E-groups: A Gold Mine of Information and Help
by Stephan Wanzek
According to the number of marriages and the
men involved, the number of members participating in e-groups is
very low. Much more men should join them, so let me try to convince
you, because they are BY FAR THE BEST PLACE you can find for
everything you need to know regarding a relationship to a woman from
the Former Soviet Union (FSUW).
But let me first congratulate you.
The fact you are reading this right now proves that you have found
one of the best sources for information about FSUW available for
men, the Russian Bride Cyber Guide (RBCG). The information - free,
and quite a lot - you can read on Elena's side, is a good
background collection of what you should know before you start. So,
I hope you are not as unprepared as many other men who start this
Like many others I found the RBCG through a
search machine and it was my starting point months ago when I
thought about a FSUW as an alternative to German women. In the
following time I read a lot of interesting material on websites and
in books on- and off the internet and learned quite a lot.
But all these sources - despite their
informational value - have a big disadvantage. Usually they don't
fit well enough into your own situation. They are too slow to
represent changing situations accordingly and normally there is no
dialogue possible. So - like myself a few month ago - you may get
the feeling that something important is missing.
Besides your FSUW adventure ... think about
what you normally do in such a situation, i.e. when you want to buy
something, look for a holiday destination or something else and need
help. Normally you would ask someone you know or think who knows: a
relative, a friend, a neighbor or people at work.
But here is the
problem: Who can you ask? Where can you go when you just need
someone to talk to about what you are doing?
- The agency
owners are also interested in their business and are actually not
inside this process themselves. How can you know how accurate their
answers really are?
- Relatives and friends are in most cases
not the ones you can easily ask - you may get (good or bad)
discussions, but no answers which can really help you.
- Very often, what you are doing is seen
as negative, the men doing this are 'losers' and TV shows,
magazines, ... are 'proving' this all the time. Nobody is really
interested in the truth behind this phenomena and you can't expect
support from people who don't like what you're doing.
- Normally good service/information goes
from mouth to mouth, but with only a few men and women of the
population involved, where can you find the next one? In your
street, town... and how?
The answer to all these questions is very
easy: An e-group!
There you find a lot of men, young and old, with a
wide range of attitudes and many suggestions to problems from
different viewpoints. You'll find men in exactly the same
situation as you,
- men who are thinking if this is a
possibility for themselves, who want to know what will come onto
- men who are already writing letters to
women and preparing a visit,
- men who are stuck within the
- men who have just married and are still
fighting through all the trouble which occurs in daily life when the
woman arrives, and
- men who have had the experience of
being married to a FSUW and are divorced now.
They all know what you are talking about and
should know. They have the information you are craving for, instead
of "colored views" and "mainstream opinions".
The different e-groups related to the FSUW
topic are a gold mine of "first hand" personal experience and
you can get everything you need. You have someone to talk to about
your own thoughts and problems - not only in public but also in
private after you made the contact through a group. The members of
these groups can give you advice to everything you may be in,
because normally you are not the first one in a certain situation
and the predecessors can support you.
What can you expect from an e-group
I want you
to get an impression about what you can expect from such a group.
Therefore I'll give you a short overview about the wide range of
themes discussed there. You may even get new information for
yourself now, but the important thing here is to show you samples
about what is going on there day by day.
A lot of agencies make the whole thing sound
easier than it really is. Nearly on no agency side can you find
something about the pitfalls and the requirements for a western man.
They don't give them the important information they should know,
because some possible customers might not like it and reject it. It's
sad, because in the end the man and the woman have to pay the price,
and this can be very high.
In an e-group you can read what you
should know upfront regarding yourself, i.e. not to underestimate
the costs and the necessary emotional strength, the lifestyle
suitability, the influence of your living area and the time
consuming support when the woman arrives.
Learn, what is true about
what the agencies are writing about FSUW on their website and what's
agency hype to tell the men what they want to hear, like that they
are fond of 20+ aged men. Through the ongoing discussions you'll
find out that FSUW's are no exception - they are women just like
other women. So, getting such a girl is one thing, keeping her is
another one. You can hear what others think about age differences -
not only the usual theoretical observations and meanings you can
read everywhere, but live reports from couples living it day by day.
You can read testimonials regarding the agency you want to use
and get not only their own website. You are able to talk to former
customers before you spend a lot of money, i.e. regarding agency
tours, matchmaking services, etc. and you can read how successful
many of the keyboard- and one-week Romeo's really are.
Some agencies cite an INS report which claims
how successful relationships with FSUW are. But, there is no own INS
material to prove it. In fact, the INS is even not able to say how
many of the K-1 visas really lead to marriage. How will they add
anything valuable to this question? You must read the report very
carefully - or you just find a related discussion on an e-group - to
find out that this is only biased agency material. Now you can face
the worth of this report for yourself. On the other hand, there is a
private MOB study in progress observing real relationships instead
of "agency numbers" by questioning the involved FSUW and AM. The
team posted a preview of the data for criticism and suggestions for
additional investigation on one of the best e-group sites I know. To
make it short, it was controversial and a real eye-opener. The final
results will be published next year.
I don't want to paint a black picture here
(in fact, contrary to the USA, Germany has a very good database and
according to that a foreign wife is the first choice for a German
man), but I want you to open your eyes and don't believe anything
you are told. When you hear something first exchange your
information with other men involved and then draw your own
conclusions. The e-groups are the best places for doing that.
You can find a lot of information in many
personal trip reports published in e-groups, much more than on all
the agency sites. And, most importantly, they are not censored by
agency owners - or do you think agencies would publish trip reports
containing problems which might keep a man from using them? Here you
can read a lot of real stories - successful ones and failures - and
learn from them.
Sometimes related things are changing rapidly, only
think of visa requirements of her country and so on. Asking
questions of the groups get you the most recent and up to date
travel information you need.
You can get in contact with people
living in the FSU who can be helpful in renting an apartment, pick
you up at the airport, work as your guide and translator and
although you never met them personally, you have some (often many)
members which can prove that it is a good deal because they have
been there and know them personally.
You can find out and avoid scammers through
online discussions. If the information the men and women exchange
there, were given to every guy who started this process the
scammers/bad agencies would be out of business.
You can discuss books you read and/or get
references to a lot of useful material online and offline. Get hints
about what to read and what is a waste of time and why.
You'll learn that there are no shortcuts in
this process if you want to be successful, but there are plenty if
you don't mind falling. See, what the men who are successful did
and what you should avoid. Their personal experience is invaluable
In a good e-group you'll not only meet
western men, you'll also find fiancees and their wives and even
men and women still living in the FSU. Through them you can gain a
bit of an understanding of the cultural differences and the needs
and expectations of your future partner.
It is not unusual that you
get new friends through such an e-group. Sometimes there are
meetings between members in the FSU or at home. And, if you need
help to carry important documents, letters or little packages you'll
find someone online.
All in all you'll learn what works and what
doesn't, from men who have done or are doing it. You'll get
first hand answers to many questions you have - and even answers to
a lot of important questions you haven't thought of yet. The only
thing you must do is to use them: read the postings, search through
the archives and ask questions. There is no better source than
people who are involved, period!
My personal experience with e-groups
member of some e-groups since a few months ago. At the beginning
their daily digests became like a newspaper to me. Nowadays, after I've
got a wide background, I'm more picky in choosing what I read
depending on my own situation. Let me only share a few personal
experiences I had through my membership - maybe you'll also find
yourself or learn a little bit.
In the beginning I read sites claiming that
their women are traditional. They draw a picture saying that the
women only wants a husband, a family and to be housewife (cook, sew,
knit and make a cozy home), that's all. I was nearly at the point
of dropping the whole thing because I didn't want a German
housewife, so why should I look for a Russian one? Through the
groups and some other sources I found there, I saw that this is only
agency hype and real life with a FSUW is a lot different. They are
traditional, but with a different meaning than we are used to here
in the west. They are also - different from what you often hear in
the west - emancipated, but it is a totally different kind of
feminism there (did you know that feminism in the east started much
earlier than in the west?).
It was surprising for me to see that most
of the relationships fail because of the men, and why. Very often
the men simply don't have the money and/or the time they need for
a FSUW. I found a lot of hints to prove if my own attitude in
searching for a FSUW is will help me to succeed or cause problems.
Before I read the e-groups I would have never
considered going to the FSU on my own. Now, I have so much
information and potential contacts that I sometimes think of just
buying a plane ticket and going. After speaking with people who live
and/or lived there for a long time, I'm working on the possibility
of living there a few months - with a potential partner - too. Maybe
even part time, living in both countries, if possible.
All in all my personal impression is that most
of the men contribute to the e-groups in a positive productive way
for those who are new or not so experienced to the Russian Women
dating scene. There are men in successful relationships to help to
do the right thing and those from failed relationships to help to
avoid some of the intercultural pitfalls and scammer tactics. And,
last but not least, there are Russian women on some of these
e-groups with their input, which is a very positive thing too. Who
can better help us to understand what all our future brides are
What you should do if you really want to
succeed and think it is intelligent to learn from your own faults,
but wise to learn from the faults of others, then I can just advise
you to join the e-groups - the sooner the better! It is free of
charge, will give you a lot and probably save you money and
One of the most read sentences on the e-groups
from a new member is, "I wish I had found this group earlier. It
would have saved me a lot of problems and money, but I started
searching for assistance only when the problems occurred.' This
should make you think.
Beyond it, most of the participating men come
to the conclusion that the e-groups supported them in a good way and
give a positive judgment ... so many men can't be wrong!
Of course, like everywhere, there are e-groups
and e-groups, good ones and bad ones. You don't know the people
behind the names and tastes are different too. But when you spend a
little time there (or read the archives) you can get a picture,
i.e., when you only read the pros of FSUW, or on a special
agency, you should be careful because that's possibly too good to
be true. Be aware that there are also agency owners (and some good
friends) who want to create a certain picture, which isn't the
truth. Read the guidelines (yes, there are e-groups where cons about
agencies are not allowed) and more than one list at a time and it
will be no problem to find out which information is accurate and
which is not (or less).
You can find the e-groups through a search
machine or just use the link to the RWL on RBCG (hosted under
yahoogroups.com - you can find a lot more there). If you need help
to find more and/or are interested in my opinion about the ones I
use (5 at the moment), just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll send you my personal e-group-list with comments.
BTW, that you were able to read this
advertisement for e-groups here is other proof of the reliability of
the RBCG. If Elena has to fear "bad press" then she would be
silly to publish what I wrote, but she can easily do this ... I didn't
Oh, and before I forget ... the private
investigation group I mentioned above found out that
list-participants have a higher marriage success rate than
non-participants. If this is not THE REASON for you to join then I
Anyway, Good luck in your search ... hope to
see you soon.