If you are intimately involved in Russian dating, understanding the Soviet people, their culture, and traditions is a vital process. Traditions in Russia are more important than their laws. When dating, it is essential to learn the traditional roles of men and women in Russia. Even if your date has already transitioned to a more modern view, keep in mind that some of his or her family may not have let go of their traditions.
In traditional Russia, men provided for the women. The women tended to the family, such as raising the children, cooking and cleaning. As Russia has become more liberal, the traditional family culture has changed, much like in the United States. Women are now able to live on their own, are more educated and independent. Yet, in a modern Russian marriage, generally both men and women work, yet the wife still cooks, cleans and tends to the children.
Russian men conventionally have seen themselves as superior to women. Historically in Russian families, women were expected to serve their men, take care of the children, and perform all household chores. In turn, men tend to be quite chivalrous with the women in their lives - being particularly crafty at eloquent compliments, bringing flowers, and showering with affections.
Customarily, Russian women put up with this attitude and pride themselves on their hard work and the ability to care for their men and children. They are strong, caring, and hardworking women who also like to be feminine and attractive. Traditional women in Russia want to marry quickly, as single women are often looked down on and pitied.
The Russian culture still thrives on male chivalry. Men should hold doors, help the women in and out of cars and offer to carry anything heavy. Russian women love this exhibit of manners and will appreciate any charm shown to them. This chivalry extends to men asking women out on dates and paying for any entertainment on a date.
Being a Guest
If you are invited to someone's house for dinner, take a small token such as wine, candy or dessert with you. You can also take flowers, but if the function is for a date, be sure to not take yellow flowers. Yellow flowers in the Russian culture signify the end of a relationship. Also, take an odd number of flowers, because an even number of flowers are used for funerals.
In the Russian culture, if you go to a man or woman's house, take your shoes off when entering. If you are to go out to eat or are in a public setting, keep your feet on the ground. To show the bottoms of your feet is disrespectful in Russia, so resist any urge to prop up your feet or cross your legs.
When you go out on a date with anyone from Russia, simply remember your manners. If you slip up on anything, they generally are very forgiving if you seem to be good-natured and not rude. Watch your date and use her behavior as a guide for how you should act.
As a people, Russians tend to stand close together and speak softly during conversation. They touch often while talking and see this casual contact as a sign of friendship. Kissing is particularly common and occurs frequently between friends, including the same gender. Russians are known to be opinionated and emotional, especially in their interactions with friends, business partners and lovers.
As life in Russia is known to be difficult, the Soviet people are used to suffering. Through this they have developed a strong sense of pride in their culture and nationality.
Russian Orthodoxy Religion
For many Russians, religion provides a powerful influence. The Russian Orthodoxy is the most common sect, but other religions are prevalent in their culture. In general, going to church is particularly in vogue for many Russians. The Orthodoxy worships the Trinity, Isus Christos (Jesus Christ), Bogorodista (the Virgin Mary), and numerous saints. Each saint has different powers and depending on the worshipers needs, they pray to different ones each time.
Visiting a Russian Orthodoxy service is a true window into their culture. If you do decide to attend one and are not a current member of the church, keep the following tips in mind:
- Never hold hands or place hands in pockets
- No pictures or video is allowed
- Don't wear shorts or sleeveless shirts
- Women must wear modest skirts or dresses, never pants
- Men should not wear a hat
Russian women are not allowed to date until they are 16 and any public display of affection amongst teenagers will be penalized. By college age, couples are allowed to go on dates, going to dinner or events together. This interaction is called 'meetings.' Dates, like in the United States, are for the couple to get to know one another. When a Russian girl is comfortable with the guy she is dating she will take him to meet her family and friends, and then vice versa. Dating in the Russian culture is all about making the female comfortable and made to feel special. Affection is often liked, if the female is comfortable with it.
Tips for Russian Interactions
Even if you are Russian, it might be good to keep the following traditions in mind - as you may come across a variety of backgrounds in a Russian dating experience.
- Russians are known to be some of the most serious social drinkers in the world - vodka anyone?
- Politics is generally only considered a topic for men to discuss.
- A fashionable wardrobe is important in Russian culture.
- In Russia, strangers do not make eye contact on the street or acknowledge each other.
- Russians hide all body noises and avoid talk of bodily functions.
- It is considered rude to sit on the floor or whistle indoors.
- Culturally a very superstitious group - so never give your date an even number of flowers as it will bring her misfortune.
- When invited over, especially the first time, always bring a hostess gift.
- In a social setting, wait for a toast before you begin to drink.