A Visitor's Guide to Impressing Russian Women

Man surprising woman with flowers

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If you are not Russian and interested in dating a Russian girl, you may need a bit of an instruction manual. While the basic rules of dating etiquette obviously apply, there are a few quirks that Russian girls have that sometimes create conflict between girls from Russia and men from the West.

Of course, there are also several things that Russian women dislike about Russian men—which gives you the opportunity to play up your differences—but there are also some traits of Russian men that Russian girls actually do like, even if they may never admit it. Knowing these preferences, you can pave yourself a much smoother path to attracting Russian girls during your visit to Russia.

Dress Nicely

Russian men tend to dress very simply, and once they’re in a relationship they can often forgo dressing well entirely and settle down into comfortable-meets-shabby gear. To impress her, do the opposite and dress sharply—not over-the-top, but look put together. Wear basics that are made of high-quality material, are relatively fashionable (e.g. no boot-cut light-wash denim jeans and sneakers) and you’ll definitely be in her good books.

Although many believe women are looking for fit guys with pristine hair and a bodybuilder's body, studies have shown that Russian women tend to prefer a man who looks naturally masculine and dresses decently but doesn't follow the latest trends or spend too much time fussing over his nails or body.

Ultimately, this means you will want your wardrobe to fall somewhere between fashionably dressed and overly casual, which accentuates your manly features and minimizes feminine shapes and angles.

Be Assertive

Russian men can be almost aggressively assertive, and while you want to stay away from that end of the spectrum, you definitely don’t want to come off as indecisive or letting her make all the decisions. Keep it at a good balance, but especially at the beginning of a relationship, you want to make sure that you take control when necessary.

For instance, you'll want to decide where you’re going for dinner and then invite her there instead of asking her where she would like to go—though you can score bonus points if you know what she likes to eat and ask her to one of her favorite restaurants. On the same token, you'll want to decide what you will be doing that day and then ask her to do it instead of asking her what she wants to do. In this scenario, too, you'll have a better chance of getting a date if you've already discovered what she likes to do and take her somewhere she wants to go.

This isn't to say that Russian women don’t like to make decisions—in fact, in a lot of Russian relationships, women have the upper hand—it’s just that showing assertiveness shows that you’ll be able to match her decisiveness rather than leaving her to do all the work. In any case, communication is key to getting a second or third date as she won't be impressed if you're assertive about an activity or restaurant she already told you she doesn't like.

Be a Gentleman

Russian men are well-trained in chivalry, and no matter how modern your Russian girl is, you want to make sure you take care of her in the same way. This means picking up the bill at the restaurant without discussion, opening doors, giving up your seat on the metro, and always carrying everything except her purse (within reason of course).

While Russian women believe in equality of the sexes, they also still appreciate courtesies and gentlemanly behaviors like opening doors and helping a woman with her coat. In this way, Russian women are quite similar to women in the southern United States, especially Texas who still raise children to say "yes, ma'am" and "no, sir." In both places, chivalry goes a long way toward getting a date with a local woman.

Be Nice

This is an area where you can really shine against Russian men. Not to generalize too much, but many Russian men can be quite rough, and you can stand out by being considerate, compassionate, and generally making sure she’s comfortable, happy, and listened-to.

One way you can show you're doing this, especially before a second or third date, is to ask about her interests on your first date and plan the next with something she enjoys as part of the itinerary. Not only can you prove your assertiveness, you can also show you're a good listener and care about her interests.

Being nice goes hand in hand with being a gentleman, but you'll want to stay away from the stereotypical “nice-guy” territory—you don’t want to seem like a wimp—but listen to her and her wishes in a gallant way.

Navigate Gender Roles Carefully

Many Russian men are still stuck in a very traditional conception of gender roles, and it is a common assumption of Russian women that Western men are more accepting of women’s changing role in society.

This means that you should be accepting of whichever way she decides to live her life—whether she wants to be a career woman, a homemaker, or a mix of both; never be dismissive of any of these lifestyle choices. On a smaller scale, you can also demonstrate this by being willing to cook and clean—not expecting her to always do it as many Russian men do.

However, you'll want to avoid completely enforcing or abandoning your own concepts of gender roles (or lack thereof). Communicating about how you both feel about society's and your own expectations of gender is a healthy and appreciated way to get to know a woman in any culture.

Show Her Your Appreciation

Despite the rise in the gender revolution, Russian women still highly value romantic gestures and tokens of adoration like flowers, candy, or jewelry.

Russian men are famous for their affinity for giving flowers—in Russian society, flowers are bought for almost any festive occasion. Russian women will appreciate you bringing her bouquets on birthdays, celebrations, and once in a while, just because you thought she would appreciate them.

Above all, though, a Russian woman likes to feel appreciated in a relationship and in life. Discussing your life goals and how she can be or is a part of them (depending on how long you've been dating) is a good way to show her you value her role in your life journey. Hopefully, you'll find sharing both of your lives to be mutually beneficial.