Ideal Woman – how Russian men see her

Published August 1, 2008 by axinia

Source: infografika RIA Novosti 

The new study on the Ideal (Russian) Woman has been done in Mai 2008 by the analytical center of SuperJob.ru. Representative number of Russian man gave thier opinion on the female ideal. Interestingly a strong differentiation has been found between a wife and a girlfriend. The grafic shows the results in Russian, I will make a short English summary here:

Intellect (important: she should not show it off, but manipulate indirectly, in order not to hurt the man): girlfriend – 46%, wife – 29%

Looks (important: form of fingers and toes, nails, skin, hair, breast form, figure, lips, eyes, nose): girlfriend – 38%, wife -21%

Femininity (important: “she must be a woman, and not an ashtray in trousers”): girlfriend -12%, wife -5%

Understanding: girlfriend -5%, wife -9%

Kindness: girlfriend -20%, wife -14%

Patience: girlfriend -9%, wife -12%

Ability to love: girlfriend -5%, wife -17%

motherly instincts: girlfriend -5%, wife-7%

faithfulness (important – without jealousy): girlfriend -16%, wife-20%

housewife qualities (important: “she should cook like a Chinese cook”): girlfriend -9%, wife -20%

18% of men were rather puzzled by the question about the Ideal Woman. Their reaction was: “Love is the most important thing, for we anyway do not understand, what we actually love our women for.”

The results show, that female ideal of a Russian man should first of all be intelligent and beautiful, then kind and able to love. Status differences: a girlfriend should be more kind and charming, while a wife should be more patient, loving and faithful – and cook well :)

I personally find the study results quite apt – the percentage given to the core values not only reflects the expectations on the Russian man about their women, but also explains well why Russian women are actually as they are (see my other post “What is so special about Russian Women?”).

LOVE; axinia

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29 comments on “Ideal Woman – how Russian men see her

  • I think an interesting quote I once read was by John Lennon talking about his Yoko Ono. When asked about their love, he said something like, “I always treated her more like a girlfriend than a wife.”

  • Bad Karma,
    interesting input, thanks!
    I have an experience of being both – a girlfriend and a wife. And if you want my conclusion:
    a wife can be (and should be!) everything – a friend, a lover, a mother, a sister, a girlfriend, a daughter, just any female role.
    a girlfreind can be anything but she can not be a wife. Something essential is missing.

  • GL,
    you surprises me – do you mean your perspective if different? Another question – why dont you sart such a survery on your blog? – that would be sooooo much intresting…please! :)

  • The results of this survey make me uncomfortable, as a woman. For example a man would prefer intelligence in a girl-friend, not their wife? And more men want a wife to be patient and understanding as compared to their girl-friend? And they would like to marry someone who would cook well? I think all this reeks of double standards, sorry Axinia.

  • you are right, Nita, but that is what they say…This is how the Russian men are.
    At least it was honest of them.
    As you may have noticed, I was nowhere prasing Russian man :)

  • I don’t get this. What this about ‘girl friend’ and ‘wife’ being different entities. I thought wife is official girl-friend. I mean why would anybody hang around with someone when you know she cannot be your wife??

    I thought Russians were quite conservative. Mistake.

  • “I mean why would anybody hang around with someone when you know she cannot be your wife??” – my friend, this is VERY common in the West :))
    I have my personal experience in that too :(
    You see, in the West people are looking for love, and ideally for love-marriage. The only problem is love along is not enough for a happy marriage!!!!!!! There are so many other factors that play the role here…So when people start dating and then living together, it is mostly for the love reason. But then they see that love is not enough, that they will not make a happy marriage with each other. Then they part or-mostly-keep living together, hoping to meet Mr./Ms RIght and then switch to him/her. That is the brutal reality…
    So a man can have a girl-firend and still hope to marry somebody more suitable for a wife role. There is a joke which goes “why men prefer blod girls and marry brunettes? Because preffering and marring is not the same!”.
    I have innumorous exaples from what I see around, in any country I lived so far.

  • Ухххххххххххх емае. Женщина должна предже всего оставаться сама собой, как уж её приняли и полюбили. А что там в ней видеть хотят, то и будут видеть, если любят!

  • so as per my understanding these women behave and are what they are firstly because of the image the men have of them? or because of the image themselves as women have of themselves? are the women in Russia very attached to everything a man say about them? after reading, this article inspired me these questions. CheerS! r

  • hy.!
    i live in ontario ..i have recently met a russian man that lives in ontario with his wife .
    he says that they have an open sexual relationship …
    which is good for me cuz i get along realy good with him .
    are russian men know to have girlfriends ..
    and how could you love someone ..and make love to another
    are is it not love are just the ideal of having a woman ..that the russian men like
    if you have any opinion on this please let me know
    thanks …

    • annette, what you describe seem to be rather atypical for a Russian man. I guess that is the “western” influence upon him. IN Russia, even if men have a liason ouside of marrige, they try to hide it and never tell thier wives about it!!

  • hi!

    i am a black american but fairly conservative when it comes to relationships….my boyfriend is russian and so far he has been very gentlemanly and treats me with respect (which is very very rare in america) and for him all he asks of me is to try new things and understand his family dynamics(i am happy to oblige). we have a lot of fun and he smiles and blushes fairly often lol not at all the “russian” of the ‘Rocky’ movies lol. but i will end with this….the first thing he told my friend after meeting me was “wow she is so smart and pretty too, think she would want a relationship with a white guy?” sooo boom blow that study out the window haha. =D

  • Hi Axinia,

    Very nice post, keep the spirit, high. It is very informative and helpful.

    But, if you can suggest me will be great.

    “We happily married, she will soon be issued immigration to India. But, I feeling resistance from my mother in law, persistently :-/ How to deal ? As it is affecting our relationship, seriously !”

    Thanks

    Dev

  • “Love is the most important thing, for we anyway do not understand, what we actually love our women for.”

    I liked that part most of all.

    The only thing I want in any partner of mine is that they are expressing who they really are at the highest level – and are compatible with me.

    For the rest of the things I am so flexible – I just love to love! :D

    Love and light

    Andrew

  • I find the responses from the Russian men pretty much the same for the U.S.A. men as well. If the man takes an analytical look at what kind of relationship he wants, casual or family oriented, then the wise man will look at all the facets that will work for him personally. Too often the man has not given much thought to this. He does not make choices according to this plan. If your need to have a strong and happy family then certain criteria may have to be re-evaluated. Such as, beauty. Other criteria would not change,for example, patience. Let’s face it, men are programmed to procreate. Nature has given them a guideline as to what gets them there. Unfortunately, women are nest builders, and this a constant conflict between the sexes. So in my opinion, a man must know spiritually what makes him complete in a relationship. In other words he must know himself.

  • This is an interesting study, but from personal experience, I think some of those things are not necessarily like in real life. Intelligence, for one, seems to be quite important to men… :))

  • I’m latina from Colombia, to be more specific. I like a russian man but I don’t know what to do. A friend of mine who is also his friend told me that he is a little selective with girls and doesn’t have an ideal of woman yet. How could I know if I’m the right one? I’m 1.71 m tall, with long black hair and big brown eyes, personally talking i’m funny, i like to listen to all people and i’m good friend…should i use this “qualities” as my weapons or should i give up?

    btw: he is 1.90 m tall and he has blue eyes and brown hair…(he is so handsome…:D)

  • Russian men are idiots. This survey explains why people are going out with one girl for years and then marry a completely different person in the end. In my opinion, those funny expectations shoud be either lowered, or blended together. A girlfriend in Russia is someone you have sex with, a wife is someone who cooks for you and raises your kids. I am sorry, but there is nothing spiritual in a married life for your average Russian. It’s enough to read some of women’s forums to see the picture – most common reasons to get married for women are security, money, the wish to control their men (“with a stamp in the passport he won’t cheat so much and won’t be able to go away whenever he pleases”), acquiring a certain social status. I am quite sure the male reasons to get married are pretty much the same. However, it is my belief that, if a relationship doesn’t function before the marriage, a stamp in the passport changes nothing. If people treat each other like objects, dedicated for satisfying some personal needs, no good marriage will come out of it. And this separation of women into “girlfriend” and “wife”, sadly, shows me that, unless people stop seeing each others as instruments for self-pleasing, there will be high divorce rates and many unhappy couples.

  • Russian men are idiots. This survey explains why people are going out with one girl for years and then marry a completely different person in the end. In my opinion, those funny expectations shoud be either lowered, or blended together. A girlfriend in Russia is someone you have sex with, a wife is someone who cooks for you and raises your kids. I am sorry, but there is nothing spiritual in a married life for your average Russian. It’s enough to read some of women’s forums to see the picture – most common reasons to get married for women are security, money, the wish to control their men (“with a stamp in the passport he won’t cheat so much and won’t be able to go away whenever he pleases”), acquiring a certain social status. I am quite sure the male reasons to get married are pretty much the same. However, it is my belief that, if a relationship doesn’t function before the marriage, a stamp in the passport changes nothing. If people treat each other like objects, dedicated for satisfying some personal needs, no good marriage will come out of it. And this separation of women into “girlfriend” and “wife”, sadly, shows me that, unless people stop seeing each others as instruments for self-pleasing, there will be high divorce rates and many unhappy couples.

  • Pheew, I am sorry, in the end of my post I made a lot of misprints. Probably because this topic really got to me and I was a little overwhelmed :)

  • “Love is the most important thing, for we anyway do not understand, what we actually love our women for.” This is actually the most honest thing any of them could have said.

    In psychology we learn that there is no such thing as preferences. Basically the theory suggests that we often rely on something called the ‘recognition heuristic’ – choosing the option that we recognize over the one we don’t. So if we have to predict which person will win a tennis match, for example, we’ll probably stick with someone if he’s a well-known name. We seem to have an innate preference for the familiar.

    While the recognition heuristic may allow us to make decisions quickly and efficiently, it may not always lead us down the best path. For example if you grew up with an abusive kind of situation, what’ll happen is that disrespectful, negative energy all too often becomes familiar territory in relationships as well. And then those elements will eventually breed ‘contempt’. I feel like decision makers will have to learn in which particular environments the feeling of familiarity will guide us to frugal decisions. Only when we realize that some of our choices are related to the feeling of familiarity, we might be able to develop a critical distance to this kind of ‘gut’ feeling.

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