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What Russian women think about foreign men

Top question - October

Home Who Am I Myths and Reality FAQ About Russia
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Q: Reading your Myths and Reality, I was wondering what kind of myths Russian women might have about foreign men, particularly Americans. I think knowing about such myths would help to prevent cultural misunderstandings.

Well, there aren't too many particular myths about foreign men but mostly about foreigners in general. Most of those myths were formed by a famous Russian comic Mikhail Zadornov (whose picture was once published by an American tabloid instead of the picture of the former Russian minister of economics Mikhail Zadornov - they probably were going to make a joke about the state of Russian economy?), who described in a few stories what the is  difference between foreigners and Russians. They are very funny, and the public laughed out loud all the way.

Myth 1

Foreigners are stupid; they do not see ways to skip things or a roundabout.

Actually it's based on Russian's total disrespect to any law, and vice versa, western total respect to the laws. For example, for Russians it's very funny that one weights his fruit himself in a shop, and puts a label on the packet. What a Russian will do: he will put one apple in the packet, weigh it, put another 20 in and go to a cashier. No one checks if the labels are correct!

Myth 2

Foreigners are amazed by cash; they have never seen 2000 US Dollars cash.

Russians use cash for all payments, and for them there is nothing special in having 10,000 dollars in cash in a back pocket. If having 500 dollars in your wallet you say that you are worried to lose such a big amount, they will think you live in poverty. Zadornov has a brilliant story about a Russian who went to Versace  boutique to buy presents for his friends and bought 20 ties, US $ 200 each, cash - the shop assistant was shocked and fell in love with the guy.

Myth 3

Foreigners are always smiling, without any reason.

In Russia to have a smile on your face you must have a reason, otherwise they will think you are laughing at them. It's why Russians don't smile. They also do not greet shop assistants, cashiers, drivers etc. They do not ask each other "How are you?" the first thing when meet or on the phone. Smiling without a reason indicates the person's mental disorder, there is even an old saying: "Smile without a reason is a sign of silliness".

Myth 4

Americans are loud and arrogant.

I think the roots of this myth are in American's independence and confidence. Russians, even the ones who have high status, are never that confident. Americans are sure they are doing the right thing; once they make a decision, they follow it without hesitation and unnecessary delays. Russians are not used to confidence, and for them it looks like arrogance. 

Also Russians are very sensitive if you criticize their country; they know it's a mess, but it's THEIR COUNTRY. Do not show your disgust if something is not that clean and sterile as you are used to. Rather smile. Russians, for example, routinely use serviettes to clean glasses, forks and spoons in a cafe; and this is the way to go if you discovered somebody's lipstick on your glass. Alternatively, you can politely ask a waiter to exchange the glass, but do not request to change all glasses and plates on the table and bring you "the clean ones". Take a napkin and clean your plates and glasses; bring sterilizing liquid with you; but do not think that somebody will go out of his way to help you; and if you insist, you'll look scandalous and - arrogant. Russian services are very self-sufficient, clients basically just interrupt them with their perfect work.

Myth 5

Foreign men are looking for free housekeepers to look after them and their kids. Many of them are not what they say they are, some are sexual maniacs or have psychiatric problems.

This myth is based on a few stories about foreign marriages that hit the news - like American media, Russian media rarely have anything good to say about the subject. So do not talk about sex in your letters, say that you are not looking for a maid but a partner, say that you are healthy, and explain why you decide to look for a wife abroad. Just like you think it's strange when a beautiful intelligent woman is not capable to find a partner in Russia / Ukraine / Belarus, women are also concerned why such a wonderful man, who is educated, goal-oriented, hardworking and faithful is alone. Russian men try to pursue sexual relationships with any woman they see on their way, it's a part of the "real man" image. They seem to be so interested in having sex with as many females as possible, women do not believe that a man can survive without sexual intercourse for more than a month, and definitely he will go mad in 1 year if didn't have sex during the time. If you are over 18 years old and a virgin, they will think there is something terribly wrong with you, and will avoid you. Keep such a confession for your honeymoon :-))

Myth 6 - The only positive myth that makes 1000's Russian women look for somebody far away from their homeland.

Foreign men are honest, stable, serious, faithful, kind, reliable, they almost don't drink, do not abuse their wives, and love kids. Life abroad is stable and secure.

Actually , Russian women do not look for something special in a man: he must be just NORMAL. It means, he has some education, a stable job, wants to make a career and doesn't drink. This is already good enough! Being too handsome or talented may even decrease your chances - women will feel that they are very plain, and do not deserve you.


Last month Top FAQ:

Q: You say on your page that one should bring some gifts to hand over when visit Russia. Should I bring something for the lady's family? What kind of presents will you recommend? Should I have a ring if I decide to propose?

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