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 (See Myth
6 for details).
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.
Russian-based agencies vs. foreign-based
As a rule, the less you pay
for the contact with women, the higher the chance that the database is
out of date or inaccurate. Infamous scams usually originate from large
personals where for a small fee one can contact any member of the site
and where anyone is invited to place a free ad. Free personals and
low-cost services are full of scammers.
The best option is
specialized Russian dating agencies and they must be
foreign-based. There are a few quality Russian-based agencies but for
each of them there are hundreds operations that will take your money
and give nothing in return. With an agency based in a first-world
country, you have much better chance of receiving the service that was
It is easy to find
western-based agencies on the Internet; just put something like
"Russian brides", "Russian women" or "Russian girls" in the search box
and you will get millions related web pages in the results. Look
through the sites on the first pages of the search results; they will
be the once that are successful, and if the agency is successful, they
are professional and your chances of a personal success are higher, too.
The longer the agency works
in the business, the better. Currently dating industry attracts many
flight-by-night operators that start dating sites hoping to get rich
quick. When it does not happen, they drop out of business leaving their
customers with nothing.
Look also for anti-scam
associations, signs of Better Business Bureau, or Trust-E seal. Check
the authentity of the seal: does it really belong to this company (for
example, some companies display BBB seal of their credit card
provider)? In anti-scam associations, check if the agency is listed
with the anti-scam site; many scam agencies post anti-scam icons on
their sites to mislead their possible victims; they have never been
accepted in the anti-scam programs.
If you are surfing Internet
and often see references to a particular dating site, this will be the
sign that the site is trustworthy. If you were directed to the site
through an ad you placed or responded to in online personals, this will
be the indication that the site is doubtful: respectable dating sites
avoid such practice.
Once you have located a
dating site you fancy, paste its name into a search engine (use
quotation marks around the official name of the site) and see what
comes up. If you find references to the agency on hundreds other sites,
you will know it is not a flight-by-night operation.
You can find sites of local
Russian marriage agencies on the Web, too. Many of them will let you
contact women for free, with no payment at all or buying only addresses
of the women who positively responded to your first
letter. However, some of them may require payment for
correspondence at a later stage.
The advantage of
Russian-based agencies is that they are close to their clients, and
know all of them personally. At the same time, it's difficult to check
if the agency is trustworthy and not one of the "scam" agencies
duplicating themselves every week with a new address. Even having the
phone number and postal address of the agency as featured on their
contact page cannot insure you against scammers. Using an unknown
Russian-based agency is always a gamble.
In some cases dealing with
real Russian-based agencies may be a heartbreaking experience. Often
Russian-based agencies ask girls to respond to all letters just to get
money from men, even if a lady doesn't like the guy.
I was a member of one of
them, and the agency asked me to invite a guy I did not like but who
liked me very much to come to Russia. They said, "You will be doing him
a favor, we will find him a wife anyway once he is here." I refused to
help in such an arrangement, but I am not sure the guy did not receive
an invitation from "me". At the same time the agency was very strict in
featuring women's data - you had to provide identification and verify
your address and phone number before they accepted you.
Agencies may use a letter
that a woman wrote to one of her correspondents and send this respond
to all her applicants without her knowledge. This type of letters is
known as a 'scam' letter. All the same, the girls are real, and
truly want to find husbands.
When you write to a
lady from one of the Russian-based agencies, ask her for a phone number
and street address in the very first letter,
and do it somewhere in the middle of your message, so the agency will
not be able to cut this phrase out. You may also mention that you would
love to receive her hand-written letter with photos. If she disregards
this message, and you don't receive anything for more than 6 weeks, it
may be an agency scam or she is not really interested in you.
The majority of agencies
are genuinely assisting men in their search, and they do their best to
prevent such cases. They require you to report scammers or any other
attempt of receiving money, and delete data of those girls from their
Anyway, there are MUCH MORE
sincere genuine Russian women than scammers. Just do not believe girls
who fall in love with you within a few letters.
The advantage of
Western-based agencies is that they are able to accumulate numerous
applications from women, and offer you a good choice. At the same time,
however, they may fail to check the submitted data, and their databases
grow too large to be handled properly, with many women posted who are
already unavailable. It is not always the agency's fault; women often
neglect to inform them when they already met somebody. When you use
Western based agencies, the best chance you will have with ladies
who were active on the site not longer than 1 month ago (if the
site provides a facility to search by last activity) or ladies whose
profiles were published not later than 3 months ago (if the site only
provides search by the date of publication).
The thing is, after a lady
has been featured by an Internet agency, she may well receive 10-15
letters a day. Your chance to attract her attention after many months,
when she has already exchanged quite a few letters with men, are less
than if she has just started her search.
precautions: According a Russian photographer, there are companies in
the West that run scam agencies, and make professional shootings in
Russia. Models are invited to pose, with 3-5 sets of pictures and
videos of each girl done. They use professional make-up and changes of
clothing, so pictures look different.
UNDERSTAND ME CORRECTLY. I am not trying to persuade you to use western
agencies instead of local ones, or vise versa, or against the use of
agencies in general. Both serve their purpose, and without agencies
men and women would struggle to find each other. You simply must be
aware of the facts and the techniques that dishonest people use playing
on your genuine desire to find a soul mate. Better to take precautions
than end up heartbroken.
here for the list of reliable dating services introducing Russian
women seeking partners.)
The best advice is: when you
deal with agencies, do not fall for pretty pictures. Very often
women with poor quality photos are more beautiful in real life. Look
deep inside. Don't judge a book by it's cover!
A good idea is to let
women contact you directly, especially if you are a bit shy or
afraid of rejection. In this case you receive information "first hand"
- unedited, unrestricted, and - what's most important - from women who
are already interested in you.
Place your personal ad -
this will let you to test the waters. Many agencies will accept your
personal info for distribution to their clients for free, the others
will ask a modest fee.
You must be aware of the
free listings REAL costs though:
often you will be required to pay for the letters that arrive in
response to your ad; and the costs may be MUCH higher than if you
initially paid for the listing. Most services offering free listings
charge $8-12 for sending or receiving each letter, which means you will
have to pay a small fortune for this "free" service at the end of the
day. Actually, the only reason for anything free is to get some money
from you later. Thus, sending and receiving only 10 letters back and
forth would already set you back $160. How many letters you think is
enough to make sure you met the right woman for YOU? Count the
forthcoming costs BEFORE using "free" listings. Check if the site is
going to charge you for each letter sent and received, or if you can
pay a once-off fee for the contact.
If you are serious
about finding a Russian wife, spend more time when choosing. Make sure
you have a broad choice. (If you are not
serious, don't start at all.) It's the
least costly stage, and a wrong choice may plunge you into
huge expenses. Imagine yourself coming back from Russia after you found
out that the woman you met is a completely different person than she
was in her letters. Use all possible ways of searching: agencies,
personal ads, gentlemen's catalogues. Some will work for you
better than the others but you never know until you try which is the
best for YOU. Some services offer combined packages.
you are just thinking about seeking a Russian bride, think twice. It's
a time, money and energy consuming venture.