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Researcher: Myths, Misconceptions Mar Russian Dating

28. June 2011 by Christy 0 Comments

Think Russian dating websites are full of "Slavic schemers" or "naïve" women vulnerable to abuse? Think again. While such women certainly exist, the idea that international dating services are full of scammers and/or victims are just two myths that plague the Russian dating industry, myths University of Toronto researcher Alex Rowlson say give both Western men and Russian women a bad name.

In “Negotiated Nuptials: A Transnational Analysis of the International Marriage Broker Industry and the Russian ‘Mail-Order Bride,’” Rowlson argues takes a critical look at the standard Russian dating myths that turn so many away from international dating. One myth Rowlson tackles is the idea that vulnerable ladies are forced to marry foreign suitors.

“Women aren’t forced into these marriages, they actually have choice in the matter,” said Rowlson, a PhD student in Russian history.

After all, the Canadian researcher points out, Russian women post their own profiles on international dating websites and the ladies decide who they wish to chat with and who they wish to pass by. The same goes for Western men. No one is forced to do anything they don’t want to do and many happy unions have resulted from Russian dating websites. However, critics still seem to hold people who use international dating services to a higher standard than those who go a more traditional route. 

“Nobody is attacking people who use eHarmony or,” Rowlson notes.  

Myths about the ladies’ motivations also abound. While critics argue that money and a green card (or equivalent immigration papers) is the only reason Russian women are interested in Western suitors, a general shortage of Russian men, plus concerns about alcoholism and abuse, are a two reasons Slavic beauties seek love abroad, not to mention curiosity and a sense of adventure.


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