Common courtesies and etiquette are essential when visiting a foreign land or new acquaintances. In the same way offering your hand for a handshake in the west is a common courtesy extended to someone you just met. If you are thinking of dating a Russian lady, it is important that you learn some common courtesies from her culture to ensure that your relationship is off to a good start.
Never shake hands over a threshold
Upon arriving in your Russian girlfriend’s home, you might be met by her parents or a member of the family at the door. Now, usually it’s automatic that you offer your hand in handshake, but in Russia, wait to be fully inside before offering a handshake. Russians believe this is bad luck and you lose nothing if you adhere to this belief.
Gifts are a must when visiting someone’s home
It is common courtesy in Russia to bring your host a small token for their trouble. It might not be any trouble for them and you might actually have been invited, but nonetheless, it is expected that you have a little something for your host, in this case, your Russian lady, and her family. A nice bottle of wine, some chocolates and flowers should be sufficient. Just make sure the number of flowers in the bouquet is odd.
Take off your shoes when entering the threshold of a Russian home.
As you enter a Russian home, you are expected to take off your shoes. This is more for hygiene as the streets in Russia can be a bit dirty and of course, no one wants their home dirtied. This is a heads up to make sure you wear fresh socks with no holes and to apply foot deodorant if you suffer from certain conditions of the foot.
Keep the glass half full
Keep your glass half full if you are not ready for more alcoholic drinks. When dating a Russian lady, remember that Russians are known to be heavy drinkers and can imbibe up to 18 liters annually. If you are not the alcohol chugging type, it is better you keep your glass half full as an unspoken signal that you are not ready for another round.
If someone raises a toast, be sure to toast
Russians love toasts especially at parties. So if you are thinking of formally dating a Russian lady, you will be attending quite a few of said parties. And when someone raises a toast, if you didn’t quite get what they said, just go with it, smile and raise your glass. Take your cue from your beautiful date and you can’t go wrong
Babushki is always right. Even when she’s wrong, she’s still right.
Sound familiar? Yes, Babushki, or the grandma’s of Russia, are not to be argued with. First of all, they are ladies, and secondly, they are held at a position of respect and power due to the wisdom of their years. It is futile to argue with them, especially when you are trying to date their granddaughter. Just smile and nod and do things their way. Plus, your Russian lovely might actually be impressed on the respect you give her nana.
If you need to go back, look into the mirror before you leave.
If you need to go back inside the house for your phone or your hat, make sure you look in the mirror before you leave the house. This is something that has been done for generations and is an honored tradition/superstition. To make sure you don’t offend your host family, especially nana Babushki, make sure you look in the mirror before you leave. Don’t worry, most Russian homes have a mirror near the door for this particular use.