A quick search in Google for an honest dating site for meeting Slavic women is likely to leave you skeptical if not frustrated. There's a plethora of sketchy datings sites that are so glitzy and even sleazy that it all feels too good to be true (and it almost always is).
But I'm excited today, because in this review we feature one of the few honest and reputable dating sites for meeting Russian speaking women overseas: Elena's models. The site is unique among its competitors because of its commitment to its users and its passion for honesty in the international dating world. But most importantly, it's a great site to meet real and genuine women.
More expensive than most international dating sites
A Higher quality of profiles than most sites.
Multilayered security that involves manual reviews as well as tracking algorithms.
Allows Direct Contact?
Elena's Models is a premium international dating site focused on connecting men in the west with women in the Russian speaking world.
The site is unique in that it attracts women to the site through its Russian language blog about international relationships. Elena's Models doesn't use a single agency to recruit women or fill their site with profiles. The site also uses a stringent security procedure for weeding out scammers and fake profiles.
All this equals an overall higher level of quality in Elena's Models' profiles. Women on this site are more likely to be real, sincere, and open to a long term international relationship.
The main drawback to the site is its price tag. It's more expensive than most international dating sites. However because of the service they provide many agree the price is warranted.
If you're intent on connecting with Russian speaking women from around the world, then Elena's Models is a great site to consider.
The Elena's Models origin story
In 1999 founder Elena Petrova, herself a Russian woman, began to blog about her experience being married to a foreigner. The Russian language website grew in popularity to the point that Elena decided to write and self-publish a book for Russian women about how to marry a foreigner.
The book was picked up and reviewed by Russian Cosmopolitan, and in a short time both the book and blog became immensely popular among Russian women interested in marrying abroad.
Knowing the interest of foreign men in dating Russian women, and seeing the popularity of her work in her own country, Elena connected the dots and Elena's Models was born.
Is Elena's Models right for you?
Elena's Models is an ideal dating site for a man seriously considering meeting a woman from the FSU. The majority of women on the site come from Russia and Ukraine, but there are also significant amounts of profiles from other countries such as Belarus, Moldova, and Kazakstan.
The site takes a lot of the guesswork out of connecting with women in Russia and many neighboring republics. Ultimately though it's squarely up to you to arrange the travel and actually meet a woman. While EM will provide a means to connect online, and give you plenty of valuable advice on how to date overseas; they are through and through a dating site. They aren't in the business of romance tours or personal introductions.
"We are not the type of company that holds your hand and drives clients in buses on love tours. Our approach is best suited to independent thinkers, adventurers, and travelers who realize the world is very big but also very small. We give you the platform to meet genuine, sincere people, and establish a connection."*
*Sounds like my kind of site 🙂
Common dating site features
At it's heart EM functions like the majority of online dating sites. With a free account you can create a profile and browse through the listings of other members. With a premium membership you can contact other members via messages or video/text chat.
Unique dating site features
Note that the following features are only available at various levels of paid membership on EM.
In site translator
The general English levels in FSU nations are typically on the low end of the spectrum, so unless you speak Russian it's possible that you could hit a bit of a language barrier while talking to ladies (though foreign minded women are more likely to know some English).
EM provides an in site translator at no extra fee. This is in contrast to many PPL sites that charge hefty translation fees for every message you send and receive.
Depending on your membership level you have the option to hide when you look at someone else's profile on the site. Otherwise a lady will be notified when you look at her profile.
Instant contact info
The two highest levels of paid membership allow you to instantly download a woman's phone number and or email address, assuming of course that she has volunteered it (women don't have to post their contact info on the site).
Note: If you don't use this feature you can still ask a lady via message or chat for her contact information (EM doesn't interfere with that). The instant download option simply lets you get another member's contact information..well....instantly.
Paid members can access another member's video on their profile. Not all women post videos but some do. A premium account will allow you to watch them.
The highest level of paid membership will allow you to use 5 profile verifications. EM staff will personally contact and verify the information and interest of a woman you choose.
The highest level of premium membership includes a VIP-coaching package which includes a 8 hour mp3 audio coaching program as well as a manual and two workbooks. All coaching materials have been personally designed by Elena Petrova herself.
The material is centered around understanding the culture of a Slavic women and how to date successfully overseas.
Each successive membership level is listed on the site in priority over the lower membership levels. In other words a platinum level member is listed in priority over a gold member, and an unlimited member is listed in priority over both gold and platinum members.
Like most dating sites Elena's Models has a mobile app for Apple and Android users. Unlike many dating sites EM's app is designed to be a communication app and does not offer full website functionality. The app will only work for members with a paid premium membership. You can't access the app with a free account.
Elena's mobile app works essentially as a video/text messenger app
The app is designed around text and video chat. If a paid member has existing contacts or a communication history on the site, the app will actually sync them to the mobile platform.
EM chose to design their app this way in order to encourage real and accepted communications between members, and to discourage unsolicited requests.
Elena's English blog
Elena Petrova personally oversees and maintains the English language blog on EM. The blog features articles that inform men on topics centered around dating and marrying women from Eastern Europe.
You can find articles on culture/traditions, dating advice, and even info on the dating industry (in fact her blog has been a major resource for me while creating FWHL). You don't need a membership to read the blog.
One thing I love about EM is the way they attract women to join their site. Elena's Models doesn't use a single agency to populate their site. Every female profile you see is of a woman who came to the site on her own and decided to join.
They are able to this in part because of the popularity of Elena Petrova's blog. Her Russian language blog has well over 100,000 readers per month. Given that it's a blog about marrying foreign men, women who sign up to the site through the blog often know very well what they're looking for.
Many international dating sites (especially PPL ones) use agencies who provide them with profiles of women to fill out their site. Assuming the profiles are real, the women behind them can vary widely in their intentions. Most women are recruited off the street, or (in the cause of scam sites) answer a job ad.
Because EM attracts ladies in a much more natural way, the odds that the women on the site are not only real, but also serious about meeting a man from abroad go way up.
Ratio: men to women
Over the years the ratio of total male to female profiles has hovered at or close to 50/50 on Elena's Models (give or take). However if you plan on using the site to contact and connect with women the ratio becomes a lot more favorable. The 50/50 ratio includes non-paying male members, who aren't able to actually connect with women (you need a premium membership to do that).
If you only include men with a paid membership and ladies with active profiles the ratio is 1 to 12. That means for each man able to contact women there are approximately 12 active women profiles. That's a huge swing in favor of the guys.
"There are 12 women on Elena’s Models for every 1 paying man. 9 out of 10 men sign up but never upgrade as full members (Platinum or Gold), so they cannot communicate with women. On the whole, in 2016 men to women ratio (including non-paying free male members) on EM was: 58% of men and 42% of women for members active in the last 30 days."
Elena Petrova - Elenasmodels.com
The big "problem" with profiles on EM
I'll admit that while browsing the site for this review I caught myself looking at more than a few of the ladies' profiles (to be honest it's hard not to). I had perused the site a few days prior when I came back to check up on some of the profiles that caught my attention. To my surprise one of the profiles I saw before was gone, and in the place of the lady I found this:
Evidently there is an issue on EM: women actually meet men and then take their profile down. That's a good problem to have if you ask me.
Unlike many dating sites EM doesn't offer any single month subscriptions. Subscriptions are available in 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions. All subscriptions are paid in an upfront one time fee (ie no monthly payment option). While you can cancel your membership anytime, membership do auto renew (although renewal subscriptions are cheaper).
Below is a summary of price points and features for each membership level on Elena's Models:
Standard membership (free)
The standard subscription is free. All that's required is your name and email address. At the standard level you can browse and search profiles. If you want to contact ladies you will need a paid membership.
Which pricing level is the best?
If you follow the advice of FWHL then you know that we encourage guys to meet women in the real world as soon as possible. We don't think it's a good idea to carry long drawn out virtual romances when you haven't met someone face to face.
That being said I personally think the 3 month gold level is the optimal choice. I wouldn't recommend communicating with ladies 6 or 12 months before a trip. Also the higher premium features aren't all that necessary. If you start messaging a woman and you hit it off, you can exchange Skype names and start video chatting and getting to know each other independent of the site (and without the more expensive membership fees).
Security is one aspect in which Elena's Models really shines. Their system of security against fakes and scammers has multiple layers. All profiles are moderated before they are approved. After that manual checks are done by administrators by internet, Skype calls, or other means.
On top of manual checks and reviews, EM also uses an automated system which monitors profile behavior through tracking information such as keywords, time of day the site is used, frequency of use, duplicate messages, and more. If the system picks up something suspicious it flags the profile and the site administrators receive a notification.
"Our experience is you must mix both technology and hands on human review to build a safe environment for online dating."
Members also alert EM to profiles with suspicious behavior. In EM's own words, "Our experience is you must mix both technology and hands on human review to build a safe environment for online dating".
Using the site safely
As with any dating site you'll want to follow the four commandments of international dating and watch out for red flags. No security process, no matter how thorough, is 100% foolproof. Always exercise common sense when dating online.
EM has a dedicated help desk where users can send messages or call the company directly by phone. Paid members are given top priority over free ones when in need of assistance. I was in contact with the help desk while writing this review and for my part I can say that they quickly and thoroughly answered all of my questions.
Elena's advice for dating on her site
Normally at this stage in a site review I give practical tips on how to use the site to connect with and meet women. Since Elena Petrova runs her own advice blog for men using her site I thought I'd share some of her advice for using Elena's Models.
Here's an 7 step process Elena lines out on her blog (I'm paraphrasing here)
- 1With a trusted friend spend a day or two taking photos for your profile. Pick the best 5-10 and post them on your profile.
- 2Do a filtered search on EM based on your search criteria and users who have been active in the last 30 days.
- 3Add possible matches to your favorites list.
- 4Read through the profiles that made it on your favorites list and pick the 20 you like the best.
- 5Write a letter to each of the 20 women whose profiles you liked. Make sure each letter is personal and mentions something the woman mentioned in her profile.
- 6Wait a few days for responses. Once you receive them try to narrow down your list to 3-10 women you're really interested in. In you can't find 3 or more look for 20 more profiles to write to.
- 7After several letter exchanges move the conversation to an online chat (preferably video)
It seems like a pretty solid plan of action. The only thing I might add is a timeline for deciding when and where you'll travel. Here on FWHL we encourage men to meet women in person versus having online relationships. It's better for your heart and your wallet if meet women face to face in order to see if you share any chemistry.
I'd recommend taking Elena's advice while following the timeline below.
What other people are saying about Elena's Models
"Finding love abroad is no easy task, especially for daters in Eastern Europe. Many untrustworthy dating networks promote false profiles or charge singles for each message sent. That’s no way to connect with someone! If you’re looking for an international dating site that’s the real deal, Elena Petrova, a Russian blogger and certified life coach, has the answer. Elena’s Models caters to singles who are looking for something serious and are willing to cross borders for love."
Amber Brooks // datingadvice.com
"In the two or three weeks since I signed up, I have begun a daily correspondence with about a half dozen women who I feel are genuinely interested in me. We exchanged personal emails and I sent them loads of photos of myself (both good and bad, better they don’t like my picture than not like me after I drop $1500 on plane tickets and a hotel to visit). All of the women who speak English have offered their phone number and Skype names that we might phone and/or video chat. All of this dialogue – without interference from the agency. And all of this without recurring costs. Just the way it should be."
Scott Anderson // WesternWomenSuck.com
Alternatives to Elena's Models
Elena's Models is probably the highest quality dating site for meeting Russian speaking women, but Russian Cupid is the largest and most popular one that's not a PPL site. Russian Cupid's user based stretches across the former Soviet Union, much like EM.
Russian Cupid has a larger user base than EM, so you're likely to find more women from specific countries and cities than you will on EM. Russian cupid is also considerably cheaper (monthly subscriptions start at $13.33 per month); but there are often more scammers and fakes than you would find on EM too (this isn't a huge problem if you use common sense).
In general the women on Russian Cupid may not be as serious in their intentions, as EM is more focused on serious relationships. One interesting thing I noticed is that some women will sign up with both sites. It wouldn't be a bad idea to make a free account on both sites and compare eligible profiles.
Ukraine Date is the sister site of Russian Cupid. The only difference between the two sites is obvious: Ukraine Date is focused exclusively on Ukraine (though Russian Cupid isn't solely focused on Russia).
If Ukraine is your destination of choice then Ukraine Date is a notable option. There are more Ukrainian women on Ukraine Date then on EM. But just like her sister site, Ukraine Date doesn't quite match the quality and security of EM. Still, you're likely to find some solid prospects on Ukraine Date.
I personally love the notion of using a site like Elena's Models and trekking off on my own to meet women in a foreign country I've never been to. However not all guys prefer this method of dating abroad. If you're serious about meeting slavic women but prefer a more relaxed or hands on approach then you might want to consider Dream Connections.
Dream Connections is an American based company started by the American/Ukrainian couple Mark and Ana Davis. Dream Connections offers tours in Ukraine, Colombia, and Thailand.
The company is unique in that they function more like an introduction/matchmaking agency than a romance tour agency (which is good because I don't trust most romance tours).
Each tour has about 15-20 guys and up to (I think) 90 or so local ladies. The company screens both men and women for relational intent and basic background information.
They also feature a unique system where each man has a personal translator/personal assistant for the trip. The dating starts off with a series of short speed dating sessions after which men are free to contact interested ladies and go on dates apart from the group.
They currently offer regular trips to Nikolaev and Kherson, Ukraine. The company is unique in the international dating industry and they're definitely worth checking out.
In terms of quality and security, Elena's Models helps set the bar for international dating sites. If you want to meet and connect with Russian speaking women this should be your go to site. A membership with EM does cost more than many of their competitors, but rest assured you get what you pay for with EM.
The site's real strength rests in its quality of profiles and its high level of security.
If you're on the fence about the site I recommend creating a free account and having a look around!