Looking Russian Bride?
Whatever the reasons for this obviously unconventional decision, you'd better learn a bit before you start.
You should clearly understand all stages you have to go through to marry a Russian woman, and create your own strategy to ensure success.
Think ahead and be guided by the old truth: to find the right partner you must be the right partner yourself.
These articles briefly describe some practical rules that will simplify and improve your personal adventure.
The advice below is based on personal experiences of quite a few couples who met this way, and now are successfully married. Try to choose the ways that are acceptable for you - do not think of the techniques described as hard-and-fast, but rather as a guide.
Forget all the stories that dating agencies are spreading about marrying a Russian girl. Yes, you can find a woman 30 years younger, and even can marry her, but your marriage will rarely last for more than 2 years - the necessary time for receiving a Green Card.
The majority of Russian women seeking western men are NOT desperate to find foreign husbands or immigrate from Russia. Those women are usually well educated, attractive and smart. They are not after the Green Card or passports as you might think. They seek compatible partners.
Normally, women from Russia are looking for healthy, financially secure, attractive guys. Very few of them (if any!) are dreaming to get married to homeless, ugly men with bad character and health problems who struggle with everyday survival. Personally, I've never in my life met such an example but I assume that crazy individuals may exist.
If 10-15 years ago any foreigner could easily find in Russia a beautiful young intelligent lady 30 years younger than him, who was eager to become his wife, those times have passed forever.
If you have read some "happily ever after" stories that took place more than 5 years ago, those rules are no longer working: the world is changing fast, and today's Russia is nothing like you have seen in the movies of the times of the Cold War. Remember, Perestroika in Russia started in 1985, that was 20 years ago!
You may agree with this fact, or disagree, or fight against of it, but it won't change the reality: your foreign passport alone does not ensure your success with Russian ladies.
-What is the most important for Russian ladies?
Many websites will tell you the same thing that I am going to say now: SECURITY and LOVE.
Those two things are the most important. I have read thousands of women's forms with requirements to a potential partner, and almost all of them say: "I want my future husband to love and understand me."
The most popular requirement you will see in women's questionnaires is "financially secure". In short, it means, you must have at least a stable job and be able to provide for a family of 3.
You don't have to have a six-figure annual income. Having a stable job is good enough; but the better your financial situation, the easier you will make contacts with nice Russian ladies, and the less hassle you will get from the USCIS (former INS) in bringing your fiancée into the country.
IN NO WAY DOES THIS MEAN THAT RUSSIAN WOMEN ARE AFTER YOUR MONEY. Definitely not! However, women have suffered so much in Russia with everyday surviving, they want to make sure it never happens to them and their families again. A Russian wife will stick with you through any turn of fortune, whether you go bankrupt or hit a jackpot. But to consider you a viable option, she must be confident that you are not an unemployed hobo.
Your good financial standing may impress women at first, but then the other factors will count: you must develop a relationship that works, and this involves mostly emotional factors. I know a case where a woman refused a guy with a 500K income in favor of an ordinary teacher, because she liked him more personally. From the sidelines it may seem stupid, but I would probably do the same if I were her.
Your wealth or handsome appearance may possibly even have a negative effect. I know cases where a woman did not try to pursue an acquaintance to a rich, good-looking guy who was highly interested in her just because she didn't consider herself good enough. He seemed too good to be true to her, and this made her feel insecure.
Love for Russian women includes commitment. Since long distance relationships don't make much sense without possibility of being together in the future, the women need assurance you are ready to offer this commitment. If you are not looking for a marriage partner, Russian ladies won't take you seriously. They are not looking for pen pals.
-Make the right choice
First of all, you must understand that each Russian woman has her own character and what is perfect for one won't work for another.
You should decide for yourself what you are looking for in a woman, which personal qualities are a must and what you will never accept. What kind of person would you like to meet - a partygoer, a sportswoman, a career maker, a housewife? Must she be an introvert or an extrovert? Try to imagine her behavior in different situations. Think about the person you will feel comfortable with. You must have her image in your mind.
When you look through catalogues, pay special attention to women's professions. The profession she chose may say a lot about her. People with the same occupation usually have many things in common. Also look at her choice of education - this is what she chose herself. Keep in mind that her current job may simply be a result of circumstances.
(For example, medical doctors are paid in Russia by the government, their salaries are very low, and paid with delays; therefore it is not unusual for a qualified medical doctor to work in sales where salaries are higher and paid on time. Foreigners are usually amazed by highly educated women working in positions that seem to be too low for their education; in Russia, it is quite a usual thing.)
Decide from the beginning about the age, educational level and location of your future mate.
Be wary if your age difference is more than 20 years, or the woman's interests are completely different from yours. Don't fool yourself, even if it works out, you may (actually, 99% of the time you will) face problems in the future. I believe that most problems with Russian-foreign marriages originate with the man's internal desire to believe the myths - they don't face the realities. At the very least, you must have something in common that will cement your marriage. In particular, it is NOT true that Russian women prefer much older husbands .
Younger girls usually don't have serious intentions of finding a husband abroad - for them, it's mostly a game. She may fall in love with a Russian guy the day before you come to visit her. Women starting from about 25 years of age are more serious, especially if they have a child.
-Your First Message
The first Message is the most important and you must ensure that it will be special. There is no second chance to make a first impression.
Start the Message with "Hello" or "Hi". Addressing with the word "Dear" has an intimate nuance in Russian so you'd better keep it for the time when you know each other well. Introduce yourself .
The worst beginning for your Message is "I was taken by your beautiful picture", or "I find you very beautiful and I am hoping that your inner beauty is as strong as your outer."
First thing, women want to be appreciated for their personal qualities, not appearance. Second, in Russia the word "beautiful" means something different than in the western world, it is very discriminative. Here every good looking woman is called "beautiful". In Russia you are beautiful only if you are a beauty queen or a photo model. If you are not - you are only attractive.
When a woman receives a Message with a "You are so beautiful" phrase, she thinks you are not writing to her as a person, you just liked the picture of her that shows her in the way she does not look every day (especially when she is up in the morning), and that you actually are mistaken about her appearance because otherwise you would not call her "beautiful" - she knows she is just "attractive". You mean to make her feel better, but in reality you make her feel worse about herself - you are looking for somebody who is beautiful, and she thinks she is not.
You can say "I liked your photo" but even this can turn the woman off. They don't want to feel like items on display. They want to be appreciated as human beings, for what they are and not for what they look like. (I wonder how would you feel if somebody said to you "You car looks very nice; I hope you are as nice a person as what your car looks like"... Got the feeling?)
Your Message must be interesting to read. Good humor is the best way to make reading fun but don't be a clown. Never make jokes about the girl's appearance, her English, etc. Better to laugh at yourself than to laugh at her.
Those days most Russian women have access to the Internet and email although they may not own a computer. Usually women use Internet cafes to access their email; they are in abundance in Eastern Europe.
Since email is so easy to send, there are many men that send emails to dozens girls at once and women grow tired of receiving exciting letters that stop after a couple of email exchanges.
If you want to impress a woman, send her a "real" letter.
A letter send by airmail will take about 2-3 weeks to reach its destination in Russia. But it's still worth it - you can be confident she won't get 100's of letters in her mailbox, even though she may get dozens of emails a day in her email Inbox.
You can use a courier service for sending letters; it will take 4-6 days to reach a destination in Russia. In this case, you've got a chance to include something extra in the envelope for the same price - a card, a booklet about your city, a flower from your garden. Russian girls experience a permanent lack of romance, so feel free to express yourself!
Ask a lady to respond promptly. It is not unusual for Russian women to answer letters in 2 weeks or even a month's time. One of the reasons is that it takes time and effort to write a letter in a foreign language. For me it sometimes took the whole Sunday to write a 2-page letter (7-8 hours). Ask her to not delay with her answers.
-Your personality is precious
The most important principle in seeking a partner via the Internet:
This is applicable to any search for a relationship, but in the case of Russian women you must follow this rule as if it was inscribed on stone tablets handed down from Heaven.
Do not try to be somebody different than you are. Be intriguing and sophisticated; be your best - but YOUR best. False is what a girl can feel, and Russian women have very good intuition. Any person is interesting in and of himself, and it's not necessary to add qualities you don't have.
When you are yourself, you have a better chance of finding your real soul mate. Honesty pays back - you won't have to act or apologize for the untruth you told when you meet each other in person.
If you love parties and big groups, you can say: "I am a very open person and have lots of fun spending time with friends". If you feel better at home and have only a few friends, say: "I love to relax at home watching TV or reading an interesting book. I don't have many friends but the ones I have are really good ones." If you can borrow money from a guy after a 20-minute acquaintance, you can say: "I feel great even in the company of 20 strangers and I easily find friends everywhere". If you never ask anybody in an unknown office building where the toilet is, even while having a diarrhea attack, you can say: "I always try to manage problems myself and I don't burden people who are close to me".
Stay honest to avoid attracting the wrong women, but give your qualities in a positive way. Be yourself, but show the best of yourself!
Be sure to upload photos to your profile. Many Russian women do not respond to messages of men who have no photos.Your face must be big enough to see the expression of your eyes. Pictures of you at home or doing something are the most desirable. Natural poses and surroundings can say more about you than a professional picture from a studio. A prifile without a photo looks impersonal and has 70% less chance of being responded to.
Even if you have a super body, don't upload a photo in a swim suit. You can leave your shirt unbuttoned or put on a tight T-shirt if you want to emphasize your body sculpture. And never - NEVER! -upload a cut photo. Some men still contrive to upload a half-cut photo with somebody's hand on their shoulder!
When choosing a photo for your personal as, get a professional one, a portrait. Smile nicely, and try to look friendly. It is simple, but some people do forget the simplest rules.
You can upload photos with JPEG format and make the size of the files as small as possible (it must not exceed 20-30Kb). There are different graphic optimization software products available, use the one that you know well. Don't make the actual size of the photos too small - use lower resolution.
-The things you should avoid
* Do not try to impress the women with the things you have. If you are well established in life, talk about that, but don't make it your main point. I once received a letter from an American guy who wrote: "I have a car, a TV, a musical system and a videotape recorder". What did he think, that women in Russia live in earth-houses? At the same time, when a man sends photos of his house, his car and his swimming pool taken from all possible angles with the first letter, you feel he's going to make you his next purchase. Nobody likes to be for sale! You can send a lady this type of photo if your correspondence blossoms, but I think she should be interested in you as a person first.
* Try to avoid idioms or slang phraseology until you make sure that the woman is perfect in English. At the same time, your sentences must not be super simple like, "My eyes are blue. My hair is brown." There must be a person behind the phrases and what kind of person would you imagine is behind these ones?
* Using a girl's name a few times throughout your letter makes it more personal, but check carefully that you have changed it in all the places you used it before printing. Once I received a letter which started "Hello, Elena!" and ended with "Sleep with angels, Irina!" Guess - did I answer? (Tip: there is an option Find and Replace in your Word processor under the Edit task bar.)
* Do not try to persuade a woman that the other guys who write to her are going to waste her time. I used to receive a couple of letters like this, and it's simply disgusting. I feel suspicious towards people who try to paint their competitors black.
* Things you must never write about in the first letter: your divorce and how you felt about it, problems/successes with women you usually have, any other problems in current life, your bad/good experience of communication with Russian women seeking husbands by mail or personally, being taken by Internet dating scammers, chronic problems with health (exception: if you have serious handicaps or artificial body parts, or in a wheelchair, you should tell about it from the beginning or she will feel cheated), your anxiousness about losing your hair, detailed content of your work responsibilities, and ANY sexual questions. Some of these topics can be discussed later, but not in the very first letters.
-Make your romance blossom
Remember that every girl would like to be special. She will appreciate the efforts you spend to win her heart. Sending a message , express your sympathy, send a compliment, virtual flowers (on the website "Inter-Love" has a lot of animation compliments, cards, flowers, etc.) or a virtual gift every day or week can work wonders! Behave as if you are already good friends, and don't be shy to show your interest in her. Women like insistent men.
Even if you received a negative response from a girl but are really interested in her, ask her to let you stay her friend and keep in touch. Chances are, she'll change her mind or her current romance won't work out.
Photos are a good means to make your acquaintance personal but use it in the right way - it must be something special and, of course, recent. Don't send photos with every letter by email , if all the difference between them is the color of your shirt.
If you plan to visit the woman's country, tell her about it in the very beginning to assure her that you are not writing because of boredom or for entertainment.
After a couple of messages and letters you can phone your girl. You may phone even right after you sent your first letter, just to tell her that you did, and inform her, that she is going to receive a detailed letter from you one of these days. Make sure she will remember your name. Speak slowly and choose simple words because it's more difficult to understand somebody by phone than face to face.
Phone your lady from time to time, and listen attentively to her voice. Is she enthusiastic? Does she sound as if she was waiting for your call or it's just politeness? Is she interested in your life or just shortly answers your questions? Even if a lady does not have a home phone number, ask her to arrange your conversation through friends, with a definite date and time when she will expect your call. If she does not speak English, use conference call services, but you must try to talk to her otherwise your relationship feels unreal to her.
Sending flowers or gifts can have a decisive impact to your relations. It shows your genuine interest and care about her. Don't forget to send greetings with her birthday, Christmas and New Year, Valentine's day and the Women's Day or just because you want to lighten her day!