Having spent the majority of this year living in Ukraine, here are the pieces of advice I would give to those looking to travel to this great Eastern European country.

1. Yes, It’s Perfectly Safe

Let’s get this out of the way first.

The media lies. A lot.

It’s natural to be a bit nervous of apprehensive about traveling to a country you haven’t been to. Especially once that has had somewhat of a checkered past. Add in the hysteria that the news likes to show, and it’s easy to be a bit intimidated of traveling. The media prefers to show drastic photos like this one instead of giving an accurate portrayal of the safety:

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Never mind that those photos were three years ago. A lot has changed since then. There’s a new president in power (Pro tip: He owns a chocolate company—refer to him as Willy Wonka to Ukrainian girls and watch them giggle like schoolgirls). There’s a new police force in the capital, Kiev.

As long as you have basic street smarts, you will be just fine in Ukraine.

2. Late Spring And Early Summer Are The Best Times

Late spring signifies the coming of summer. This means that clothes are being shed, and everybody is in a happy mood. You haven’t lived until you’ve walked down a major Ukrainian street in the first few weeks of sun.

Dresses, heels, and a complete disregard for bras are the norm.

As fall comes, the students return to the major cities. In addition, the fast-approaching winter weather means that girls are looking for their winter cuddle buddies. The fun (and sluttiness) of summer is passing by, and girls are looking for someone to fall back on during the cold winter months.

This means that they are more receptive to going on dates and are (a little) less likely to play games with you. Summer isn’t bad, but you will have to deal with school holidays and sex tourists stinking up the cities with bad game.

3. Ukraine Is Currently… Confused

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Ukraine is really at a crossroads right now. They desperately trying to join the Schengen Visa agreement for visa-free travel to the EU. At the same time, many of the Former Soviet roots are still present in the culture.

Many of the people love Western culture. There are definitely some very slutty girls. McDonald’s are popping up at an alarming rate. At the same time, many of the Former Soviet traditional values and customs are still alive and well. Most girls are still very feminine, and will cook and clean to your heart’s content.

Frankly, it could go either way at this point. However, if it goes the way of the West—you’ll want to get there sooner rather than later.

4. Plan On Three Dates

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Of course, what kind of article on Ukraine would be complete with talking about the girls?

Despite the issues raised in #3, the girls are still mostly very traditional. They are not likely to hop into bed with you on the first date, and many of them will try to secure some form of commitment prior to giving it up. The best way to tackle this is to plan on three dates. It’s such a rare thing for it to happen on the first date, that it’s simply better to be a little less aggressive at first.

The first date can be as simple as a coffee and a walk. While you can kiss her, this is the best advice I can distill: If you don’t kiss a Ukrainian girl on the first date, it doesn’t matter. She will still want to see you (provided you are an attractive guy). Contrast that to the West, where if you don’t kiss a girl on the first date, she thinks you’re a coward and won’t see you again.

You have sky-high value in Ukraine, so she will go out with you again regardless. For a second date, you can just do another walk, or grab a meal together. For a third date, you can cook her dinner (or have her cook for you—if she likes you, she’ll likely have offered by the second or third date to do this).

Then go for it.

As a final note, remember that Ukrainians don’t really make plans in advance. So, if she texts you out of the blue at 4:30pm and asks if you want to meet her for a walk at 6:00—DO IT!

Face time is important in moving the relationship towards the bedroom, and you’ll find many of the girls here are sharp and charming enough that you genuinely enjoy talking to them.

5. Ukrainian People Need To Be Warmed Up

My first month in Kiev, I frequented the same coffee shop every morning. At this point, my Russian was non-existent. At first, when I spoke English to order my coffee, the baristas serving me were quite skeptical. It was very much a, “Why on Earth are you here?” kind of vibe.

However, near the end of that first month (before I moved to Odessa), those same baristas were greeting me with open arms. They were giving me free snacks, making my order as soon as I walked in the door, and having a blast speaking broken English (them) and Russian (me) with me.

Simply put, they just needed to get to know who I was to feel comfortable. Once we reached that point, they were very friendly.

6. Just. Keep. Going.

Ukraine is a country that you need to put some time into. I’ve met several forum guys here who struggled with the dating culture for three weeks, and then it all just CLICKED. It’s a place that you need to get some reps and experience in, then it all falls into place.

Ukraine is simply not a place that land in, and have three girls in your bed in the next 24 hours. Some guys think that is the case, then come here and are sorely disappointed. You have to put some work in, and when you do—the reward are great. But you do have to do that work. This applies to all areas of life—not just the dating scene.

There will be times that you’re just feeling beaten. Perhaps another four hour date which led to nothing more than holding hands. Maybe another bad night out, where no girls wanted to speak English to you. Another restaurant that couldn’t figure out your order.

When this happens, just keep going. Eventually, the culture, girls, and way of life will start to make sense. And when it does, you may never want to leave.

Read More: 25 More Reasons You Should Visit Ukraine