After World War II ended, American soldiers began returning home with “war brides,” women they’d met in England, France or Italy who they had fallen in love with and married. It wasn’t until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that American men began to look to Russia for a chance at romance.
There is something alluring about Russian women that appeals to American and European men. Beauty is obviously one major factor. In recent years, a bevy of Russian women professional tennis players entered the international stage led by Anna Kournikova. Blessed with movie-star looks, the leggy Russian blonde with a million-dollar smile had male tennis fans drooling everywhere she went and helped put a new face on the stereotyped women from the old Soviet Union era.
AnastasiaDate is one of the first Russian dating services that shed the bad image many of the early dating companies had created and established a reputation for honesty and productive results. An American man and Russian woman, Elena and David Besuden, founded the company in 1993. Their marriage was an example of a successful match made through a catalog introduction. However, even though it worked for them, they instinctively knew there had to be a better way than the traditional catalogue filled with mug shots of attractive Russian women looking for romance.
They decided to call their new company AnastasiaDate in honor of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. The youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, Anastasia’s tragic death at the young age of seventeen had made her a role model for young Russian women. They launched AnastasiaDate in 1997 as an online lonely hearts and romance-matching website. It was such a hit that by 2003, AnastasiaDate.com had expanded globally.
Russian dating companies are good for the Russian economy. The online dating industry generates millions of dollars in airline tickets, hotels stays, meals, cab fares, hired interpreters and presents purchased for the ladies being wooed. Each male client adds thousands of dollars to the economy of a region where the GNP per citizens is less than $7,000 a year. It’s no wonder these dating excursions are encouraged by the federal Russian government and welcomed with open arms by local communities.
Before legitimate dating services like AnastasiaDate came along, the mantra in the dating industry was, “the perfect bride is the one who never goes to the marriage altar.” Today, failure to produce a successful match between a foreign man and a Russian woman that ends in a long-term relationship is considered bad business. Thanks to social media and instant feedback, good or bad, the old practice of luring a man to Russia for romance with no chance for a possible match is, for the most part, a thing of the past.