Guide to online dating for guys

This is a world of dating agencies, psychologists, therapists, etiquette training and self-help courses, all geared towards the question of where to meet and how to keep foreign lovers.

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Tatyana, a good-looking blonde, leans across the table. It is Saturday evening and we are nearing the end of a foreign-friendly speed dating session in a central Moscow restaurant.

The subject of her advances, a British Moscow Times business reporter, blushes with embarrassment.

As the economic motivation to search for a partner abroad has weakened, most of the reasons for looking beyond Russia's borders are cultural, says dating coach and English teacher Svetlana Tolstykh, 40.

Tolstykh, whose agency "Here I Am" helps Russian women establish relationships with European men, said most of her clients were "mature" women who had already gone through a divorce or had been disappointed by their relationships with their fellow countrymen.

Britain and the United States also featured on the list.

Galina Ponomaryova, 63, has been a dating coach for 15 years.

She said they are also more emancipated — willing to take on household chores and take up an active role in raising children — and that they were softer in their communication.

But among younger Russian women, who did not experience life under the Soviet Union and are too young to be scarred by past experiences, foreign men have less cachet.

"You can just speak English and heads will turn," said Sean, 26, an English language teacher.

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