This section summarizes what is essential to know about meeting with Russian women for a serious relationship: it is a kind of summary of my main advice given in the various sections published on Inter-Marriage. This mini guide is intended primarily for men who want to immediately start searching for the woman of their life in Russia (whether through my agency or not) and do not have time to read all my topics.
1) There really are beautiful young Russian women who want to make a serious and lasting union with Western gentlemen. But these women are not desperate. Only 0.5% of single or divorced Russian women want to marry a foreigner. If you think that you simply have to consult a catalog of Eastern European girls’ profiles and make a selection in the hope that these women will "fall into your arms" then you will succeed only in getting ripped off.
2) Do not be arrogant; respect their traditions and countries. Russian women like to affirm their commitment to values such as sincerity and understanding, and will say they are not as materialistic as Western. They will evoke the "mysteries "and" specificities "of the Slavic soul. Russian women love their country; however, they often criticize it. But if you try to do the same, they will defend it vigorously. They feel like citizens of the greatest country in the world and are proud of it.
3) The majority of Russian women reject the Western feminist model, preferring to appease and succeed in the relationship.
4) If you are asking why so many beautiful and intelligent Russian women want to leave their country to marry a foreigner, well women from Eastern Europe also wonder why Western men, who are often attractive and professionally successful wish to marry a Russian girl! Make them understand that you are a balanced person and explain your reasons for looking for a woman in Eastern Europe.
5) In most Russian media outlets, Western men seeking to marry Russian women are portrayed as simply wanting to have girls who care for children and serve their "housekeepers". They think that many of these Western men are not what they claim to be and some are sex maniacs.
6) Remember that a Russian woman in general does not believe in the reality of her contact with Western men because for her it is simply "too good to be true" (why would an attractive, successful, and stable Western man look for his wife in Russia?), while for you, the correspondence is already a beginning of romantic relationship. That is why honest and sincere Russian women seem so reserved and do not express their feelings openly. They are simply afraid of being terribly disappointed.
7) Russian women in general feel a lack of confidence and are more dependent on their husbands than Western women. They are above all looking to marry a gentleman who loves, respects and protects them. However, and contrary to what some agencies might suggest, their fantasy is certainly not to be submissive to a nice little husband.
8) The majority of Russian women wishing to marry a foreigner has a desire for recognition and respect, are ambitious and show a certain strength of character. They want equality in marriage, for the education of children, and sharing household chores. They will be certainly caring and faithful wives, but in no way slaves!!
9) Russian women who want to marry Western men think that they sound honest, serious, sincere, and kind. The med do not drink too much, do not abuse their women, and care for children. For them life in Western Europe seems stable and safer.
10) They hate the 'losers' and seek realistic and pragmatic men, Russian women love men with these characteristics and who know what they want!!
11) Russian women show a lot more patience and tolerance than western women: this is due to the fact that in Russia the rule of the family is dependence and mutual aid!
12) Russian women accept your way of thinking and deciding, they usually expect you to take the initiative, even if they suggest what should be done in a particular situation. Please note this does not mean that they will give up their goals and always let you decide. They will simply bypass the issue and achieve their goal of a less confrontational and less complicated way: the result is more important to them that way. You do not even notice they have gotten what they wanted!
13) In Russia there must be a good reason why we smile: if you smile often, people will think that you are mentally disturbed, you make fun of them, or that you are not sincere. The fact that the Russians do not smile a lot in every day life does not mean that they have no sense of humor, but rather they do not smile without reason and even less to foreigners. Their sense of humor is different: they generally prefer highbrow jokes, with indirect humor. They never laugh when someone trips, they sometimes think Western comedies are stupid (like American teen comedy) and are irritated by the laughter in the background sitcoms.
14) Russian women are not as career-minded as their Western sisters and put family before work, but each person adapts to the society in which he lives. After some time spent in your country, your future wife will probably want to work.
15) It is very important for Russian women, once they live in a foreign country, to feel useful. Russian women hate being inactive; they love working. Don’t expect your wife to stay at home to do housework (see "clichés and realities"): if that's what you're looking for you, sign up for the services of a cleaning lady instead!!
16) Large cities in Russia and Ukraine have a much higher standard of living than the rest of the country; girls who live in these cities are closer (from the point of view of the character and lifestyle) to a European lifestyle than Russian girls in small towns. Generally, I can tell you that if you live in a village and you plan to marry a woman who was born and raised in Moscow or St. Petersburg you are in for some serious problems: the girl will find it very difficult to adapt to her new life in a small village.
17) Russian women look for older men because they gain maturity at the end of adolescence and feel psychologically closer to men between 5 and 15 years older than they are. You must be realistic and not succumb to the myths propagated by some agencies or dating clubs that claim that Russian girls want to date men 25 or 30 years older.
18) Forget the erotic clichés about Russian women: married Western men married to Russian women overwhelmingly report that there is no significant difference between Russian and Western girls in sexual matters!!!
19) The Russians generally have a fairly high level of education and are proud of their traditions and their history. But they do not have what Westerners call manners. They do not have bad manners, but they have a communication style that might seem rude us. Life is difficult in Russia and Russians speak very directly. Often when they phone they do not waste time with questions like "how are you?" and go straight to what interests them: they are not rude, it's just a different way of doing things.
20) If you want to ask your correspondent something, ask her about it frankly, bluntly, but with great courtesy.
21) Try to gather as much information about Russian culture and traditions in order to have a better understanding of what is commonly called "Slavic soul.” This will be decisive in your future correspondence with a Russian woman.
22) Before contacting a Russian woman precisely define the type of profile you are interested in: age, appearance, education level, with or without children, character traits, hobbies etc ...
23) Define the profiles you want to avoid: make a list of things you consider to be negative.
24) Do not forget that Russia is the largest country in the world and it is sometimes difficult to get to some areas (very slow trains, no roads etc ...). If you are reluctant to take a long journey in sometimes-uncomfortable conditions, you should avoid contacting a girl who lives in a poorly serviced of public transport location.
25) Read each profile and do not focus solely on the pictures. You cannot make judgments about the personality of the lady based on a photo: a lady can seem reserved and shy in a photo and actually be very communicative and outgoing!
26) Be aware that the road to the success of a Franco-Russian couple is expensive and fraught with difficulties. Expect a budget between 5000 and 8000 euros (including a membership with an agency). How could you expect a Russian woman with an average salary of 250 dollars to have the means to buy a plane ticket of $650 (on average)? And do not believe the agencies that tell you that one trip will do! It takes an average of two trips: one to meet and then of course, if all went well, a second trip to organize the wedding. Added to these expenses are the application fees for visas and various official documents. Regarding these costs, refer to my anti-scam guide and read it carefully! It is true that some agencies offering an annual membership of 3,000 euros do not dare to admit these amounts to their potential members for fear of discouraging them.
27) The main difference between a romantic "long distance" Franco-Russian relationship and a simply "local" French relationship is the fact that you do not have the same time to test your connection before taking the plunge. The girls from Eastern Europe listed in my agency have thought long and hard before making the difficult choice to marry a foreigner and are ready to make a crucial decision in a limited time. You will need to make "the" decision in a relatively short time.
28) Thanks to the Internet and the growing number of dating sites, contacting a beautiful girl located thousands of kilometers away in Eastern Europe has become easy, but very risky. Indeed, the equation is simple: more easy and cheap ways to contact Russian women (Russian or Ukrainian sites with "free" profiles and addresses of women, selling addresses at 8 euros each) and "competition" (with the tens of thousands of men are also motivated to conquer the heart of a beautiful Russian woman) means the risk of getting ripped off is greater than ever.
29) Avoid the sites of Russian or Ukrainian Free Classified Ads like the plague. This is the preferred hunting ground for scammers. Also beware of Russian girls ads on francophone dating sites: more and more French men bring me evidence of overwhelming scammers.
30) If you buy the contact information of Russian women (from 8 to 10 euros per address) on international dating sites, prepare yourself for fierce competition: the addresses of beautiful girls are sold hundreds of times. Also you have no legal recourse in case of scam: the dating sites are not subject to regulations in France since they are not considered marriage agencies; no written contract is signed, and the payment is made by credit card directly on the site. The disadvantage of this system is that it is very difficult to verify the identity of the people registered online: the lovely Russian 20 year old with whom you correspond may well be Uncle Boris using the photo of a pretty girl from a magazine under the anonymity conferred by the Internet.
31) Beware of some dishonest dating clubs selling bogus addresses. Profiles and pictures of Russian girls on these sites are totally false. This scenario flourishes based on the amount of addresses sold by the clubs: a bogus address to € 10 can be sold several hundred times to Americans and Europeans paying by credit card!! The websites of these clubs are sometimes denounced and closed by the ISP but they open a few weeks later under a different Internet address with a different name and a different look! These clubs are in usually in Russia and Ukraine and use free-hosted sites for some ISPs. These sites share a similar design, providing little information, just with a few photos of beautiful Russian girls and offering a credit card payment online: it is the famous tactic of "HIT AND RUN" i.e. sell the maximum addresses in as little time as possible, close the site and go, and then reopen another site with a different name.
32) To determine whether the international dating agency you want to contact is honest, go on the website where you plan to register and go to the "contact us" or "feedback" section. You should find their address, number telephone and fax number. If you only find their e-mail address, avoid this agent.
33) Call the club and ask them a few questions: is there anyone who picks up the phone or do you repeatedly get an answering machine? (If this is the case, forget them and try another agency). Do they respond quickly, if at all? Do they really try to help you? Do you think they will react quickly in the event you ask for help? If they do not ask you any questions it simply means they are not interested in their customers and they will not be of any help to you in case of problems.
34) Check if you can find the manager's name (found on the “about us” page) on the site. The site should also have its own domain name of the genre and not www.agency.com www.agency.narod.ru: it should not be a domain name in the name of the agency and the .ru, .com, .net etc ... if this is the case, it means that the site is on a free server where anyone can install a site. Be extremely careful of local websites hosted on free servers!! If the site has a style name www.somename.com/clients/~agency it also means that this is an anonymous site hosted for free.
35) Make sure that you can pay by credit card rather than bank transfer or Western Union transfer. If the agency is serious there will be an option of paying online by credit card because it is not easy to get a merchant account with a bank. Paying by credit card for you is the surest way to protect yourself from scammers according to the Office of the FBI Internet Complaint (www.ifccfbi.gov): If you are indeed scammed, it will be possible to file a complaint with your bank to cancel the payment.
36) Another sign of a possibly dishonest dating agency is the fact that after paying, you only receive the email address of the woman and don’t receive her mailing address. This is characteristic of crooked clubs with phony ads. An agency has no reason not to give you the postal address of the lady.
37) The safest solution, but also the most expensive, is to contact an international marriage agency. Traditional marriage agencies, such as mine, have a database of Russian ladies through partner agencies in Russia responsible for verifying the identity of the women and ensuring their motivation. These agencies offer a short or long term membership system (maximum 1 year) for a fee ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand euros. Dating services are subject to Neiertz law, a contract that guarantees your rights signed by both parties. Carefully check the services rendered by the agency you have chosen: letters translations, email service, interpreter for phone calls etc ... Some agencies charge their customers a membership fee of 3,000 euros or more in exchange for just a nice color photo catalog of Russian women and some addresses, with virtually no services included in the price of this membership (no written translations or phone, no e-mail service etc ...).
38) There are certain principles to be respected in order to avoid disappointments when seeking the woman of your life in Russia; it's a bit like road traffic: If you follow the rules you will not have accidents. Rule # 1: NEVER SEND MONEY TO YOUR CORRESPONDENTS!!!
39) Read my anti-scam guide: The purpose of this guide is to inform Western men looking for a soul mate in Eastern Europe of the major traps of scammers.
40) From the beginning of your correspondence, make it clear to the girl that you have a solution to each of her possible money problems, right from the beginning of your relationship. Explain to her that your only goal is to avoid making her spend inordinate amount of money and that this is a way of taking care of her!! This attitude will have a radical effect on scammers: they quickly realize that you will not be easily scammed and you are not a novice at corresponding with foreign girls. This is the main topic of my anti-scam guide. Because no money = no scam!!
41) Ask your correspondent in the first email for her postal address and phone number. This is a basic rule that must be observed if you wish to avoid the scammers.
42) Once you have their contact information you need to use them !! And the sooner the better. Send a real letter by Chronopost: this postal service, unlike DHL or FEDEX, will only give the letter to the intended person, not the neighbors or family. This for the simple reason that Chronopost is a service of LA POSTE working in collaboration with the Russian state company EMS Garantpost; the controls are more advanced in the delivery of the letter. Do not forget to include an envelope with your address and a prepaid international voucher for the response from your correspondent.
43) The various ploys used by the scammer will have only one purpose: to get you into a situation where you need to transfer money to her: the scammer typically will not ask you for the money directly but will solicit cash assistance to help overcome a problem that may affect the success of your relationship: purchase of a visa or plane ticket, renting an apartment in case you decide to go see your correspondent in Russia etc ... this money will generally be requested via a transfer through Western Union, which specializes in international money transfers. The sum is transferred in 1 or 2 days and do can never be recovered, even if you paid by credit card.
44) It is very difficult to detect a scam before the question of money comes up because scammers have a good understanding of the psychology of Western men, whether single or divorced. The letters sent by the scammer differ only in one way from the letters sent by a sincere young woman; you do not perceive that it is a scam!
45) A standard scam scenario is the “cow method.” The fraudster asks for small sums of money at regular intervals to cover various expenses like access to a cyber cafe, language courses to better communicate with you, etc ... until you stop sending money, and then lady suddenly disappears. The average monthly wage in Russia is $50; such "small amounts" to a European are in fact a financial windfall for a Russian woman.
46) In the scenario of the "visa scam,” fraudulent letters are more customized and create the illusion that a true and strong relationship is being created between you and the lady. After about 10 letters, the woman has the opportunity to come and visit you in France and needs a large sum of money to get the visa: she can hardly wait to meet you. Once the money transfer is made the lady vanishes.
47) The “journey scam” is similar to the visa scenario and sometimes performed in addition to the latter. The lady tells you that she has a friend or a family member working in a travel agency and has the possibility of obtaining the ticket at rock-bottom prices (sometimes there are some variations: the lady knows an airline pilot or an agency suddenly made an incredible promo).
48) In the “disease scam” the Russian lady says that a family member (father or mother in general) is seriously ill and can only be saved if you send a large sum money to pay for necessary medical care.
49) The “accident scam” is essentially the same scenario as the “disease scam.” This time it's a family member who is a victim of a serious accident requiring expensive and urgent hospitalization.
50) Be wary if the photos sent by your correspondent have a truly professional look and if she looks like a supermodel: you would be surprised to learn that she’s not one!! Many scammers do not take any precautions and use photos published in fashion magazines!
51) Another possible way to detect a scam is if the lady sends one or more sexy photos of herself with each message. This is an effective method with some men who have not contacted the lady because she stated in her profile that she like cakes or read Dostoyevsky, but rather because of her photo. Remember that a Russian lady does not generally have the financial ability to develop multiple photos and then pay to have them scanned. Fraudsters do!! They generally have dozens of pictures of the same girl at their disposal and are ready to send them to you one after the other.
52) If a woman is sincere and really wants to leave her country and his friends to start a family with you then she IS interested in your financial situation. Russian women want to marry a man who can take on the financial needs of a family. This does not mean that she is looking for a millionaire. She is simply looking for a man with a stable job situation which will allow him to take on the needs of a couple since the woman cannot work for a period of time (the Russian woman need to learn French before finding work, if needed). If your correspondent is not interested at all in your financial situation that does not mean she is a good woman. The scammer is not trying to create a bond with you, but is trying to con you for maximum amount of money in least amount of time, regardless of whether or not you have a stable job.
53) Inter-Marriage is in close contact with independent anti-scam associations whose job it is to collect the testimonials of people who have been ripped off in order to form a blacklist of fraudsters and dishonest agencies. These associations visit our site several times a week and meticulously control the profiles of new members. The "anti-scam" label that was awarded to us by international inspection agencies was not given by chance.
54) Just because scams exist in the field of international dating and marriage does not mean you have to sink into paranoia !! There are more sincere and honest girls in Eastern Europe than licensed crooks in search of a mark.
55) The postal services of the countries of Eastern Europe have several flaws: the routing is very long (anticipate 2 to 3 weeks for your letter to reach its destination) and letters from France are often opened (some people hope to find money). It is preferable to correspond by email.
56) If you correspond by post, consider including a stamped envelope (marked international) for her response in your letters. Take care to include your correct address! This will increase greatly the chances of having a response from her.
57) Contact several ladies and do not take just one correspondent. A Russian woman prefers to be chosen from several ladies, after corresponding for several weeks because she will feel that the man was courted by several ladies, thus this is a man with real qualities, not a loser that nobody wants. If you tell your correspondent that you are writing to other women you increase your chances of success because usually men hide the that they have multiple contacts, but Russian women are well aware that this is the case: by being sincere you show her your seriousness and maturity.
58) If you want you can send the same cover letter to your different correspondents, but you will greatly increase your chances of success if you personalize your letters: give your whole attention to the keywords used by the lady in her profile.
59) The overwhelming majority of Russian women have not mastered either English or French. Reading a letter in English will take them some time and if they receive several letters at the same time there is no guarantee that they will have the time to read them all! A letter written in Russian will be read 100%! Ditto regarding the writing: it will take on average one full day (7 or 8 hours) to write a two-page letter in English!
60) If you write your letter in English only use simple terms to be sure she understands you.
61) If you want to put the odds in your favor, get your letter translated into Russian. She will be very grateful for this attention and you will gain her respect.
62) If you use an interpreter, make sure he does not do a literal translation of your brilliant and smart letter which, when translated into Russian, would be difficult to understand and seem stupid.
63) Automatic electronic translation is awful: avoid it absolutely.
64) The length of your cover letter should not exceed one page.
65) Try to write your letter with a typewriter or a computer with a word processor to make it more easily readable.
66) Remember to make copies of letters you send, it will be very useful in case you correspond with several ladies at once.
67) Pictures are a vital part of your first contact: would you choose to write to a woman without seeing her picture? The women are no different from you on this point. Send 2 or 3 photos of yourself: one showing you from head to foot, and another showing your face. Consider sending a picture of yourself in a suit and another in casual attire.
68) Absolutely do not send pictures with your beautiful car, a beautiful home, or a photo taken in the company of friends during a drunken night out if you do not want your letter to go directly to the trash.
69) Smile in all your pictures!!
70) Never send photos showing you in shorts or with a naked torso, this will be interpreted by Russian women as a total lack of respect.
71) Make sure your photos sent by e-mail do not exceed a size of 20-30 Kb: use retouching software and send your photos in JPEG format.
72) After exchanging a few emails, transition to phone calls. This will have the advantage of making your relationship less virtual and she will understand and appreciate that you are determined.
73) Of course, don’t forget to celebrate her birthday !!
74) At the beginning of your correspondence do not talk about the possibility of divorce and avoid criticizing Western women. Explain why you are looking to find the woman of your life in Russia.
75) If you do not receive a response to your first email, persist, and send her a message asking if she received your email. Tell her you really want to know her better.
76) If your second e-mail is still unanswered then send a letter by mail. Maybe she has a problem with her computer.
77) Do not declare your love in the second or third letter. Russian women generally prefer men who are not easily seduced and who declare their feelings after some time. They are wary of men falling in love easily as they seek stability and security and do not want to see their future husband leave for another woman. She will think that you are not a faithful man if you declare your love to her after only 2 or 3 emails.
78) Knowing everyone's expectations will form the basis for your future Franco-Russian relationship. Know what you expect of her and try to learn what she expects of you. Discuss with her at length about whether your ambitions and goals in life are in sync. Otherwise you risk the failure of your relationship due to a lack of preparation. You have to work hard to psychologically prepare for your future relationship if you want to succeed. Don’t forget that if you fail your preparation you prepare to fail !!
79) During the first correspondences avoid phrases like "I want to kiss and hold your hand" because Russian women can be rather prudish and reserved with someone they do not know well (in Russia people do not often show their affection in public, kissing and fondling usually take place behind closed doors). That's why girls are surprised if a gentleman writes that he would like to kiss and hold hands in the first letters: they will think he’s a sex maniac.
80) Do not approach the subject of sex or hint about it in your first letters or your correspondent will cease contact with you. They believe that this kind of subject should only be approached with people one knows very well.
81) If you are 26 and you're still a virgin, Russian girls will think you have a big problem (psychological or physical) and will avoid you like the plague. Avoid bringing up the subject and keep this little secret until your wedding night.
82) If you want to quit a correspondence (for one reason or another) take the time to send a farewell message. Do not disappear without warning, as she will be very concerned about you and wonder what has happened. Be a gentleman and have the courage to tell her your decision.
83) If after several exchanges you begin to love her, please tell her that you plan to visit her in her country within 2 to 3 months: you will really give her the impression that you are determined and you are not "virtual.” This will give you a decisive advantage over other men with whom she is in contact. Although other men with whom she corresponds might be younger, more attractive, or have a better work situation you she will prefer you because she will know that you intend to meet her quickly and visit her in her country.
84) A Russian woman who truly loves you will consider it an honor that you are going to visit her in her country.
85) My advice: if you arrive in Eastern Europe and you have the option to buy her flowers, avoid yellow flowers as they signify farewell and sorrow in Eastern Europe. Remember that the quantity of flowers must be odd and must not be equal to 13.
86) Most importantly, have a translator at your disposal during your stay in order to establish constructive communication with your correspondent.
Your living conditions will have a significant influence on your first meeting: remember to book a hotel or a cozy apartment, and provide a driver to have some freedom of movement.
87) It’s preferable to choose apartments provided by the agencies, as they are often more comfortable (spacious, with excellent benefits) and much less expensive than hotels in Eastern Europe, while also being well located (city center, close to public transport)
88) Ask her to introduce you to her family and friends. If she refuses it means that she is not interested in you.
89) If you are visiting family bring them some small gifts. Not offering them anything would look very bad.
90) At meal in Russia you must taste all the dishes on the table and drink at each toast. Be careful though not to drink too much alcohol: never be drunk, she would never forgive you.
91) After the first meeting, if all went well you can choose between visiting her again in her country or inviting her to your country. The second meeting will be an opportunity for you to know if you are really made for each other and if you want to spend the rest of your life together. For the first time the girl will actually realize the consequences of such decision: she must leave her family, her friends, her work, her native country ... of course she knew full well that the day she decided to look for her future husband in a foreign country, but at that moment she can experience some doubt. It is necessary during this period of realization that you reassure her with your total support. Assure her that you always do your best for her to visit her family at least once a year, and describe the conditions of her future life in Western Europe.
92) For those women who have the courage to travel to stay with you the length of stay (maximum 3 months for visas) will depend on her professional situation. A woman who has a job in Russia (and that's very often the case) will come to your country for a week or two and certainly not for several months because she won’t leave her job and her apartment in Russia on a whim, without being 100% sure that you are the man of her life.
93) Make sure to go over all the concerning regulations for mixed unions and gather all the administrative documents required: contrary to what many agencies advertise, these formalities are no cakewalk.
94) The vast majority of Russian girls arriving in west do not want to have children because they want to first integrate into French society and adapt to a country they find strange. They will first want to discover the language, culture and another way of life. Expect a period of about a year and half before considering having a child with her.
95) Your future wife will wish to regularly visit her family: a Russian girl is certainly willing to make sacrifices to find the man of her life in a country other than her own, but there are limits she will never cross. In most cases the idea of only seeing her family and friends once every 3 or 4 years will be simply unbearable for her.
Be prepared to help your wife to return regularly (once a year) to her country so she can visit her relatives for a period of 3 to 5 weeks.
96) Having regular contact with her family and friends will be crucial for your beloved. Keep in mind that she must leave everything behind and will be in a totally new country. She will of course be in contact with your family and your friends, but she will need to communicate regularly with her family back home. Choose a telephone company with low prices, buy a computer with an Internet connection if you do not have one. In this way she will also have access to Russian media: radio, online newspapers, chat rooms etc ... she will feel less "homesick" (see "clichés and realities").
97) Once married, quickly register your sweetheart for French classes; 6 or 8 months after her level of French has improved (Russian women are good at foreign languages) she will be much less homesick: she can better communicate and integrate more easily in a country that she will find "strange" at first.
98) In order to facilitate her integration inquire about western-Russian associations existing in your town, so that she can meet Russian friends. If there are none, she can register in the "inter-marriage club" which is free and accessible even to women not members of my agency; she will thus be able to contact Russian women living in her region.
99) My final opinion: after reading my first 98 tips you are probably telling yourself that a successful relationship with a Russian woman looks complicated: it will not be if you follow my advice!