The 5 Best Dating Sites in Russia (What I Learned)

russian_woman

A Russian woman

Here is the quick list of my top five dating sites in Russia. I’ll go into more detail in my reviews later in this article.

  1. Russiancupid.com
  2. Mamba.ru
  3. Loveplanet.ru
  4. Dating.ru
  5. Badoo

In addition to the dating sites above, you also have Tinder, the popular dating app for your smartphone. If you open up Tinder in one of the bigger cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg, you will find a whole bunch of members on there.

The only reason why Tinder didn’t make my list is because I don’t believe it is the most efficient way to get started dating in Russia. Because it is so easy to swipe right and swipe left to express your interest/decline your interest, I found that I had to spend a lot of time trying to work through all the noise and potential scammers. And boy does it takes an enormous amount of work and time to sift through the noise.

In my experience with Tinder, there are a lot of women who seem to be on there for no other reason than to get their ego stroked. If you’re interested in finding someone who is serious about dating, start with the dating sites. Then, if you run out of options, open up your smartphone and check out Tinder.

By the way, if you speak some Russian (speaking Russian is a HUGE advantage as many women don’t speak English), have some decent conversation skills and a tremendous work ethic, your odds of success will be significantly higher. The more Russian you know, the better.

Also, if you are in a big city like Moscow and Saint Petersburg, you will have an enormous pool of singles from which to choose. Trying to date in one of the small towns via online dating or via an app like Tinder will be very frustrating due to the small dating pool.

Russian beauty is legendary. In fact, some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen have been from Russia. And while I tend to prefer the looks of Latin women (Brazil, Colombia, etc.), I have to make an exception for Russia. Rest assured, when you sign up for one of these dating sites, you will see a number of stunningly attractive women.

Should you decide to sign up for the online dating sites I recommend below, be sure to read member profiles carefully as you might come across a lot of fake profiles. Usually, you will be able to spot these profiles pretty easily. For example, if you see a woman who has only one picture posted, is wearing a skin-tight bikini and making an overly suggestive pose, I recommend you steer clear. Another clue of a pretender is a woman who has a profile that is full of basic grammatical errors.

Miss Russia 2008 - Ksenia Sukhinova

Russian Model – Ksenia Sukhinova (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Without further ado, here are my detailed reviews of the top five dating sites in Russia.

1. RussianCupid.com

Russiancupid.com (also known as RussianCupid) is by far the best online dating site in Russia. As is the case with pretty much all sites run by Cupid Media, it rocks! I was a long time member of one of the sister sites of Russiancupid.com, Afrointroductions.com, while I was living in both Mauritius and South Africa as an expatriate.

russian_cupid

Russian Cupid

A search for women living in Moscow between 18 and 35 years old who have been active on the site within the last 3 months will typically turn up more than 1000 profiles. St. Petersburg has a lot of RussianCupid members as well.

RussianCupid used to be known as RussianEuro.com but was gobbled up by the Cupid Media Network and given a re-haul. It now sports the same elegant website design as the other Cupid Media sites, as well as the same strong features, including video/audio chat (for premium members) and effective anti-spam measures, such as profile ID verification. If you’re looking for some Eastern European love, RussianCupid is the site for you.

Sign up Process

The sign-up process is super easy. You answer some basic questions about yourself, write a little bio and state what you’re interested in.

Once you upload a photo of yourself, you are good to go…no long tedious 100-question personality test. It took me less than five minutes to sign up.

There are only a few fields to fill out, far less than a normal dating site. You can use your Facebook account to sign up for an account and also to upload your photos. There is nothing mandatory where you have to upload a photo, but it does give you a better chance at being looked at.

How to Locate Potential Matches

Once you’ve signed up, you can find what you’re looking for by using the search function. You can filter out your results and search for either Russian girls or Russian women. Everyone on the site is legal age, which makes the two different categories odd since you will find 40-year olds label themselves as Russian girls and 20-year olds call themselves women.

Russian Cupid has an algorithm that matches you up with someone who has similar interests as you. These matches will be shown on the front page when you sign in.

The profiles are quite detailed, and all members can look at others’ photos, regardless of whether they paid for a membership or not. The profiles also go into detail about the member’s characteristics and also lets you know if you match up with them by displaying a green dot.

How to Communicate with Other Members

Once you’ve found someone you’re interested in, you can click that you’re interested in them to let them know you caught their eye, or you can just go straight for the score and send a message.

You can only send a message if you’re a member, and they can only read your message if they’re a member, so keep that in mind. There are a bunch of pre-made messages you can send your interest, such as “Love at first sight”, “I like your profile” and “I’m interested in you.”

Unique Site Features

RussianCupid’s detailed, in-depth profiles are one of its best features. It will take some time to fully fill it out, but it will be time well-spent. These detailed profiles contribute to the accuracy of RussianCupid’s recommended matches.

I also like Cupid Tags, which are tags that describe yourself for other members to see. You can tag yourself with your interests and characteristics, and others who have tagged themselves with similar answers will match up with you. These tags could include movies, music, interests, etc.

There is also a verified badge which you can receive on your profile once Russian Cupid has verified you’re real.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Standard – Create account, fill out profile, upload photos, specify ideal match, browse ideal match recommendations, search profiles, send interest, communicate with premium members
  • Gold – All of the above, plus: Communicate with all members, audio/video chat, Instant Messaging, ad-free browsing, anonymous browsing
  • Platinum – All of the above, plus: Better ranking in searches, VIP profile highlighting, extra profile space, access to advanced matching algorithms, message translation, extended search capabilities.

The Numbers Game of Dating

As I mention in my online dating e-book, just like the real world, there will be men or women who you will not click with or who don’t respond to your messages (or just disappear). There will be men or women who might only be interested in helping you to part with your hard-earned cash. That is life.

Just keep sending out messages and reach out until you find the person you are looking for and get success. As is typical with online dating, expect a response rate of around 1-10% depending on how good your profile is. (response rate = people who will respond back to you to whom you sent an introduction message).

2. Mamba.ru

Mamba.ru

Mamba.ru

Mamba.ru is a dating site dedicated to those who speak Russian. The site is one of the biggest of its kind with over 23 million users. Mamba.ru has been around quite some time, and its experience in the game shows with a user friendly interface that is packed with useful features that don’t overwhelm the user.

Overall, the site is great but only useful for those who speak Russian and/or plan to be in Russia soon. Most of the people on the site do not speak English and are not interested in traveling to meet their matches.

Sign Up Process

Signing up for Mamba.ru is pretty basic. You can link to one of your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, or Vkontakte), or you can enter your email address, full name, location, birthday, gender, and what gender you are looking to meet. Once this is done, you are an official member, but you must activate your account through a text code before you can search other members or be searched.

How to Locate Potential Matches

There are a lot of criteria you can use when searching through the profiles to narrow down the results, including location, age, new members, and even how active a member is. Once you have filtered your specific criteria, you are presented with a list of profiles.

The personal ads on the site are categorized into 5 different groups: males looking for other males, males looking for females, females looking for males, females looking for females, and dating for couples.

Each of these groups has subcategories like romantic/serious relationship, traveling together, virtual conversations, and sex.

Most of the ads are fairly typical. They generally say things like “nice looking guy searching for a girl to entertain me,” or state that the user is moving to a new location and is searching for friends. These ads do not include pictures or profile information, which seems like something the site could improve upon.

When searching, you are given the option to view the top 100 members of Mamba.ru and can vote for them by choosing “I like” or “Skip”. If you like a profile, they are sent your photo, and you have the option of choosing that they like you back, at which point you will be notified and can begin chatting with a potential match.

At the bottom of each profile is a section of similar profiles under the “Might Interest You” header. If you find a profile you like, these might also suit your search criteria.

How to Communicate With Other Members

When you find a potential match, you’ll find you have a few good options to get in touch with them. You can send a virtual gift, send a text only message, or upgrade your match to VIP status. If you haven’t yet found someone you feel is a good match, you can always post your own personal ad and see who finds you.

The site also includes a question and answer forum where you can post topics or comment on others posts. Some posts are all in fun (If you could go back in time for just one day, where would you go and why?), and some are more serious topics.

All the posts can be filtered by country, age, and gender of the posters for your convenience.

Unique Site Features

What really stood out on this site was the Travel Buddies search. You can search through a list of posted trips that users will be taking and search specific things including gender, mixed group, family, where you are traveling, why you are going, the country, and the time of your trip. You can also post your own trip to find a buddy to go with you.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Standard – Create a profile, search for members, visit profiles
  • Premium – Advanced search options, highlighted profile in search results

3. LovePlanet.ru

loveplanet

LovePlanet

LovePlanet.ru is a third option for online dating in Russia. It’s not as good as the two options above, but it has a lot of members.

LovePlanet.ru is a Russian “freemium” dating site: mostly free to use, with some premium features available. LovePlanet was started in 2005 and is one of the largest dating sites for Russian speakers, with around 18.5 million members.

At any given time when you enter the site, you will see over 50,000 members online.

Most of LovePlanet’s users are in Russia (mainly St. Petersburg), but there are many outside of Russia as well, in countries like Ukraine and Belorussia.

Neither the features on this site nor the website itself wowed me in any way. LovePlanet is a solid, but standard, dating site, with a massive amount of members, scattered across the globe. In that respect, it’s worth checking out.

Sign up Process

Searching and browsing profiles is available right away, before even registering for the site. To look at photos or contact members in any way will require a sign-up however.

Signing up is a breeze, requiring only your email, password, name, gender, birthday, location and what you’re looking for on the site. Upload photos if you wish, confirm a verification email, and then you’re free to explore the site.

You can fill out more of your profile at your leisure, writing about your interests, what kind of person you’re looking for, and various details of your life and lifestyle. To fully activate your account (achieving “Live Status”), you need to verify your profile by phone or through your Facebook, VKontakte or Odnoklassniki account.

Once you’ve done so, your profile will show in searches, and you can talk to other Live users, comment on photos and update your journal.

How to Locate Potential Matches

The match location features on LovePlanet are pretty basic, with only two search features available, and no matching system provided. Basic searches can be filtered by age, gender, location, site intent (sex, Friendship/correspondence, romantic relationship, start a family and sex), and users that are new, online, or near you.

Advanced searches include 4 more filter options: common interests, and three choices between many different options, such as height, education, income and known languages.

How to Communicate with Other Members

Communication between matches includes Liking, sending virtual gifts, sending a message (text only), adding to favorites, and commenting on photos. IM chat is also available when both users are online.

One unique chat option on the site is Anonymous Chats where you can select a spot anywhere on the globe, see which chats are live in the area, and join in on the conversation. These don’t particularly contribute to your finding a match or successfully scheduling a date in any way, but they are fun to play with.

Unique Site Features

Each profile on LovePlanet includes a Journal, which can only be updated by Live Status members. These journals are free-form opportunities for sharing your thoughts and expressing yourself on the site.

What’s unique about these journals is that other members can subscribe to them. You can even search through the most up-to-date journals and the most read men’s and women’s journals.

Some of the top-read journals on the site had thousands of subscribers. You can filter journals by location, and search through journal posts by specific tags, such as Quotations, About Life, Zodiac and Humor.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Free – Create a profile, search/browse/view profiles, limited communication
  • Premium – Ad-free browsing, unlimited communication, see who Likes you, invisible browsing, message filtering
  • Boost – Your profile is shown at the top of the screen for increased exposure

4. Dating.ru

dating_ru

Dating.ru

Dating.ru is one of Russia’s biggest dating websites, with over 2.7 million users. It was launched way back in 1999, and its website unfortunately looks the part.

Overall, Dating.ru’s features are pretty standard, but for the fact that all communication features are available to free members, even video chat. That fact, coupled with the massive user base, leads me to recommend this site to anyone who speaks Russian or will be in Russia. If you don’t speak the language or live there however, it will be difficult to find much success on this site, as not many of the users speak English, and there is no English support for the site.

Sign up Process

To sign up, enter your email, password, page address (e.g. entering “sasha” will make your profile’s URL “dating.ru/sasha/”), name, birthday, gender, location and match gender. Follow the link in a verification email, and you are now free to use the site.

To complete your profile, upload photos, fill in text boxes with information about yourself (About Me) and your ideal match, interests, sexual preferences and your car. Not sure why your car deserves its own text box, but there you go. You can also upload videos, or send them to Dating.ru from your phone via text message (SMS as they say in Europe).

To fully complete your profile and show up in search results, you’ll have to verify your cell phone number.

How to Locate Potential Matches

A gallery of profiles at the top of the screen is available to browse anywhere on the site. To browse other profiles and create searches, click one of the numbers next to “Total:”, “New Users:” or “Now Online:” near the top of the screen.

Once at one of these pages, you can filter by gender, age-range, location, photo/video status and online status.

Once you upgrade to a VIP membership, you can also perform a more detailed “Extended” search, which lets you filter further by reason for joining the site (many options here: friendship, group sex, fictitious marriage, etc.), hobbies, family status, appearance, drinking/smoking/drug habits, financial situation, and sexual preferences (including, among other things, fetishes and “size of the member”).

How to Communicate with Other Members

It was a pleasant surprise to see that all of Dating.ru’s communication features are available to non-paying members, even video calls.

To start, you can spend some Dating.ru “coins” to send a “compliment”, choosing between different little images of hearts, flowers, animals, etc.

You can also add a profile to your favorites or give them VIP-status as a gift. Once you actually want to talk to someone, you can send a text message or initiate a video call. The other user will be notified of an incoming call and can obviously choose whether or not to accept it.

Unique Site Features

VIP members can access, install and use the Dating.ru “Agent”. This is an application you can install on your computer for quick and easy access to notifications from the site. Once installed, a little icon will rest in your taskbar, on the lower-right hand corner of your screen. This way you can easily see when new messages come in or when someone has favorited you or sent you a compliment.

With the Agent installed, you’ll also show up automatically as “Online” on Dating.ru whenever your computer is on. While this is a helpful feature, it feels a bit dated, as there are many sites these days which provide notifications just like this through Google Chrome, with no need to install a separate program.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Free – Create a profile, upload photos and videos, search/browse members, view limited profiles, send compliments and messages, start video calls
  • VIP – Invisible browsing, view user videos and full-size photos, highlighted profile in search results, advanced search options

5. Badoo.com

Badoo is a huge dating site launched in 2006. It is a good last option for Russia.

A friend of mine actually found his wife on Badoo, so you can definitely get success on this site/app. Their business model is “freemium”, which means that it is free to sign up, but you have to pay for upgraded features.

The reason I like Badoo is that it operates in over 180 countries, so if you are a frequent traveler like I am, it comes in handy.

Badoo Russia

Badoo Russia

How to Get Started Dating in Russia

To get started, sign up for one of the dating sites above. If you need help finding out what to write for your first message, how to set up a profile, and what to say to move the communication from online to offline, check out my ebook, Online Dating Success: How to Find Love Anywhere in the World. In the book, I give my recommendations for what to write for your initial and follow up messages and when to ask the woman/man you’re interested in to go offline for a date, and more.

One final piece of advice…Be patient. As with everything in life, good things take time, and dating in Russia is no exception. Try to learn as much Russian as you can and read up a bit on the culture so that you can increase your success rate. Good luck!

Further Reading

  • Worldwide Online Dating Site Reviews: Be sure to check out my country-by-country reviews of the best online dating sites in the world.

  • Worldwide Moving Guide: Everything you need to know in order to plan your move to 65+ countries around the world.

  • Worldwide Jobs Guide: If you are interested in working in this country, be sure to check out my posts on how to find jobs in this country and other countries around the world.

  • Worldwide Apartments Guide: If you are interested in renting an apartment in another country, take a look at my articles on how to find an apartment in various countries around the world.

About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. You can learn more about me here. Connect with me by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or check out my website Automatic Addison where I build robots and embedded systems.

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