In the civilized world, some topics are not advisable to discuss on a first date. The same topics in modern Moscow are, in my opinion, more than worthy of a discussion not just on a first date, but even before the meeting so as not to waste your time…
*I apologize in advance to all the couples who consider themselves to be exceptions by one point or another. May you live happily ever after 😉
For the life of me, I don’t believe in couples that try to mix political affiliations, such as one Republican and one Democrat. Tried that–didn’t work.
Given that we are living in a keenly political context and that the Moscow air is impregnated with xenophobia and contempt for the ‘enemy’, I find it more than logical to check out these important points while being on the shore of a relationship, before diving into the ocean. Because even going on the first date doesn’t make any sense if you, for example, suffer from “Europeanization of the brain,” and your potential satellite is a hardcore “Vatnik”.
In recent years, I personally witnessed a friendship collapse, some nice couples break up and some difficult family quarrels due to political arguments.
I truly believe that with living in Russia nowadays, you just have to synchronize your ‘civic activity mechanism’ with your partners and friends, or just keep calm and shut up.
What country does Crimea belong to? Is Putin a crab or not? Is Turkey a badass or not? Did or didn’t we shoot down the Boeing over Donetsk? Is America the enemy or not?–These and many other topical political issues, that may not even have definitive answers, can and will affect relationships.
The fairytale of the ‘Republican and Democrat’, probably could be realized somewhere, but not Moscow, unfortunately.
Everyone has noticed people streaming into churches and Orthodox activists streaming into museums and theaters recently, right? Everyone has noticed how the Russian Orthodox Church became one of the main newsmakers, right? Everyone remembers the Blasphemy law, right? If so, then I don’t need to explain the importance of the “religiousness” (not faith) factor. If you consider Vadim Sidur’s art to be blasphemous and your potential satellite considers the patriarch’s Rolex just as blasphemous–please, don’t even try.
Yes, that too. Tolerance of sexual minorities is the same issue for modern Russians as hooray-patriotism, Crimea-is-ours stuff, and such. Haven’t faced it?–Lucky you.
But if you are homophobic and your companion is one who paints his/her profile pics with rainbow colors in support of homosexual marriages… If you follow Aydian Dowling or Conchita Wurst on Instagram because of their aesthetics while your potential partner gets heartburn just from the words “transgender aesthetics”… If you are a so-called dedicated tolerant, and your companion is an adept of spiritual ties… then I sincerely recommend you save your time and money for a more fitting candidate.
Feminism in Russia is growing stronger, especially among the younger generation of women. Are men’s beliefs in gender equality growing stronger?–That’s the real question. Among my friends, there are unbearable retrogrades in regards to the patriarchal mentality, dedicated pre-modernists, feminists, trendy “I-like-self-sufficient-women” youths, and some dominants by birth.
So in my opinion, the question of patriarchy, or rather your attitude towards it (given the Russian world)– is one of the critical things that can and will affect relationships, if your “acceptance mechanisms” are not synchronized. Simply put, if you see the happiness in the nourishment from borscht and a large family with many children, then why would you waste your time on a woman that perceives the word “borscht” as a euphemism for exploitation?
That’s just it.