slavic ones can be rude and have a short fuse. So I think that Slavic women can learn to be more patient and nicer to people. On the other side, Slavic people are very hospitable and generous, have close family connections. To my mind, it is good… Read more »
Irina, I think you are absolutely right. I live in an area with a very large Slavic population. Most of my friends and even my business partner are either Russian or Ukrainian. I see the differences on a daily basis. There must be flexibility from both people. I have known international couples as well as couples who have immigrated here and in both situations it is usually less the personal issues between the couple and more the new environment that takes a toll on the relationship. It is important to take a focus on what is similar between the cultures… Read more »

I have a good example- my friends. He is Greek, she is Russian and they live together for about six years. They have a quite big age difference, but nevertheless they live in peace, because they respect and appriciate each other.So really everything depends on a person and his\ her attitude to the parther.

In America, we are both lucky and unlucky. There are cultures from all over the world here for us to experience. I don’t know if that exists in the Slavic nations. Sometimes, our fellow Americans are kind, warm and caring to our neighbors, and sometimes not. I believe any relationship here needs to start with understanding the others life and culture. When I finally meet the right woman and she is here with me, I will not only be her partner, but hope to be her coach. Someone who can help her adapt to this country. I also hope she… Read more »

Recently I was in love with German and we had a lot of misunderstandings by reason of differences of our cultures. He was not used to court the ladies as Russian guys. For example I used to go Dutch because it’s natural for Germans when everyone pays his part of the bill at restaurants. We had broken up and I forgot about this terrible relationships. And now I’m in love with American. We meet halfway every time exactly as it should be.


i wouldn’t say it’s about adaptation to each other, cos each side must sacrifice something for their relations. cultural integration is much more important for those, who move into another country, because speaking the same language doesn’t mean only linguistic abilities, but also cultural compatibility.

Hi Sander, I have been down this path before and I will tell you that cultural integration will never 100% happen…and it shouldn’t really. If you are looking for someone to become 100% your culture then there is little reason to look outside of your own country. Yes, I would say that language is very important to learn. If nothing else it will open up the new world to someone when they come and they will feel less isolated and dependent on their new spouse. Cultural comparability will come in time as your new partner learns how to operate and… Read more »
I was previously married to a Slavic woman. I know from experience that this is not necessarily easy for either party. But it is 100% necessary for both people to work toward each other. Yes, the transition from one country to another is very difficult in many respects. And both people will take for granted that the other person is understanding their true intentions. In the end it will all come down to open communication, a willingness to meet in the middle and also work toward understanding the differences. It is an active effort on both parts. There are a… Read more »

Agree with you both here. But I will say, he should make the first steps in learning about her culture and even start to learn the language. It is important for him to show he is willing to accept her for who and where she is from.

When in Rome, do as the Romans. When in my house do as I do! In my experience a Slavic girl would rather be with a Slavic man. It is closer to home and the easiest option. Now why would they look abroad for a foreigner? Only because it would be better than what they are offered at home and because they want to climb the social ladder. Is it because they fell in love with your looks, you are the first westerner to contact them, or because they just love the western way of life and freedoms? Whatever it… Read more »

In fact Slavic women are more flexible and they adapt quickly. I do not know why. Maybe because women in post-Soviet countries watch a lot of American and European film, read foreign books. They just have an image of Western style of life. Regretfully Western men do not have any knowledge about Slavic culture.

It is my pleasure to fill my woman’s life with happiness, comfort and security to the best of my abilities. My focus on keeping her feeling safe and sure is especially important if I am asking her to follow me to a foreign land, with different customs, people and language than she grew up with. Though, in my case, that’s not totally necessary since my income is not location dependent. Still, I will want to show commitment and unselfishness by working hard to adapt to her ways and satisfy her needs and not demand that she change for me –… Read more »

I believe that someone who has to adapt to the culture of their partner, depending on the country in which the couple will live. That is, if they live with Tran men, of course, adapt ave to a woman, and vice versa.
In Russian there is a saying: “In a strange monastery with its regulations do not go”

David L
The issue of who should adapt is not a matter of “either-or,” because adaptations are required of both. Of course, if the woman is moving to the man’s home country, she has to adapt in nearly every way imaginable, just to survive with a reasonable chance for happiness. And any woman from Ukraine or Russia – if she has any maturity – understands this; most of them have friends or relatives who have made the same plunge and I have found that their expectations are usually pretty realistic. But the man must be willing to make adaptations, too, and if… Read more »
I am glad I just found this article as I have a situation at the moment where cultural aspects come into play. On New Years Eve I contacted a woman and unfortunately my mail got stuck in her junk mail folder – fortunately she checked it, we got it and video skyped this past Friday. I think it went well and we already discussed a personal meeting already. After the Skype session ended I sent her a few lines with some compliments – what happened, nothing, no response. I know that Slavic women like to be pampered and 9 out… Read more »

I agree with your discussion completely. I have spent over 40 years traveling around the world and adaptation, especially learning part of each language is important even as a tourist. In a relationship it is critical. I always wonder about people who are working at a partner from a different country and say “must accept me as I am”. If that means they’re not willing to change and adapt they are doomed to failure in most cases.


Sorry working should be looking. Darn autocorrect after I hit enter.