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Advice for men over 50 looking for a Russian wife

Top question - August

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Q: It seems that all Russian women are looking for men under 55... Can I find somebody if I am older?

This month I received a wonderful comment from one of my visitors that answers one of the most frequently asked question: can a man over 50 find a nice Russian lady for marriage?

Read advice of American man from the point of view of his own experience (I agree with almost every word...).

[the rest of you guys can skip this]

So you're over 50 and you're beginning your search for a wife from the former Soviet Union. Perhaps I can give you a few suggestions and a little insight into who you should be looking for and what they are looking for from you. These comments are based on my own experience and conversations I have had with others in the same situation.

I took the route that many of you are taking; writing letters to women whose listings are on web sites too numerous to even count. My luck was terrible. They simply did not respond. It was disappointing, to say the least. I began to wonder what was wrong with me. I think I have a lot to offer. I'm not movie star handsome, but my face won't stop a clock either. I'm not overweight. I have all my hair and teeth. I have a good personality and sense of humor. I shower every day. It was puzzling, to say the least. I gave up. It just wasn't worth the frustration and disappointment. I soon found, however, that one of the problems was that a lot of those listings are out-of-date or fake. Maybe it wasn't my fault after all. I soon realized that the younger guys might find wives that way, but not those of us over fifty. There must be a better way.

I decided to put my own listing on some sites and see what might happen. Perhaps two or three women might be interested. I was looking for quality, not quantity, anyway, so numbers wouldn't matter. I submitted my biography to three sites in Russia and Ukraine. During the past three months I have received sixty-five responses, thirty from my listing on one site alone. No, make the sixty-eight. Three more just arrived. About three or four new letters arrive each week. The response is far more than I ever expected. Overwhelming is a better word. Even better than that, I received not only quantity, but quality as well.

I am searching for a woman aged 38 to 45. The women who have responded so far range from a 20 year-old college student to a 45 year-old doctor. Are the responses coming from women to whom I would like to write and consider as potential mates? You bet. They are all intelligent, interesting, and gorgeous. They are everything any red-blooded American man would want in a wife. Have I written back to any of them? Sure. Wouldn't you? But how does this thing work? How do you find the right person?

First, know exactly what you want in a wife. And guys, be realistic about what you are searching for and be honest about yourself. You have to be suspicious about a much-too-young woman being interested in you. Will I write back to the 20 year-old? Yes, but only to thank you for her interest and tell her that she is outside the age range I selected. She seems to be sweet, but I have a daughter ten years older than she is and we would have virtually nothing in common. Is she looking for a free ride to the United States and is willing to do anything to get it? Perhaps, but I'm not interested in finding out. And do you really want someone that young? For one thing, you could never keep up with a twenty-something woman. She would wear you out in a month. I don't know about you, but I'm looking for much more from a life-long partner. I want a friend, companion and an intellectual equal, not just a playmate. Yes, the physical part would be great, but what do you talk about after the novelty has worn off?

Most of my responses are from women aged about thirty-two to forty-three. A
little under my range, but who could resist writing to that 33 year-old living doll with those fantastically gorgeous eyes who lives in St. Petersburg? My only hesitation about her is that she's from one of the two cities that I said I would not consider: St. Petersburg and Moscow. Too big. Too westernized. I live in a town of 100,000 people. Small by Russian standards. Would a St. Petersburg girl be happy in a mid-size American town? That's something I will have to know before anything really serious can be considered. Think about where you live and where she lives. Would she be happy in your town? Learn about her city before you get too far into the relationship.

You absolutely must offer them something unique and interesting. Telling them you're from the USA and that you have a house, an automatic dishwasher, and a car won't do it. They won't be impressed. In fact, they'll be insulted. They are not for sale to the person with the most "stuff." And besides, we all have that same stuff. It comes with the territory. They won't be impressed with your possessions, so don't mention them until you get to know the woman. I have a good salary, big house with a pool, garden, all the modern electronic goodies, and five cars. None of the women I'm writing to know about any of it. It's not important to them and it won't be important to the women to whom you will write. Tell them about yourself, but don't brag about your possessions.

Remember that your competition is from around the world, me and other guys in the USA, Canada, Germany, England, Australia, Sweden, Italy, South Africa, and just about every other country you can name. They have a lot to offer too, so don't think that just because you're from the good-old USA that you have an advantage. You don't. They want to marry a person, not a country. They want to marry a good, decent, kind and caring man with whom they can feel safe, secure and loved. They want a happy family life. They want a man who is "financially secure." They want candle lit dinners and "home coziness." If you can't convince them that you can provide those things, then, my friend, you have lost already. And for Heaven's sake, never mention sex in any of your letters unless they bring it up first. Don't be a fool. If you want to scare them off, that's the sure way to do it.

Don't rush your relationship. Some web sites tell you that if you don't visit the woman in her home country within two to three months, she'll look elsewhere. Nonsense. Sometimes it takes six months to a year before she's ready to take the major step of inviting you to visit her. The web sites that tell you otherwise are probably selling those horrendous package tours (hey, it's Tuesday, we must be in Kiev. I have to meet forty women this afternoon!) How can you possibly choose a wife under those circumstances? You couldn't pay me to sign up for one of those. I'll travel to Russia or Ukraine or Moldova on my own, thank you. I'm luckier than most because I know the language, but even if I didn't I would try to muddle through and you should too.

That beautiful Russian woman that you think you love is as nervous about this thing as you are, probably more so, and she wants to be absolutely sure of what she's getting into because once she takes the step of inviting you to visit, there will be no turning back. Generally, a visit leads to marriage and she knows it. She'll take her time in making that fateful decision. You're asking her to leave behind the only life she has ever known. You're asking her to leave her friends and family. You're asking her to move to an alien culture where she won't even know the language. Yes, she probably studied English in school, but that was twenty years ago. How is your high school Latin? Same thing. She probably has forgotten more English than she ever learned and now you're asking her to come to a country where virtually no one will speak her language. Good grief, man, she probably won't even know how to use a credit card or a checkbook. Could you survive if someone asked you to move tomorrow to Ekaterinburg? Probably not. Let her set the pace.

And let me tell you right now. Don't ever treat her as though she's stupid. She probably has a better education than you. She knows more about life and how to survive hardship than you will ever have to know. Keep in mind that we are all smart, but in different subjects.

Don't be buffaloed by the words she uses in her letters. Elena Petrova, a Russian woman who now lives in Australia, has on her web site a glossary of terms used by Russian and Ukrainian women and the definitions. Be familiar with those terms on Elena's site at I guarantee that the women who write to you will use all those terms and if you don't know the meanings, you're going to be thoroughly confused. "Intelligent," for example, means much more in Russian than it does in English. It means that you are not only smart, as in educated, but it means also that you have some class, that you're a cut above the rest of the competition. If she says she thinks you're intelligent, that's one of the highest compliments she can give you. Thank her for it. If she tells you that you're handsome, thank her for that compliment, too, even if you know she's spreading it thicker'n butter on toast. If she says you're intelligent AND handsome, well, my good man, you're in. Hang on to that one.

You don't have to be the world's best writer to get her attention. Just be honest and open in your letters. I did that and one woman told me that my letters were as fascinating and special to her as were the letters she had received from her now-deceased mother. Wow! Did that ever make my day. She also says my letters are the most romantic she has ever received. I don't think they're especially romantic, but I simply tell her how I feel about her. Maybe that tells you something about the letters she gets from the competition. But, guys, don't tell her those things in your first letter or she'll know that you're lying. Get to know her a little so you can make an honest statement.

Some sites will tell you to avoid women who are looking for a "generous" or "well-to-do" man. Don't believe that. Those terms have totally different meanings to them than they do to you. Watch out for the word "rich," though. If you're not rich, forget about her. Elena's site tells you what "financially secure" really means. Don't let that term scare you. It doesn't mean what you think.

Use words and phrases in your letters that she can easily understand. Remember, she's probably using a translator who might not be much more fluent in English than she is, so don't use colloquialisms or modern jargon. You understood what I meant above by the word "buffaloed." She won't. Her dictionary will tell her that buffalo is a noun, not a verb. I live in Oklahoma and I know that if I use the word "y'all" it'll drive them crazy trying to figure it out. They might misinterpret what you're saying and then you'll have to explain what you really meant. And watch out for the mis-translations in her letters to you. I got a letter a few weeks ago where the translator used the word "tactless" which the woman used in describing herself. The woman, of course, meant "tactful." It was the translator's mistake, not hers. Try to use some common sense when you read her letters and don't get upset by mistakes like that one. I especially like the word "careful" when they describe the kind of man they want. They mean, of course, "caring," but the word careful can have a totally different meaning to some Americans. And it won't hurt to learn some Russian and throw in a few phrases that have meaning to you and her, but make sure you spell the words correctly and mean what you say because she'll believe everything you tell her in Russian.

Above all else, fellows, be totally honest with her. If you lie to her, she'll find out sooner or later and if she has a big brother, you could be in terrible trouble. Boris doesn't take kindly to people lying to his sister. If you're not interested in her, tell her. Don't drag it out. You might be her knight in shining armor and if she's beginning to fall in love with you, you'll break her heart and that will make you the biggest cad on this side of the Atlantic. Not only that, she'll think you represent all of us and she'll hate all American men. She might be MY dream woman and you'll have to answer to me if you ruin my chance at happiness. Better to get it over with as soon as possible and let her look for someone else.

However, if she's the woman you've been searching for all your life, tell her so. The only thing she has to compare you with, other than the letters from those others guys (who are probably lying and she'll find that out soon enough), are the men who live in her hometown. Now don't get me wrong. I like the people in the former Soviet Union. They are good people, but Russia is a rough place. The culture is unlike any you have ever known. Russian men can be your best friends, but the culture doesn't permit them to treat women like you and I have been taught. To have a husband who doesn't drink, doesn't beat his wife, is faithful, and who works at a steady job is a rarity. When they divorce, the husband takes off for another country and never helps her, never helps support his children, and has little if any contact with them. I can't count the number of men from the former Soviet Union I've met who say that they left their wife and kids behind. They're proud about being scumbags and they don't care what happens to the family they left back in Moscow. The good ones in her hometown are already married and she doesn't have much of a selection from which to choose. That's why she's looking overseas.

She doesn't necessarily want to leave her homeland, but she often has no choice if she wants to have even a modicum of happiness. To have a man tell her she's beautiful (and she probably is, but no man at home has told her that since she was eighteen), and to offer her a good life with a secure future, sharing, respect, love and understanding is a dream-come-true for her. No man ever put her on a pedestal before. She's not used to it, but she'll love it. Don't let her down.

Could she be lying to you, telling you things that she knows you want to hear but not meaning any of it? Maybe, maybe not. Some decisions have to be made on faith alone and that's the chance you'll have to be willing to take. We have those kinds of women in this country. We've all met them during our lives. We know how they act and how they talk, so use your intuition and common sense. Don't get carried away by your enthusiasm about meeting that stunningly beautiful woman from Donetsk and throw out all caution. She has probably been honest with you and you have nothing to worry about, but think before you act, that's all. Yes, there are scam artists out there, ready to
take your money and give you nothing in return. I haven't been taken yet, but it might happen eventually. What do I do to protect myself? For one thing I ask for the woman's mailing address in my first letter to her, and I send her my mailing address to show her that I really exist and have a home, that I'm not hiding anything. If she ignores my request and doesn't send either her last name or mailing address, I drop her. If she cannot respond to that simple request, then she's either a scam artist or is not interested enough in you to provide even basic information about herself.

Why am I looking for a woman in the former Soviet Union? Probably for the same reasons as you. I have been married twice before. My first wife was European, my second wife was American. Both marriages were happy. I loved them both dearly. Now that I'm forced by circumstances to look for a new wife, I think I'm to the point in my life where I know exactly what I want. Someone who is attentive, loving, intelligent, and someone with whom I can share my life and have fun. And having a beautiful wife is not a bad thing, either. Women in this country who might be interested in me are simply too set in their ways, too demanding, too unwilling to do anything different. I have a lot of good years left and I want to spend them with a woman with whom I can have a pleasant time. As the poet Don Blanding put it, I'm having "a grand time living" and I want to share that life with someone special. Plus there are elements of adventure, excitement and discovery in marrying an Eastern European woman. She will appreciate traveling with me to new places, trying new foods, meeting new people, and doing things that most Americans would consider mundane or routine. And once a year or so, we'll fly back to Novosibirsk or Chelyabinsk or whatever her hometown might be to visit her family and friends. What an adventure that will be.

Get to know and understand the culture that raised her. Hollywood has created a stereotypical image of Russian men and women. You've seen them. Russian men are always the dimmest bulb on the chandelier, usually working as a building manager or gangster. Russian women are always portrayed as prostitutes with hearts of gold. But they have the cutest accents and the sweetest voices, so you just have to love them. Neither stereotype is even remotely close to the truth, so ignore them. They are all individuals, just like you and me. Are Russians rude? By our standards, it would seem so. But no, they are not rude, just down-to-earth and blunt. Life is hard. They don't have time for idle chit-chat. No, they don't hate you, it's the culture that tells them they have a job to do and they must get it done quickly and efficiently. The fact that their pay is six months in arrears only makes them more frustrated. So when you arrive at the airport in Moscow on your way to see the woman of your dreams, just smile at the immigration officers with the big hats and ill-fitting uniforms, answer their questions quickly and directly, and tell them how happy you are to be in their wonderful country. They'll think you're a nut, but they won't give you a hard time either. And I promise the woman you are going to see will not treat you that way.

Why is the age range I put in my ad from 15 to 20 years younger than I am? Again, probably for the same reasons as yours. One reason is because that's the highest age of most of the women who are looking for foreign husbands. Maybe the women over 45 have given up, or think they are past their prime. That's not true, but how do you tell them? I don't know the answer to that. Would I consider marrying a Russian woman my own age? Sure, why not? Do I really want a trophy wife or arm candy? Not a chance. Most of those women are dumb as mud and I don't need that. Every woman wants to be loved because of who she is, not just because she'll look good attached to your arm when you go out on the town. Russian and Ukrainian women are no different. Love them for who and what they are, and tell them so. Often. They'll love you even more for it.

Why is she considering you, a man 15-25 years her senior? The answers are simple: stability, security and caring. You have a stable and secure career. You have time to pay attention to her and you won't spend fifteen hours a day in the office while you ignore her and your home life. You're settled and responsible. You won't jealously guard your authority as the head of the household, but have learned that a husband and wife are partners, equals. You're not just looking for a good time or playing games, but you are serious about finding a wife you can love and respect. You're a good man and you've proven yourself. Remember when you were 35? You weren't very mature were you? Well, you are now and she likes that. If she knows your age and is still interested in you, then it doesn't matter. Forget the age thing. It's not important.

Good luck in your search for the perfect wife. I hope my comments will help. I think I'm having good luck in my search thanks to folks at the sites on which I have chosen to advertise myself. I think I've found "the one" in Novosibirsk. I'll let you know if it works out.


2000 Richard Welch

July 2000 Top FAQ:

Q: I have read that Russian women are brought up to be ashamed of any sexual pleasure... any truth in this statement? Are sexual matters become a problem in these kind of relationship?

Click here for the answer


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