If a man is going out on a date with a Russian woman, she will expect him to romance and court her.
I was standing on a dirt path in a Russian country village, holding my boyfriend Anton’s torn, bloodstained T-shirt.
All that could be heard in the darkness was my friends and I shouting his name, and the thuds and grunts of Anton wrestling with another guy.
He will get a funny look from a Russian woman if he doesn’t open the door for her, if he doesn’t help her take her coat off, if he doesn’t help her get into her seat at a restaurant and in general if he doesn’t act like a real gentleman should on a date.
In Russian culture, the woman’s independence from the man is not something that should be demonstrated during the date. Many American women want to make an impression that they are completely independent.
I speak the language, I celebrate the holidays, and when I go back to New York after visiting relatives in the motherland and hand my Russian passport to the Russian customs official at border control, watch him quickly flip through it, and then haughtily sneer at me as he asks “, where’s your visa?