Why Slavic women seek to marry a foreignerWhy Slavic women from the former USSR seek foreign men for love and romance remains a question to many westerners, who are surprised to see so many intelligent, educated, and beautiful ladies on Russian dating sites. How is it possible that quality women who are good looking and have strong family values struggle to find a partner in their own country? Is there something devious going on? The only explanation that usually comes to mind is that these girls are simply looking for a passport.

However, our research shows that desire to immigrate is not the most popular motive for registering on an international dating website. Slavic women dating foreign men name other reasons as their primary drivers.

What motivates Slavic women to seek partners abroad?

  • The biggest motivator, according to Elena’s Models online poll, is inability to meet a partner locally (23%). (Which is understandable, given the gender ratio of 86 men for 100 women in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus).
  • Women from countries of the former USSR who decided to look for a husband abroad are disappointed in local men (17.8%) and believe that foreigners would make better partners (21.3%).
  • For some women it’s just one of the options (8.6%) and they seek a partner both locally and abroad.
  • There are also some ladies who have friends or family members that married foreigners (3.4%), so they decided to try this option as well.
  • A small percentage of women registered on Elenasmodels.com already live abroad (1.7%).
  • Also there are some women who say they seek a foreign husband because they want a better life (6.3%), unhappy about life in their homeland (1.7%) or wish to immigrate (3.4%).

Survey: Why Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarus women seek to marry foreigners through international dating sites

Below are answers of women, registered members of Elena’s Models, who were asked, in their own words, to explain why they joined the international dating site to find a potential marriage partner.

Answers were anonymous although the country of residence of the respondent was recorded.

After a review, answers were grouped into 10 major categories:

  1. Inability to meet a partner locally (23%)
  2. Preference for foreign men because of their personal qualities (21.3%)
  3. Disappointment in local men (17.8%)
  4. Searching for a partner abroad is just one of options (8.6%)
  5. Wanting a better life (6.3%)
  6. Desire to immigrate (3.4%)
  7. Example of friends or family who married foreigners (3.4%)
  8. Already living abroad (1.7%)
  9. Unhappy about life in homeland (1.7%)
  10. Other (12.6%)

Exact answers received though this online focus group were translated. Review the answers below.

Searching for a partner abroad is just one of options (8.6%)

  1. I seek everywhere. In Russia and abroad. I think this gives me more chances to find someone. I also think that foreigners are better mannered, polite, they are on a different level as opposed to Russians. (Russia)
  2. I seek a partner not only abroad. I seek everywhere. The most important is to find your love. I simply decided to broaden my search worldwide. (Russia)
  3. I seek a partner like myself and not only abroad. (Russia)
  4. I cannot say that I only want a future husband from abroad, full stop. Not at all. But together with that I am not concentrated only on guys from my country. If there is such a possibility in our time, why not use it. (Belarus)
  5. I decided not to limit myself by seeking in my city, and I also seek in my country and in the whole world). (Belarus)
  6. I am seeking a partner not only abroad. For me the most important that he is reliable, honest, and faithful. I want to love and be loved. (Ukraine)
  7. I seek my man, not a country or city or an opportunity for immigration. If a man from Ukraine writes to me, I will answer his letter 🙂 (Ukraine)
  8. I am looking for him everywhere 🙂 (Ukraine)
  9. I am simply seeking a partner, irrespective of the country. (Russia)
  10. I don’t look purposefully in another country; I am seeking here and at the same time abroad. (United States)
  11. Because I decided to broaden my search. (Russia)
  12. I seek everywhere, including overseas. (Ukraine)
  13. I seek a partner in my country and abroad, there is no reason. (Ukraine)
  14. It’s just one variant of finding a partner. (Russia)
  15. I am trying all variants. (Russia)

Inability to meet a partner locally (23%)

  1. Because I could not meet here, in Russia, a man, with whom I would like to live and raise a family. My marriage to a Russian man was unsuccessful. I am also attracted by the western style of life and thinking. I want to live and enjoy life, and not just survive. (Russia)
  2. I am seeking a partner abroad because in Russia there are fewer men than women. There are many [men] who drink, healthy [guys] you can count by fingers [of one’s hand]. The second reason is that in small towns there are no men left, they all left to work in other places. (Russia)
  3. I cannot meet my love in Russia. (Russia)
  4. Because I cannot find [a partner] in Russia. (Russia)
  5. Because I Russia I can’t find the right person. (Russia)
  6. In my country I could not meet a worthy person. (Ukraine)
  7. My age is 45 and it doesn’t allow me to find a man of my age or slightly older than me. [In my country] men of this age mostly have a family. (Ukraine)
  8. Because in our country there are not enough men… (Russia)
  9. I cannot find a partner in my city, I am disappointed in men from my country. (Germany)
  10. Because in Russia there are no good and unattached men in my age, unfortunately! (Russia)
  11. Because I haven’t found a partner in my country… The Love of my Life :)) (Russia)
  12. Because in my age category of my city there are not many decent men. (Russia)
  13. Because I am looking for a suitable partner for life, and haven’t met someone like this in Russia. This is why I decided to broaden the area of my search for my man.
  14. Cannot find in my country :)) (Kazakhstan)
  15. Because in Russia I cannot meet a man to create a good family, based on love and mutual respect. (Russia)
  16. Because I am unable to find him in Russia. I also seek a husband in Russia. (Russia)
  17. I was looking in Russia, to no avail. I decided to broaden the range of my search. (Russia)
  18. Because in my country there are few opportunities to find a good man for life at my age, there are substantially more single women than men. I am simply broadening my search. (Ukraine)
  19. I do not see [potential] partners in my homeland. (Russia)
  20. Because I am unable to find a suitable man in Russia. (Russia)
  21. Because I want to have a family and feel the family warmth. On Russian dating sites I so far haven’t met a man I liked. (Russia)
  22. In Russia, unfortunately, I am unable to find a partner to create a strong and worthy family. (Russia)
  23. In Ukraine the ratio of men to women in my age category is strongly geared to the advantage of men. Besides, I have enough wishes about my future life partner, which required me to broaden the search to other countries. (Ukraine)
  24. Because I was looking for him at home for a long time and without success. Besides, the world has opened up and borders are widening. However, each of us, regardless of the country of residence and nationality, wants in general to be loved and give love. (Lithuania)
  25. Because in my country I could not find anyone. (Belarus)
  26. Because in Ukraine there are no good men over 40. Because Ukraine is not a stable country and we have a war. (Ukraine)
  27. Unfortunately, in my age category in Russia, there is no equal partner for me (status, level of intellect, finances, etc.). (Russia)
  28. I am too old for our men! (Russia)
  29. I am seeking a partner abroad because in my country I cannot find a good man. I hope that with time I will meet my second half. (Ukraine)
  30. I have not found a partner in my country. Trying to find him abroad. (Ukraine)
  31. I am not young anymore, how do you meet, find a person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life? I am seeking here and abroad as well. (Russia)
  32. Because I cannot find a partner in my country. (Ukraine)
  33. I want to be in a happy marriage. To find a husband here at my age is nearly impossible.
  34. Because I could not find a partner for life in my country. (Ukraine)
  35. It’s hard for a woman over 30 to find a suitable partner in my homeland, some are married, others have nothing to offer for creation of a family, they have no interest in anything, work-sofa-alcohol, that’s all their interests. (Belarus)
  36. Because I could not find a decent man for family in my homeland. (Kazakhstan)
  37. In my country there is very little selection of men over 35, usually they all are already married. And the stereotypes are also prohibitive, it’s hard for a divorced woman to remarry. (Russia)
  38. In my case, in Ukraine there is not enough men for all women, especially in my age category. (Ukraine)
  39. In my country I can’t do it, I tried. (Ukraine)
  40. Because I didn’t find him here, next to me. (Russia)

Disappointment in local men (17.8%)

  1. Because guys in Russia are not in a hurry to get married and delay it until later. I do not want to waste my time, they take too long and then break up. I will waste time on him. (Russia)
  2. Because when I opened Tinder in my city, I saw on the list of men all my friends and acquaintances. And half of them are married. (Ukraine)
  3. Russian men constantly betrayed me and cheated. I think that foreigners are kinder people who have understanding of family values. (Russia)
  4. Because in our country all good men are involved. It’s only former criminals, disabled, unemployed, alcoholics, drug addicts, or gigolos that are free… (Belarus)
  5. Just because I was living abroad for quite a long time, and I am not getting that Russian men’s mentality and their way of treating women… mostly I guess… (Russia)
  6. Because Russian men disappointed me, they lie, drink, and abuse physically. (Russia)
  7. Local single men are not suitable for me because of their attitude towards women! (Russia)
  8. All good man around me are married. Russian men drink a lot, abuse women. Russian men have low family values. Also they are not well-educated. Russian men do not treat women equally. (Russia)
  9. Lately I feel disappointed in Russian men, because of their absence of orientation towards family, first of all. I want respect and mutual care, some romantics… not that much really, but these things are extremely rare. (Russia)
  10. I dislike the attitude of Russian men towards women, and the situation abroad is more stable economically. (Belarus)
  11. I am disappointed in our men. From my point of view, foreigners are more romantic and value family-oriented women more. (Ukraine)
  12. I have a similar mentality and high intelligence, here you can’t find a man who is able to be a MAN and care about his woman and family. Slavic men are selfish men, who are not able to be happy in a family. (Ukraine)
  13. I am disappointed in men in my own country. (Ukraine)
  14. I do not get along with men in Belarus. (Belarus)
  15. I have no luck with men in Russia. (Russia)
  16. Disappointment in local men. (Russia)
  17. Many men in Russia have given in to harmful habits such as alcohol, smoking, it takes a lot of time, money, and health. I don’t want to spend my life on such a man. (Russia)
  18. Russians are stupid! (Russia)
  19. I do not like drinking, smoking, unfaithful, and unstable Russian guys. (Russia)
  20. Disappointed in men from my country. (Ukraine)
  21. Russia is the country of brutal and aloof men, probably this is one of the reasons of women’s insecurities and loneliness… (Russia)
  22. Disappointment in local men… (Belarus)
  23. I am disappointed in Russian men. (Russia)
  24. Because I do not like the Russian mentality. (Russia)
  25. Because guys here are bad. (Ukraine)
  26. Russian guys disappointed me. (Russia)
  27. Disappointment in Russian men. (Russia)
  28. Because in my country men are horrible. (Russia)
  29. I don’t trust Russian men anymore… (Russia)
  30. Because the level of culture of residents of post-USSR is horrendous. I am educated and more attuned to European mentality. (Kazakhstan)
  31. Russian men do not suit me. They are usually lazy in relationships. (Russia)

Preference for foreign men because of their personal qualities (21.3%)

  1. The mentality [of foreign men] is closer [to mine]. (Russia)
  2. I seek everywhere. In Russia and abroad. I think this gives me more chances to find someone. I also think that foreigners are better mannered, polite, they are on a different level as opposed to Russians. (Russia)
  3. Recently I met an Italian man who tried to court me, he opened my eyes to European men. I feel they are more polite, compassionate, and value the mentality of eastern women more. And I decided to try, because in my country I so far have not met a man like this. (Kazakhstan)
  4. Russian men constantly betrayed me and cheated. I think that foreigners are kinder people who have understanding of family values. (Russia)
  5. Foreign men are caring and oriented on family and respect, and not on sex and doing nothing in a family. (Russia)
  6. It seems that men of my age category abroad are leading more interesting and healthy lifestyle, look better and are more energetic. (Ukraine)
  7. Because partners [abroad] are better. (Ukraine)
  8. It’s more interesting to communicate with them. It’s a different level of upbringing and attitudes towards women. (Russia)
  9. Because I am looking for a reliable, loving, and serious man to create a happy family. (USA)
  10. I think they [foreigners] are more adequate. And then, of course, need to get to know each other better and see. (Russia)
  11. I am looking for men with a different mentality, who didn’t live through “Soviet” times and suppressing of individuality. (Russia)
  12. I love to travel… I want new things… My kids are grown ups and I am free. It seems to me that these men are more open to communicate. (Russia)
  13. I like American men. (Ukraine)
  14. I consider foreign men more devoted to family values. (Ukraine)
  15. I do not see a worthy partner nearby, and when I visited abroad, I saw many, and I was able to meet various interesting people of different mentality. (Uzbekistan)
  16. I travelled a lot, the European mentality is similar to mine, this is why I am not against of a relationship with a foreign men. (Kyrgyzstan)
  17. For my age in my country the circle of potential grooms is very narrow. But the most important reasons is the difference in life values. (Belarus)
  18. [I like] western mentality and a better quality of life. (Ukraine)
  19. Because they [foreigners] don’t have the slave mentality [like people here]. (Russia)
  20. Because there is what to talk to them about, on various topics. Also, it’s a completely different attitude towards women. It’s a different world. (Ukraine)
  21. I think that foreign men are more respectful towards women and responsible. (Kazakhstan)
  22. I’m not a young woman and I guess that foreign men aged 55+ have better health and much more loving hearts then Russian men. They are active and pretty young in their 55+ age. (Russia)
  23. I understand and like the mentality of foreign men. I like their culture, education, the fact they care for their health, and also treat women respectfully (Europe, USA, Canada, Australia). (Russia)
  24. Men from other countries more suitable for me by their life tonus, mood, outlook. They are more modern, easy to communicate with. I trust them more. I feel that they value feelings and relationships for life, when they get married.
  25. [Because] foreign men value Russian women. (Russia)
  26. Because they are more serious. (Ukraine)
  27. They [foreigners] are gallant. (Russia)
  28. Because I like foreigners and their mentality. (Russia)
  29. I had relationships with foreigners before and have good memories. I would like to try it again. (Belarus)
  30. I like Italians. (Russia)
  31. I do not like Ukrainian mentality in men, I prefer foreigners. (Ukraine)
  32. Because men abroad are more responsible for the family and kids!!! (Ukraine)
  33. I like [foreigners] more. (Russia)
  34. I communicated with foreign men and realized that they are excellent husbands and wonderful fathers. (Russia)
  35. I consider foreign men more serious. (Belarus)
  36. I try to find my second half. A foreign man is a more interesting man… (Russia)
  37. I like their [foreigners’] attitude towards family. (Kazakhstan)

Already living abroad (1.7%)

  1. Because I live abroad for a long time (it’s the third country: Spain, Germany, USA). Unfortunately, among my former countrymen who live here, meeting a suitable partner is mission impossible. (USA)
  2. Because I already live abroad. (USA)
  3. Because I already live abroad. (Spain)

Example of friends or family who married foreigners (3.4%)

  1. I seek a partner abroad because my close friend met a man on your site and they are together for 5 years and very happy. (Ukraine)
  2. For the reason that in Russia nothing comes out of it. I was married in Russia twice and it didn’t work out, and I have successful examples of my girlfriends [who married foreigners]. (Russia)
  3. It’s not important for me whether my partner is a foreigner, I registered on this site because two of my girlfriends met their love through this website and got married. I do not have successful examples of girlfriends who were registered on dating websites for Ukrainians. (Ukraine)
  4. I have many friends in the USA, this is why I am looking a spouse in the USA! (Russia)
  5. Because my daughter lives in the USA. (USA)
  6. My sister found a partner abroad. And she is happy in her marriage. (Russia)

Wanting a better life (6.3%)

  1. [I want to] change the quality of my life for the better. (Russia)
  2. I want a better future for myself and especially for my children, first of all. Second, I know and believe that men from most countries of Europe and the USA know how to respect women and care about them and their family in general. (Ukraine)
  3. I want to broaden my boundaries. Moving to another country (more civilized) to a future spouse means new knowledge and views to life. It’s growth. It is more attractive for me than fighting for survival in my country for the rest of my life. (Russia)
  4. I want to be happy!!! (Kazakhstan)
  5. Hoping for more perspectives and security… although I understand it’s an illusion… (Ukraine)
  6. I want to live in a stable country. (Ukraine)
  7. To increase my horizons. (Ukraine)
  8. Because I want to live in a warmer climate. (Kazakhstan)
  9. Because I want something better for myself and my child. (Ukraine)
  10. I like the level of life abroad and I hope to meet a decent man, here I could not find one. (Turkey)
  11. With the goal of moving to more comfortable conditions for life: Climate, the level of life. Secondly, I don’t like the attitude of Russian men towards girls, towards creating a family. (Russia)

Desire to immigrate (3.4%)

  1. To live abroad. (Ukraine)
  2. Because I am going to immigrate to another country. There is no sense finding a partner locally.
  3. I would like to live in a certain country with a better climate and social security. So, no need for me to look for a partner in Russia, as I will move anyway. I prefer western men, their attitude towards partnership and how they treat women to the “Russian way”. (Russia)
  4. I want to live in Australia.
  5. I want to live abroad.
  6. Because I plan to continue my career abroad. It’s logical to seek a partner there as well. (Ukraine)

Unhappy about life in homeland (1.7%)

  1. I am scared of the things that happen in my native country. That’s the main reason. (Russia)
  2. I do not like living here, I am scared for my future. (Russia)
  3. Because I am not understood here. (Russia)

Other (12.6%)

  1. Borders are imaginary. And also I am tired of wondering why couples, who speak the same language, divorce. (Russia)
  2. I love Europe, I am tired of the Russia’s climate, people, mentality. I want to travel and speak 2 foreign languages that I know. A man is a man even in Africa, nothing new, but still! It’s more comfortable for me. My outlook is wider than the city where I live. (Russia)
  3. I want a Russian partner. Not important abroad or not. (Russia)
  4. Why not? (Russia)
  5. I’m looking for a man who will guide me through life without fear and doubt. (United Kingdom)
  6. Because I am looking for a man who wants to create a family, someone serious and honest. The man who is seeking love, affection, and sincerity in a relationship. (USA)
  7. I want to find someone to love. (Azerbaijan)
  8. Want to get married and create a strong family. (Ukraine)
  9. I want not only to give but also to receive. (Moldova)
  10. I am seeking my second half to get married. (Ukraine)
  11. I’m trying to find a man who could understand me. (Ukraine)
  12. I want to get married to a foreigner for a long time. It’s my goal and I want to achieve it. (Ukraine)
  13. I am looking for an adequate [good] man. (Russia)
  14. I am confident I will be happier there than in my country. (Russia)
  15. Possibly, my man lives in another country than where I live. (Ukraine)
  16. To get married. (Uzbekistan)
  17. I want to get married and create a family. It’s my dream. (Russia)
  18. I want to find a gentleman, a man, who has feelings and [good] upbringing. (Russia)
  19. I’m seeking my partner abroad, cause I do not know where he lives ))


174 answers were received during the online poll from women, registered members of Elenasmodels.com, in response to the question, “In your own words, why are you seeking a partner abroad?”

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Very thoroughly made survey. Thank you very much. Maybe to survey male members too. …. I also think that women registered on ElenasModels are tiny percentile to population ratio. Probably less than 5% of female population of those countries is on EM. But this 2-5% still means plenty, tens of thousands of females seeking relationship and marriage. They are already unique, because they try this way. Then, male members are obviously much less and even scarce. Seeking a love shouldn’t be rational choice.