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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Russian women seek husbands abroad?2. Are Russian women's personalities different from Western women?3. I would like to write to some Russian ladies but I am not out to look for a wife immediately, rather a friend first and then see what happens. Do ladies expect more?4. Can Russian women speak English?5. What kind of a sense of humour do Russian women generally have? Do they laugh a lot or very little?6. Is there a considerable difference between Russian and other women of the former Soviet Union - for example, Ukrainian or Belarussian?7. Would a Russian lady be interested in living in a small town? 8. What Russian women think about interracial marriages?9. I am 60-something and I would like to find a mate in Russia, but don't want to be a 'door mat' so she can get here and then dump me. How should I act?10. Is it true that most of Russian women seeking men are prostitutes or ex-prostitutes?11. Is it true that nearly 80 percent of Russian women smoke?12. Why the majority of Russian women featured by agencies are looking for much older husbands? 13. Will I get hassled by government when visiting Russia?14. What about stories of ladies coming to the US (or west countries) and leaving shortly after the marriage?

Why Russian women seek husbands abroad?
If you ask women this question, the answers will be:
  • I want my children to be happy and have a secure future, and it's impossible with the current situation in Russia. 
  • There are not enough men in Russia to find a partner.
  • Russian men are terrible.
All the statements are true to some extent. But at the same time none of them gives you a real reason. 

The real and fundamental reason why women look for a life partner abroad is that they are not happy in their love life and cannot find a suitable partner in Russia. It's that simple!

The demographic reason behind that is that there are 10 million more women in Russia than men, or only 88 men for 100 women. Some women are destined to stay single. The cultural notion for a Russian woman is to get married and have a family; this is the necessary condition of success for a woman. This is why even successful career women feel unfulfilled if they don't have a husband and family, and some of them use search for a partner abroad as an option. They do it because they want to meet a suitable partner for marriage.

A married woman, even if she is struggling with everyday surviving and not happy with Russian family model, won't divorce her Russian husband to look for a foreign husband.

Russian women do not choose between Russian men and foreign men. They choose between staying single for life and having her own family.

Russian women want MARRIAGE, to love and be loved. Security and a better life go as a part of the package.
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Are Russian women's personalities different from Western women?
Yes, they are a bit different. They don't have a different type of character, and they also love shopping and chatting. They are human beings and they are definitely not perfect. The main difference is that they are much more patient and can tolerate things that Western women will never be able to bear. They are more considerate and dependable. They are partners, not competitors.

Another important difference is that Russian women (and Russians in general) have very low self-esteem. They are very insecure. While Western women think that they are goddesses and able to cope with anything on their own, a Russian woman (living in Russia and married to a Russian man) will rarely leave a bad (really BAD) husband because of the fear that she won't find another one. For many years the state and men have been oppressing them, and they don't think much about themselves.

Russian women are well groomed, stylish, educated and intelligent (as are Russians in general) also diets and sports are not as popular as in the west. Nevertheless, they are rarely overweight - they still walk a lot because they don't have cars, and don't eat junk food  (which is strange enough is considered expensive - compared to home made meals). They do not have to make an effort to live healthy - it just comes natural.

The greatest difference between Russian women and western women is precisely captured by linguistics: in English you call it, to share your life with and in Russian they call it, to join our lives together. Where you will often find a western woman being a competitor in a relationship, a Russian woman is a partner.

I am not selling you a docile, submissive Russian bride. I am telling what is the difference in character between Russian women living in Russia and western women living in the west. There is also a difference between western men living in the west and Russian men living in Russia (and I am certainly not a big fond of the patriarchal, chauvinistic Russian family model). You live in a certain society and you become a part of this society, whether you want it or not. Russian women living abroad are different from Russian women living in Russia. Russian women change when they move abroad, and western demographics is very different from Russian (where they have only 87 men for 100 women). Some things stay the same, some things change. I know I have changed a lot living in the west. Part of it was simply growing as a person, but a great deal was due to the different culture. This is to be expected.

Being insecure doesn't mean being submissive. You probably know many people with low self-esteem who are insecure but they are certainly not submissive.

Some reporters pull a phrase out of my writings, take it out of the context, and then happily announce, Look how they taut those poor Russian brides (not that there is anything wrong with those reporters; they just have to have an angle to their story, and this one sells better). This reminds me of the times they taught us in Soviet Russia that western employees were mercilessly exploited by greedy capitalists. You may laugh at it, but we grew up feeling very sorry for you guys, who were so mercilessly exploited, and very happy for the fact that we were born in Soviet Union. I am NOT joking!

I have a personal experience of living through the process of finding a foreign husband, and I see my own marriage to a western man as liberation, which it certainly was if you compare the level of freedom in post-Soviet Russia and in the west with its centuries-old democratic traditions. While some reporters enjoy speculating about men buying women - women selling themselves, this is just as valid a description as exploiter-exploited for employer-employee relationship. If you ever had a job, or hired someone to work for you, who was the one who won out of your arrangement? I guess both sides won, although sometimes the situation is more beneficial for the employer, and sometimes for the employee.

This is why I believe that the majority of Russian women will be better off marrying a western man than if they married a Russian man living in Russia - and this is why I am doing what I am doing. For the people who talk about abuse of mail order brides, I suggest you check the figures of Amnesty International showing that in Russia about 14,000 women are MURDERED every year by their husbands or intimate partners (one Russian woman dies from domestic violence every 40 minutes). In the U.S.A., by comparison, this figure stands at 1,200 a year (the population of Russia is 144 million, the population of the U.S.A. is 293 million). Now, tell me where a Russian woman will be better off - in Russia where police often won't even accept complaints about physical abuse against one's partner, or in America where a patrol will be immediately sent to regulate any home-based dispute, and appropriate measures taken?

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Would a Russian lady be interested in living in a small town?
The majority of Russian ladies seem to be rather cosmopolitan. The reason is that in Russia living in a small town or  village is a nightmare. There are very poor life conditions, dirtiness, no entertainment, no goods to buy, even TV reception may be not available. Russian ladies do not know and understand the difference between small towns in Russia and abroad, and they just have this instinctive fear towards small towns.

My advice is to use the following tactics when writing your letters to ladies:  

1. Do not apply to women from Moscow or St. Petersburg. These cities have completely different conditions of life from the rest of Russia. Some foreigners told me that Moscow and St. Petersburg were not Russian cities, they are rather European. Women there have better chances to meet foreigners as many agencies organize tours with socials to those destinations, and ladies are becoming spoilt and demanding.

2. Tell more about your town, its entertainment, restaurants and cafes, TV reception and other attractions, weather conditions etc. - everything that you like there. Do not try too hard - you must just say how nice the place is and why you like to live there. If you stay there because one can make very good living, mention it. Send a nice picture featuring you city in summer - with flowers or a lake, or anything nice and warm. Tell her where you can go for better entertainment like opera or theatre, and how far the place is.
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What Russian women think about interracial marriages?
They simply do not think about them. The majority of Russian women won't consider an interracial marriage. As you know, there are no people of African origin in Russia, so ladies do not put the requirement about race on their lists. For them it's natural that they consider themselves applying only to men of their race.

There are native inhabitants of Asian race in Russia (Bashkir, Bouryat, Koreans and others), and this type of interracial marriage was not uncommon in the past and still takes place. They don't talk about interracial marriages, it's not an issue there. Russians are proud that they don't have racial problems.

There is no prejudice towards such marriages. They don't condemn somebody else's marriage to a person of a different race. At the same time women seldom will consider it as a personal option.

According to my questionnaire, about 85% of ladies would like to meet a white man; 10% will consider a man of Asian origin, and 5% don't mind about a race of their future partner.

Will you lose time pursuing marriage to a lady from Russia if you are not white?

It depends. For Russian ladies, if you look white, you are white. They do not separate Hispanic and whites. They are afraid of Arabs, but mostly because of differences in religion (Russians are Christians). They adore mulattos, especially of the lighter color. American and Europeans would have much better chance then a colored man from Africa.

Quite a few ladies will consider a man of Asian origin as an option, though you've got less chances than a white guy, and you will have to try harder. I also know about successful relationships black/multiracial men had with ladies from Russia. So, it is possible, but be prepared for rejection from some women because of your race. I had many Asian clients, and a black client, too. They had received fairly good response to their ads, and established good contacts with nice ladies.
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Is it true that most of Russian women seeking men are prostitutes or ex-prostitutes?
NO, IT IS NOT TRUE. Perhaps a few simple reasons will convince you.

Reason #1. To be a prostitute, there must be clients who are able to pay for sex. But with Russian reality almost nobody has enough money for this type of expense. The one who has money doesn't have problems with women - they will love to make an acquaintance with a well-to-do guy. Probably the only places in Russia where a hooker can make some money for a living are Moscow and St. Petersburg - there are many visitors with money. In regional cities there are nobody who is able and willing to pay for sex.

Reason #2. In Russia there are so many women available, you don't need to pay to make love. 

Reason #3. An educated intelligent woman - and most of Russian women seeking partners ARE intelligent and well educated - will never even think about this way of making a living.

The media are not honest towards Russian women seeking marriage - they prefer to concentrate on tragic stories not to tell about successful ones. I had a great career in Russia (that I happily abandoned to join my husband in South Africa) and I was not a prostitute. I have many Russian friends In South Africa and over here in Australia who also got married in the same way - there are former engineers, university lecturers, top-level managers, medical doctors, professional interpreters and teachers among them - and NONE of them was a prostitute.

I am not going to elaborate. I am sick and tired of people considering me as a gold digger or a woman with improper past. Russian women are human beings, and they just want to be happy. It's the real and only reason why they look for partners abroad.

There are some agencies on the Net offering escort services, but it's a completely different story. You will be told straight away that it's an escort and the price will reflect that. The vast majority of Internet dating agencies make their best to stay away from the women like those. I actually doubt that even 1% of the women featured by dating agencies may happen to be prostitutes or ex-prostitutes.

Another thing that can confuse men - Russian women have completely different style of dressing, and a decent woman can look like a girl from Hollywood boulevard. Russian women are very fond of short skirts and makeup, that's it, no hidden agenda. For them it's impossible to understand how a woman can dress like most of females over here - jeans, T-shirt and trainers.
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What about stories of ladies coming to the US (or west countries) and leaving shortly after the marriage?
It may happen. Not that often as media say, but it is a fact of reality. The biggest danger of the myths the dating agencies spread is that they make men hope that a young beautiful Russian lady will love an old unattractive American guy just because he lives in a better country and can guarantee her security.

  Some 50-year-old men dream about a 18-year-old girl, find her, marry, and then say that Russian women just want to get into the country. They would have never been in such a situation if pursued marriage to a woman 35+.

In Russia some people don't live decently, and some women are ready to do anything to live a better life. Once in a relationship with a foreign guy, a woman feels happy to be loved and cared for, and is grateful for changing her life for the better. She may even feel in love when it's just a temporary intoxication.

  Russian women are used to sacrificing themselves for children, and if she has a child, she can agree to almost anything to ensure that he is safe, will always food on the table and money for education. 

A woman can be unhappy in her marriage and still feel lucky to have a better than average life standards. Russian woman is entitled to feel happy if her husband does not drink and has a good job; nobody talks about love, it's not important. If a woman has a rich husband (a person owing a car, an apartment, and earning more than $400 a month), people will think she is crazy or stupid if leaving him for love.

But good standards of living are everything only for the poverty-ridden. When women are in a country like USA, their attitude changes very quickly. Love and rewarding sexual life are important conditions of happiness. A lady was probably  not going to divorce her older husband from the very beginning, but at a later stage she starts to feel miserable and realizes that she plugged herself into a worse situation than she was previously in. It's two different worlds, not just two different cultures.

A professor from an American university told me that he met a couple of men on board a plane to Russia who flew there for a "marriage tour". He characterized them as "bad". He said they were arrogant, obviously had problems with health, and were drinking too much. One of them complained that he was previously married to a Russian woman but she left him a year after the marriage. The professor said he felt sorry - for the woman, because she had stayed with this man for the whole year. He said that he would have run away from him in a couple of days if he were her. And this guy was intending to find another lady for marriage in Russia - again, 20-30 years younger.

This is where the stories about Russian women looking for nothing but Green Card start.

It's important that you both love each other, otherwise your marriage won't work. A woman can say "I love you" when she doesn't, it's just another Russian women's feature. They are not able to refuse when a man insists. You must not fool yourself. You will always feel if it's a true feeling.

I don't believe that any woman would like to get married to just divorce her husband in 2 years (the necessary time for receiving Green Card), if she can get married for love.

Russians are surprisingly non-materialistic when it's about true love. You may think that I am not consistent saying that, but the truth is that Russians are not consistent. They think with their hearts and feelings. They can have beliefs but act in the opposite way because of feelings. They will follow their decisions made by mind until true feelings get involved. (It's why sometimes westerners think that Russians are irrational. They are rational but in their own way.)

A successful marriage can only be based on love and mutual respect whether it's a Russian woman or a Western one. Your foreign citizenship can make you more attractive to Russian ladies but it can't make your marriage more successful. Russian women make good wives - that's true, but only if she wants to be your wife.
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