These are just a list of general tips and procedures that you should keep in mind as you search for your Russian or FSU (Former Soviet Union) wife!
- Know Yourself: You need to know who you are. By this I mean you should honestly sit down and decide what kind of qualities and character you have. This should prepare you to be better able to determine what kind of woman you want/need to have in your life. You need to be very honest and realistic as you do this kind of soul searching.
- Know the Type of Woman You Want: Based on your qualities, character, attitudes, etc… decide upon the type of woman you are seeking. Of course, you should also become educated and bear in mind the realities of this process. For example, do not write to a woman who is 30 years younger than you. (Even 20 years younger may be too much) Do not write to an 18-21 year old with super-model looks unless you truly feel your appearance is justified for this. Be honest. I would also suggest sitting down and writing a profile of the type of woman you want. Let me share with you the type of profile I think makes the best FSU wife: 25-35 (depending upon the man’s age, of course), divorced with a young child (4-10), limited English (but either currently studying or willing to learn), and working.
- Ask Her Questions: Find out all you can about the woman/women you are contacting. Learn what they do, what their goals and dreams are, why they are interested in finding a foreign man as a possible husband, even try to figure out her attitudes and how she thinks. You must ask her questions to do this. She will certainly be asking you the same type of questions. If you do not respond in similar fashion, she will probably assume you are not serious.
- Keep the First Letter Simple: Generally, you want to keep your first letter simple and straightforward. By all means, include a photo. She wants to see who she is talking to! And besides, you have already seen her photo! There are cases, however, where you may want your first letter to be more detailed. It really depends on if you want a lower, but higher quality response, or if you just want the maximum number of women to answer. See my Letter Writing Tips for more information.
- Do Not Send Money: Never send money to a woman you have not personally met. If she asks for money, run away because it is a scam. An honest woman has too much pride to ask for money from you. If you do not send money you cannot be scammed! Always remember this.
- Be Prepared to Make a Trip: No, I do not mean that you need tickets in hand. Just understand that if you intend to marry one of these wonderful, sexy women, you will have to meet her in person in her home country. This is a requirement for the visa processing. A woman will generally give you 4-6 months to decide that you want to come meet her (before she decides you are not serious and moves on to find another man who is). So, you will have SOME time to decide and make arrangements.
- Make Sure You Can Afford This Process: It is neither cheap nor fast. Of course the exact amount will vary depending upon how you decide to go. You can figure that for an organized agency tour you will spend between $4,500-6,000 for a trip. If you go on your own, you can figure around $1,500-2,500 per trip. Maybe even a little less if you are careful about your money. Chances are you will need to take more than one trip. Even if you have corresponded and spoken on the phone for a while, it may not be the best thing to marry someone after only spending two weeks with them (typically the average duration of a trip to the FSU). Then, there will be additional expenses as you prepare the visa paperwork—tickets for her to your country, paperwork and processing fees, money that she may need for English lessons, etc…
- Be a Leader: A Russian woman does not want a weak man…she could find that in Russia! These ladies are tired of having to be the head of the house, and make all the decisions. They are tired of weak-willed and lazy husbands and boyfriends who do not want to raise a family and cannot seem to take care of them and their children. Russia and the FSU are very male-oriented and the man is expected to fill the traditional roles of being the main provider and leader of the family. If you expect anything different from yourself, then this is probably not the type of woman you want to pursue. Might I suggest a stuck-up, overweight, over-bearing good old American woman!? Even better if she is a raging feminist!
- Do Not Fall In Love With a Photograph: These ladies look even better in person (for the most part) than they do online! But watch out for pictures than are overly sexually suggestive. A serious woman will not use such a photo (half-nude, bikini-type, with her breasts half out of her shirt). Additionally, you should be interested in finding out her inner qualities. Be interested in her! You want to spend your life with someone who is interesting to be around, not just nice to look at, don’t you?
- Verify You are Writing a Real Woman Who Is Genuinely Interested in You: You must make sure that you are writing to a real woman. There are all kinds of scams that can range from an agency making up a woman entirely, to having a man impersonate a woman (both of these are usually accomplished by stealing photos off the internet), to even having her letters altered. Sometimes an agency will have real women, but after a letter two they decide they are not interested in you. Instead of letting the correspondence (and their income) die, these companies, or interpreters will simply write the letters for the woman! You need to get your woman’s full contact details (full name, address, phone numbers, email addresses). Then contact her using alternate methods in addition to those provided by the agency. This should tell you if she is real and is actually writing to you. For a more detailed discussion of this topic, visit here.
- If You Can’t Get Full Contact Details, Move On: The only exception to this rule is if you feel the agency is the reason why you are not able to get her contact details. If this is the case, try this: ask if they will provide a three-way call to your woman, using their interpreter. Then schedule this. Purchase the minimum call time allowed. When you call your girlfriend, chat for just a minute or two and then ask for her direct phone number. If you think she will go for it also say that you would like to send her something in the mail, would she give you her address? Then you can work off of that and contact her with your own interpreter and maybe send her a letter or a small gift in the mail.
- Be Open On Sexual Issues: Do not be afraid to talk about sex with your girlfriend. These ladies are very straightforward and open. In some cases, this can be a bit shocking to you. I am of course talking about an open and straightforward dialog. NOT something where she starts saying how much she wants to sleep with you or what she will do to you (or what she wants you to do to her). That kind of talk would be more of an indication of a scam. She may not have ever met a foreigner. Maybe she is curious about the sexual habits of American women. Or maybe she would like to find out if you are more of a "playboy" or more stable. These are all related to her idea of American culture. Just be ready for this and even expect it.
- Follow Your Instincts: By all means, read and educate yourself. Learn as much about this process as possible. Look at the forums or message boards. Always keep learning. If you see red flags when you are dealing with a woman from the FSU or a marriage agency, know when to try and deal with it and when to walk away and move on. The bottom line is not to send money and just don’t do anything that you would question if you were dating a woman back home. Sure there are differences between Russian and American women, but women are still women. Do not just simply chalk up every difference to a cultural variation. Think about it and analyze it.
- Always Have a Back Up Plan: When you are traveling in the FSU, you must have some contacts. Never go for just a single woman. Always have the contact information for other women and other agencies in the same city or close by. Sometimes you take a first look (in person) at a woman you have been contacting for months and see it all vanish instantly. It happens. I have heard that you learn more in one personal meeting than from 100 letters and phone calls. I don't think I would go to that extreme, but certainly everything changes once you meet in person. You need a second (or third) agency and other women that you can contact, just in case.
By Joseph Carducci