Russian Dating Cultures and Norms—in a Nutshell

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Meeting our one true love is exciting, especially when we chance upon them outside our home country. It feels like having the fantasy for ourselves—the dream of meeting someone abroad and falling madly in love.

Russians, in particular, are beautiful life and love partners. Someone who has fallen in love with a Russian could even attest to that. But before even getting to the journey’s smoother parts, they must have been through the roughest patches, too. Thankfully, experience and a whole lot of studying made life easier for them.

To help you get your ideal Russian local’s heart, we prepared below Russia’s dating cultures and norms. We also listed some golden tips to make them fall madly in love.

Understanding Russia’s Dating Cultures and Norms

Russians today are not that different from anyone outside the country. Despite our modern way of living, some nuances make them unique from us. With this, let’s identify the differences and unearth the similarities to bridge the underlying gaps.

Demography

Since 1991, Russia has experienced a stark dip in the birthrate and a dramatic rise in the mortality rate. Eight years later, there has been a decline of more than two million people in the country.

Economy

There are several reasons for Russia’s decrease in population. But for the most part, the Soviet government left a tragic mark on the economy and culture.

Consequently, unemployment, low salary wages, impoverishment in public health care systems, and depression happened. The extremist regime also created anxiety and skepticism against those outside a Russian family.

Family

Immediate and extended families during the Soviet rule combined all their resources to survive the ailing economy. In many aspects, it made way for Russia’s high regard for their families and dear friends. Everyone tapped each other for financial and emotional support.

The Soviet rule formed a stressful condition in most pan-Russian households. Many families lived with their friends or grandparents, and each member needed to look after the kids or do the chores should the others be away for work.

Religion

During Soviet rule, when the Russian’s human rights were limited, all they could do was cling to higher beings. Their devoutness intensified—hoping for a miracle: a better country. As such, nearly 5,000 registered religious associations in the country.

Today, 86.7% of the Russian population belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church — excluding non-practicing Russians.

The majority of Russia’s population belongs to the Christian, Islam, and Tengri churches. The latter is a form of idolatrous, monotheism, and shamanic belief.

Language

The Russian Federation and the majority of pan-Russian countries speak Russian as their native language. Russian is an East Slavic language inherent to the Russians in Eastern Europe.

With this, the Soviet government held high regard for their country and language. Hence, they pressed those under them to speak Russian and abolish minority languages.

As a result, over 81% of the 146-million Russian population consider the Russian language its mother tongue. However, the Soviet rule’s collapse made way for linguistic revival movements in many ethnic communities.

Today, there are over a hundred languages and dialects spoken within the Russian borders. Although residents in the cosmopolitan areas speak Russian, several others also speak English, Dolgang, and Tatar, and Chuvash, to name a few.

Arts, Literature, and Architecture

Russia’s rich history made their arts, literature, and architecture more colorful and, somehow, lifelike.

Among the many commendable Russian art forms is the world-renowned Swan Lake and the 1812 Overture.

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Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment are also one of the many examples of Russia’s impeccable taste and standards for great literature.

As for Russia’s skyscrapers and historical buildings, the Lakhta Center, Evolution Tower, the Kremlin, and St. Basil’s Cathedral are some of the most laudable ones.

Marriage

In the 1930s, when Russian men and women hit the age of 23, they were already expected to marry someone. But, life’s ambiguity due to the economic depression during the Soviet rule made many locals decide to marry later or not at all.

Although legal marriage was greatly preferred, most Russians only marry as a result of unplanned pregnancies.

With the government’s harsh ruling and economic depression, Russian women felt they needed to be practical when choosing their partners. They chose men with high-paying jobs or someone of high social status.

Etiquette

Whether you’re here to know how to be a better friend to a Russian or date one for yourself, it is of absolute necessity to be at your best self. Below are the basic Russian etiquettes you should note:

  • When greeting, Russian women usually kiss each other on the cheek three times, alternatingly.
  • They like to keep eye contact while shaking hands with a new acquaintance—looking away shows indifference.
  • Russians will think you are rude when you make an “OK” sign.
  • Russians consider it rude when you assume familiarity in a first meeting.
  • When getting inside someone’s home, they take off their coats and shoes.
  • Their elders or babushkas are important to them. They value their opinion and advice on life or personal matters.
  • Gift-giving is a form of national tradition in Russia. They bring gifts to any party—grand or intimate. For them, it is a show of appreciation or respect to a recipient.
  • Russians are serious individuals. They don’t smile unless something is amusing. For them, people who smile without reason are up to no good.
  • Russians are generally punctual. But unlike Americans, they can be flexible when it comes to appointments and deadlines.
  • It’s customary for men to pay for food during a date. When men let a Russian woman pay, women almost always feel insulted about it.
  • Russian women wrap their heads and shoulders with clothing when entering a place of worship. As for men, they should remove their hats and sunglasses upon entering a religious vicinity.
  • They avoid odd numbers on anything—number of flowers, event date, and even building numbers.

Final Note

Our personal history and cultural background influence our current viewpoints in life. While history honed the Russians to be who they are, time and experience make them the better versions of themselves.

If you’re here plainly to gain knowledge, we hope we enticed you enough to study the Russian culture further. But if you’re here to understand your Russian online date a little better, we hope we helped you eased your way into their heart. Good luck!