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90 Day Fiance–Danielle and Mohammed Divorce

I had fallen off the grid over the Christmas and New Year holiday, so I’m just catching up to this news.

Season 2 of 90 Day Fiance on TLC introduced us to Danielle and Mohammed.

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In my review of the season, I personally didn’t think this marriage would last.  It was a nonstarter from the beginning.  It wasn’t just the 15 year age difference.  There was also the discrepancy in attractiveness.  Mohammed is an 8 on a scale of 1-10 while Danielle is only a 2.  This sounds crass, and we like to think that love can conquer all, but humans practice assortative mating.  The 8’s will end up with other 8’s while 2’s end up with other 2’s.  It could still work if there’s a point or two difference, but a 6 point difference is too much without compensating factors and Danielle didn’t have any.  She was raising 4 children, can’t keep a job, and can’t keep the lights on in her apartment.  She’s a mess.

Mohammed also avoided expressions of intimacy with Danielle, he didn’t even kiss her after vows were exchanged in the ceremony.  When he consulted with an immigration attorney during one of the episodes, it was clear that he had mentally checked out of the relationship.  There were also a lot of unexplained absences of Mohammed.  Nobody knew this relationship would last, not even Danielle’s family.

So it’s no surprise that Danielle announced that she and Mohammed were divorcing.  News of this spilt can be found here and here.  This news came sooner than I expected.  Mohammed is still on a conditional green card and if he were to legally stay in the US, he would have to prove that he had good intentions when marrying Danielle.  Good luck with that.  He can probably move elsewhere and remain in the country, but he would do so as an illegal alien.

This should be an object lesson to the reader.  Choose wisely.  We all have dreams of being with a hot girl and have her as your wife, but you have to be in the same league.  This probably means that if you’re not very attractive, you should probably aim lower than an 8 for a foreign bride.  You can still be happy and it will make for a more stable relationship.

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Review of “90 Day Fiance”–Season 2

The Learning Channel (TLC) has capitalized on their success of 90 Day Fiance and launched another season documenting the lives of 6 couples in which one of them has immigrated from a foreign country to marry an American citizen.  I’m pleased to hear that this series is drawing some interest.  The foreign bride phenomenon has been with us for a while and it’s good to raise some awareness on the issue.

This season features 6 couples and they seem to be a much more diverse group.  Here are some of my impressions and what we can possibly learn from them during our own search for love abroad.

Danny (23) and Amy (21)

Danny and Amy

Danny is from Pennsylvania while Amy is from South Africa but they actually met in Australia on a bible study so they already seem to be well seasoned travelers despite their young age.  Their religious beliefs preclude sex before marriage so Amy ends up living with one of Danny’s family members in a very rural area which Amy isn’t used to.  She also very quickly gets introduced to Danny’s large family to the point that it’s obviously overwhelming for her.

I come from a very large family myself and have already thought about the day where I may have to introduce my fiance to them.  I think that for her sake, family introductions should happen gradually.  So, try to introduce her a few members at a time so she has an easier time getting acclimated.  She’s already trying to get used to the new culture and throwing a large family at her may be a sensory overload.  Amy seemed to deal with it very well which is a blessing.  It’s probably because Amy comes from a large family herself and, as we see, they come to American in force!  This couple seems to be getting off to a great start.  They really seem to love each other and they married with the full support of both of their families and had a fantastic wedding.

Things were going so well that producers seemed to be looking for a source of drama and focused on Danny’s father who was skeptical about his son marrying a woman from another race.  Amy has a little bit of an accent, but from outward appearances, she appears to be very caucasian.  It didn’t seem to be that big of an issue and Danny’s father seemed to not dwell on it for very long before accepting Amy.  How could he not?  Amy is a beautiful girl with a warm personality, something that is missing in a lot of American women.

Justin (34) and Evelin (29)

Justin and Evelin

Justin from San Jose, California met Evelin from Columbia during a rugby match at the World Games.  It seemed to be love at first sight so it was a big surprise to Justin’s family when he announces to his family that he is engaged to a foreign woman.  First, Justin’s family always knew Justin as a partying bachelor so many of his family were skeptical about this engagement being for real and regarding Evelin as a green card girl.  Second, Justin didn’t seem to be handling the introductions very well.  He pretty much ambushed them with the news at a family barbecue.  Things weren’t off to a good start and Justin suggests to Evelin that they elope.

It’s at this point that Evelin begins to shine.  Family is important to her and she insists that Justin’s family be included in their wedding, but she doesn’t do this in a confrontational way like an American woman would.  She uses a lot of charm and finesse to convince him and her actions to, not only win over Justin to her point of view, but his entire family!  Bravo!  Would a green card girl care about family in this fashion if it was only about trying to get into the country?  Immigrating to another country doesn’t just build character, it reveals it.

I hope Justin is thanking his lucky stars.  I think this marriage will make it and it will be because of Evelin for the most part.  Justin made a lot of mistakes when dealing with his family.  You have to at least prepare them for the experience.  Let them know that you are serious about a foreign girl so that it isn’t a huge shock when you introduce her to them.  Danny might have overwhelmed Amy with his family but Justin went to far in the other extreme.  There has to be a happy medium so that both families and fiance can adjust.  I have written about not telling people that you are looking for a foreign bride because of the backlash you might have to endure, and I still believe this.  But once you get serious with a girl and want to bring her to your country, you might want to give your friends and family a clue.

Chelsea (25) and Yamir (28)

Chelsea and Yamir

In this case TLC flips the script and selects a couple where the foreign fiance is actually the guy who is marrying an American woman.  They met at a concert in Nicaragua but it was Yamir that was the performer.  He is the member of a popular boy group in Nicaragua called Myla Vox and gave up on his success to emigrate to America and marry Chelsea.

Yamir seems to have still planned on working with Myla Vox in some capacity while living in America, so he seems crushed when the group disbands and his manager and co-stars move on.  He’s trying to go get a career in America started in Chicago which takes Chelsea out of her comfort zone and she begins to protest as American women tend to do when things don’t go their way.  Chelsea needed to be reminded by her mother about how much Yamir gave up to be with her.  I think this is the salient point that I need to make to foreign bride seekers.  Your bride may not be a successful pop star like Yamir was but this doesn’t mean that she won’t be giving up a lot to be with you, so treat this decision she is making with respect.

Also, be mindful of language barriers.  Yamir is probably the first fiance on this series who doesn’t speak very good English.  Fortunately, Chelsea can speak fluent Spanish so it isn’t as big of an issue.  But, for your fiance it may be a different story.  How many of us Americans know a second language?  Your fiance not knowing English is a very realistic possibility so be prepared for this.

Brett (31) and Daya (29)

Brett and Daya

Brett’s search online for a wife of traditional values takes him to the Philippines to meet Daya.  Brett is your typical nice guy who was married and divorced but doesn’t seem to have many friends his own age.  He ends up hanging around a group of older women and they share a home which seems very odd.  Daya comes off a little spoiled initially, making Brett’s mother and friends a little suspicious that she is marrying him for the right reasons.

It was Brett’s daughter that seemed to turn things around.  After a rough initial meeting, Daya begins bonding with Brett’s daughter and they become very attached.  However, as the wedding day draws near, Brett’s mother still isn’t on board and it creates an argument between her and Daya that Brett has a difficult time mediating.  The wedding ceremony goes ahead but Brett’s mother refuses to attend.

Brett is a nice guy but needs to show a little backbone.  He seems to let events get out of control and puts up with a little too much when it comes to conflicts.  The foreign bride search is harder than it looks and just because she finally arrives in America doesn’t mean your work is done.  The relationship between Brett’s daughter and Daya may hold the marriage together for a time, but Brett really needs to step into his role as the man.

Jason (38) and Cassia (23)

Jason and Casia

Jason and Cassia met on Facebook which resulted in Jason flying to Brazil to meet her.  There seemed to be enough chemistry for them to go through with the visa and immigration process, but frankly, I have difficulty seeing it half of the time.  They both seem to be in their own little worlds and it might be due to the age difference–15 years!

That’s not to say that large age differences will doom a relationship, but it doesn’t always help.  A lot of it is that it seems like they are in different stages in life.  Cassia is a free spirit who seems like she hasn’t grown up yet.  She speaks very directly and, if left alone for any length of time or doesn’t receive any attention, becomes very pouty and moody.  In other words, she acts like a typical American woman.  Jason, on the other hand, doesn’t have a personality that meshes very well with Cassia’s, he has a very traditional mind-set and probably sees himself as a father figure which causes him to look down on Cassia.

Jason also isn’t on a solid career path despite being almost 40 years old!  He and his father live together and make money by going to estate sales and buying and selling goods and wares on the internet.  This is going to create a lot of trouble ahead as he tries to make time for the attention-seeking Cassia.  The search for a foreign bride costs more than you think so you need to have a solid career or employment in order to be successful in this search.  Jason doesn’t have this which makes me skeptical that they are going to make it.  Does he even have health insurance?

Jason’s friends give him some good advice and talk some sense into him during the bachelor party, but Jason strikes me as a type that does things his own way and I suspect that Cassia will bust his balls if she doesn’t get what she wants.  This marriage might make it but there will be many ups and downs and Cassia may need to show more respect to Jason if this is to be successful.  Guys, choose your brides wisely!

Danielle (41) and Mohamed (26)

Danielle and Mohamed

Not a chance!  This is the most mismatched couple I have seen in a long time.  Mohamed makes the trip from his home in Tunisia to marry Danielle in Ohio.  Once again we have a large age difference that may make things rocky, but this is the least of their problems.  Danielle is a train-wreck.  She has four children (where’s the father of these children, by the way?) living with her in an apartment.  She loses her job as a social worker (how is that possible?) and things seem to spiral downwards from there.

Mohamed has to cope with a lot of skeptical family and friends of Danielle, and for a lot of good reasons.  For one thing, Mohamed is an 8 on a scale of 1-10.  He’s so good-looking that women in public are hitting on him.  Women in the US won’t approach a guy unless he’s at least an 8 which puts him in the category of movie star looks. Danielle, on the other hand, is only a 2 on the looks scale.  This discrepancy in looks is much too large for a relationship to work without compensating factors and these factors often boil down to money, which Danielle doesn’t have.  In fact, Danielle needs Mohamed to start working as soon as possible just so she can keep the lights on in her apartment.

None of Danielle’s family and friends think the marriage is going to last, but the wedding goes ahead on a shoestring budget.  Mohamed disappears for two weeks shortly afterwards, a time frame that surprises even me!  A foreign spouse has to remain married to an American for about three years to get a green card, but it doesn’t seem like Mohamed has any intention of living with Danielle for any longer than he has to.  When confronted by the producers, Mohamed pretty much declares that he will do what he wants.  He’s probably counting down the days for his green card.

Let this be the lesson:  Get your act together financially.  Don’t think that a foreign bride will make all your problems disappear.  In fact, it’ll get worse and break your heart.  Second, have realistic expectations.  If you’re lacking in the looks department like Danielle is, you’re not going to end up with a super model.  Aim lower.  You’ll still find a decent looking foreign girl who will be more than happy to meet you.

The second season of 90 Day Fiance is even better in my opinion.  There were more couples with a lot more diversity with a couple of the couples showing how much things can go wrong in this process. You need to be careful and exercise caution.  Danny and Amy and Justin and Evelin show how great the experience can be if you pick the right woman.  Danielle and Mohamed can show how miserable things will be if you aren’t prepared and make the wrong choice.  Choose wisely!

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A review of “90 Day Fiance”

90 Day Fiance is a new reality series on TLC that follows and documents the life of several couples during their engagement.  What makes this series unique is that the engaged couples consist of an American engaged to a foreigner.  The series derives its namesake from  visa regulations in the US mandating that an immigrant to the US on a fiance visa (aka K1 Visa) must marry within 90 days or he or she must leave the US.

The series just started its second season so I’m a little behind in discussing it.  All I have to say is that it’s about friggin’ time!  There’s been some documentaries done before about the foreign bride phenomenon but such documentaries tended to be poorly done, heavily slanted hack-jobs that tended to depict the American men as losers who couldn’t score a wife in his own country and the women as green card opportunists. It was degrading to say the least.

There was a documentary done by National Geographic some time ago that was pretty fair in its content, but it was only a one episode deal.  90 Day Fiance is probably the first series of its kind an fills a gaping void in a genre that is long overdue.

The first season of the series followed four couples:

Russ (age 27) and Paola (age 26)

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Russ met Paola in Colombia.  I found them to be a very cute looking couple and found Paola’s adjustment to life in rural Oklahoma to be amusing, but she took it in stride and handled potentially awkward situations with grace.  This amazed me considering how attractive she is (I would rate her an 8 on a scale of 1-10).  The important thing is she tries. American women with her looks wouldn’t be as graceful or accommodating.

At the age of 27, Russ is still living with his parents and has his bedroom decorated with mementos from his childhood which is cramping their style.  In all fairness, Russ’ job takes him away from home quite frequently so he may have seen little point in buying or renting his own place to only have it stay empty.  But Paola helps him see the light and they find their own place.  I sense a lot of good chemistry with this couple.

Alan (age 29) and Kirlyam (age 21)

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Alan met Kirylam in Brazil while he was doing missionary work for the Mormons, which leads me to believe that Kirylam is a convert.  Their religious views don’t permit sex before marriage but since Kirylam came from a rural area in Brazil that seemed quite conservative, the abstinence pledge didn’t put a huge strain on the relationship.  Alan and Kirylam is the couple that seems to illustrate how important it is to make sure you and your partner share the same values.

The possibility of Kirlyam becoming a model seems to open her eyes to new possibilities in the US but can make things rocky due to the Mormons’ adherence to the virtue of modesty.  One has to know what is truly important and hope that your partner feels the same way.

Mike (age 31) and Aziza (age 21)

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Mike is the stereotypical nice guy that you often think about in America.  He made contact with Aziza from Russia when he joined a website that allowed you to learn and practice foreign languages with native speakers while they learn and practice English from Americans and other English speakers.

I think that watching Mike and Aziza’s relationship in the series would be the most informative for American bride seekers.  One reason is that most of us can relate to Mike. He’s a nice guy that seems to have had difficulty with women in his native country and sought his romantic future overseas.  In his case he used learning a foreign language as an alibi for seeking a wife, but a bride seeker can simply say that he’s on vacation.  I highly recommend this tactic because it takes some of the pressure off of you and you won’t be to emotionally invested in success to make a bad decision by picking the wrong woman.  Also, your friends and colleagues won’t understand.  Despite Mike believing he has found a sure thing in Aziza, he still endures skepticism from his family and coworkers.  It’s as if they disapprove of a nice guy breaking rank and trying to find happiness.

Of all the foreign fiances featured in the series, it seems like Aziza had the hardest time fitting in and adapting to her new surroundings and serves as a powerful reminder that your foreign bride’s adjustments to her new country may be difficult and people may not understand.  One key scene showed Aziza and Mike at a barbecue at his family’s home.  She obviously wasn’t used to the type of food we eat in America on such occasions and became introverted causing some offense to her hosts and perhaps she didn’t know enough English to explain herself.  I thought Mike could have been more supportive in this case and it illustrates the adjustments that the couple would need to make.

It was remarkable that some principles of game that are taught by the pick-up artist community can still work, even on foreign girls.  Aziza is an introverted girl and it is apparent in the series that they haven’t had sex yet despite them sleeping together.  Aziza doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal, but Mike really wants it to happen.  It wasn’t until Aziza observed Mike socializing with some other girls during a night out that she was eager to sexually close the deal later that night.  In game parlance, Mike was demonstrating high value (DHV).  Mike’s social standing had improved in Aziza’s eyes and she became concerned that she might not be the only girl that has his attention.  Mike became more attractive to her as a result and she became in the mood for sex.  Mike seemed to have been clueless about this, but in case he wasn’t, this was well-played.

 Louis (age 33) and Aya (age 30)

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Like many men who seek foreign brides, Louis is divorced with children.  He met Aya in the Philippines who has never been married before and childless.  Throw in an overbearing ex-wife and the series writes itself.

This relationship seems to be the most likely to fail.  The fact that Louis has children from a previous marriage means that he will still be in contact with his ex-wife, but unfortunately the ex doesn’t know where the line is drawn because Louis hasn’t been clear about boundaries in regards to his new relationship.  Louis’ ex strikes me as bossy and meddling.  Plus it seems like she’s been hit with the ugly stick a little too hard.  I would rank her at about a 3 on a scale of 1-10.  It’s not clear who filed for divorce, but if it was Louis, then it was the smartest thing he’s ever done in his life.  Aya is definitely a step up in terms of attitude and looks.

Louis just needs to stick up for his new wife.  His ex has been sticking her nose into everything while claiming it’s all for the children’s sake which is BS, and Aya doesn’t look like she’ll tolerate it for too long.  Louis looks like he can’t keep his own life in order and he somehow has to negotiate all this drama?  This makes me very concerned about their future.  I really hope that foreign bride seekers with children watch Louis and Aya and take notes.

 Final Thoughts

In general, this is a great series.  It can be very informative for men looking overseas for a wife as well as inform and educate other viewers that international relationships and marriages are simply another lifestyle choice and not something to be scorned.  So these are huge pluses.

I also couldn’t help but notice how young these four couples are. And they seem to be very comparable in terms of attractiveness.  There aren’t any ugly guys trying to put a ring on a supermodel. Traditionally, men looking for foreign brides are typically forty years old, at least, and usually divorced.  If they find their wives, they are often 10-20 years younger than them which is well beyond a 3-5 year difference in age that we typically see with domestic relationships.  It’s probably due to the economics of this endeavor.  It costs more than you think and men usually need to be at least 40 to have the financial resources to attempt to find a foreign bride.  With so much money being invested, he typically aims for someone a little more beautiful than he can get back home in the US, which means she will probably be much younger than him since beauty and youth correlate.

But these four couples suggest that times are changing and that young guys are getting in on the action.  Louis may have been married before, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this was Mike, Russ, and Alan’s first real relationship.  If I were an American woman, this would make me very concerned about my prospects.  American men might be hopping overseas as soon as they come of age and not even give the American woman a chance.  Food for thought!

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A Marriage Social In Ukraine

Some agencies and other companies in the foreign, mail order bride (MOB) business host socials in the ladies’ home cities where men can take a trip to meet them in a public place to see if there’s a connection. It closely resembles a speed dating event in America, but a little more free-form and a higher ratio of women to men.

This is an interesting documentary about what happens in socials and gives a pretty good balanced presentation about what both the Ukrainian women and Western men expect and their impressions. Not all of it is positive or realistic.

As a disclaimer, I’ve never been to one of these events, but if I had to start my bride search over again, I would go to one of these. Experienced travelers think this is a ripoff because they are often hosted by unscrupulous MOB agencies and the women are only there for a good time and not serious about marrying a western man. All of this is true.

But what is valuable to a newbie who has just decided to do this is that this is a good opportunity to get his feet wet. He can plop down about $5000 and the agency takes care of everything. They arrange accommodation, transportation and translators to help you talk to the girls. They’ll help you arrange dates and meetings with the girls that you like the best.

For a Western man who might be intimidated about visiting a country to meet and date women on his own, socials may be a good idea to ease into the experience and to get acclimated to the culture and talking to the women. The idea being that you’ll have a good time conversing with beautiful women and you’ll have more confidence to explore and meet girls on your own on future trips. If the fairly large price tag bothers you, then you should rethink your decision about marrying a foreign woman. The whole process costs much more than that and you should be made aware of it.

Be careful about falling in love. Most of the bad you hear about the socials are true: very few women are serious at these things. You’re just on vacation, remember? So enjoy yourself!

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July 18, 2013 · 12:51 am