Russian Brides Cyber Guide
By Olga Sapp
(Russian Women Magazine http://www.russianwomenmagazine.com)
A lot has been said about the character of a Russian woman, about the reasons that make her seek a husband abroad, and about her expectations from new countries. Allow me to join in and summarize my own observations based on my personal experience and my numerous conversations with Russian women and their foreign spouses. Since I created the Russian Women Magazine (http://www.russianwomenmagazine.com) and a dating agency (http://www.russianwomenmagazine.com/dating/index.htm), I have received many letters. Men and women who were happy in their relationships and those whose relationships had failed wrote them. Based on the stories I have learnt living in the US, I believe I could have written a whole book. However, today I would like to talk about the beginning stage of a relationship: about the reasons that prompt a Russian woman to seek a spouse abroad, what qualities she is looking for in a man, her final choice, and how her choice coincides or not with that of a man. I would also like to discuss men's guidelines for choosing a spouse through dating agencies.
What is a Russian woman looking for? Like poor Diogenes, a Russian woman walks with a lantern in the daylight searching for a man in her native town. All she sees around her is green youths spoiled by female attention, unwilling to take up the load of other people's problems, yearning only for entertainment and pleasure, and relief from their own tough life. Of course there are some strong personalities, the so-called 'new Russians', but young and beautiful women are already lined up after them, and these men who have earned their fortune during the break-up of the USSR are surrounded by danger and trouble. However, a woman usually seeks peace and security in a relationship. She looks for a vague image of a real man in faraway countries. The recently open borders allow her to choose.
The choice varies from very wide to scarce, depending on the amount of effort a woman dedicates to the search of a spouse, her insight and the luck to receive a letter from the right man. The right man for a Russian woman is the one who is able to provide peaceful, safe and well-off life for her and her family. Of course, feelings and sexual attraction also play a great part. Unfortunately, a woman is not always capable to make the right choice under the influence of feelings. I know many women who came to the US having been charmed by their fiancés and married out of love only to discover later that their spouses are either tyrants or poor, incapable to provide decent living, or simply psychologically unstable individuals. There are two ways out in such situations: the immediate return home or a divorce after receiving a "green-card," depending on the urgency.
Now let's talk about the choice of the men. Of course everybody is looking for a beautiful woman. Luckily, everybody's standards of beauty are different. All other requirements differ from man to man. Someone is dreaming of a smart, intelligent, purposeful and self-reliant woman, but for some reason writes to couch potato that wants to be provided for by her husband. Someone else wants a wife who would stay on his big estate in the middle of an endless plain but is attracted by a photograph of a woman working as a manager of a hard currency department in a bank or as a journalist for the local TV station. Still, someone else is simply looking for a young blond with long legs, with his own assets being a bald patch, debts and a beer belly. It does not mean that all young blonds are looking for wealthy and handsome men. Not at all. They also have different tastes and demands. The best-case scenario is the tastes of both parts coincide and demands are met. I know many women who are happy being married to much older men with average incomes. However these young women are happy because they were looking for older men from the start attracted by their maturity, experience and responsibility. These women in many cases have reached maturity themselves, being in their late 20ies or early 30ies.
As far as twenty-year-old women are concerned, they are attracted by adventure, passion and romance in men. A twenty-year-old woman does not want to sit at home. She wants to study or advance her career. She is very sensitive to her freedom being infringed. Marriage to a young woman demands great sacrifices on the part of the spouse who has to keep up with her rhythm of life. Have you ever wondered how many young Russian girls are traveling across America running away from their boring, old and quarrelsome husbands?
I have met many Russian women while living here in America. All of them were very different: very young and much older, intelligent and not very smart, beautiful and just attractive, kind and tough, adventurous and serene, active and passive. All of them wanted to be loved and be happy in marriage. All of them are seeking love, but don't always find the right man.
I knew a man who fell in love with a picture of a young, educated, very beautiful woman from a good family. She was much younger than he, had never worked, and was supported by her husband before and even after the divorce. Like a sleeping beauty, she was dreaming of a prince. Finally that "prince" came to Moscow. He was an average American countryside fellow head over heels in love with a loud laugh and rough hands of a hardworking man. He was met with a cold contempt of the beauty. It is good that their romance ended so quickly. Why did she agree to meet him? She was enchanted by his passionate courting, a huge bucket of roses sent to cold Moscow, presents and money. The image of an American created in the heads of Russian women is sometimes very different from the reality. The imagination of Russian beauties is often nourished by Hollywood and not real life.
Here is another case. An elderly, overweight and soft-hearted scientist came to another big city to a woman from the circle of the so-called "new-Russians." She greeted him with hospitality and arranged for him a real vacation with Russian steam bath, vodka, gypsy songs, ice-skating and friends from her circle. She drove around the city in her own Mercedes in a mink coat tossed over her shoulders. Despite the fact that the extravagant lady did not show much affection towards her foreign friend, he still decided to take a risk and get her a fiancée visa. The sequence to this story was dramatic for both. Having arrived to a small condo on the beach the lady demanded a villa on the spot. Her fiancé having been scared away by her pressure and aggression had disappeared from the scene leaving it up to her to arrange her departure. Later, though, the same scientist found himself a pleasant and quiet woman with a positive outlook fifteen years older than his first Russian fiancée. The two are happy together now. All is well that ends well. The happy conclusion here is that this man finally found his dream woman with a personality that corresponded to his own.
Dear men, please take a distanced look at you and evaluate yourself. Please, don't think that your only asset is the fact that you are a citizen of rich and civilized country. Find other merits in yourself and take into consideration your drawbacks. Only then can you make a choice. It is true that there are some women who come into the US and other western countries only to get citizenship and would put up with drawbacks of a spouse. Is that your goal, though? Wouldn't you rather build a strong and secure family?
Why, for example, would a retired officer marry having five children from previous marriage and spending his military pension entirely on child support? The man has no permanent job, but only a desire to watch action movies and play computer games. "I don't need anything," he tells now to his Russian wife, who he literally pulled out of poverty in her native town. But she has needs! She does not want to be poor any more. She wants to have at least minimum comfort. In comparison with her previous living conditions the new life style is not so bad but just as unstable as back at home.
I would not say that the above mentioned retired officer could not have found himself a Russian woman dreaming of gazing at the stars with her loved one through the worn out roof of a shack. He probably could have found such a lady if he had paired up his image of a dream woman with what he could offer her. However his chances to meet the right partner would have been very slim.
Matching up characters, views and life-styles is an important component of a happy marriage. Does it mean that a couple should share the same outlook on everything? Of course not! However if true feelings, love or at least mutual respect are present then any disagreements can be resolved. If a woman loves you, she will forgive you a lot. On the other hand, she is also counting on your love, patience and understanding. She is counting on your support.
So how to determine whether you are compatible with your partner? Allow me to give you some advice. First of all you have to determine what you are looking for in a woman. Of course everybody wants to find a beautiful lady. When you are searching you usually stop at a photograph of a lady that strikes your imagination. You see a picture of a distant woman and all of a sudden she seems to be familiar and close to you. This is a good sign to start a correspondence. However, read her profile first and try to determine her background, and then compare it with your image of an ideal woman.
If you want your spouse to be an equal partner, interested in career, then you should seek a woman with higher education who has already achieved some success at home and in command of a foreign language. Preferably she should be under forty. After this age it is harder for a woman to make a good career.
If you want a spouse that would stay at home waiting for you to come home from work, cook dinner and make a pleasant companion to go out with, then over forty is the perfect age for you. If you still want to find a young housewife, try to find a woman who has never been interested in career, passive and not very interested in intellectual activity.
If you are looking for woman 20 years younger or more, then you need to find a woman who likes older men, who is dreaming of a caring husband-father figure. If you are over 60 then it is better to forget of a young woman who has not reached at least 35. By the way, I would not recommend even men in their forties to look for a woman younger than 25. Young girls under 25 are a better match for young men full of life, looking for romantic adventures and busy social life. You should look at age difference very carefully. It is always a good idea to ask yourself a question: what will your wife do when you are 80? Are you ready for a young woman full of life taking care of an elderly man?
The next step would be to get to know the woman through correspondence. This is a very important stage in the process of getting to know each other. Through letters you can find out a lot about a woman. I don't advise you to prepare for a meeting before you have written "tons" of letters and receive the same amount in return. If a woman writes rarely it means that she does not take you very seriously or is corresponding with a few other men. Electronic mail has become the most popular means of communication. Of course this kind of service in Russia is very expensive and not every household has a computer. However, I can assure you that a truly interested woman can find a way to send you e-mails. You should not discard the opportunity to take advantage of the regular mail services, but the getting to know stage might stretch in time.
It is in your letters that you should tell a woman about your desires and intentions. You should be honest in describing yourself. You have to inform your lady of choice about your disadvantages and baggage of the past. Let her know whether you have kids from your first marriage and whether you pay child support, and whether these kids will stay in the house and how often. If you have any health problems you should also write about them. Perhaps you should not write about all your problems and secrets in your first letter. I believe, you will be able to decide for yourself when it is time for an honest conversation. Such conversation must take place before your first meeting.
It is necessary to also talk about your conditions towards your future spouse. Let her know of your expectations and intentions. If you don't plan on having children, write about it. If you are a vegetarian and would like your wife to be a vegetarian as well, it is also important to tell. Of course, your conditions should not bear a form of an ultimatum. It can be done in a more delicate manner, by carefully worded questions, examples and so on. You should not be very demanding but you can't also deceive the expectations of your loved one. In return you should find out what the woman expects from marriage but don't promise what you can't deliver.
The process of getting to know each other can be continued during the meeting with the woman at her home and if this meeting meets your expectations you may proceed to planning her arrival to your country and your wedding.
It very important to find out how well a woman adapts to new environments and how flexible she is. The ability to adapt to changes, to accept cultural differences and different points of view, and to be patient and tolerant of each other will help you in your marriage.
Ask yourself frankly: will you be able to take up the responsibility of becoming a good husband for a Russian woman? Will you be able to devote yourself to taking care of her? Will you help her make the first steps in the unfamiliar country, provide for her and her children (if present) financially? Will you have the patience to be her husband, her friend and teacher? Will you offer her the support she needs in adapting to the unknown society and not confine her within the house? If you answered "yes" to all these questions then you are ready to meet your destiny and it will reward you generously for your effort. You will find a loving, caring, grateful, intelligent, beautiful wife with a wonderful heart and soul. These are not empty words because there are many happier than unhappy international couples.
"All unhappy families are unhappy in their own ways, all happy families look alike," said Leo Tolstoy. I must agree with him on that statement. The scheme of a happy marriage is one for everybody: he gives her his love and care, and she gives him in return her grateful heart. A mutual exchange of energy takes place, which is crucial to maintain fire in the family hearth glowing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Olga Sapp is the owner of the popular online-magazine Russian Women Magazine (http://www.russianwomenmagazine.com) and Dating agency (http://www.russianwomenmagazine.com/dating/index.htm) The magazine is dedicated to the Russian women that find themselves in an ever changing world and for interested men. You are welcome to contact Olga at email@example.com
I know Olga Sapp for about 2 years since she wrote to me about Russian Brides Cyber Guide. She is a professional journalist and was interested in her own online publication. We discussed the need for a forum that would help Russian women to adapt to their new life abroad, and in just a few months her online magazine welcomed its first visitors. Dreams can come true... When you dream the right dream :-)
The article was translated by Polina Kozak
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