How to impress a Russian mother (or grandmother)

grandmother-old-lady-photographer-kodak-cameraIf you’re dating a Russian person, eventually the moment will come when they want you to meet their parents. It’s important to know that family approval is crucial to many Russian people, and the mother’s approval is especially significant. Luckily, there are certain tactics you can use that will maximize the likelihood that your significant other’s mother (or grandmother – equally important!) will take a liking to you. Here is your preparedness guide to impressing that crucial person:

Learn some Russian

Even if your significant other’s mother speaks English, having made the effort to learn how to communicate in her native language will provide you with massive amounts of bonus points. Learn – really learn, memorise and perfect – the very basics, and do your best to remember a little bit more. Trust me, it will be worth the effort:

Hi – Привет (privet)

Hello – Здравствуйте (zdravstuyte)

Bye – Пока (poka)

Good bye – До свидания (do svidaniya)

Yes – Да (da)

No – Нет (nyet)

Please – Пожалуйста (pozhalusta)

Thank you – Спасибо (spasibo)

You’re welcome – Не за что (ne za chto)

Bring flowers        

As is pretty standard when entering any family home in Russia, it is expected that the visitor will bring flowers for the woman of the house. Luckily, flower stands are everywhere in Russia (many are even open 24 hours a day), so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a place to pick up a small bouquet. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, but it should be nice. Get a shop assistant to put one together for you if you know nothing about flower arrangements.

Be a gentleman       

Follow the standard rules of politeness and add as much extra traditional gentlemanliness as you can handle. This means opening doors, pulling out chairs, waiting to eat until everyone has their food. But it also means always carrying as much of the women’s luggage/shopping bags/everything except their purses as you reasonably can, without them having to ask.

Keep in mind           

Other than being friendly, polite and sociable, the key to impressing a Russian mother or grandmother is basically to pretend you’ve gone back in time 50 years. As silly as it sounds – and as much as many modern Russian women would refuse it to be true – the more you can play to your traditional gender role, the better you will come across.    

Source: TripSavvy

Online dating tips to stand out

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No matter how you slice it, online dating is daunting. With an overwhelming number of digital platforms and an endless stream of prospective partners, how will you ever stand out?

1. Know what you’re looking for.

Before diving into the online dating sea, you should be aware of what type of relationship you’re after. Whether it’s a no-strings-attached rendezvous, casual dating or a serious relationship, pick one and create your profile with that in mind.

2. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential match.

To take your online dating game to the next level, try putting yourself in your prospective partner’s shoes.

3. Show, don’t tell.

The number one mistake guys make is writing about their traits rather than demonstrating their traits. There’s a difference between saying “I’m a really funny guy,” and sharing a hilarious story on your profile. Think about what you want to communicate, and show that instead of flat out saying it. It’s also helpful to ask yourself, “What kind of introduction would I want to keep on reading?”

4. The best type of profile picture may not be what you think.

You may be surprised, but the worst picture you can post if you want women to respond is one of you smiling and looking at the camera. The best performing photos show a guy looking away from the camera, and not smiling.

For optimal results, add a photo of you in a social setting and another showing you doing something interesting. The key for the latter is to spark curiosity and create topics of conversation. Good photos, for instance, will show you backstage with a band or in a remote area less traveled-to.

5. Personalize your greeting.

Ditch the generic “hey, what’s up?” and opt for sending a personalized message. Putting thought into your initial greeting shows you’re interested and that you’ve taken time to read through her profile.

6. Converse as you would in real life — in complete words, in good taste.

When exchanging messages, it’s important to avoid text speak and physical compliments. Poor grammar and incorrect spelling are also a huge turn-off and make an awful first impression. If you want to stand out, get more creative and address their interests over their looks.

7. Don’t play games.

Online dating is a different experience for everyone, but there’s one rule dating specialists encourages you to follow: Don’t play games. No one wins. If you don’t like someone, be mature enough to tell them you aren’t interested. If you’re interested, don’t try to be unavailable or hard to get. If you’re honest and straight up and it doesn’t work, that’s okay — you’re filtering out people who don’t fit what you’re looking for.

Source: Quora

13 amazing online dating statistics and facts

woman-typing-writing-macbook-notebook-computerToday, there are millions of people on thousands of dating sites looking for their perfect match, whether that’s for a date, relationship, or marriage. With this growing industry comes a lot of information that’s worth knowing. Here is a list of 13 good, bad, and just plain weird statistics on online dating that will blow your mind.

1. 49 million people have tried online dating

With about 49 million singles having dabbled in online dating at least once, a majority of us are probably among that statistic or know somebody who is. As is typical with most new inventions, some were skeptical when dating sites first came out, but they’ve clearly become one of the preferred ways to find love.

2. Online dating is a good way to meet others, say 59% of people

In 2015, the Pew Research Center found over half of men and women believe online dating is a great venue for meeting people. And we’d have to agree — you have tons of options to choose from and can cater the process to your wants.

3. 66% of users have dated someone they met online

Not only is online dating extremely popular, as evidenced by the stats above, but it also truly works. That same Pew Research Center study said two-thirds of online daters have gone out with someone with whom they were matched. Those seem like pretty decent odds to us.

4. One-fifth of committed relationships began online

If a serious relationship is what you’re looking for, you might want to turn to online dating to find it. Statistic Brain says 20% of current committed relationships started online.

5. 17% of marriages started online

Statistic Brain’s research also shows 17% of couples who married within the last year met on a dating website.

With online dating, you get very specific about your needs (e.g., marriage), which makes it quick and simple to find that special someone who can meet those needs.

6. Lion’s share (27%) of online daters are 18-24

According to Pew, those between 18 and 24 make up the largest demographic of online daters in terms of age. In comparison, 22% are 25 to 34; 21% are 35 to 44; 13% are 45 to 54; 12% are 55 to 64, and 3% are 65+.

7. The online dating gender ratio is 52.4% male vs. 47.6% female

While numerous dating sites lean slightly more female with their gender ratio (e.g., Match 51% vs. 49%), online dating tends to attract more males as a whole: 52.4% compared to 47.6%. This was another fact discovered by Statistic Brain.

8. What’s more important? 64% say shared interest, 49% say looks

Referencing Statistic Brain again, the site found almost two-thirds of people who use online dating say the number one thing they’re looking for in a date or partner is common interests, while less than half say physical characteristics are the most important to them.

9. 22% of people have asked someone to help with their profile

Your profile is the first thing singles will see on a dating site, and to be honest, most of them will only take a few seconds to read it and determine if you’re right for them or not. That puts a lot of pressure on people to make their profiles perfect, especially those who are trying online dating for the first time and aren’t the best writers. So it’s understandable that almost one-fourth of online daters have asked someone to give them a hand with this part of the process such as choosing the best photos or tweaking some of the language.

10. 23% of people think those who use online dating are desperate

We mentioned earlier that 59% of people think online dating is a fantastic way to meet others, but there are some skeptics out there. According to Pew’s poll, 23% think those who date online are desperate. However, that number has gone down a good bit. In 2005, it was 29%, so more people are starting to look at online dating in a positive light.

11. More than half lie on their dating profile

Singles want to put their best foot forward online — some so much so that some of them won’t be as forthcoming about themselves as they should be. Phactual.com says more than half of users fabricate some or all of their dating profile. For example, 20% of women will use photos from when they were younger, while 40% of men will lie about their jobs.

12. 48% of online relationships end via email

There are a lot of online dating success statistics out there, but you’re bound to come across some bad ones every now and then. One of them is from an infographic by eHarmony that shows 48% of relationships that began online will end with someone breaking up with their partner via email.

13. 10% of online daters quit after three months

While we love online dating and think it’s one of the best inventions to come out of the 20th century, we’ll admit that it can be frustrating for some people from time to time — especially if they’ve been doing it for weeks or months and haven’t met that perfect person yet. In fact, one out of every 10 online daters will give up after 90 days, as reported by Statistic Brain.

Source: DatingAdvice

Tips for writing an awesome online dating profile

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1. Be different – most profiles look exactly the same!

The #1 mistake that people make when making their profile is that they write the exact same things that everyone else does! 90% of profiles feature the same cliche phrases like:

  • “I’m a hard-working guy who is looking for a nice girl.”
  • “I enjoy hanging out with my friends.”
  • “I’m an easy-going, fun person.”

Phrases like this don’t help you stand out and can be boring to read after having seen them so many times. The good thing is, if you write a unique profile you’ll immediately set yourself apart from others on the site and gain an advantage. The key is to present yourself in a creative way.

2. Don’t just talk about it… BE about it!

A common thing that people do on their profiles is they simply state their qualities and interests, as opposed to explaining them. Don’t write something like “I’m a funny guy who loves to sing, and I enjoy spending time with my nephew.” Instead, demonstrate that quality by writing your profile in a funny way. For example, you could write something like this:

“When I’m not busy ‘saving the world’ or ‘being awesome’, I enjoy belting out show-tunes with my 6-month-old nephew Jason. He says we should take our act on the road, but I think he needs to brush up on his harmonies first.”

The above paragraph communicates that the person likes to sing, that he likes children and that he is funny!

3. Give her something to write to you about

One of the issues with online dating is that sometimes a woman may want to message you, but she won’t know what to say. To make things easier, you can do a few things in your profile like stirring up an emotional reaction that will entice her to message you, or including questions for her to answer.

  • If you stir up an emotional reaction in your profile, you’ll generally get more responses. Here’s an example: “I’m convinced that ‘Hit me Baby, One More Time’ by Britney Spears is the best song of all-time… and I dare you to prove me wrong!”
  • You can also try including questions in your profile to catalyze a conversation. Here’s a simple example: “I love to eat Indian food – the variety of flavors and spices in their dishes incredible! If you know of any local restaurants that serve a decent chicken tikka masala, please share them with me!”

Another approach is to ask a silly question along the lines of:

“Someone told me that online dating sites are littered with strange people, so I figured I should filter out the weirdos by asking some serious questions. Please answer carefully:

  • Have you at any point in your life been a fan of Nickelback?
  • Have you watched more than one episode of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’?

4. Don’t reveal too much – create some mystery

It’s important not to reveal too much about yourself on your profile – leave a little bit to the imagination and create a sense of mystique. It will give the woman some questions to ask you and things to talk about. The goal is to make her want to learn more about you. Also, don’t write down too much detailed personal information, because strangers may be able to use it to look you up on Google or Facebook and find out details that you may not want them to know.

5. Don’t be too serious – you’re not applying for a job!

A common mistake that guys make when writing a profile, is that they treat it as if it’s a resume or job application. By writing a serious profile, they often come across as too desperate. Women may think you’re boring and cannot get dates in real life. Your goal is to be perceived as a person who is interesting and fun, not someone who is dull or creepy.

6. Check your spelling

Finally, make sure to spell-check your profile and avoid using shortened versions of words like ‘u’ instead of ‘you’. It’s important to display a certain level of intelligence and maturity on your profile.

Source: The Best Online Dating Tips

Use humour to become more successful in online dating

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If you ask someone to list the characteristics they require in a potential dating partner, it is likely that they would say they want someone with a good sense of humour.  Humour may be especially important in online interactions because after the initial impression given by a person’s profile picture, it is what a person says and how they describe themselves which takes over and becomes more salient.  

Humour puts people in a good and positive mood.  In an initial encounter with someone, our mood is a crucial factor in determining attraction.  If we experience positive feelings, this subsequently leads to a positive evaluation of the other person.

In a study by Bressler, Martin & Balshine participants were asked to think of the following.  Imagine a situation where you are choosing between two potential dating partners. They are equally physically attractive, intelligent, interesting, friendly and compassionate.  The only difference between them is in the following.

  • One is great at making you laugh and you think they are very funny. However, they don’t laugh all that much when you make jokes.  They listen to you, but when you make jokes you rarely get more than a smile from them.  
  • The other laughs at all your jokes and think you are a very funny person, but you don’t find their jokes very funny.  You understand their jokes and don’t find them offensive, but they rarely make you laugh.

Bressler et al reported that males prefer females who are receptive to their humour and laugh at their jokes, whereas females value humour production in a relationship partner!

Females in relationships with more humorous partners rated them as being more creative and intelligent, and also as being more popular and better leaders. Males who construct humorous profiles and engage in online messaging using humour might attract more females. 

Having a good sense of humour suggests that we can interact easily with others and that we possess a relaxed and fun-loving personality, all of which make us more attractive.

Source: Psychology Today

How to start an online conversation with a girl

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The studies showed that 42% of female online daters have been contacted by someone in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. Isn’t that too many?

Here are 11 good ways (tested by science!) to start a conversation with a girl online for those who don’t want to be a part of this statistics.

1. Keep your subject line and message short

The subject line of your email or message is probably the most important part of starting a conversation with a girl online. If this doesn’t peak her interest, she most likely won’t read any further. Same goes for the entire message in general — keep it short! 200 characters is the ideal length.

2. “Hi”, “hey”, or “hello” – no, no, no

If you want to be the most boring, unoriginal person who has ever reached out to this woman, then simply say “Hi, how are you?” While it may seem like a polite thing to ask, she isn’t the pizza delivery guy — she’s someone you have romantic feelings for. Something as simple as “What’s up?” can be a better option.

3. Being funny is a must

If you make a woman laugh, most of the hard work is done for you. Arouse her curiosity by starting a joke and not finishing the punchline. She’ll be prompted to do it for you, or she’ll just be confused as hell and come back with “What?” which is always better than complete silence.

4. Mention something specific from her profile

If you send the same message to every girl, you won’t get a response. To avoid doing this, look over her profile, find something that makes her stand out, and bring that up in your message.

5. Mirror her personality

Studies shows that people like people who are similar to them. Use what you’ve learned from her profile to determine what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. If she’s funny, use a funny opener. If she’s straightforward, just be straightforward. If she’s philosophical, try your best to be philosophical as well.

6. Compliment her (but not her appearance)

Women like being complimented when it’s done correctly, so don’t go for the obvious “you’re hot/sexy/cute/beautiful/gorgeous”. Instead, try using general complimentary words like “cool”, “awesome”, or “fascinating”.

7. Talk about your common interests

Talking about similar interests can prompt a quick response from her as well as get her to let her guard down and be more trusting of your intentions, especially if it’s something not a lot of people have an interest in.

8. Ask a question

A call to action is the best thing you can do to get a response from a girl online. If you don’t end on a question, or ask at least one question during your entire message, why would she take the energy to reply? Statements don’t evoke conversation.

While it’s hard to guarantee that all of these tips will work 100% of the time, they’re definitely a good place to start.

Source: Hayley Matthews

March 8: International Women’s Day

flowers-flowers-bouquet-springingMarch 8th is nearly here! Do you have big celebration plans yet? If not, it’s time to think about how you would like to surprise your favorite women: Moms, sisters, wives, daughters, girlfriends, co-workers. If you didn’t know yet, March 8th is the International Women’s Day and it is widely celebrated in Russian speaking countries.

History of the International Women’s Day

Interestingly, the holiday originated in New York in 1908 when women went on a strike to demand equal rights, voting rights, shorter hours and better pay.

In Russia International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1913 first time as a part of the peace movement on the eve of World War I. Soon, following the events of 1913, it was established that the International Women’s Day will be celebrated on March 8th.

How is International Women’s Day celebrated in Russia today?

Today, International Women’s Day is one of the favorite public holidays in Russia. This day is associated with the first days of spring, warmth, first sunny rays and the most wonderful emotions. On March 8th men and women express their love and care to the women in their lives.

When it comes to gifts, it’s more about the gesture. It is not a secret, that women like attention, and even a small thing like a card, flowers and a box of chocolates will put a smile on your lady’s face. And of course, it also depends on how well you know each other: whether you are coworkers, relatives, are dating and so on. Now, let’s skip to the fun stuff – a few words and expressions in Russian that you might need when celebrating the International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day in Russia vocabulary

С 8 Марта – Happy March 8th

Поздравляю с 8 Марта - Wishing you a Happy March 8th

Поздравляю с Международным Женским Днём! – Wishing you a happy International Women’s Day!

Source: Fun Russian

Important tips for online dating success

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No replies to your emails? Too few profile views? Try these important online dating tips.

Use good pictures. There are thousands of people on these sites, and there is going to be someone similar to you who has better pictures. And he is going to get the woman you want. If you want to meet good people, you need to have good pictures. It’s that simple.

Your photos need to be clear and recent. Your dark, artsy photos are great as a supplement, but she needs to see what you look like in the light, without a hat, and without sunglasses. She needs to see you close up (a headshot), and from a little distance (a full length shot). If she can’t see what you really look like, you’re not going to get her phone number.

Write to people who are looking for someone like you. It is important to remember that online dating is not the same as online shopping. When you’re shopping, you can pick out whatever you like and make it yours. When you’re dating, the person you choose actually has some say in the matter.

Before you take the time to compose your message, look through her profile and try to view things from her perspective. Would she want to date you? Of course you’re great, but are you a great match for her? Do you fit all, or most, of what she’s looking for? And are you in her desired age range?

Ask good questions. This means you have to read her profile, and pay attention to what you read.  The questions you ask should be interesting to you, and personal enough to connect to her. “Your Asia photos are great! What was your favorite part of the trip?”

Don’t be a stalker. While you are waiting for her reply, go on with your busy life. Don’t look at her profile to see if she has logged in. Don’t hover over your sent mail folder to see if she’s read your message. Remember that you don’t know this person at all, and you shouldn’t have any expectations of when she should reply.

Source: Your Tango

Valentine’s Day celebration in Russia and Ukraine

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Valentine’s Day is coming up! Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” In Russia and Ukraine Valentine’s Day is a relatively new, but one of the most popular romantic holidays.

What Gifts are Popular in Russia and Ukraine on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day in Russia and Ukraine is all about expressing your love and care to your significant other. This means that you can get as creative as you like when it comes to gifts. Any gift that conveys romantic feelings will be very well received. For example, a little memorable souvenir, such as a framed picture of you both having fun, or a poem written for your significant other will make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Giving flowers is considered one of the most romantic gestures in Russia. Russian and Ukrainian women love flowers! A bunch of fresh roses, tulips, orchids or any other flowers will certainly bring a smile to her face. If your lady has a sweet tooth she will most definitely like a box of chocolates.

How Do Russians Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

There are no specific Russian/Ukrainian traditions associated with this holiday. Just remember to let your imagination go and make your celebration as romantic and as memorable as you like. Russians love romance. These are just a few suggestions to warm up your imagination:

• Enjoy a homemade candle lit dinner with a glass of good wine

• Cuddle up watching an old romantic movie (preferably in Russian – so you can practice your Russian language skills )

• Go for a romantic walk in the park, or a beach holding hands and sharing your childhood stories

• Reserve a table at a fancy restaurant and surprise your sweetheart

• Write romantic letters to each other

Valentine’s Day Was Banned in Belgorod

Unfortunately, not every city in Russia welcomes Valentine’s Day. Belgorod, a small city in western Russia banned Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago.

Grigory Bolotnov, a spokesman for the governor’s office, stated that celebrating Valentine’s Day is not a Russian tradition and it does not teach good moral values to Russian youth. Belgorod archbishop supported governor’s decision to cancel the holiday.

How to Wish Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian

It might be a great idea for you to wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to your Russian or Ukrainian woman. Here is how to write it in Russian:

С Днём Святого Валентина! [s DNYOM svya-TO-va va-lyen-TEE-na] Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day – only with your loved ones!

Source: Fun Russian

Online dating statistics and interesting facts

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Over the past few years, online dating has increasingly become a more widely accepted way of meeting a future partner and today, as many as one in five relationships are believed to begin online. You will probably be surprised to learn that:

  • Messages on a dating service that used words associated with laughing like ‘haha’ and ‘lol’ have a 17% higher chance of ending in an exchange of phone numbers.
  • You are 56% less likely to get a person’s number if you use the word ‘sorry’ in your opening line when you message someone on a dating service.
  • 61% of adults who have tried online dating agree that it is easier and more efficient than other ways of meeting people.
  • 31% of online daters agree that online dating keeps people from settling down, because they always have options for people to date.
  • 2 spelling errors in a man’s profile will reduce the chances of a response by 14% from a women. Spelling errors by women don’t affect their chances of getting a response.
  • Women receive 17 times as many messages as men on dating services.
  • Men use 21.9% more words than women do in their responses to questions about their dating profile.
  • 33% of online daters have never actually gone a date with someone they met through a dating service.
  • 20% of online daters have had someone for help with their dating profile. 5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.
  • Generally on a dating service the most attractive men send the most messages.
  • Women are much less likely than men to initiate contact on a dating service.
  • Women are 2.5x more likely than a man to receive a response if they initiate contact.
  • Members of dating services who share photos of themselves laughing have over 3 times more chances of communicating with other members.
  • Your dating profile is judge in part based on the last profile the person saw before yours. If it is more attractive then yours will be considered more attractive.
  • People looking for long-term relationships tend to log into their dating service the most on Tuesdays at 2pm. For younger singles and those looking to hookup the best time to find them online is 9pm.
  • 33% of women and 20% of men retouch photos for their dating profile. Most do slight tweaking like removing blemishes, whiten teeth, and/or change skin tone.
  • 47% of men and 27% of women have encountered a first date who looked nothing like their dating profile image.

Source: Dating Sites Review