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Between book signings, I indulged my curiosity by interviewing Russian women and reading everything I could find online written about the plight of women in this beautiful and complex country.According to recent statistics, there are 11 million more women than men in Russia."Never ever tell a Russian man he's good-looking," she said, shaking her head."Men are already too cocky."Later, I asked Nina what it's like to date in her country.On the plane to Moscow, the flight attendant refilled our wine glasses, I stared out the dark airplane window and thought about my divorce, my beleaguered heart, and the endless dating hamster wheel.Though I had recently begun seeing someone exclusively, I still had fears, and even more questions."Maybe Russian women have it all figured out?I asked Claire, my most adventurous girlfriend, to tag along.
An hour later, when we stepped off the plane in Moscow, Anna, the head of marketing for my Russian publisher, greeted me with flowers.
As a culture, we believe in happy endings, in soulmates, in the idea of love completing us, making us whole.
In America, we're Romance Pollyannas of sort; and being single somehow feels shameful, the quest for love exhaustively ever-present.
While I have a few girlfriends who have sworn off men for short periods of time (even Taylor Swift reportedly was on a break from dating, though I think I may have just spotted a tabloid pic of her snuggling with a bad-boy DJ—sigh), and I've had my share of I'm-done-with-men-moments in past months, I'd never encountered anything like this.
Women in Russia seemed to not only be at peace with singlehood, they actually seemed to unabashedly it.
Anna laughed as if she found my question quite unexpected and somewhat hilarious.