The Ultimate Guide to Dating a Russian: Understand the Language, Culture, and Etiquette

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Dating a Russian
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Every couple is in a cross-cultural romance — it doesn’t only apply to those that do not share the same nationalities. That’s because our parents raised us in a slightly different culture; hence our opinions sometimes don’t match.

However, interethnic romances are just a tad bit more complicated. Besides the traditional gaps, couples in a cross-cultural romance also need to deal with language barriers, time differences, and travel expenses. 

And yet, to be in this kind of relationship and choose to ignore all the roadblocks feels liberating and exciting.

Whether you’re here to look for ways to understand your Russian date better or checking for some tips on making Russian friends online, this article will shape well with you. We talked about Russia’s culture, language, and etiquette, which should apply to your interethnic dating woes.

Pack a dose of courage and a bunch of understanding while reading this piece. Enjoy!

Understanding Russia’s Language, Culture, and Etiquette

When dating or making friends with a Russian local online, it’s necessary to identify their cultural background. It should even be your topmost priority, along with getting to know them personally.

To help you be a better friend or date, go on and read Russia’s rich archive on language, culture, and etiquette.

Language

Russian is the official language in Russia. Over 81% of its 146-million population consider it their mother tongue. 

The Soviet rule lobbied to suppress minority languages, which solidified the Russian language in the country. However, its collapse opened the way for linguistic revival movements in many ethnic communities.

Today, there are over a hundred minority languages and dialects spoken within Russian borders. While locals in the cosmopolitan areas speak Russian, a few others also speak English, Dolgang, and Tatar, and Chuvash, to name a few.

Culture

The family unit and homeland, as a whole, hold the highest value in every Russian household. They have a general affinity for groups and family relations, which is traceable to Russia’s communist regime in the late 20th century.

The Soviet rule left a glum mark on Russian culture. It created significant anxiety and skepticism of those outside the family — immediate and extended — and friends. Moreover, family and friends became important as they needed to combine all their resources to survive Russia’s economic depression.

Religion also shaped Russia for the better.

During Soviet rule, when upholding human rights was scarce, all Russian citizens could do was pray. They needed to cling to mercy from the higher beings to save themselves from misery. As such, there were over 5,000 registered religious organizations in the country.

Today, 86.7% of the Russian population belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church — excluding non-practicing Russians.

As for arts, literature, and architecture, Russia has many valuable assets to be proud of, too. The country’s original and world-renowned Swan Lake or Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment are one of the many examples of Russia’s impeccable taste and standards for great art and literature.

Skyscrapers and historical buildings like the Lakhta Center, Evolution Tower, the Kremlin, and St. Basil’s Cathedral runs aplenty in Russia as well. 

Etiquette

When making friends or dating a Russian local online, it is an absolute necessity to be at your best self. Here is the most basic etiquette in the country:

  • They remove their coat and shoes when getting inside someone’s home.  
  • They hold high respect for their elders or babushkas.
  • Bringing gifts for almost anyone is customary in Russia. They do it to show their appreciation and respect to a recipient.
  • Men should always, always pay for food when on a date with women. They must also act gentlemanly to impress their date.
  • Russians are generally punctual. However, they do not hold another person against it if they are late. They don’t necessarily have to meet appointments and deadlines on time.
  • Women must wrap their heads and shoulders with clothing when entering a place of worship. Men, too, should remove their hats and sunglasses when doing so.
  • Russians avoid odd numbers on anything, such as events and building numbers.
  • It isn’t polite in Russia to assume familiarity with someone before you get the chance to be close with them. Even the very attempt of using informal pronouns can be disrespectful.
  • Keeping good eye contact while shaking hands with a new acquaintance is a must, as looking away shows indifference.
  • Russians hate it when someone makes an “OK” sign through their fingers.

Final Tip

The notes and helpful guides above are accounts from expats or foreigners who have lived or are currently living in Russia. They are stereotypical notes on some levels, but they are also accurate on most degrees. While all these are true, it is always customary to regard your Russian friend or partner with a grain of salt. 

We hope we helped you understand your Russian friend or partner a lot better. Have fun, yeah?

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