Russia is situated in a unique geographical location. The Russian Federation as its known is made up 21 republics, many having their own distinct cultures and languages. The image of Russia that most people have is technically just the portion located in Europe. In fact, the west of Russia is much more culturally European than Asian. However, a large part of Russia happens to be in Asia and there is a shared history with Central Asian nations. In our blog, we’ve even combined the two for the sake of relevancy.
When it comes to dating, Russia is influenced by a mix of traditional and modern values. Russians tend to have a conservative view on dating (as compared to western Europeans), with many believing in the importance of finding a partner for a long-term committed relationship.
One of the most important aspects of dating in Russia is courtship, which is seen as a way to show respect and interest in a potential partner. Men are expected to be chivalrous and take the initiative in asking a woman out on a date. Flowers, chocolates, and small gifts are also common on dates and are seen as a way to demonstrate affection.
In Russia, it is also common for couples to meet through mutual friends or social gatherings. While online dating is becoming more popular, many Russians still prefer to meet potential partners in person.
Family plays a significant role in Russian dating culture, with many Russians seeking their family’s approval before pursuing a serious relationship. It is also not uncommon for couples to move in together relatively quickly, with the expectation of eventually getting married.
Unique to Russian culture is the concept of dacha, which is a rural retreat that many Russians own. Dachas are often seen as a romantic getaway, and many couples spend time there during the summer months.
Overall, dating culture in Russia emphasizes traditional values and respect for one’s partner. While modern dating practices are becoming more common, many Russians still prefer a more conservative approach to dating and relationships.
Do Russians date foreigners?
Multiculturalism is a theme dating back to the origins of Russian culture. For the last 100 years or so, Russian speaking people have spanned across an immense geographical region making it easy for people from completely different backgrounds to communicate and date.
In large Russian cities, like Moscow, one might find a large mix of cultures with some immigrants coming from countries in Central Asia.
In recent years, dating and marrying foreigners has become more common in Russia, particularly among younger generations who are more open to cultural diversity and globalization. There are some stereotypical stigmas such as western men dating Russian women, but we don’t believe this accounts for many relationships.
Regardless, for foreigners to date Russians there may be some cultural differences that could affect the dating experience, such as communication styles, expectations for gender roles, and attitudes towards dating and relationships.
6 interesting facts about dating culture in Russia
- Formal dating: Dating in Russia tends to be more formal and traditional than in some Western countries, with men often asking women out on formal dates and paying for the entire evening’s activities.
- Flowers are important: In Russian dating culture, it is customary to give flowers as a sign of affection. However, there are certain rules about which flowers to give. For example, it is considered bad luck to give an even number of flowers, as even numbers are associated with funerals.
- Importance of appearance: In Russian dating culture, appearance is highly valued. Both men and women often take great care in their appearance and dress to impress their partners. It’s not uncommon for couples to dress up for even casual outings.
- Significance of family: Family is highly valued in Russian culture and plays a significant role in dating. It’s common for couples to introduce each other to their families early on in the relationship, and a partner’s approval is important.
- Public displays of affection are not common: Russians tend to be more reserved in public than people in some other countries. However this is highly subjective to the individual. Public displays of affection are ok but are definitely not common or as openly displayed for the LGTBQ community.
- Weddings are a big deal: In Russia, weddings are a significant event and are typically celebrated for multiple days. Traditional weddings often include unique rituals, such as the bride and groom drinking from a single cup to symbolize their union.
Most romantic day in Russia
In Russia, there are several days which might be considered as ‘romantic’. The reason for this is that Valentine’s Day is not as widely celebrated or recognized in Russia compared to other countries, and therefore couples may choose to celebrate their love on a different day that has significance to them.
July 8th, known as Peter and Fevronia Day, which is a day is named after Saints Peter and Fevronia, who are considered the patron saints of marriage and family. The legends associated with these saints, promote core family values and offer blessings of couples, weddings, and family reunions. It is widely considered to be a holiday in contemporary Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian societies.
While it is not traditionally associated with romantic love, some Russians may also use June 12th, known as “Russia Day”, to show their affection for their partners. This holiday marks the country’s independence day and is often celebrated with fireworks, parades, and other festive events.
Typical First Date in Russia
A typical first date in Russia often starts with the man picking up the woman at her home and bringing flowers or a small gift as a gesture of appreciation.
The couple may go to a restaurant, cafe, or a cultural event such as the theater or a museum. They may also go for a walk in a park or along the river, especially during the warmer months. Although it is becoming more common for couples to split the bill, the man may offer to pay for the date.
During the date, there may be a bit of initial small talk as the couple gets to know each other. Russians tend to value honesty and straightforwardness, so it is not uncommon for people to ask direct questions about each other’s lives and interests.
As the date progresses, the conversation may become more relaxed and playful. Russians also tend to appreciate humor, so a good sense of humor can go a long way on a first date.
If the date goes well, it is not unusual for the couple to exchange phone numbers and plan a second date. However, if there is not a connection, it is also common for both parties to simply thank each other for the evening and go their separate ways.
Should I learn Russian to date?
Russia by its nature is one of the most diverse countries on earth. This is due to a number of factors. Not only is it geographically spread out, but it’s also culturally rich owing to the many years of the Soviet Union.
In addition to modern day Russia, the Soviet Union consisted Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. These 15 republics led to the cultural and linguistic diversity found inside Russia today. Thus, it is not uncommon in the Russian dating scene to meet someone who is multilingual.
Russian is the national and primary language of Russia. However, it’s common to find Uzbek, Tajik, Georgian or Armenian speakers as well.
If you are a foreigner or tourist, we do always recommend learning language and studying local culture. Language is incredibly important form of human connection and knowing some of the local language will greatly enhance your experience. It may not be possible to learn all languages, especially if backpacking through, but relying on your English is limiting and alienating. If you can learn to speak basic or intermediate level Russian a few phrases will go a long way. Nothing shows your date more respect than genuinely learning about his or her culture.
While some Russians will also speak English or other languages, being able to communicate in their language can help to build stronger relationships with, facilitate communication in a variety of contexts and gain respect or trust with Russians. It is a win-win situation for you and Russian culture.
Is Russia gay friendly?
Russia has a complicated relationship with the LGBTQ+ community. In 2013, the country passed a law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors, which effectively restricts any public displays of affection or LGBTQ+ activism. The law has been criticized for promoting homophobia and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people are not uncommon in Russia. While there are some LGBTQ+ communities in Russia and larger cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg have gay scenes, it is generally not considered a particularly gay-friendly country.
Social cues and gender roles in Russia
- Dress to impress! Russians dress up for dates, especially when going out for a dinner or event.
- Men are expected to be chivalrous: It is common for men to open doors, pull out chairs, and pay for the first date. It is seen as a sign of respect and gentlemanly behavior.
- Physical contact is important: Russians are more tactile than many other cultures, and physical contact is seen as a sign of affection. Hugging, kissing on the cheeks, and holding hands are all common displays of affection.
- Gender roles are traditional: Traditional gender roles are still prevalent in Russia, with men being expected to be the breadwinners and women expected to be the caregivers and homemakers.
- Small gifts are appreciated: It is common for men to bring small gifts on a first date, such as flowers or chocolates. It is seen as a thoughtful gesture and shows that the man is interested in the woman.
- Communication is direct: Russians are known for their direct communication style, and this carries over into dating as well. It is important to be clear and straightforward about your intentions and feelings.
It’s worth noting that not all Russians adhere strictly to these gender roles and social cues, and dating culture can vary depending on the region and individual preferences.
Dating Scams in Russia
Every day across the digital world, dating scams prey upon lonely and naive people online. This is just as true in Russia as it is anywhere else in the world. Dating scams online are rampant and can happen to anyone. It is always a good practice to be careful and approach online dating in Russia with caution.
Getting to know someone new, whether in real life or digitally, can and should be a fun process. It is important to build trust and use good judgement before sharing personal details.
In terms of dating scams specific to Russia, we do not currently know any. However, across the world these common dating scams which are widely reported on dating apps and websites:
- Advanced Fee Fraud: If you check your spam inbox you will likely see a few emails like this. Most commonly, they come from countries West African countries like Ghana or Nigeria, but can originate from anywhere. Usually the scammer forms a relationship with the victim and then asks for money to help them access a large sum of money they have supposedly inherited but cannot access. If it sounds to good to be true, then it usually is.4
- Catfishing: One of the most common is simply catfishing. Catfishing is essentially when someone presents themself as someone else using fake profile information, stolen or altered photos. Usually, they will use attractive pictures to lure in a person, but in reality they are quite different.
- Gift Scams: After forming a relationship with you, scammers might ask for expensive gifts or money to buy such gifts for you. Once the gifts or money are received, they will disappear
- Military Scams: In these scams, fraudsters pose as Belgian military personnel who are serving overseas or outside of Russia. They form a relationship with the victim and then ask for money, often claiming that it is for a leave application, medical expenses, or other fabricated reasons.
This is not an all inclusive list of dating scams in Russia. Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to take advantage of people. Be vigilant.
Top dating apps in Russia
Historically, the Russian tech scene is quite robust. Those unfamiliar with the market may not know that Russia has many local services which mirror those used outside of the country. For example, VKontakte (or VK), is commonly referred to as the “Russian Facebook”. On the other hand, Yandex a competitor to Google, has many similar services if not more. In the dating space this is also true. There are dating apps which appeal to the great Russian speaking communities and those apps which are more international in nature. Here are a few of the most popular ones:
- Tinder – a popular dating app used by millions of people around the world, including Russia.
- Badoo – another popular dating app that is widely used in Russia.
- Mamba – a Russian dating app that has been around since the early 2000s.
- LovePlanet – a Russian dating app that has a large user base and is known for its extensive search filters.
- Teamo.ru – a dating app that focuses on serious relationships and uses a compatibility algorithm to match users.
- Happn – a location-based dating app that allows users to find people they have crossed paths with in real life.
- Brilic – a dating app that focuses on high-quality matches and has strict verification procedures.
- Bumble – a dating app that puts women in control by requiring them to make the first move.
- Once – a dating app that provides users with one potential match per day, based on their preferences.
- Coffee Meets Bagel – a dating app that emphasizes quality over quantity by providing users with one match per day at noon.