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I have just come back from Russia. I have met a wonderful lady. My Lady is a wonderful person who never asked me for money once, in fact when she came to Moscow to meet me I offered to pay for her air fare and she actually took the train to Moscow from Samara because it was less than half the air fare price, naturally she came back with me on the plane. All the 3 weeks I was there I was never asked for money and when I offered to pay for my food and board, well I didn't think it translated very well and I think I possibly caused some minor upset. I did manage to repay her wonderful hospitality by noticing she hadn't got a computer printer or scanner and her hard drive memory was just about full, so with a little cooperation from her 17 year old son we went and purchased the fore mentioned items, although she was very surprised when she saw them all working, it still took some time to persuade to accept them as gifts for herself and family. My Lady friend is a former Rocket Scientist, who says you cannot have beauty and brains. She is coming to visit the UK in November and our relationship grows from strength to strength.

Nicholas, UK

Russian Women and money matters

Top question - August

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Q: I was in contact with a nice woman and we corresponded via email for several months. I told her I would like to visit her country, and told her I was saving money to come and visit. At that moment, she dropped me like I said something terribly wrong and the tone of the letters changed and were very business like. It's been 6 months since her last response. What did I do wrong?

In Russia/Ukraine it's considered bad manners to say that you cannot afford

People often buy something that they cannot really afford just to not show they can't. As example, American friends after their visit to Russia sent some presents to their Russian acquaintances which unfortunately were custom taxable. The Russian family paid this tax and received the parcel because they felt it would offend the senders if they refuse to receive it, and the parcel would be sent back on expense of the senders. They did not want to show to their American friends that they were stupid to send such things when the Americans just tried to be nice. They also did not want to admit they cannot afford to pay this tax. They could buy all those things from the parcel in Russia 4 times cheaper than paying the tax. The tax they paid was around the family's monthly income.

When Russians hear how a foreign man complains about expensiveness of something, they consider him greedy. They cannot understand how a ticket to Russia that in average costs $1000 can be expensive for a man who makes 3000 dollars a month. They do not have recurrent payments as bond, insurance, medical aid etc, and almost nobody makes savings. The money they receive as wages all belong to them, and they know they can spend everything that they have in their hands. There is no such a thing as buying something on credit, everything is paid cash. If you have a luxury car, it means you had enough money to pay for it straight away, and not that you pay it back every month and the car actually belongs to the bank. All things Russians own are fully paid.

Russian women are educated and intelligent, and they do not think that all American men are rich. They just do not understand the way people live in America, and that after all payments people do not have too much money left. They think that if one earns $3000 a month, he can fly to Russia every month, and afterwards fly, for example, to Caribbean for a vacation, and he will still have money for luxuries and entertainment. For your information, people in Russia receive in average salaries of only $70 per month and manage to survive, so they really wonder how you can have nothing left if you make $3000. If she was making $3000 a month, she would have left $2930 spare.

When you say you have to save for the trip, naturally, the woman thinks you are greedy and not really interested in her. According to courting etiquette a man is not supposed to admit he does not have money for something (it's bad manners), and if he does, it means he is REALLY greedy, otherwise he would find an excusable reason. It is better to say you cannot go right now because you have some obligations, and tell her when you will be able to visit her.

Many women I know commented on this habit of foreigners to talk about expensiveness of prices in Russia/Ukraine. For them it sounds very disturbing or even disgusting: "How they count their money!" Yes, many things there are more expensive than in the States, but rather don't comment on the price if a bottle of Coke costs 2 dollars instead of 1. For Russians meaning of the word *expensive* is absolute (I do not have enough money to buy it) rather than relative (this item is overpriced).

When you count money on a date with a Russian lady, she sees it as if you were chewing with your mouth open or eating with your fingers. You pay, or you don't pay and choose something else, but you must not say it's too expensive. Also it's better to don't try to explain to a lady the details of booking tickets and your attempts to get it cheaper or how happy you were to find a discount offer. There is nothing wrong in doing that but it's not supposed to be discussed with a person you have a romantic interest in, only with your close family or friends.

It does not mean you should buy a woman whatever she asks for. An honest woman will not ask you to buy her presents or take her shopping (though 1-2 modest presents are expected; at least buy her flowers). If somebody asks you "Buy me that, buy me that" don't hesitate to make it clear you are not a sugar daddy.

Last month Top FAQ:

Q: I am divorced. Actually, I have been divorced 3 times. What is Russian women position about divorces? Will it hurt my chances with them dramatically?

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