Over the last ten years or so the Russian Bride has become a major cultural and economic phenomenon. Type the magic words into Google and you will find the names of literally hundreds of dating agencies appear, all promising to match lonely Western guys with beautiful blushing brides from the former Soviet States. Not only that but the trend is still on the rise - it is estimated that the number of agencies is doubling every year!
For those of us who imagine that our partners will be sourced from more traditional groups - a childhood sweetheart, a colleague from work, or at least some girl we picked up at a bar - the notion of marrying someone on the back of a few letters and one Aeroflot flight seems a little crazy, if not downright dangerous. Nonetheless people on both sides of the equation are queuing up to take part in this heaving foreign exchange programme. Why?
Well, for the (predominantly American) men involved, the benefits are pretty obvious. The land of the free and home of the brave may be famous for its beauty queens and silicone-busted blondes, but it is also the country with the highest rate of obesity in the world and - if our friends across the pond will forgive me for saying so - it is also the land that fashion forgot. Getting a classy girl may not be a problem if you are an all-American high-school jock with a quarterback's physique and ice-white teeth, but if you're an ageing IT guy from Denver with a dubious moustache and a sizeable beer belly, you're unlikely to land yourself a Baywatch body double. Even if you do then you're going to need a team of great lawyers and one watertight prenuptial agreement.
No, unfortunately for these such men, the marital options are bleak. Suddenly a whole host of successful, rich businessmen realise that they are going to have to marry someone just as imperfect as they are - their only recompense being that their partner's huge arse provides a perfect place for resting a beer on. Hang on though, we hear you say - surely these larger-than-life wives, being so far from physical imperfection, will make up for their short-comings by being loving and devoted beyond compare? Actually no. Whereas Russian women are known for their patience and tolerance, American women are more famous for stating their opinions - and not taking any sh*t!
These fundamental differences in the psychology of the women from the USA and the former Soviet Union are easily explained. Whereas the winds of change swept across 60s and 70s America in the form of the Women's Liberation Movement, creating the modern notion of sexual equality, those same winds failed even to ruffle the unyielding folds of the Iron Curtain. It may seem unbelievable to many of us in the West, but in the USSR women are still considered to have a lower social status than men. Their primary roles are still to look good, to support their husband, and to be a good mother. Even though many women study for degrees and work full-time, the concept of an independent, 'Sex In The City' style career woman is quite alien to most Russians. The upshot of all this of course is that those men that look to the East are likely to be rewarded with a wife whose tolerance, indulgence and compassion Western man had all but forgotten.
So plenty of plus points for the ageing American bachelor. However if the demand for Russian Brides is high, then the supply is greater still - thousands upon thousands of women from all over the former Soviet Union are signing up, in the desperate hope of being bestowed with this dubious moniker! Why are these ordinary women so eager to give up their whole life to move abroad and marry someone they barely know?
Actually there are a number of reasons. Cynics of course will say 'money' and there are certainly no shortage of 'scammers' and gold-diggers queuing up to take advantage of gullible Americans (one gentleman has already died in suspicious circumstance after finding his perfect Ukrainian bride!); but the truth of the matter is, whereas Russian women want security for themselves and their family, they don't crave riches.
Passports then, we hear you cry? It's true that many women, especially from the poorer areas of Russia (which is pretty much everywhere outside of the major cities) are desperate to escape Mother Russia. The sad fact is that, despite feeling a immense ties with their homeland, they know that they have little future to speak of. Jobs are scarce and badly paid, and the standard of living is far inferior to all but the poorest countries in the West. Needless to say this has prompted more than a few greencard-and-go scenarios, but these are still the desperate actions of a ruthless minority.
In fact one of the biggest factors that has Russian women signing up in droves to the dating agencies is simple demographics. There are approximately 88 men per 100 women in Russia, and this massive discrepancy creates a number of social issues. Most notably it gives all the relationship power to the men, allowing them to be very picky, and very demanding. The old stereotype of the Russian alcoholic who mistreats, beats, and cheats on their partner is not without its real life examples. The wife on the other hand, because she has little chance of finding another man, is forced to put up with it - especially if they have kids together. A divorcee with children simply can't compete as the next generation of sculpted cheekbones and sultry pouts renders them as a has-been.
Now that we have considered the whole picture in detail it is easy to see why so many women, faced with poor job prospects, poor quality of life, and a lousy husband (or no husband at all), are happy to plunge into the deep end with a foreign man... Or at least sign up with the agencies and live in hope. The truth of the matter is that, despite the odd Bond girl look-a-like (funnily enough the ones you see pictured on the agencies' front page!), most of the so-called 'Russian Brides' are homely-looking divorcees, desperately hoping for a chance to build a better life for themselves and their children abroad.
If you're searching for your own Russian Brides you might want to check out our drinks sections for some suggestions on where to find her... Or if the girls in the capital are proving a hard nut to crack why not take a trip to Saint Petersburg?
Sabrina from United States Reply
The American men who are looking for mail order brides are generally undateable lol
Russian brides from Russia Reply
When it comes to finding someone special on the internet it is a must that you must be cautious in dealing people. There are so many scammers out there who are just waiting for a prey to fall on their tricks. I have been a member of online Russian dating website, and so far, I encountered great men however there are just some bad weeds that I need to take out in order to choose the good one. Online dating requires hard work and extra patience in order to reap what you sow. Although I have bad experiences but I did not take it as a discouragement for me to give up. Because I know that when I joined this Russian dating website, there is someone out there for me who could be my ideal match.
D'jay 1970 from India Reply
I had met this female on a matrimonial site of India, this women is of my age we got along very well on chat and skype and within less then a month she planned to come to Mumbai. She had her girl friend already married with a Indian but when she came down to India we met with her friend and their family in a temple . This women i do respect her till date but went on listening to the indian man who i think gave her very wrong impression about me and made her non responsive on phone or emails , chats .... the ending was very sad as she never responded later, despite me telling her come along your people or well wishers and visit my home and check with your own eyes rather beliving to those who in short were below my status or life style .... this was veru much madness and dumbness she did and ruined a good chance of getting married. I hold a very good status in the society but some one telling you absurd and without seeing and beliving your own eyes how can u just avoid or divert yourself is a very very eyebrow raising question.... are people so lame that they make trust others words true before beliving with own eyes this is out of my or anyones mind... Russian Female
BRC from United States Reply
There is truth in this article and there is some truth in each of the comments below. Many people do not understand Russia. I won't say I am an expert, but I have a very close friend I claim as a brother who is Russian, my fiancee is Russian so I have some insight. I met my fiancee two years ago on a dating site. We have spent4 weeks together before she came to the US on a tourist visa where she lived with me for one year. She is now back in Russia awaiting her fiancee visa. I have been there 3 times, I have met all of her friends and family as she has met all of mine. It is almost a normal courtship. Nobody knows what the future holds, if we divorce in the future people will say it is because she is a beautiful Russian. When my ex-wife and I divorced they said "why"? We seemed like the perfect family, why would she cheat etc.. Well nobody knows what the person you are married to will do in the future, but whatever happens, it is because we are human. I know I have never lived with or been with anyone who treated me so well, who was so kind and thoughtful to my family and who had such rigid family beliefs. So for me, it is right. It isn't only that American women are not as attractive, I can still have attractive American women, it is the entitlement to do whatever they feel is good for them with no apologies. SO, the best of luck to each of us even if we had a bad experience with our past loves. American in my case or Russian in some others.
Anna from United Kingdom Reply
Beware.My husband of 30 years was working on oil camp on Sakhalin.Towrads the end of his 2 year stint he had an affair with a 25 year old PA/translator who was younger than his 2 daughters!! After a 3 month affair on camp I realised something was wrong and it all came out. He left me for this young Russian and she left her job and moved to Singapore where he was working. Within a 10 days of her being there he decided he had made a mistake and we decided to try again.She definetely didnt want to go back to Russia and if she had loved him she would have asked him to live anywhere with him! Here we have a classic 55 year old, over weight man who was senior management so he had a healthy bank balance. Yes it takes two but in this case she is back in Russia having had a taste of the goodlife and within weeks was advertising on a bride site.We are giving our marriage a second chance - whu because I love my husband and he has made a stupid mistake. It happens all the time on these camps but most married man just return to their wifes and they never know. Yes theres both sides of the coin but incidents like this dont do Russian girls any favours.
Mike from United States Reply
I think you guys need to use common sense. Moscow and St Pete girls are NOT the girls you want. Would you go to NYC to find a wife? Go to Tomsk or Omsk or Samara...anywhere but the big cities. I have been very happy with my russian wife for 8 years. We have 2 children and live is good. I asked her to marry me the day after I met her. It's a choice on both parties. I chose a VERY educated woman with advanced degrees, as I thought that such a woman would be more logical and less likely to be "fly by night".
Keisha from United States Reply
russian woman are gold diggers, I was married for 18 years and had problems in the mist of reconcilitation my husband got a job overseas in Afganistan. Long story short he is now married to a Russian woman who is only 4 years older than our daughter. She is only about n=money and status and posts everything on facebook like a little kid. when the jobs overseas are pulled back to the states we will see what happens. All you Russian homewreakers need to think of this before you marry. when the money gets low and you have to use coupons do you have devotion to stick it out? probably not. to the ones married to African American men some advice if they cheated with women in their own race don't think they will not do it to you.
Howie from United States Reply
I married a lady after writing for 1 year and meeting in Kiev for 10 days. Married and after 3 years of marriage and her getting her Green Card, 1 month following the divorce, she was remarried! The truth is, they can have any man they want: Docotrs, lawyers, actors and models. So why settle for the average American when they can have the latter at any time?
Sargey from United States Reply
let me tell you many russian women are marrying western man not because they have less men in russia(which is true) but becasue they can escape from russia and want to have more freedom here at the usa. if it is true then why do they prefer american man like me i put a fake name in here because i know that i nreality Not all but a lot of russian woman are looking for western man to be free so they will deal with us for some years and then move on. how do i know that i know people and i am afraid to go out with some one that is online because of this. the only reason i am here and i am lookingat other websites is to warn. look atthe statistics of divorce rates in the usa. especially with foreigners from russia. and how long they last. i wish a dream come true was real but learned through life that dreams are dreams and they will only be dreams. the only thing that is real is God but nothing else is real and if it is i want proove through actions not words but actions. that is why i have nto gone out with anyone yet in my life. i am against divorce.
Paul from Australia Reply
I should clarify a point or two. When I stated it is considered "offensive to talk about money" amongst families is cool but to talk about money with a new boyfriend or girlfriend is considered a No No! If the person you are writing starts with this sort of nonsense be very careful! If you still interested send a gift but not money unless the you have plenty to go around because Olga could turn out to be Sergi!. When you go there if you like the person then a some money when you leave and of course presents are a must also take your photo album along as this is considered to be of interest.
Paul from Australia Reply
I married a so called mail order bride and have for the most part been happy for 5 years. We now have a beautiful baby boy and even though my career has taking a nose dive and including my income!! My wife has stuck with me. Do not pass judgement on what you think you know because of media bias. I also have several other men friends who have Russian and Ukranian wives. All happily married and yes there are arguments like in most marriages!! On the whole for me it has worked out very well even with the added financial problems. My tip if you interested go for a holiday and check it out but keep your wallet in your pocket until you are sure as there are scammers but for the most part a Russian person will be far too Proud to ask for money out loud even if they NEED it as in their culture it is offensive to talk about money!
Ben from United Arab Emirates Reply
I cannot believe what I read on this web page! People are shocked that Russian brides go after money/security? Wake the f up! LOVE IS THE ONLY BASE FOR MARRIAGE Not the image of a catalogue girl, or the economic security of IT money... If you can't be bothered to put any effort into something you will get nothing out of it.
an American girl from United States Reply
@marc the great - Sounds like you have a slave, not a girlfriend. And she brings you a level of happiness not only American girls can't comprehend, but rather any woman with an ounce of self-respect would not be able to comprehend. Must be hard when most females don't realize they're actually only on this earth to please you, eh?
Taty from Russia Reply
Feel so sorry for you guys who had no luck with Russian women. Sure if you look for them in pubs and night clubs you will get mostly money obsessed creatures. Websites are also not a good place to find a normal bride... Good luck guys!
richard from United States Reply
i had seriously considered using one of the dating websites and agencies.That was until i saw a documentary that showed guys getting ripped off by scammers and that the success rate in thsese marriges are very low. One guy they showed, his russian bride said she had to go home for a few weeks becasue of an illness in the family and she never returned.the documentary showed guys going over there with already purchased engagement rings! as the latin expression says CAVAET EMP TOUR (BUYER BEWARE)
Richard Noel Hedditch from Australia Reply
What's a review in this case? Except to say that this site is thoroughly democratic - as democratic as such a thing probably can get.
Tom from United States Reply
Let me just add this. Russian women are not all you read here. I married one from Moscow. We quickly had a child together. She and most of her Russian women friends I have met are without doubt the most superficial people I have ever encountered. As long as we were spending money she was happy. 4 out of 5 of her Russian girlfriends eventually cheated and divorced their husbands for wealthier men. I knew my days were numbered. Two years ago she started "going out". She very quickly had an affair, started spending all our money on her clothes and appearance. When I discovered the affair, she broke it off but kept in contact with the guy. Like a fool, I stayed with her begging her to change her ways and come back to be a wife and mother. She continued to lie and go out on the town, obviously partying and flirting in her search for a wealthier guy. This past week the divorce papers came. Sure, there are many Western women who could treat you the same. Russia is a divorce-based society. I could look her straight in the eye and beg her to be a wife and mother to our now 9 year old boy. Her only interest is herself and her social "friends". Think long and hard before you marry a Russian woman you no nothing about.
marc the great from United States Reply
What you say in your article i think makes me very happy i have a russian girlfriend and wouldnt ever consider any other type of woman to be with let me tell you an example of her kindness to me on our first date she greets me at her door we hug and she gets down on her knees to remove my shoes for me to be comfortable in her house she takes me upstairs to her bathroom and draws a hot shower for me checking the temp. carefully to see that its just right for me and wants my approval so i take a shower i shower up and then i turn the water off only maybe 30 seconds or 1 minute go by she comes in to bring me a bathrobe straight out of her dryer warm cozy never ever did i think i would be treated like that she brings me down to her dining room sits me down there hands me the remote and says get comfortable im going to feed you now and brings me five course meal loading my plate over till theres no room left pours me 2 shots of vodka and we eat afterwards we head to her room i wait while she bathes and next thing you know here she comes so beautifull in lingerie and the rest is history so i say to any of you who reads this russian women are the best on the planet as far as i am conserned and i plan to marry this girl real soon asap because she brings to me a level of happiness american girls dont even comprehend not only that but shes the most beautifull girl ive ever seen russia i love sincerely marc the great
Muclear from Russia Reply
I have friend from USA.He said that now Russian girls became so difficult to deal with that it's waste of time to go to our country for marriage.For fun and mad parties - thats good.
Frank from Germany Reply
Yes, I cannot completely agree with the article. If all FSU women were so desperate about their lives there wouldn't be so many scammers around - the women who're unwilling to go anywhere. All they want is some cash from. It's really hard to find a geniune woman on the web. But it is not impossible at the same time. You just need to stay cool and don't let some dishonest women fool you around. I got a lot of helpful advice at forum.fiance.com There're a lot of experienced guys over there who always ready tohelp the newbies. I definetly recomment that site to everybody who's into FSU women dating!
Paul from United States Reply
Just a question.... hey gang I'm coming to Moscow... please a few recommedations...straight guy and loves culture!
from India Reply
well, we claim to be from the 20th century, but we still go around judging women based on their waist size !!, the people in the middle east have their own culture, and they protect their women over there!!, it doesn't mean you are sold when you show less skin, maybe you should read more Olga dear, get a better insight on what's going on around the world !!!
Bob from United States Reply
Foreign men. Don't waste your time, you won't find a good Russian girl on any dating site, if you are searching you are not the kind that good girls for... Come to Moscow, make friends, spend some cash, have fun and everything will work out. Internet is not the answer...
Sal from United States Reply
Olga your comments about women in the Middle East being sold to husbands is a cheap and untrue stereotype, if you ask others to see how Russia has progressed and it has no doubt about it then you also have to understand how women in the GCC/Middle East countries are more empowered, educated, well travelled and more globalized following the internet boom of the late 1990s, but its unbelievable we still have people who are mentally in the dark ages as to what the social realities are in other parts of the world, I suggest you find out whether your opinions and generalizations hold any merit/relevance before stating them. Such comments only promote racism and hate and heaven knows we don't need more of that. S
Sean from United States Reply
I was one of those guys who used an internet agency to meet women. I went to Odessa Ukraine. I agree with you that most of the women just don't have an opportunity to meet men without the use of these agencies. They sign up to have just that, choices. The women I met were courted by hundreds of men with different statuses and from various countries besides the USA. Most of them did not have any wish to leave their city let alone the country. Most of them wanted the man to move there and be their husband. My advice is that if you want to marry a Russian or Ukrainian women, learn to speak Russian, move there and live and meet the thousands upon thousands of single beautiful women that want a man in their lives. Good luck!
Alex from Spain Reply
Anybody interested in finding a Russian brides should be aware of Russian dating scammers. I would recommend search Russian scammers using unique engine to receive detailed information about presence of any Russian woman on dating scammers black lists. Really useful tool.
raver from India Reply
your views on the subject matter are very de-grading. The west has forgotten the emotions & love that a HOME MAKER oozes out of her very existence.
olga from United Kingdom Reply
I am afraid I can't fully agree with your comments, I am Russian by origin, I was married to an English guy. I feel that your concept about russian women goes in 80s. Or you are probably talking about 'deep province' of Russia where the salary expectancy is very low therefore the quality of life is the same. However, if you take into consideration the big cities like Moscow, St Petersburg, or in the UK London the concept of a russian woman depending on her 'alhocholic' husband has gone to the past. Open your eyes, the world has changed as well as Russia. Woman is taking the dominating role in the society. Russia is not Middle East where woman is sold to her husband and has to cover her face. Russian women (not all of them of course) are well educated and cultured women who get better positions in the society all over the world. I am Russian hovewer I've lived in the UK for many years now, and I consider it as my second motherland, I respect the laws and traditions of the country hovewer I don't feel that I am ashamed to be Russian. I feel that I have an honour to be one and if you are not Russian by origin, you will never understand.