Because there are large numbers of Russian and Ukrainian women seeking partners abroad, some observers assume that Slavic ladies dislike local men.
It’s not entirely true. Eastern European women exploring options of dating internationally are fond of Slavic men, they simply cannot find the one who fits their portrait of a good partner and at the same time likes them back.
Even western women find Russian men charming and feel they have a lot to offer, which they would love to find in their partners locally. (We are never happy with what we are getting, are we?)
My Russian Boyfriend
Diana Bruk is a young American woman who was born in Russia and moved to the Big Apple at the age of 5 with her family. She grew up in the States but due to her heritage speaks fluent Russian.
Her confession about dating Russian men is a must read for anyone wondering about courtship customs and rituals in the countries of the post-USSR.
“I love (and hate) dating Russian men“, states Diana, and then goes on to explain why. “The macho guys from my home country leave me torn between my feminist beliefs and my sexual desires.”
Her story begins with the description of a fight for “her honour” by a Russian boyfriend, because in the midst of a drunken party, another guy tried to touch her.
In Russia, it is expected from a male to physically defend his lady, or be considered a coward. After the fight, covered in blood (!), the boyfriend approached his shaking American dame demanding explanations as to what she did that a strange guy felt comfortable enough to grab her, and why did she talk to another chap without his outright permission.
Both drinking and violence are the core reasons why there are 106 boys to 100 girls at birth in Russia, and only 86 males to 100 females in the total population.
“If he hits you, that means he loves you,” quotes Diana her mother’s saying, the old-fashioned Slavic belief, which is the reason why domestic violence in Russia is still widely underreported — as well as most other forms of physical assault, making it a “norm” rather than a crime.
Calling her relationship with Russian men “convoluted”, the daring New-Yorker goes on describing the peculiarities of the local dating etiquette.
Dating Russian Men
The liberal arts graduate decided to explore her homeland by living there, and temporarily moved to Russia in 2010. To provide for herself, she was teaching English in St. Petersburg.
“The first thing that you’ll notice when you get to Russia is that the women are astoundingly beautiful and immaculately presented”, she says.
I would add, especially in capitals such as Moscow or Piter (the affectionate nickname of Saint Petersburg). Just like in western capitals, people tend to dress up more.
“If you tell them [St. Petersburg’s ladies] you pluck your own eyebrows and only get a facial once a month, [they] will look at you as though you have just clawed your way out of a swamp,” confesses Bruk.
I can attest to that. Beauty is huge in Russia. I would say, Slavic girls believe that for a female beauty is everything. And the main reason why it is important is to attract and keep a boyfriend or a husband.
(Today young girls are wearing flats more often and style “casual” incorporating torn jeans and Converse sneakers is becoming a new fashion fad, so you may not see Russian ladies in compulsory high heels for much longer.)
“These insurmountable standards of beauty can largely be credited to the fact that there are more women than men,” admits Bruk.
“Russian men are patriarchal alpha males,” insists she, declaring openly that at first it is a huge turn-on.
The social responsibility of males to provide for their females is not only materialistic in the former Soviet Union, states she, but more alike paternal duty, where a woman is looked after by someone responsible for her, because it’s his moral obligation and delight.
Bruk also expresses her surprise at “disintegration of male hygiene and work ethics”, citing the poor gender ratios as the reason. From the same book, rape is something that “happens”, and is accepted as a fact of life, not a social problem, she recounts.
Why? The roots are in the hunter-prey dating model, prescribing to males to push to the limit.
The Hunter-Prey Dating Model
“You do not meet a Russian man, you are chosen by one,” proclaims Bruk.
I have been trying to bring this idea home for years, but she expressed it so much better. Post-USSR women are brought up to be passive, display themselves, and let men approach, otherwise you are not “modest”, which is what all guys want in their girlfriends (according to the local beliefs).
In Diana’s words, if a Russian guy likes you, nothing can stop him. You would think it is stalking, they think it’s being persistent.
“Russian men act like your boyfriend from the very beginning,” she writes.
This is her exact wording:
Girls, apparently, are used to relentless pursuits, and unless they feel you are putting “all in”, they are not convinced that you are really interested.
You can see how it works on our site, if you feel that none of you is convinced about the other’s attraction: You because she doesn’t display any encouragement validating your interest, and she because you are not completely overwhelming her with the might of your desire to concur.
According to the hunter-prey dating model that is accepted as a statute in Russia, the lady has to resist advances for as long as she can (usually not for long, due to the overpowering siege by the male).
“Russian men are quintessential gentlemen on first dates,” writes Bruk. ” They bring flowers and little gifts… They open the door for you and pull out your chair.” And they always pay for the dates. There is no splitting the check.
Even true-to-the-core feminists apparently can live with men paying for them, if this is a “custom”.
“If a man insists on paying I’ll let him,” states Shannon, another American woman, writing about Russia. However, she doesn’t want to be a toy for her man, and says while she had Slavic male friends, she never had a Russian boyfriend.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman wants a man who’s a gentleman at dinner and an animal in bed. … This the Russian man understands,” writes the New York feminist born in the USSR.
Maybe brutal love making and total disregard to his partner’s feelings (and satisfaction) is attractive to someone who is used to gentle care, but I would stick to my opinion that the majority of Russian men are not as skilled in the bedroom department as their western counterparts, who took time to learn a thing or two about female pleasure.
The downside of the powerful male taking what he wants? Bruk admits that Russian men still follow the egotistical mentality that “sex is a favor that women do for men”, which means that if a girl enjoys sex, she is looked at as a nymphomaniac.
Russian men expect oral sex but will not return the favor, the New York author corroborates.
Diana believes that Russian men have an “inherent sense of commitment”, which means, having sex and just be friends is not something an indigenous alpha-male would approve upon.
One thing that makes it crystal clear is the language.
“Russian doesn’t have a word for girlfriend, only wife and bride, so men approximate by saying “my girl,” “my bride,” or the English transliteration of girlfriend,” writes she.
This explains the surprising to the westerners desire of Slavic women to find a “husband” and not just date. There is no word for “dating” in Russian either. There is a word for introductions, and after that it is a relationship.
The answer to Diana’s question posed to her local students as to how long a couple should date until deciding to move in together was, “If he likes her, 1 day”.
“It’s obviously a case of emotional intensity,” concludes the American writer — the point I have been endorsing since the early 2000’s. It’s not the time. It’s now intense your relationship is that convinces the woman that she is safe to entrust you her heart and her Destiny.
Cheating as a Rule
Yes, for Russian men cheating on their girlfriends is not just normal, it’s expected and a matter of honour. A man who never cheated on his second half is looked at with disdain, including his one-and-only (is he not man enough?).
Having a “wandering penis” (what an epithet) wasn’t something that a young feminist from New York could manage, although this isn’t the main reason she is no longer into dating comrades from her native land.
“Russian society is a lot more forgiving when it comes to men cheating, lying or making decisions without consulting their partners,” agrees Dray.
In Russia, females are taught to take it easy and realize it’s something that will happen in the course of a relationships.
Lying about cheating and covering it up is considered honourable. Telling your wife you cheated is dishonourable, because you would hurt her by doing that.
The same applies to friends and acquaintances: If you tell a spouse that the partner is cheating on him/her, you will become the enemy of the family, as you were obviously trying to destroy their marriage. The fault is on you and not on the cheater, who is simply following his natural needs as a male.
Why I Can’t Handle a Russian Boyfriend
For Diana it was the patriarchal alpha-male, the macho style that she found attractive in the first place that she couldn’t handle in the long run.
When the Russian boyfriend took a cup of coffee out of her hands stating she had too much caffeine already, this drew the line for the New-York-born feminist who could look pass the violence, but wouldn’t accept a male getting between her and her coffee.
For Russian girls over the age of 25 it’s the alcohol abuse and sleeping around that drive them to seek options elsewhere, but most of all, their desire to have a family with someone who is stable and faithful, which they believe western men are.
For me, I am simply not feeling safe with Russian men, considering all of the above. Love is not ownership, or being owned. Having a Russian boyfriend may start wonderfully and then turn into a nightmare. Lying (and cheating is lying) destroys the very fabric of a trusting relationship, and without trust there is no peace and security. And this is what a home should be.
But it’s only me. There are American women who married Russian guys and are happy.