"Barbie doll time is over." Revelations of the heads of marriage agencies in Russia

MOSCOW, December 31. Marriage agencies still exist in the era of online dating sites. Here, women are promised to meet men of the "high caste" and foreigners are particularly sought after. If the potential couple does not speak the same language, the agency organizes the communication through an interpreter. The fees of modern matchmakers can amount to hundreds of thousands of rubles. For example, the "result-oriented" contract, which ends when the client creates a couple in a company, costs 320,000 rubles. Who and why uses such services, what we offer.

"To be on an equal footing".

Anna Kaisler has been living with a young man in Austria for two and a half years, whereas a few years ago she didn't even know German (the country's official language). Anna is not hiding anything: she has been dreaming for a long time about having an affair with a foreigner.

"I've had relationships with Russians, but I was attracted to foreigners - not because there was a wild desire for a passport (I still don't have one), just because they are more interesting. A lot of guys my age are not interested in anything: they don't want to study or work, they have no plans for the near future. I have always tried to take courses, to develop myself. I needed a young man with whom we would be on an equal footing: I can't support a man, it's wrong. It's not about the country, it's about the people," she explains.

At first, Anna tried her luck with dating apps, but soon got tired of endless one-night stands and indecent photos. Then the girl turned to a marriage agency in Moscow - headed by Zhanna Zakharova, whom she had known before. "I traveled a lot, I met people in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, but it was quite difficult to start a relationship".
Her future suitor, the Austrian Christoph, did not speak Russian, Anna did not know German. A marriage agency arranged their first meeting: he, she and an interpreter.
"Now that I have moved to Austria, started studying, made new acquaintances, I can call myself a contact person. But then I was quite closed, the young man also turned out to be shy, and also a translator - it was difficult. I wondered where he was working and studying, the same thing he asked me. Then we adapted, we communicated through an online translator, we corresponded a lot, we liked each other quickly.

She is currently studying to become a translator and working part-time as a real estate agent and as a salesperson in a jewelry store. "My boyfriend can support me, but I want us to save together for some projects, the vacations. It's better for me - I've been working since I was 14, at 16 I was already ashamed to ask my father for money. I can't stay inactive".

"Foreigners are looking for girls in Russia.

According to the interviewee, she knows many people who are looking for wives in Russia. "European women devote a lot of time to work and study, they don't need anything else, they think about having a family closer to thirty-five years. I don't meet many beautiful and well-groomed women among them. It was a shock, for me, taking care of myself is the most important thing. And a man needs a woman who takes care of the house, let him come - and everything is prepared, clean, cleaned. Although I work and study, everything is so well distributed that there is enough time for my husband and for everyday life," - says Anna.

The Chinese buy foreign women. It's cheaper this way

Her lover's relationship with his fellow countrymen did not work out. He did not intend to take a Russian woman exclusively as his wife, but turned to a marriage agency because he was interested in such an experience. "A girl cheated on him for a long time, and he closed his eyes - I don't know why. The second one was, to say the least, strange: she wasn't paying attention to him, they started living together, but there was nothing but coldness," Kaysler says. macos/deepLFree.translatedWithDeepL.text


"In Europe, the feminist movement is developed, and men are eager to meet women from Russia or Ukraine. There is a stereotype that they are more malleable, warm and soulful," explains the director of the marriage agency Yulia Antonenko.

Yulia notes that about 20% of her clients come to meet foreigners. "As a general rule, in this case, a man commits to provide for his girlfriend or wife. We warn him immediately that he should be given at least a year or two to adjust. Foreigners are usually ready for that," says Antonenko.

"They are wary of such introductions.

Marriage agencies don't hide the fact that not all clients are welcome. For example, one organization says it does not work with men from CIS countries, but will publish profiles of beautiful girls under the age of 25 free of charge. They will refuse the alphonse, but will help future concubines - the latter, however, do not say so outright.

Zhanna Zakharova, a matrimonial agency manager, says she will not engage with members of sexual minorities, people with mental illnesses, and those who make unrealistic demands for a partner whose initial data is modest.
"If a man isn't very special on the outside, inside or financially, but wants a girl who looks like a model only, we explain that his wishes are inappropriate. If he agrees, we work, if not - we refuse," - says Yulia Antonenko.

In addition, Ms. Antonenko also stressed that she does not work with those returning from prison: "There have been cases where men with criminal records have applied, but the women are aware of this knowledge and we are not willing to take such a risk".

"It is difficult for a woman over 45 to find a partner."

Despite the large number of dating services on the web, the leaders of marriage agencies have no doubt that their services will be in great demand.
"People who come to us are in the mood for a serious relationship. At first, they visit dating sites - some are enough for a day, others for a month, but few of them find their soul mate there. It takes a lot of time: you have to go through millions of profiles, answer thousands of messages, filter out people who are not in the mood for a long-term relationship. In addition, these resources contain a lot of irrelevant information, fake photos, and look for fun people who are already married. As a result, few people make it to the real meeting. And we have a primary filter. It's very handy when only real profiles are displayed. For example, if a man is looking for a woman without children or, conversely, with a child, we can be sure that he will get true information" - says Mr. Antonenko.

According to his experience, there are more men among customers between the ages of 28 and 40. And in the fifth decade, women are more likely to come in to settle their affairs than members of the stronger sex, but they face difficulties.
"It's very difficult for a woman over 45 to find a date. Most men don't want to meet women of the same age. They look for a younger companion and find one," says Antonenko.

Marriage agencies usually work on the basis of a fixed-term contract, which is concluded for several months. "The result is not always up to us, it is important that clients listen to the recommendations. You don't just have to choose a person from a questionnaire, like in a store, but interest the person you are talking to. Of course, not all contracts end with an established relationship. In some contracts, the client pays us a portion of the amount if the result is achieved. As a rule, the result is considered to be one month of relationship," - explains Antonenko.
The Agency's specialists are used to all kinds of requests. "Somebody wants a woman of a pleasant fullness, somebody - only a gymnast or a ballerina. It's the same for ladies. Everyone is very different, it just seems that we all want the same thing. We say we want a family, a serious relationship, understanding, love and trust. But everyone gives these words a different meaning," said Zhanna.


She remembers the client's most "creative" request, which literally goes beyond common sense. "Once, a man came to us and brought five A4 sheets of small print with requirements for the chosen future - right down to the shape of his nails and ears, the length of his eyelashes. She also had to know Brodsky's poetry, know how to dance on spikes, play the guitar, read a map of the starry sky and sing. It's already an aberration in a way, we refused it," - Zakharova admits.

According to Antonenko and Zakharova, the majority of clients are not those looking for "luxury" encounters, but ordinary people tired of loneliness.

"They feel sick and bad, they have no one to lean on, no one to talk to, no one to share their problems with. Yes, they may have friends and comrades, but it's a little different. Many of them are in a fairly severe state of depression. However, all of them are united by the desire to change something in their lives, I think this is the most important thing", - emphasizes Zakharova.

In marriage agencies, you can not only get help in finding a groom or bride-to-be, but also psychologists, photographers, make-up artists.
"The accent is shifting."
Zhanna Zakharova says: from time to time she is approached by women "who are interested in men as vending machines". She does not refuse such customers, but today it is not as easy as it used to be to meet a rich man for such mercantile girls.

"Barbie's time is over. Today, men, even very rich men, are extremely seldom willing to engage in such a relationship, everyone is interested in the girl as a person. Yes, she has to be attractive and look good, but fortunately, the emphasis is on other qualities. As a general rule, the rich representatives of the upper sex make high demands on the potential elected official, to his or her knowledge and level of development. They want her to speak languages, to have a musical or choreographic background, to be interested in something other than cosmetics and salons. "I am so beautiful, and you have money, everything will be fine" - this plot has been difficult to put into practice for some time," Zhanna Zakharova sums up.