Whether you've been traveling overseas and found the man of your dreams in Russia or your Russian Romeo happened to settle down in your hometown, a few relationship tips can help make your date nights run smoothly. Dating a Russian man can sometimes be confusing, as cultural differences can interfere in what should be an exciting time for you both. Learning what to do and what to avoid will help you in the dating process.
Men and women in Russia have a clear and distinct place in society. Chivalry still exists, and men are expected to carry heavy bags, open doors and help women down the stairs or along a slippery sidewalk. Don't take it as an attack to your individuality, but as a form of respect for you. Let the guy be a guy and don't act offended when he insists on picking up the tab at the restaurant. It's normal for him and a sign of respect for you. Take care of your appearance, as this is important to Russian men. Women in Russia are hardly ever seen without high heels or makeup and are always proud of their sensuality and appearance. Look beautiful, but also make sure you feel beautiful. Confidence is attractive to Russian men.
Russian society is a lot more forgiving when it comes to men cheating, lying or making decisions without consulting their partners. If this is something you won't allow, set clear rules from the beginning. Tell him what you expect from him and the relationship and what issues are deal breakers. If the relationship is getting serious, talk about family. Children are crucial to a Russian man, and many will not accept a marriage unless children are part of the deal. Russian women pride themselves in taking care of their homes and their men, so Russian men in general expect the woman to perform household chores. In some cases, men expect women to stop working and stay home to raise the kids after marriage. Setting up clear rules about what's acceptable to you will prevent later disagreements.
Cultural differences play an important role in dating and this is especially obvious when dating a Russian man. Avoid talking politics, as this is traditionally a men's topic. Also, drinking is a social affair for Russian men, so don't be surprised if a date with him involves a hefty amount of alcohol. Unless you have an issue with alcohol or he's crossing the line, join him. Another major cultural difference is that there's no such thing as personal space in Russia, and Russian men will see it as normal to hold your arm or stand very close to you when speaking. If you're in the beginning stages of the relationship and this makes you uncomfortable, say something. Otherwise, keep in mind that this is not an indication that he likes you and plans on seeing you again.
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- Russian Talk: Culture and Conversation during Perestroika; Nancy Ries
- Winston's Guide to Traveling and Dating in Russia For Men; Winston Wu