Internet dating today is one of the most lucrative markets. A reported 20% of relationships now begin online.  There is no longer a social stigma in finding your life partner through the personal columns of a magazine, or more likely, on your laptop. In fact, everybody’s doing it. You don’t even have to look locally, as the Internet now means the only barrier between you and fellow singletons is the time difference between your countries. Russian women are particularly sought after on international dating sites. They have exotic looks, enthusiasm, and they are seeking a life outside their native country, which is something a good number of foreign men are happy to oblige.  A dramatic increase in the numbers of Russian women dating foreigners online came about after the fall of the USSR in the mid 1990’s. Females outnumber the male population there, but apparently that’s not the only reason for these ladies looking elsewhere for love. Olga Campbell writes in her article ‘About Russian Men’, that the reason they started to look further afield for a mate, was the tremendous impact their history had on shaping Russian male attitudes. Through the abject repression the nation suffered, she believes the women developed resilience and fortitude, whereas the men became bitter, immature, and unappreciative of their female counterparts. Olga herself is Russian, and now resides in Ottawa with a Canadian husband.

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With President Putin taking charge in 2000, there was actually a drop in Russian women applying to the international dating sites. Possibly believing in a new positive future for the country, many women thought that maybe this wasn’t the time to be marrying abroad. Whatever the reasons behind the drop in numbers, 2008 saw a resurgence that has increased annually. Maybe this time it was caused by the opportunities now seen in the media, and the freedoms enjoyed by women in other countries.

European dating sites are many and varied. One of the most popular and well-reputed sites is It boasts a massive four million users and specializes in introducing men of all nations to Russian women. They organize “Romance Tours,” where gentlemen travel to the Ukraine and participate in a social event with the women on the website. They hold a six hour party which includes a beauty pageant, singing, dancing, introduction and chatting with the ladies, and even, at one event, a Guinness World Record attempt at “the most kisses in one minute.” Last year, Anastasiadates’ website apparently enjoyed a 220% increase in its internet traffic. is a site set up by men versed in the ways of international dating online and includes reviews of all the various agencies, and relevant blogs of good and bad experiences. Read their guide for tips and pitfalls.

It’s quite easy to see why men overseas are looking for love with Russian ladies. Scan the sites and you’ll find beautiful young women, apparently untouched by feminism, looking for a better opportunity in a different country. These women need to be careful in their choices, especially if that choice has been determined by circumstance instead of a genuine search for a loving relationship. If you are that lovelorn gentleman who is looking for a gorgeous woman to respect and cherish, the woman of your dreams may be just a mouse-click away. But take the advice of Olga Campbell at Russian Women Magazine, and go easy on the vodka.

Alex Vidal