How to impress a Russian female with your etiquette

Published by Lawrence F. Leon on

Table of content:

Dating a woman is drastically different from dating a girl. And it’s not about age, a female can still remain a girl even in her later 20s. Mature people prefer being polite to each other rather than chaotic interaction some people like to practice. And the thing is people become fully mature pretty early in Russia.

This and the overall conservatism of people there ensure that etiquette still takes a significant place in Russian society. So, if you detect you’ve met a Russian female who values being tended to, you may switch to your polite self. But first, you need to learn a bit of what’s considered a good code of conduct there.

Plus, some parts of general morals are still widely used in Russian society as everyday gestures. As a result, you should really get to know the norms they exercise not to be looked down upon.

How commonly used ‘good manners’ are in Russia

Attitude towards strangers

Perhaps it’s not like this in your country, but in Russian women are still considered ‘a weaker gender’. And, most importantly, an average Russian female doesn’t protest it. 

From school, the boys are taught to let girls walk in the class and give them your seat when none available. They don’t do it that consciously up until the later teens though, because ‘girls = nasty’, as we all know.

Holding the door for a lady and letting her sit in your stead (especially regarding the older women) is a common courtesy throughout the ages and regions whoever this woman is. If you don’t do it — you are a twerp. Of course, it’s not obligatory, as Russians also practice some of the social Darwinism, where everyone is for themselves.

Family and friends

Sticking to good manners for your dearest, however, is pretty much mandatory. It goes even further than holding the door when applied to the family. It comes as granted that men should help the women do the chores and actually do the hardest work themselves. 

Sure, a Russian female traditionally does the majority of house-managing chores. But it’s a bad taste to allow your loved ones to do everything all by herself. You need to assist her.

While on date

During a date, it’s crucial to measure your ‘good manners’ accordingly to the situation. You shouldn’t always act like an absolute gentleman, Russia is still a modern country, not an 18th century England. Nevertheless, this gentlemanly behavior may come in hand in certain conditions. Moreover, it will be expected.

A regular trip to the cinema/cafe

Picture of a couple on date

Like in your country (most likely), any regular leisure activity with a Russian female is not something to get out-of-bounds for. It’s much like spending time home but on a bigger scale. You’re not expected to do anything accordingly to some code. But of course, common courtesy towards women will be expected of you:

  • Hold the door before your fiancee whenever you’re walking in some place or other, and then let her enter first;
  • Support her lightly when you’re walking down if she wears high heels (especially if the stairs are steep);
  • Paying is on you

That’s just, what’s expected on you on every occasion. It’s just a bottom of a pool, if you will. But even this is not mandatory. It’s not a law or even a highly-valued norm to abide by these. If you wish to emphasize that you consider you and a Russian female you date equals in this relationship — it’s OK to have an unspoken rule to not abide by these norms. It’s so unspoken that most won’t even bother bringing it up.

And, of course, it may under certain circumstances inconvenient you both more than being polite may benefit in such cases. If it’s just not comfortable to do any of the stuff mentioned above — don’t do it. 

An irregular grand event

Any event/trip that requires you to wear a suit also requires you to utilize your etiquette. Not even for show, it’s just how it’s done. The ‘term’ grand event includes:

  • A trip to restaurant;
  • A trip to theatre;
  • A trip to some other serious gathering (even if it’s not ‘high class), a conference, for instance

The lowest you’d be expected of is the set of basic gestures above and:

  • Help your girlfriend with outerwear;
  • Not talking too much (not if you’re talked to);
  • Eating properly;
  • Addressing everyone by their name and patronym (father’s name + -vich (for men) or -vna (for women))
  • Helping your lady with a chair (pull it back a bit before she sits)

You may also walk alongside her by locking your elbows together, but it’s too pompous. Otherwise, generally helping her with everything would be greatly appreciated. Of course, depending on what king of person your partner is.

Of course, you may never even need any of these, but better safe than sorry. You may be thrown into a decent Russian party. You need to know, at least, what not to do on such occasions. It’s easy to do something embarrassing in a different culture.

Hopefully, that’s all you’ll ever need. Plus, that’s what a Russian female you date will expect. Chances are, she and you aren’t high class, so there’s no point pretending. In the aftermath, be yourself. That will surely impress her.

Meeting with her parents

It’s even more important to summon all of your politeness and will while meeting with the parents of your girlfriend.

Sure, you don’t need a fancy high-class etiquette (the true etiquette, if you will), but neither should you neglect good manners completely. As much as people like to imagine Russia as uncivilized land, older people mostly respect people who respect others. And to show that is the goal of being polite. In conclusion, you’ll crucially need it on this occasion.

Help with outerwear, help with the chair, help everyone at the table (don’t be obsessed with that too much though, as your future parents-in-law may deem you slimy and dishonest).

You need to show to her parents that you may look after their daughter, as well as show that you’re not some cad, that you’re worthy of this relationship. That’s a kind of etiquette you need to the occasion.

How to know when to stop

Picture of a polite man

Though, you being polite and well-mannered will often be appreciated. At other times, it may feel awkward and overkill for your partner. So, how to understand that abiding by some of this etiquette is not needed and the lady may look after herself?

You may not be practicing the same kind of good manners in your country (thanks to some modern solutions to gender problems), but you still should be able to understand hints.

It’s usually OK if you, as a foreigner, do some little unnecessary gestures. Even if it’s not needed at all, most women will just play along with it. It’s amusing and cute for Russians when someone a foreigner does what they do, but brings preciseness to it.

Sometimes, however, it may be unbearably awkward. In such cases, most people don’t severe an act outright, they just softly tell you that they can ‘do it alone’. No point being angry at someone who only wants to be polite. 

But of course, you also should be reasonable yourself. If you feel that whatever you’re expected to do is out of place in some particular situation — just don’t do it. Adapt to the circumstances and turn your intuition on.

In conclusion

Positively impressing your partner with your etiquette is actually not that easy. Your good manner must not be too intrusive. Otherwise, they will only be disturbing. It’s also crucial to understand when etiquette is actually needed. Even a simple one needs to be addressed with some code of conduct or other. You only must measure it properly.

But if this guide isn’t any help to you yet, as you haven’t found a Russian female to date yet, you may check out this topic or, otherwise, the video below to know more about impressing a Russian female:

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