From Russia With Love

This is me, obviously. 
Oh, Russia..
Considering the recent news events that have left my motherland in an infinite PR crisis, I’m not quite sure how to approach this contentious topic. I recently spent a week in my native Saint-Petersburg and was left with a rather hesitant opinion on the country and the Orwellian direction its heading into. However, I will refrain from politics and stick to my niche, focusing on truly important matters, such as the Russian dating scene. 

I have to admit I made very little effort to do exploratory research for this post. Unless you’re from an urban metropolis, hometowns are possibly the least inspiring place to attempt dating, mainly out of that jaded understanding of the city and its inhabitants. Saint-Petersburg, in particular, has a rather low influx of newcomers  leaving the chance of meeting a perspective somebody at slim to none. Nonetheless, I did gather some general observations that will just have to suffice. 

1. Everyone is married by 26. If you’re a guy, 28. For one, its a question of supply and demand. Women in Russia are faced with low qualitative options and are strongly advised to snatch up the best goods early (kind of like at a sample sale). Secondarily, family values are important and people here don’t have as much desire to waste time self-actualize before making real life decisions. They settle down and get married and have babies and buy apartments and don’t bother overthinking every single little step as though their time is limitless and they are only getting younger. 
2. The men behave like men. At the risk of pissing off every feminist with grand dreams of gender equality, I personally like being picked up for dates and being walked to doorsteps and having a guy take care of me to some extent. In Russia, these things are considered to be the norm, once again alluding to a slightly different value system. However, it comes with a degree of macho chauvinism that is occasionally hard to swallow, leaving overly…expressive females such as myself at a definite disadvantage. 
3. The women.. Damn. I went to the gym on a Sunday afternoon and came back feeling like Oscar the garbage monster in my baggy American Vintage tank. All the women there had  on full makeup and were wearing fluo latex tanks with a built-in push-up bras. Except, under the push-up bras, they had supplementary push-up bras. Boobs pointed to the sky, they were jogging on the treadmill at a pace that did not allow them to perspire. I actually saw one chick freak out the second she started breaking into a sweat, immediately lowering her pace and frantically fanning the face with her hand. These girls are committed, and I applaud them for it. 
4. The female/male ratio is off and the men are SO spoiled. This is something I noticed last summer at a karaoke club, where dozens of gorgeous women were sitting in groups, competing for 10 mediocre-looking single guys. As a result, every average Joe feels like he is entitled to a mini Natalia Vodianova. Its rather unfair and explains why Russian women often outsource, seeking men from the neighboring European countries and beyond. 
5. Tinder sucks. I went through all the guys in the city in fifteen minutes flat. Half appeared to be frightened foreigners in search of fellow frightened foreigners to share their Russian experience with. The other half were friends of friends, with public dating histories that killed my libido. I heard the Tinder situation is much better in Moscow, but I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to test it out anytime soon.

Overall, the dating scene in Russia is an unequal battlefield, lucrative only to male contenders. If I were a guy, I would jump on an Aeroflot flight ASAP and snatch up the prettiest girl on the block before the potential Cold War II visa ban. As a girl, I intend to stay firmly implanted in the infinitely more democratic western world, while seeking out certain qualities that are pertinent to my upbringing. Which means I’m probably destined to be single forever. 

Voilà. The End. 

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