Some are "agency girls" - they make money for their agency by writing hundreds of letters. They are pretty easy to spot. A few are professional daters. Some are looking for a means of escape. And a precious few are genuine.
The only way to discern is to write hundreds of letters yourself - then talk to them on the phone - then get ona plane and see for yourself.
It's not easy, cheap or without risk but I think it is well worth it. I'm off to see my sweetheart in September - 8 trip to the FSU for me with many dead ends along the way. This time, I made a good choice.
I've just returned from my first ever visit to Ukraine. I went there to meet 3 specific women I had been corrosponding with via Globaladies website. We had video chatted, text, rang and written regularly, I followed the advice of this forum and others and asked deep, specific questions about these girls lives, I kept every letter from them and often referred back to them checking facts. After almost 3 months I was convinced all 3 women were genuine in their intentions.
Once I arrived in their country to meet them, things became very different. Only 1 was "available" to meet up with me, even though all 3 knew I was arriving on that day and staying 10 days. The 1 that did meet me seemed pre-occupied with an elderly gentleman sitting on a bench near to us at the John Howard Pub in Kherson, a few hours later he joined us and she introduced him as her uncle. We arranged to meet the next day, and I never heard from her again.
I asked many questions throughout my stay in Ukraine about this whole "dating" business and I got some very honest answers, from bar staff, male and female, train attendants and general people I started conversations with in cafe's, the answers were all pretty much the same......EG is right, sad as it is, many girls, but not all, are paid a dollar for every letter they respond to through their local agency. They do it to better their lives, support their unemployed boyfriends/husbands etc. It's common knowledge throughout Ukraine. The local agencies do not advertise the fact, they don't need to, because everyone knows, everyone that is, except us, the western men looking for love.
In total contrast to the above though, days before I left Ukraine, I was invited to a barbeque, had a wonderful time, and met a great woman who has never used an agency. I dont think I could get her to accept money from me if her life depended on it.
So, "is it worth it" how much time, effort, dedication and money are you willing to put into it my friend? That is perhaps, the more relevant question!
Its either all in or all out. Anything in between is a waste of time. You will need plenty of time and money
to weed through the endless mind games...you will want to quit many times but in the end, she will be there,
waiting....only you got to find her....let me put this way....
plane and lodging-..........$2400
meals & incidentals-........$1500
meeting the right girl-.....priceless
EG is right on the ball here. If you want to take a chance, do some internet research or get info from your home affairs office on requirements and conditions of a U.K fiance visa as thats really the only way you will get an FSU women into the U.K. For one to get a tourist visa is unlikely unless they are asset rich owning real estate and other property that would bind them to there country, to cause them to want to go home after a visit.
Most FSU girls on the internet are lowly paid, can barely afford to go to the internet cafe once a week and live in apartments they grew up in shared with there parents.
In rich cities such as ST.Petersburg and Moscow, apartments can be more than $50,000 USD to buy and for a girl on a salary of $200 to $300 a month, home ownership is impossible and this would be about the average working salary now days, its even less in the Ukraine.
Its likely you would have to meet her expenses in having a meeting with you if she has to travel within her country to meet you and you would have to cover her meals, accomodation and entertainment for the personal meeting but if she takes you on a shopping trip wanting fur coats, diamond rings, lap top computers, apple ipods etc. then you don't be a fool and buy them because she is just using you for a shopping scam on the personal visit.
The shopping scam on the personal visit is becoming more popular in the Ukraine nowdays, as scammers are aware that the old internet techniques of scamming and asking for money don't work anymore.
Be aware, don't be tight fisted with your money over there as that will put girls off you ( in there culture, it is expected the dating man will pay for meals, drinks and entertainments ) but at the same time, don't be fool hardy with your money either by buying everything for her under the sun.
Arrange your own accomodation and travel over there..don't let the girl or dating agency do it because it can be scam with hidden kick backs to the girl with over inflated prices.
Consult a reputable and licensed travel agent in the U.K that specialises in travel to Eastern Europe so they can help you, honestly.
Some internet travel agency/accomodation agency for Eastern Europe are nothing but pure scam so theres a risk doing it over the internet, yourself unless you are really knowledgeable about who are the good and honest operators here.
Its not cheap like EG says, multiple trips will probably be required as you have a lottery like chance of getting the right girl and succeeding in one trip..its expensive in terms of money and the time it takes and theres a lot of bureaucratic red tape involved with immigration of foreign girls, and it seems in countries like the U.K, U.S.A and Australia, immigration authorities frown upon marriages with there own countrymen and FSU girls because of all the problems theres been with them, and applicants from the FSU are scrutinised more ( and discriminated against more ).
Good luck and take due care.
With regards to the horror stories, just know that humans are more prone to complain than to praise. That goes doubly so on internet forums. I think the key is just to be smart about it. Don't be blinded by a pretty face (hard to do when about 99% of them are pretty faces :) ) and of course don't let yourself get scammed. beemer is right though...either throw yourself in or stay out. It just doesn't seem to work any other way.
Its like a minefield this FSU find a bride business..in for a penny, in for a pound but the "mines" are the scammers and gold diggers so tip toe carefully through it watching were you tread and what you step on cause you will get your legs ( equivelant of your feelings burnt and wallet emptied ) blown off if your careless and not looking.
Finding any honest woman from anywhere is a challenge..you can never know what is actually going on in there minds even if you have been married to them for years..the feminine species maybe physically weaker but they more than make up for it by being the masters of deception and lies!
In life there are no gaurantees of happy endings!
You mentioned that the paid letter writers or agency girls are easy to spot. What indicators would you use other than the number of letters written to them (photos in bikinis) etc. will indicate their status?
Below are my experiences from my first 2 trips to the FSU. I originally posted this in the "Be Happy" thread.
Back then, I was younger, innocent and very naive.
The main lesson is to get direct contact as soon as possible - and by direct, I mean telephone conversations without an interpreter. Be prepared to spend a fortune on phone calls - however, you can find out more in a 2 hour conversation than you can with 50 letters.
I talk to my current sweetheart about 2 hours A DAY. It's telling that both I - and her - can make the time to do this, especially given the 7 hour time difference between us.
So - here (below) is my folly. Please learn from my mistakes.
EG (Originally from England, now living the the US)
"Ah, yes... Be Happy 2 Day Agency... what fond memories that brings back.
OK. First off, I've been to Tver twice and one of the BH interpreters is a good friend now. And from her i learned much that really went on behind the curtains...
And my pesonal experiences were very teling as well..
I've met Yaroslav (the owner) a few times, the administrators and all of the interpreters. Yaroslav is tall, handsome and quite charming man. He has an honest face - but do not let that fool you for one minute. It's all about the $$$$$$$$.
The interpreters write more than 90% of the letters, and in some instances, the interpreters fall in love with the men they are writing to (completely unbeknownst to those men - who think they are writing to genuine ladies).
When you send flowers, they do not get them. They go to the BH office. I speak a little Russian and what was discussed while I sat in the tiny BH office was scandelous and shocking. Scammers is a gross understatement.
When you get there - the ladies that you have been corresponding with the most - or the ones that you are most interested in - are "busy" or "out of town". My initial reaction was "WTF"?
Until I learned what was REALLY going on...
There are a few genuine ladies - I met 3 of the 24 or so I met over my visits. Unfortunately, I was not interested in them so no fireworks happened.
Of the remaining 21 ladies? They were all young, extremely attractive, bored, petulant, arrogant, self-centered - and all professional daters. They dated every foreign man that came through Tver, got a nice dinner and presents, and then moved on. They had ZERO clue about the vast majority of my prolific letters and nothing about me. They knew what I looked like because they did get that much from the agency, but that was it.
None of them spoke English - even the ones that said that they did in their profile.
Other things - almost 100% of the girls/women smoked like chimneys and drank like fish. Their profile (of course) said non-smoker and non-drinker.
Additionally, most of them had boyfriends - many times, multiple boyfriends, even married boyfriends. That seems to be quite normal there. The vast majory had zero intention of ever leaving Tver - far less Russia.
BH (via fake letters) refused to divulge any personal information - this over a period of almost 7 months.
Taxis to SVO airport in Moscow, to St. Petersburg, to Tarjok, to Moscow, were astronomically expensive - all in US Dollars, of course.
All told I spent circa $14,000 USD with BH - all for nothing.
But you live and learn - and move on.
My only advice to anyone is this : UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES USE THE BE HAPPY 2 DAY AGENCY.
I made a trip to kharkov this year after two years of reading this forum and taking every precaution I thought anyway, Read my thread my nightmare in Kharov its ends up straying from the point, but there are some very wise people on here, take in what they say they know what they are talking about.don't think you are different it won't happen to you, it will if you don't listen.
Five months I was talking to the same girl, sent flowers, dreamed of romantic diners, and of course intamacy.
When I finally arrived in Kharkof, after a terrible 24 hour journey, I soon realised I was just a source of income, and they took me at every turn.
Having said all that I am still a member and still trying, beacuse I believe, I have a better life to offer the right person, if you saw how they have to live you would think that they would all be clambering to escape but thats not true. But there are those that do its just a question of finding a genuine one.
he horror stories that are read are what they are stories. Some like to quote their experience here, but have never step foot in the FSU. Kind of like being a brain surgeon with google as their background.
Make no mistake there are many willing to take money, but being prudent and in control will bring good results. Nothing in life is guaranteed, if is the middle word in L(if)e. If this and if that.
You can't fall in love with a picture and letters. You can't fall in love with false promises of a person you've never spent any time with.
Relying on agencies to do anything besides translate and take your money, you're fooling yourself. When writing these ladies get their phone numbers and addresses and any agency that won't do it or a girl won't do it, time to dump them. If they contradict their letters, inquire as to why. If the woman really interests you, keep your communication with her in a word file for easy access and re-read the letters often. I caught many time wasters and translators writing letters that contradicted themselves often. Remember as much as they don't want you to be, you are in control of everything, from the trip you will make and the money you will spend and the choice of the woman you want to meet.
Establish communication outside the sphere of the agency influence. Also don't try to write too many ladies at one time, you can't even keep your thoughts organized. I received over 300 inquiries from ladies, close to 100 alone on fiance.com. I responded to maybe 80 of them, from more inquiring letters to thanks but no thanks. Don't be in a big hurry to jump on the next plane out of Dodge. Stay in control and look over the possibilities. If something seems wrong, chances are it is. Common sense and a gut feeling will carry you a long way in this search.
Avoid pay per letter sites like the plague. As referred to above agencys like BeHappy are a stone cold money pit and a huge waste of your time.
Don't get "The Savior Mentality", these ladies were surviving way before you came along and they will continue to do so. The real ones, don't need your help, because they understand their economic and living conditions, which isn't much different than others that live in their area.
The real ladies will have to think hard about relocating to another country, especially if you live in the States like me. You should appreciate that and expect it. If they don't think about it too much, you're probably getting your chain yanked. It took mine almost a year to decide, that she wasn't making a mistake in what she was doing. Remember there are two people here and one is going to give up a hell of a lot more than you ever will, no matter how fat your wallet is. Put yourself in her place for a moment.
Meeting your lady in Kiev or another big city doesn't mean that all they want to do is go on an expensive shopping trip. Learn all you can about their culture and history, it makes for interesting conversation on the phone and via letters. When I met my wife in Kiev after over 8 or 9 months of communication and discussing Ukrainian history, she couldn't wait to take me around and show me all she could, didn't have a damn thing to do with shopping. I got a first hand tour of the culture and history with a wonderful woman, who knew I was there seriously looking at her for a future. I'm not of the thought of some of having a back up plan. I think it's a bit disengenious and if you prepared yourself there is a good chance you won't need it. If your meeting goes bust, the apartments you are staying at can help you if you need it. Yes we did some shopping on the last day in Kiev before we went to Mariupol, but it was minimal, more of a memory of our first meeting together.
There's no guarantee to this, none at all if you are searching in earnest. Prepare to make other trips to go back if you meet the right one. In my opinion, one trip and one meeting isn't going to even give you a sample of their way of life, or living with them. Don't try to do this on the cheap, just not feasible. You can do it smart, just don't try to be cheap.
When I decided to take on this adventure, I limited myself to one woman one trip. I think in my own way that worked. It made me be more cautious in selecting the woman I wanted to meet and made me work to eliminate all possible failure in finding a woman. My feeling is if you keep it in the back of your mind that if the meeting goes bust, oh what the hell I can just start all over and try again. That's fine, but if you work within your own guidelines and stay to them, chances of success greatly increases. So when I got on the plane to meet my wife the first time, I knew without reservation, that this was the woman I wanted to meet, because of her qualities as a person, her intelligence, her life experiences and how she responded to them and her incredible beauty. Which was way more than just her physical appearance. In short I was focused on her and our meeting together and not worrying about it failing. I made many other trips back to see her over the two years we spent together.
Don't be fixated on scams in Ukraine or where ever. Just walk out your front door, listen to the radio or pick up a newspaper, I'm sure you have plenty of homegrown scams. Yes they are there also, but if you do your homework chances are you will recognize them before you waste too much time and any money at all.
I remember my thoughts the first time my plane touched down at Borispol. I thought to myself, am I nuts and is this worth it? I had left my security blanket back home, ie my language and culture. Did I have some butterflys in my stomach? Sure I did. Normal intelligent guys will. It's a great performance enhancer.
As I look back at this and see many guys in the position I was a few years back, I understand some of the misgivings.
They are natural. I will quote the late Vince Lombardi and it worked for me. "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Good advice to all of us, especially in this endeavor. As stated above, you will hear from the ones who got burnt more loudly than the ones who succeeded. Bad news is good print, if it wasn't tragedy TV wouldn't be so successful.
To sum it up, Is it worth it? You bet it is, every minute, every dime, every flight, every moment I got to spend with the most incredible woman in the world. I had some crappy experiences in my past relationships, and I wouldn't trade any of them because it got me to where I am at today, it helped me grow and appreciate, that there really is that significant other out their for us. Still to this day, when I see my wife work in her yard, or garden or just walk through a room or come to our bed each night she still takes my breath away!!! As beemer said above that is priceless. I never had that feeling before in my life and I sure as hell never want to let it get away. Good Luck to all!!! Can you fail, sure, but you can't be afraid to fail. That will kill you in the long run. Also it will take your focus of what you are trying to do. Enjoy the trip, it is a ride of a lifetime especially if it works out for you because you worked so hard to make it happen.
No. Don't do it. Stay home and save your money. Unless you want to see a new country, take some photos and buy some souvenirs, that's ok. My account on here expires later this month. I am retiring from the FSU women venture. I'm 36 and have accepted the way things are. The FSU women are not serious about leaving their country. Do not believe the hype or what they write in their profiles. The FSU is so saturated with western guys trying to buy up a piece of the female population, it's turning into a joke. Some of them must think we're a bunch of geeks who can't find anyone in our own country. They play games with us. They know we'll travel to meet them and spoil them with gifts. They're no dummies! I get so many letters from women who will write to me for a few weeks and then disappear. This happens over. And over. And over again. I've been to the FSU four times and deem myself and expert on what I've seen and experienced. Not everyone will land a trophy wife. Yes, a few lucky western men will strike gold over there, good for them. But for the rest of us, save your money. Buy a new lawn tractor. Put an addition on your house. Buy season tickets to your favorite sports team. Get that fishing boat you've always wanted. Go to Vegas with your friends. I have my good health, family and friends here. You can't always get what you want. Time to move on.
I'm sorry David I have to disagree, that is like saying give up on life, where is your sense of adventure? For me I enjoy the letter writing the challenge of, trying to weedle out the good from the bad, the test questions, the photos they send, the realisation that one girl (or boy) is writing the letters of several of thr girls you are writing to, I can't make points as elequetly as nasfan, but read what he says, he makes a lot of good points and following his direction will give you a good chance.
Lets face it it's fun doing this even if you never go, it's dam cheap entertainment as long as you stick with fiance or other sites that have a limitless send and receive policy.
I went once his year and made a string of mistakes, including getting conned into buying a $500 pair of sunglasses, I had a blody miserable time not helped by the fact the heat was unbearable, but having got over that I am going back again. This time no agency and I have the girls phone number.
If you doubt nasfan's wisdom go back to my nightmare in Kharkov, abd read the exchange he has with Monanda.
My final comment is this,stick with the twenty year rule, use your loaf 25 30 years younger come on, who you trying to kid, think about it.
Rob: Nasfan has some really good advice about this whole thing and he is definetly someone you should listen to.
Although I don't necessarily agree that when a woman wants to meet in another town that she is not a scammer. I personally think Nasfan got lucky and met a rare gem of a girl that was not looking for a shopping trip and a free vacaction. I think most women who do this are not geniune and are out for money and gifts. All I can say is be very suspicious of a woman you are writing to that wants this. I will never EVER again give a girl money to come and see me in another city that is not her own. I've been burned too many times and have put my trust and money on the line too many times. Enough is enough I say. I would also be on the lookout for a girl who wants to meet in her hometown but wants to arrange for everything for you through the "agency" (your transportation, lodging etc.) that's another bad sign. It means she may be getting money on the side from the agency to do this and to meet foreign men. Also a lot of guys say that talking to a girl a long time first in letters will ensure that she is not a scammer and is geniune. I do agree with this somewhat because the longer you talk to her the more her real self will come out in her letters. You can look for any red flags in small things she might let slip out because no one can put up a happy good front all of the time, even the best of liars, it's just not possible. But like was said in another thread some of these girls can be very patient about writing you and putting up a good front about being interested in you and wanting a "relationship" then when you come and meet her she has you trapped and makes you buy her everything she wants. So a long campaign of writing letters doesn't always mean that she will turn out to be serious either.
As for what DavidUSA says I can relate. I've gone through enough crap to make me even wonder if I should bother with this anymore. I just don't really believe that most of these women are serious about wanting to get married and to move to a foreign country. Most of them seem to be out for money unfortunetly. Some guys will find that rare girl that is really great but the whole experience is like walking through a minefield and like trying to find a needle in haystack. I've had a lot of hard and painful experiences that I would never wish on anyone. You get to the point after awhile that you just feel paranoid and mistrusting all of the time and that is just not good at all.
But I have just decided to write to and maybe try to meet a lady that lives right in Kiev because I actually like to go there for my holidays. I like to walk around the city and see everything and love the resteraunts there too. So if I could meet a lady while I'm there and she actually turned out to be really great and was actually interested in me I really have nothing to lose. If she turns out to be terrible and a gold digger I can just get away from her because I have spent a lot of time there alone and can get by alone. It won't be a situation where I am trapped in some far off smaller city with her and I won't have to shell out all kinds of money for travelling expenses and hotels for some girl who may or may not show up or is only meeting me for a shopping spree.
Bottom line Rob as others have said, be smart and trust your gut and your instincts in doing this. Don't send money of course and It's been said many times here but it's just so true "If something seems too good to be true it probably is"
Value is subjective. It is based on the individual's preference. If you like to travel, go to the emerging markets, not just Russia or Ukraine. Try the most you can. Try and read as many blogs as you can for advice.
2-3 months prior to your trip, find a site that has some volume of profiles. Sure most are either women/men just looking around, or looking to scam, but there may be about 1-10% that are legitimate depending on the site.
Write them as much as you can, around 500 words. See what happens, are they reading your letters? Can you get them on the phone? Ask them as many questions as you can? Do they give details or are they vague? Do they answer your questions or blow them off? Do they mention any thing about love or sex in the first few letters? Any inconsistencies in their stories? What kinds of pictures does she send you? Believe in the casual ones and discount the formal ones. Do they have her family in them? Most legitimate ones will have family pictures. Or do the pictures just have her in them?
As an example, I was planning to to meet a woman from Nikolaev in Odessa. In one letter she told me she could travel to Nikolaev by taxi (80$ round trip). In a subsequent letter, she tells me that over the weekend she went to the Crimea with her mother by bus. (what happen to the taxi?) Sometimes they are easy to spot and other times not so easy. And then if you get to meet one in person, try and see if the letters or phone calls match the person in real life. Make all the travel arrangements independently if you can.
When you meet them, are they cheerful? No bad habits? You know all that crap they say in the profile. Try and remember the details she wrote about, does it match the person you are with?
Be generous with her, see if she limits herself, give her enough rope to hang herself. You must be like a mafia enforcer. Smile and joke with your prey. Let them feel ease, but in the back of your mind determine if this woman is really sincere.
If you travel to a foreign city, either hire a driver or interpreter and try and meet some ladies of the night. An honest session with a legitimate foreign whore will set your mind at ease, and it is critical that you meet these ladies under the most relaxed conditions in order to judge them properly. And at least if it is a disaster in your meeting with her, you had some fun. Perhaps the time with a good professional will help sell you on the woman of that country? It could help sustain your interest, because this is a long term project.
Multiple dates scheduled before hand in the same city is tough, especially if you hit it off with one. It is not for me, but I can understand if others would try it. Perhaps if you could line up several ladies yourself and not by an agency this may work? You just want to avoid the agency ringers.
After you meet her, what happens when you get home? Does the volume of correspondence increase? Are you sending text messages every day, phone calls? If it is real, it will take off. Anything less than that, forget her. Never stop asking yourself if the person has a genuine interest in you or not? You want her interest to be genuine, but is it really genuine? Though you do not know for sure at any point in time, keep asking, you will find out eventually.