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 and sneakers) and you’ll definitely be in her good books.

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. Decide where you’re going for dinner and then invite her there. Decide what you will be doing that day and then ask her to do it. Don’t call her up and say ‘what do you want to do?’.

It’s not 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.

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).

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. 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.

Buy Her Flowers

Finally, 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.