Why has Russian dating flourished so well in the former Soviet countries within the last few years? Are Russian girls of these countries on a prowl for a rich husband? Are they raking around for an unforgettable short-term romance? Or are they seeking something more profound like true love and someone to make them happy?
A Yahoo search for a "dating agency Ukraine" yields over 82,000 results. For a country, which has been locked away to the rest of the world for so many years and has gained independence only a little over 17 years ago, such results seem overwhelming. Why has Russian dating flourished in the FSU countries within the last few years?
Lucky for me, when questions began swarming in my head I consulted with a good girlfriend of mine, who had lived in Italy for a number of years, was in town to visit her family. So, instead of digging through piles of statistics and wracking my brain in search of the answers, I turned to her for a first-hand experience.
Before I move on, let me make myself clear: by no means does this article describe the motives and wants of every Russian girl, who submits her profile to a dating agency. And I will be the first to encourage foreigners to exercise caution once you choose the path of a Russian girl search agency. In the past, some Russian girls from the Soviet countries have provided more than enough negative publicity, but don't let that discourage you because if you do you will miss out on a chance to make many new friends and the possibility to find love overseas. With that in mind, I proceed… When I began questioning the motives of Russian girls who take a chance on online dating agencies, my first discovery was quite disturbing. One of the top reasons why Russian girls prefer foreigners is that men in their home country… aren't good enough for them.
"Many Russian people talk about how awful it is for Russian girls to live abroad and tell you horror stories. Why don't they admit that the true reason lies within men at home, who, in my opinion, don't know what a family is?" - was a comment from Natasha in response to an article in one of the leading Russian papers, which condemned marriages to foreigners. "Unfortunately, Russian men have got a long way to go to keep up with men from abroad."
Some Russian girls dating agencies will give you the same information. An American journalist, who took a "find-the-bride" trip to Ukraine as a part of his investigation for a story, wrote in his on-line journal that the instructor on the tour explained to him: Ukrainian and Russian men "drink, philander, alternately beat and neglect women." Obviously, not every Russian man treats Russian girls this way. Nevertheless, the general impression that most Russian girls have of men in their home countries comes down to a few common words: irresponsible, hard-hearted, too demanding and not willing to provide for their children, let alone their mother. Given that Russian girls are admired throughout history for their strong family ties and devotion, it is not surprising that many of them come to Russian dating agencies expecting to find someone trustworthy, reliable and willing to create and nourish the family.
Another observation Natasha made after a three-year long marriage to a foreigner: "Actually, when I married him, I didn't really want to live in Italy… But Italians are very family oriented and put more emphasis on family values. That meant a lot to me. Foreigners in general seem to be more serious about family and children, unlike men at home." In line with the lack of quality of Russian men, there is also a lack of quantity of men. Statistics show that in 2008 the ratio of men to women was 46 % to 54%, and hasn't changed much since. Given that a large part of these 46% are men who can't be counted on for love, care and support. It leaves Russian girls very little to choose from. Obviously, when something you need is not in sight, you look to broader horizons. "All the good ones have been snatched away so long ago, your chances to find someone in your own country after you turn 25 are next to nill," Natasha mused over a cup of coffee (she married her Italian sweetheart at the age of 29). "It seems Russian men disappear when they turn 30."
On top of all that, the appreciation of their own femininity sets Russian girls apart from American or European girls. Most foreigners note that Russian girls look different from other foreign women, and I don't just mean their outward beauty, which has been mentioned and admired by many. Russian girls like to look pretty. It is usual for them to wear a dress and pumps on a regular basis. They care about their body and strive to be attractive. Bottom line, they want to be feminine, not feminist.
Russian girls cherish being a "weak gender", which for them means taking care of their family above everything else, as well as being cared for and appreciated. Promises of those values seem to be given in abundance by Americans and Europeans, many of whom share an opinion that it has been too long since Western women have shown any aspiration to cherish the softer side of the "feminine gender". In comparison with the constant rush of foreign women to make careers and to get equal with men, the feminine side of Russian girls is at definite advantage to men from abroad. Even some Russian men will admit that "their" women are attractive to the foreigners exactly because they "remain women, not some emancipated feminists, like in the West."
Natasha gets a bit nostalgic remembering her first few times to visit Italy: "I went to Italy to feel like a queen, to get my share of attention, which I had been lacking from our own men. I think there are so many beautiful Russian girls that our men are simply too used to it, it is mundane to them, they forget about simple compliments… Italians really value beauty."
After all this, what can I say to foreign men in search of their destiny? It all comes down to what you are looking for. No doubt, there will be some money-hungry vamps, eager to trap you. If you want an exotic one night stand, you can find that in Ukraine, Russia or anywhere in the world for that matter. But if you are looking for a girl who will respect you, relish her family and be as smart as she is pretty, the chances of you finding such a girl in Ukraine or Russia are greater than at any other place in the world.