The constitution of Russian mind is obviously very different from that of a European. And this causes some to ask quite a legitimate question: ‘How to speak to Russian ladies to not ruin the potential relationship’. They react differently, they behave not really identically to us, they must think on another level too.
This is partly true, yes. There is a set of phrases, you might say, a Russian woman would never deem adequate, in contrast to your average Interlocutor. Someone could even organize them into a guide with additional tips on how better to say things.
Sure, it could contain pretty basic advices that would work on any woman. But it would only mean that it still applies to Russian ladies as well.
…wow, it’s a nice idea. Let’s just hope that nobody ever thought of it before, because here’s a detailed guide on how to speak to Russian ladies while dating one of them. And while you’re at it, you could learn a few tricks about how to behave on the whole in such relationship.
How to say ‘hello’
A deeper meaning of your ‘How do you do’
It’s not so much about exactly to say, as what to mean by the words you utter. For instance, that’s how you would greet any American you’d come across:
- Good morning/evening/something
- How do you do?
- What’s up?
The first pair is alright, just a little ‘I acknowledge your presence’. And when you say it, you expect your companion to acknowledge you back with the ‘Hi’. But the second pair is unique for the English-speaking world. More like for the Anglo-Saxon culture as a whole.
You don’t mean it, when you say «What’s good». It’s just a polite form, isn’t it? You don’t want to know, if anything good happened lately to the person you talk to. It’s the same old ‘Hi’. The best you can get is «I’m fine».
But in Russian (and in many more) worlds it is a legitimate question. Sure, after asking ‘How are the affairs’ (the equivalent) you may receive a detailed report on recent events. Or you’ll be left with the same «I’m fine», which is practiced as well.
Therefore, saying ‘How do you do’ in Russian culture is not only a polite gesture. Don’t be caught off guard by a sudden tirade, which you clearly are not used to be getting.
And try replying to it yourself, it’s ordinary to wonder, what’s on your nearest and dearest’s minds in the morning.
How to greet
Be attentive now, it’s time for a deeper emotional setup of the mind of Russian ladies. See, Russians do not express their emotions on public as easily as other human beings. The display of feelings is reserved for home, friends and family. Mostly.
Whether you’re in subway with your girlfriend, or in the cinema, remember to slow down. You laugh and raise your voice to tell, how much it is nice for you to see her, and everyone will stare at you. And that’s not cool. Most of the time. It may sound like a good social anxiety example, but it’s just the order of things in Russia.
Instead keep in mind this course:
- Calmly come up to her, say ‘Hi’;
- Hug her a little or give a sweet kiss on a cheek (or something not attracting too much attention);
- Proceed with whatever you were doing.
And when you meet the unfamiliar woman, don’t shake her hand, it’s a male thing. Instead gently grasp the phalanges of her hand and move on. And don’t kiss the hands, for the reasons you know.
And after you get out of the piercing glare of other people’s eyes, you may proceed to be more intimate. In fact, that’s what you’re expected to do. Hug, kiss, do what you both like. It’s OK, when there’s no one else to judge you.
How to address her
It’s a sad thing, but the usual methods of addressing the Western young woman may not work on your new love. The row of names you’d probably call the girlfriend in, e.g., America would be: ‘Honey’, ‘Sweetheart’, perhaps even ‘Baby’.
But, you guessed it, not in Russia, and, surely, not in public. The Russian society is quite patriarchal as well, if you hadn’t had enough oddities. Now, if you are interested inwhat the people you’d probably only see once say about you, they’ll probably think you’re servile to your girlfriend.
If it’s alright for you both, or if you simply don’t live in Russia, go ahead and call her names. Cast the ‘Baby’ away, though. They don’t use it, and even she may not like the word.
A shorter name
You, probably, have a right to ask: «How do I address her then, huh». Simple, use her immediate name, including the shorter version. The shorter form is a usual speech trick in Russia. It’s not a familiarity at all. They talk that way not only to close friends and family, but also to acquaintances.
Say, you’ve met a new person (a woman, in this case). Her name is Tatyana, a very popular name, by the way. If she’s not older than you, and you get along well, you may start calling her by the shorter name – Tanya. And in case of your Russian girlfriend – DO call her by the shorter name all the time.
Here’s the list of female shorter names in Russian:
Tatyana – Tanya
Natalya – Natasha
Maria – Masha
Anastasia – Nastya
Polina – sometimes, Polya
Darya – Dasha
Ekaterina (Catherine) – Katya
Anna – Anya
There’s much more, though. These are just the tip of an iceberg. Note: some Russians use their shorter names as first names (just like in other countries).
How to interact in day-to-day life?
And here comes the real question. What to do and what not to do, when you’re right in the center of relationship. First of all, have a few basic tips you’d probably learn the hard way sooner or later.
Basic advice on what to say
There are a few things all the Russian ladies like to hear. These are actually the things anyone anywhere appreciates. But here everyone, especially women, will look up to you for behaving this way:
- Express determination, whenever something’s on stake. The model Russian man is strong-willed and unhesitating. Therefore phrases like «I don’t know» are not of high esteem in Russian society. Even if you don’t know, think of some somewhat distinct answer;
- Say compliments all the time. It is a reasonable thing to do around women, but even more so around Russian ladies. Just remember a basic principle: less emotion on public, more emotion at home;
- Russian ladies are assertive as well in a way. When she starts a conversation – maintain it by all means necessary. But try to understand, when the dialogue is done;
- When online (here’s a few tips about dating online, btw), spend with her as much time as she likes. Even if you can’t spare much, it’s not an excuse.
Basic advice on what not to speak
There are also moments, when you should not talk back, simply agree or hastily fix the situation. Yes, it may be a general guide, but relates nonetheless:
- Whenever your gal is angry at anyone else – shush. Be quite and listen intently;
- Whenever she asks you anything, and you know the only acceptable answer, give it, even when it contradicts your opinion;
- You might understand that you’ve done something wrong by the slight tone contempt rising in her voice. Every Russian woman has it, and it’s the scariest phenomenon in the world. You better realize what’s wrong right away and mend it;
- Whenever your lady asks you to do anything – go ahead and get to it. Be chivalrous, that’s the secret to everything.
From the abovementioned tips one could already extract that dating a Russian is hardcore. The women are assertive (how exactly), but you should be assertive, too.
Dating Russian ladies is a unique feat in a way. It’s one of those Herculean challenges, in which you should be ready for anything and know your ropes (or learn fast). Hopefully, this little guide will be enough for the beginning of your future or already obtained relationship.
But if you’re still just planning on getting a Russian girlfriend – go ahead and check a guide on how to impress her: