Russian bride photo.

Russian bride photo. Most often the term Russian bride is used to refer to women from republics of the former Soviet Union who married western men and moved to their countries.

Sometimes these ladies are also called mail order brides, because a lot of romances start through communication via emails and chats.

Russian Brides of 21st century

It used to be hard for people from the Soviets Union to travel abroad, leave alone to move overseas to live permanently. Even to visit nearby foreign countries one had to get an exit visa, which required an approval from KGB. Only proven loyal supporters of the regime were able to get a glance at the real life in other countries. The practice was implemented in 1930s in the USSR and continued until after Perestroika.

Perestroika began in 1987. It was a movement to update obsolete societal institutions, which was accompanied by a campaign for openness (Glasnost). In literal translation from Russian, Perestroika means “reformation”, “rebuilding”.

It was a development of Perestroika that exit visas from the Soviet Union had been cancelled.

  • Cuba cancelled the practice of exit visas only in 2013.
  • Uzbekistan, one of former Soviet Union republics, still maintains the practice of exit visas.

The fall of the Iron Curtain

One of the jokes of 1990s when exit visas were made obsolete in Russia was about Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the USSR who launched Perestroika, waking up in the morning to a completely empty town. As he is walking around his apartment, he gets a call from his deputy and asks him what is going on, why is it so quiet. The deputy responds, “You forgot, today is the first day that exit visas are no longer required, so everyone has left.” Gorbachev exclaims, “So, it’s only you and I that are left in the country?” “No, I am calling you from France,” the deputy replies.

Of course, it was a joke, but it shows how fascinating was the world beyond the USSR boundaries for those who had been locked in behind the Iron Curtain for generations.

In 1991 the USSR broke down into 15 independent countries, which used to be republics of the Soviet Union. Russia was the largest republic and its capital, Moscow, was also the main centre of the USSR. Russian language was the uniting language of all the Soviet Republics and it was compulsory to learn it at school.

People who were born in the USSR and went to school during these times can speak Russian, even the ones who lived in other republics. This is why possibly all ladies from the former Soviet republics are called Russian brides. Because their culture is closer to the other republics of the former Soviet Union as opposed to western countries and also because these ladies are able to speak Russian.

Brides from Russia

It’s hard to believe that social networks are less than 15 years old. Facebook was founded in 2004.

The first iPhone was released in June 2007.

Until 1997 written communication was limited to letters send by air mail or faxes for those who worked in business. Email wasn’t immediately popular once personal computers became available.

Catalogues with photos of females from foreign countries seeking husbands, aka mail order brides, had been known before the age of the Internet. Men could read a small add with or without a photo and mail a check to buy a lady’s postal address. Then guys could write a letter to the woman, send a photo, and maybe become pen pals. In rare cases such relationships could eventuate in a personal meeting or even romance, and on special occasions finalize in a marriage. Most often, of course, nothing would come out of it.

So, when the Iron Curtain was lifted and curious Russians looked at the world, the world looked back at them. And realized that Russian women were quite good looking, especially when they took off that sombre facial expression and smiled.

Picture of a smiling Russian bride on a beach.

Russian brides are really pretty when they smile!

Foreign grooms

First foreigners that visited Russia for business were treated like royalty. They were people from a different, amazing world. They behaved differently, dressed in bright clothes and blue jeans, which in Russia were a bit of a freedom symbol.

The famous song of the cult Russian group Nautilus Pompilious, which became an unofficial anthem of Perestroika, was called “Goodbye America”.

Here is the text:

When all the songs, which I don’t know, become silent,
The last paper boat will screech in the crisp air.
Goodbye America, oh, where I have never been,
Goodbye forever. Take a banjo, play for my departure.
They became too small, your worn jeans.
We’ve been taught to love your forbidden fruit for too long.
Goodbye America, oh, where I will never be.
Will I hear that song that I’ll remember forever?

That’s where the roots of Russian brides are. Foreign men, especially Americans, were seen as en epitome of the new times, freedom, democracy, not just money and better life.

This is why marrying a foreigner is still viewed as prestigious in Russia. Yes, even so many years after Perestroika, there is a bit of a flair of something special and unknown that a romance with a foreign man holds for a Russian girl.

The first marriage agencies offering to meet foreign men for relationships popped up in Russia in early 1990s. In western countries, Russian brides were promoted by the same companies and channels as romances with females from Asia or South America. But not for long.

Some of the first Russian-American couples started websites offering introductions exclusively with women the former Soviet Union, and the phenomena of Russian brides was born.

Do Russian brides still exist?

Surprisingly, yes!

Russia is one of the countries where the need for a female to get married and have kids is promoted as a societal staple.

In fact, Russian girls are brought up since the early age that to become happy and fulfilled they need to find a husband, get married, have kids, and this is when they will become truly happy, as a woman can be.

Without a husband a female cannot have a family, which means she cannot fulfill her most important duty in life, to become a Wife and a Mother.

Elena's Models couples.

These lovely couples met through Elena’s Models dating site.

Russian demographics

This all would be wonderful if there were enough men for all the aspiring wives.

But Russia has this extreme demographics with only 86 males for 100 females nation-wide.

Despite the fact that there are 106 boys born to 100 girls, in the age group 25+ in large cities there are already not enough males for all the females. Guys simply don’t survive very well in Russia, for reasons that are too numerous to be discussed here.

So, Russian girls are in the minority among males of the same age until they turn 25 and boys are fighting to get a girlfriend. But once a female turns 26, the situation changes. If a girl didn’t manage to get married by that time, then she is viewed as “damaged goods” or “an old maid”.

Because Russians marry early, by the age of 26 pretty much all females are married and the ones who are still single feel an enormous pressure.

(BTW, Russian men believe that a woman should be married by the age of 21.)

All friends and family, especially older ladies, keep telling the single girl that she should urgently find a husband and get married, or she will stay alone for life. Even neighbours and acquaintances feel the need to chime in and give advice to the single girl. This moral pressure is quite excruciating, actually.

It is because of this societal pressure “to get married” that some single Russian women decide to look at options on meeting foreign men through international dating sites, offering introductions for serious relationships.

Legitimate Russian dating sites provide ample opportunities for foreign men to meet marriage-minded women.

Desire to get married

It may come as a surprise to foreign men who start chatting to Russian girls online that the ladies want to know from the start their intentions, whether they are serious or not.

Western guys are used to the casual hook-up culture, where people start dating under the guise, “we are just hanging out”. Even having sex doesn’t mean that you are officially dating.

In Russia, vice versa, a decent woman would only date you if you have serious intentions towards her, which means you are looking for a wife. Anything else is considered frivolous.

Casual relationships are viewed by ladies as the man “using” her. In other words, unless you have serious intentions (which means, you think she is a marriage material), the girl will not be interested in going out with you, because she doesn’t want to feel “used”.

A casual approach is likely to result in your being ignored. She may like you, but if she doesn’t feel you are serious, she won’t respond positively. That’s one strong differentiation about dating Russian girls as opposite to being involved with women from western countries.

Family is #1 priority for Russian brides.

In Russia girls are taught from the early age that the meaning of life for a female is to get married and give birth to kids.

Creating a family

The stable expression that Russian brides use, “to create a family”, often leaves western men confused. This phrase, in fact, doesn’t mean having kids. It means an officially registered marriage.

In other words, when a Russian lady says, “I want to create a family” or “I am looking for a man to create a family”, what she means is that she wants to get a ring on her finger, as opposed to just “hanging out” or sleeping together without obligations. She wants a husband.

As you remember from the previous paragraphs, anything else except dating with a view to get married is seen as frivolous and inappropriate for a good Russian girl. This is why the only decent intention to start communicating with a male, for a Russian female, is “to create a family” (again, remember, it doesn’t mean having kids necessarily, although it may include kids; but what it certainly includes is getting married).

Meeting Russian brides

If you want to see what kind of ladies you can meet through Russian brides websites, a perfect place to start is Elena’s Models. There are women of all ages and professions, so you will be able to find someone who matches what you seek.

Best luck in your research!

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I cant agree with 100% whats written here. I have surfed some forums for ladies who are looking for a husband from another country and have some conclusions. Btw I red messages since 2012 till nowadays to have a full picture 🙂 1. “they need to find a husband, get married, have kids, and this is when they will become truly happy, as a woman can be” – its mostly soviet standarts of life for woman. Ladies of my age (30 and below) have more freedom and more opportunities, so marriage and kids are not on 1st place now. Of… Read more »