Good manners guide

DOs and DONTs when communicating with a Ukrainian or Russian woman.

You have probably heard that Russian and Ukrainian women are different from their American counterparts in that they are more family-oriented, and old-fashioned.  It is true, and while it is all so great, you should also account for different expectations she may have of how a gentleman should behave.  We get a lot of questions from our clients about what is the difference in culture, and so on, well there is one informative article on one of the aspects: the manners.

  • When you meet a lady you've been corresponding it is a good idea to present her a small gift (candies, flowers). It is meant to be done as a matter of politeness. Ukrainian woman will be touched by this. Flowers play a much more important role in Ukraine than they do in the West.
  • Do not shake hands with the lady whom you meet after long correspondence for the first time in real life, it is too formal, exchange some light gentle cheek kisses with her, don't kiss her in her forehead(funeral kiss). Also, in the winter, make sure you take off your right glove before you shake hands with a man.
  • Dress your best. Ukrainian citizens do not share the altruistic "looks aren't important" mentality that has spread through the West. First impressions are very important to them. You will notice that on the street, people will look first at your clothes, then at your face.
  • Don't give even number of flowers to woman, even number is for funeral ceremony. 3,7,9 are fine.
  • Offer your lady your arm. Usually, men and women do not hold hands in Ukraine when they walk together. Instead, the woman takes the man's arm. Be sure you always offer your arm to your lady when you cross the street. Help your lady onto/off of vehicles. Many Westerners are not accustomed to using public transportation systems and forget this courtesy. When the two of you get onto or off of buses, trams, taxis, etc., always extend your hand to help your lady.
  • Yellow roses are a symbol of separation. Think before buying a bouquet of those!
  • Always open the doors in front of the lady. Ladies first!
  • Being at bar, restaurant, cafe always pull the chair for lady to have a seat
  • You should be the one to serve food and drinks. Always do the pouring. When at dinner or at a bar, always make sure that your lady's glass is full. The man always does the pouring. This is an old custom but very deeply ingrained. If you forget to do this, she may think you have no table manners.
  • Don't drink much alcohol. One of the main reasons Ukrainian ladies are interested in Western men is that alcoholism runs as much as 50% among males in this part of the world, which causes them to be less than desirable husbands. Therefore, when it comes to drinking, you should always show moderation and self-control.
  • Always help your lady with her coat or jacket! Otherwise she will think you are impolite
  • Going to her parents don't go without a present. Present flowers for her mother!
  • Coming inside the house leave your shoes near the entrance even locals insist to keep your shoes on, Ukrainians usually wear slippers at home - do same!
  • Don't start emotional speeches about politics at first meeting, your lady will have a different viewpoint for sure, you will get in a fight :)
  •  New Year as Christmas  the main holiday in Ukraine. They have presents and Christmas tree for New Year.
  • Do not shake hands across the threshold of a door. Locals consider it as bad luck.
  • Do not whistle. There is saying here that you will not have money if you whistle.
  • Turning down food cooked by her may offend Ukraine woman, just try it and say you liked it!
  • Don't try to look like local man, be yourself!