Russia, April 12, 1999
The wonders and wilds of dating a Russian lady
|I've gone and done what I promised myself I'd never do;
I've gone local.
Now, all my friends though I was insane for not dating the beautiful and ever present Russian dey'vs to begin with, but I had my reasons. I've always know that I was not going to live in Russia my entire life, this country is a decent, but only temporary stop on my worldwide wanderings. Also, I've never had any plans on marry a Russian woman, the cultural, social, and language barriers are too great. For me, to date a young lady is to invest in a future with her, and since I wasn't planning on sticking around Russian or a Russian woman my whole life, I felt that dating the locals wasn't right.
With all that baggage, I successfully deterred the advances of the young ladies here for twenty-two months, preferring instead to keep with my own kind, and date fellow Anglo/Americans. I've had my good dates, my bad dates, and dates who never even showed up, with a few wonderful relationships resulting from all my effort. As anyone here will tell you, the Moscow dating scene is tough, and real tough if you have all the self-imposed restrictions I did.
So there I was, standing at the local bar we all go to after work,
doing my usual song and dance to attract the ladies while trying not to
resort to begging and pleading, when a young lady walked up to me with a
On our first date, all the issues I had with Western men dating Russian women were put aside for the fun of the affair, but now, after a few dates, I'm starting to see the stereotypes that I fought so strongly against, in our outings.
At restaurants, they automatically hand her a Russian menu and me and English one, no matter if I am the only one speaking or her. Now, I can't read Russian, so this is helpful, but it's the automatic assumption that disappoints me. When I've gone out with American women, I usually will get the Russian menu (I can speak a bit of the language, mind you) and her Russian or English one, depending on if she is wearing black Italian heels or not.
Also, the waiters/waitresses at these restaurants will speak to her, ignoring me, and sometimes even asking her what I would like, as if I was a child or an idiot. Because of my lifestyle, my 'menu' Russian is actually quite advanced; I have to ask the server what the items are on the menu due to my little illiteracy thing, so having the waiter treat me like a fool or non-Russian speaking foreigner is insulting. If I were out with a foreign woman, no matter how perfect her Russian is, I would at least get a bit of respect.
You might think that I am being a bit melodramatic or paranoid, but those two examples are indicative the stereotype that, unfortunately has a strong basis in fact. There are countless men who come to Russia just to find a Russian wife, as one look around Moscow or at my reader statistics will show. The majority of these men are not going to live in Russian, or even stay longer than it takes to fall in love. Other men come here single, and leave attached, or come here attached and become unattached when the dey'v on the side is found out about. I try not to make judgments about another man's choice in love, its too hard to find in the first place for that, but I do not want to be mistaken for someone here just for the women.
With all that, what is dating a Russian lady like? In this case, not much different from my past girlfriends. She, like all the women I attempt to court, is very interesting, having a childhood spanning two regimes and two cultures, independent, with her own desires, dreams and goals, and independently wealthy, with her own demanding and rewarding job, her own new and nice car, and her own swank and suburban apartment.
She also isn't the stereotypical Russian woman, either. Because she is so independent, she has no plans to be married anytime soon, even though she is twenty-two, she sure doesn't want to stay home and be a housewife, she can't cook, and she has absolutely no plans to leave Russia, she's a property owner here.
What timing! I spent two years wandering around the city having the time of my life, and just weeks before I am to leave, I meet an amazing young lady! Such is the life of a traveler.