Good Manners in Russia
There is a set of rules for good manners which gentlemen in Russia should follow in order to impress a woman. However, what they consider good manners and how they actually treat a woman in Russia are sometimes two different things. Observing etiquette was a very important aspect in a relationship between a man and a woman in the tsarist Russia when ladies were wearing ball dresses almost all the time and men were fighting duels to protect their honor. But now the situation is completely different, and even though the rules and etiquette remained in people's everyday life, using them is very individual and depends on men's education and upbringing. Here are some pretty basic rules which any well-mannered man should follow.
In Russia you should open the door for your lady, help her take her coat off or put it on, and let her lean on your shoulder if necessary. The lady will be delighted if you offer her to zip her boots. Opening and closing the door of your car is a indication of good manners too.
Since they often use public transportation in Russia, you should also remember some tips for that. The man should always pay in the bus before his lady opens her purse or tries to pay for herself. He should get out of the bus first and then give his lady a hand to lean on it and get out of the bus after him.
Ladies in Russia often wear high-heeled shoes, so getting out of the bus or simply walking in winter is hard when the streets are covered with ice and snow. That is why when accompanied by a girl on high heels you should ask your lady to take you by your arm before your lady slips away!
Since not many housewives in Russia have their own cars, it is quite common to see women carrying very heavy bags home while their men are at work, or when they themselves return from work. If you go shopping with your girl, it is absolutely a must to carry her heavy shopping bags. If you see an old person carrying a heavy bag, you may offer to carry the bag, but don't be surprised if they refuse just out of prudence.
When gathering at a dinner party, men should wait for women to sit at a dinner table first. Helping arrange the table or at least offering your help is also an indication of good manners.