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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.

90-day-fiance-zoom-7b00d7e4-0236-4aca-8413-a573145ed9ac

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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90 Day Fiance–Len and Alina

When I was going through the archives for 90 Day Fiance on the TLC website, I became interested in the story of Len and Alina.  They were not featured in the first season because their relationship was pretty much a non-starter.  They were going through the visa application process but it was never completed and no visa was issued and Alina never arrived in America.  So their brief relationship wouldn’t really add much to a full season that featured other couples.

I decided to make Len and Alina a topic for discussion because this is likely to be a result for many men looking for brides overseas.  Len meets Alina in Lugansk, Ukraine and falls in love with her.  They agree to start the visa process, but overtime, Alina starts to lose interest and disappears for weeks at a time.  In a final conversation over webcam, Alina confesses that she went to Turkey to meet another man who spoils her.  Click Len and Alina’s photo to watch the video of the climactic conversation on TLC’s website.

len and alina

Faced with trust issues, Len withdraws his sponsorship for Alina’s visa.

Something very similar to this happened with me and my ex fiance.  A few other men I know have gone through this type of situation before also.  So it is a very realistic possibility that some of your foreign relationships will end the same way.

This type of scenario seems to happen with enough regularity that it makes me suspicious of women that have frequently traveled abroad.  This is especially true if a woman travels abroad by herself while she is dating you like what Alina was doing to Len.  A lot of people will argue with me on this point, but if she travels alone while in a relationship with you, it is a bad omen.  You might think you have a relationship with her but you are actually the furthest thing from her mind, I assure you.  And this has happened to me with my Russian ex fiance and American women so it doesn’t matter where she is from. There might be a slim chance that she’ll come back to you, but don’t keep yourself on edge.  Assume the worst.  If she comes back into your life then she has some serious making up to do with you.  In Len’s case he tells Alina, flat-out, that he doesn’t trust her and ends the relationship.  This is the first lesson I wanted to convey about Len and Alina’s story.

Second, your first meeting with her should be in her city.  It doesn’t seem that Len did this.  The videos on TLC’s website suggest that Alina lived in a village in Ukraine and they met in Lugansk.  Granted Lugansk is still in Alina’s country but it is still not her city.  This is important because you need to meet with her in her environment where she has family and other people who know her well.  You can gather a lot about her character by seeing her interact with her local people.  Even if you don’t understand a word you can glean a lot of impressions.  Meeting her in her city would be such a value-added experience for your relationship that this should be a hard and fast rule.  You will eventually end up in her city meeting her family while in a relationship with her, so it might as well be during your first meeting.  Only spoiled gold-diggers will pressure you into meeting outside her city.

I hope that Len doesn’t give up after such a setback.  He’s successful, in good shape and seems to have a nice personality.  He shouldn’t have much problem finding another beauty in Ukraine or wherever he looks.  Unfortunately, he happened to have ended meeting a spoiled brat but you can’t let some setbacks derail your search for love overseas.

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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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I Am Tom Cruise

I’m not Tom Cruise in the literal sense, but I’m speaking metaphorically–and not about the man himself, but the character of Bill Harford that he played in the movie Eyes Wide Shut.  EWS was one of Stanley Kubric’s greatest films.  There’s been much written about the symbolism and themes portrayed in the movie, and one would have to watch it a few times to have it all sink in when the strong sexual content isn’t distracting you.  However, I personally related to Tom Cruise’s character, a doctor named Bill Harford.  Harford’s encounters in EWS resonate and parallels very well with my experiences in marriage and dating in America.  I wonder if Kubric ever realized the cord he struck with me and a lot of other men in my situation.

Eyes-Wide-Shut

The standard view of women is wrong

Like many American men, Bill Harford had a very naive view of women.  As far as he knew, women desired commitment and security so there was no reason why he should ever be jealous of his wife, Alice, when he saw her dancing with another man at a Christmas party.  Alice is bothered about his lack of jealousy and offended by his insinuation that she wouldn’t be sexually drawn to other men.  “You’re quite sure of yourself, aren’t you?” Alice had said.  Alice proceeds to burst Bill’s bubble by confessing that, not only did she think about having an affair with the man that she danced with at the Christmas party, but also with a naval officer that was staying at the same hotel they were at the previous summer.  Bill has been emotionally wounded by this confession, and Alice continuing to describe her feelings involving the naval officer in exquisite detail is twisting the knife.

Women generally keep their mouths shut about such feelings because the men in their lives would only get upset and Bill is no exception.  But to men in the pickup artist community, Alice’s reactions are completely understandable.  Women desiring commitment and security is only a half-truth.  They don’t desire this from any man, only alpha males.  This explains why so many nice guys and beta males spend their nights alone despite demonstrating the willingness to provide that commitment and security.  They’re not alphas.  Alice’s reaction to Bill is rooted in her disgust with Bill’s lack of display of alpha behavior.  He should be jealous enough to protect his mate and he wasn’t.  In evolutionary psychology, this is called mate guarding.

You would think that despite these revelations, Alice would still respect Bill.  Nope!  Alice breaks into a laughing fit when Bill shares his views with her on her own fidelity but he attributes it to her being high on the marijuana they’ve been smoking.  It becomes clear throughout the movie that Alice doesn’t respect Bill at all despite all his merits that should make him a good catch: financially secure, good looking, successful, well-connected, loyal, etc.  Not only does she not respect him, but openly mocks him to his face while devoting her time to their daughter.  Any married men that have found yourself in a similar situation, raise your hand.  Thought so.  Moving on.

Bill’s journey into the female psyche

Needless to say, Bill is angry.  But he is called to the home of a patient that has recently died later in the evening before he and Alice can finish their conversation.  His departure from his home in Central Park West takes him on an erotic journey that rattles him and entices him at the same time while slowly and utterly demolishing any preconceptions he might have about the sexual nature of men and women.

  1. He arrives at his recently deceased patient’s home where his patient’s daughter attempts to seduce him despite her being engaged to another man.  Bill declines the advance and dismisses it by attributing it to grief-induced lack of judgement.  In this incident, Bill is still trying to remain noble and adhering to his ethics as a doctor and a married man.
  2. Bill later encounters a group of men while walking in the street who are crudely describing a recent trip to a strip club or recent sexual encounter when they accuse Bill of being gay and bully him.  Bill is genuinely puzzled by the encounter.  Considering that I’ve been bullied on a number of occasions, it was obvious to me that some men try to build alpha credibility by bullying others and bragging about sexual conquests.  Women tend to have more sexual interest with such men. Men who don’t are accused of being gay and Bill must have subconciously telegraphed this vibe.  Bill is most assuredly not alpha material.
  3. Bill later encounters a prostitute named Domino who offers to take him to her apartment for some fun.  At this point we see Bill starting to abandon his principles.  He is also still mad at Alice and figures some revenge sex might be appropriate.  We also see throughout the movie that Bill is used to using his professional credentials and generous gratuity to get what he wants out of life, so paying a prostitute seems to be right up his ally.  However, it appears this is his first time hiring a prostitute because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and it’s making things awkward in her apartment.  Domino is nice enough to talk him through it, but before things go too far, Bill gets a call from Alice.  He lies to Alice about where he is at, but is now overwhelmed with guilt and decides not to go through with having sex with Domino.  He pays her anyway for her time.
  4. Bill visits with an old friend that is playing piano at a night club.  Bill discovers that his friend has a gig later that night, but it’s in a secret place.  Bill’s interest is raised further when his friend lets slip that there are attractive women there looking to hook up.  Bill presses his friend for enough information about the time and place since he believes he can infiltrate the event with a costume and mask since he has already heard the password.  At this point of Bill’s journey he is actively seeking a sexual encounter instead of being a passive recipient of sexual offers.  I’m thinking that Bill is aroused at this point after two aborted sexual encounters so whatever guilt he has is easily being supressed as he keeps dwelling on what Alice has told him.
  5. Bill goes to a shop to rent a costume that was owned by one of his patients only to find that it has been a while since they last spoke and discovers that somebody else owns the shop.  The merchant is willing to open his store in the middle of the night when Bill offers to pay extra.  But their transaction is briefly interrupted when the merchant discovers that his daughter is fooling around with two Asian men.  Since his daughter is underage, the merchant detains them until he finishes helping Bill so that he can call the police.  The daughter flirts with Bill before the merchant angrily sends her to bed.   Bill doesn’t know what to make of the incident.  He certainly won’t try to chase after the daughter of an angry merchant and he’s in a rush to get to the secret party so he quickly forgets about it.
  6. Then things get weird.  Bill arrives at the party’s location after a long taxi ride.  He gains entry simply enough and finds himself attending a pseudoreligious ceremony with other people in costumes and masks.  The masks don’t prevent a couple of the attendees from noticing Bill (perhaps because he’s wearing a costume that they don’t recognize from previous parties), but they don’t seem to do anything about it.  The women then disrobe during the ceremony and pair off with the men to start an orgy.  One of the women chooses Bill.  She apparently notices that he doesn’t belong there either and tries to get him to leave.  But she is distracted by another attendee and Bill’s curiosity keeps him at the party.  Bill only remains long enough to enjoy the view before getting ceremoniously ejected from the party with a warning that harm can come to him and his family if he speaks about what he saw.  Bill is in an environment where sex is given away freely and the most erotic fantasies a man can think of are being played out before his eyes.  But he doesn’t get to participate.  I can’t picture him feeling any guilt at all at this stage from such a sensory overload.
  7. Bill finally gets home, but gets no sympathy or sexual release from his wife.  In fact, he finds her giggling in the middle of a dream she is having in which many men are having sex with her while Bill looks on–much like Bill was looking on at the party he was just thrown out of.  If he was angry before, this should make him furious, but is it only a dream, or are Alice’s true desires bubbling to the surface from her subconcious?
  8. The next day, Bill tries to find his friend pianist the following morning at the local hotel to discover from the attendant at the main desk that his friend checked out really early in the morning and left no messages.  The attendant also happens to be gay and flirts with Bill.  This is the second time Bill is mistaken for being gay.
  9. Bill returns his costume (but seems to have lost the mask) and discovers the merchant on friendly terms with the two Asian men he had threatened to have arrested for fooling around with his daughter.  It seems that the merchant pimps out his daughter and was probably upset that they were trying to have sex with her for free.  He offers her to Bill for the right price, but sex with a minor seems to be too much for Bill and he declines.
  10. Bill actively tries to reach out to the daughter of his deceased patient and the prostitute Domino who were sexually receptive the previous night.  However, the daughter is with her fiance and Domino’s roommate informs him that Domino is HIV positive.  So it’s a no-go.  He also tries to revisit the place of the previous night’s orgy only to be rebuffed with a second warning.  One of Bill’s wealthy patients contacts him and tells him that he was also at that party and saw everything that happened.  He reiterates that Bill shouldn’t  inquire anymore into the matter, or he can be in serious trouble.
  11. Bill returns home to discover the missing mask he had rented with his costume placed next to his sleeping wife.  He is overwhelmed with guilt and confesses everything that has happened to Alice.  Alice feels that the best way to move on is to consider everything that happened the past couple of days as a dream and “to fuck as soon as possible

Bill completes his erotic journey within a day, but for me it took many years.  Apparently, I was a slow learner.  It’s not that I found myself attending orgies or having underage girls hitting on me.  My journey was largely a symbolic one but very similar to Bill’s.  I shared the same naive views of women that Bill did in the beginning of EWS.  I believed that women were naturally loyal and sought monogamy, companionship and security in their relationships because this was what I was taught from my family and even other girls that I was acquainted with.  Women were just waiting for a guy like me to rescue them from the lecherous, over-sexed jerks that they were dating–so I’ve been told.  So I invested time into my studies so that I can be a success and provide for a girl while playing the nice guy card a lot.  Of course, women still rejected me to sleep around with the jerks, but it was explained to me that they had low self-esteem.  These were just pretty lies and I was in denial about it for a long time because I wanted to believe it.

My journey

You see, I complained a lot in high school of my apparent lack of companionship from the opposite sex that claimed that they all wanted nice guys, and I wasn’t aiming out of my league either.  Since the first day I started high school, I knew where my place was in the hierarchy.  I knew that all the beautiful girls went after the football players and the guys that had cars.  I was aiming lower at girls that I thought I had a shot with, but it was still not to be.  I was rebuffed, mocked, teased and even accused of being gay when trying to express sensitivity–which was everything that Bill Harford experienced in EWS.

College wasn’t any better and I was getting the distinct impression that I was being lied to about the nature of women.  I wasn’t holding on to the idea that sex was only for marriage, but I still was taught or indoctrinated with the idea that sex was for a committed relationship and that the burden was on me to demonstrate such a commitment.  This wasn’t the case at all.  Sex after the first date, or even sex without dating was the norm (not the exception).  But the apparent ease of sex wasn’t a benefit in college that was enjoyed by all. In college, sexual activity roughly conformed to the 80/20 rule.  That means 80% of the sex was being had by only 20% of the people.  This means the alpha groups of each gender and this alpha status had little to do with traits such as sensitivity, romance and stability.  But much like Bill at the secret orgy, I saw people hooking up at parties and experimenting with all sorts of kinky activities, but I was excluded from participating.  This experience (or lack thereof) was quite an eye-opener for me.  It’s as if there was a conspiracy to exclude me from these activities or any sort of companionship whatsoever, much like how Bill felt at the orgy in EWS.  

Before anybody jumps on my case to suggest that my situation was unique or that there’s something wrong with me, I suggest to you that my time at college was during the mid to late 90’s where the internet was starting to emerge and gain widespread use.  Communities were forming online and one of them involved men who were as frustrated with the dating scene as I was.  They started comparing notes and tried to figure out how to capture a woman’s heart and desire.  They basically tossed out everything they thought they knew about women or what they have been told, deconstructed woman’s behavior, made observations, formed hypothesis, tried them in social settings and reported the results.  A lot of what they found would seem to mesh with what Alice was trying to tell Bill in EWS.  Hence Game, in its modern form, was born!

I didn’t know about the emerging Game community on the internet at the time.  Despite my setbacks in college, I did manage to meet a girl and married her shortly after I graduated.  She was a Plain Jane but was very friendly and kind to me and I thought this was the best I could hope for.  But within a couple of years, sex no longer interested her.  There was other issues in our marriage but they are beyond the scope of this article.  But you can imagine my frustration that I couldn’t even get sex in marriage!  Bill Harford at least still got to have sex with Alice at the end of EWS!  And even a Plain Jane like my wife couldn’t be a solid marriage partner in a lot of other respects so I divorced her after 5 years of marriage.  Before anybody condemns my decision to divorce,  you should note that  women initiate most divorces in the US and for a lot flimsier reasons.  Fortunately, there were no children or else I might need to hang on to a loveless marriage for their sake.  I got lucky as far as divorces go.

Dating post divorce wasn’t any better.  I was still getting rejected by women despite me being on a solid career path and owning my own home.  Single mothers were interesting in me as long as I understood that I was second fiddle compared to their kids.  Some of the mothers would call their sons little man–something I find to be a little creepy so I was never comfortable with the situation.  Other women were what I would call reformed sluts. They were the ones that slept around when they were younger but now their biological clock is ticking and they realize that they need to behave to find a good man.  This makes sense to them but not to me because they are making me jump through hoops for something that they used to give away freely to other men when they were younger.  No dice.  Strange as it sounds I was involved in some groups online and was invited to an orgy!  I was tempted to go in the hope of getting something started until I learned that the women there were 40-50 year old fat girls–nowhere near the type that were in the orgy scene in EWS.  Pass.

If it sounds like I’m picky now, it’s because I have to be.  I’ve grown older and wiser and my standards have been raised accordingly.  In retrospect, the best opportunity a woman had to snatch me up was when I was young and stupid but they decided to make out or spread their legs for somebody else.  I still look for the serious relationship and serious commitment and I’m willing to give marriage another try.  But it won’t be in the US.  My eyes are no longer eyes wide shut!

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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 Review of Mordinson Marriage Agency

After a couple of years of being out of the foreign bride search, I finally went back abroad.  This time I went to the Mordinson Marriage Agency in Kharkov, Ukraine.

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To provide you with a little bit of history, I started looking for a foreign bride several years ago.  I used websites online that specialized in international dating.  Generally, this approach is well suited for the write many, visit one (WMVO) approach that I initially adopted.  I wasn’t quite the seasoned traveler so it seemed to be too overwhelming to date more than one girl at once overseas.  I made several trips and ended up becoming engaged to a Russian woman (RW) for some time, but the engagement fell apart.

It seemed that a new approach to foreign dating was required and I decided to give the agencies a shot.  Marriage Agencies or Introduction Agencies are services that assemble a database of ladies for you to write to.  The agency provides translation services, apartment rentals and function as de facto tour guides when you visit their city.  Most men are reluctant to use them because a lot of agencies turned out to be lucrative scams, and even if the agency was honest, men would lose a degree of freedom during their correspondence and meeting since personal information and the correspondence tends to be strictly controlled.

What is Mordinson Marriage Agency?

Mordinson has been in the marriage and introduction business since 1999.  Longevity is a good sign in this industry.  They also are a registered business in Ukraine and have contact information on their website (another good sign).  They also enjoy a good reputation among other bride seekers on the internet and that’s what matters the most; how clients rate the agency and would they recommend it.  So you should definitely do your research about any agency that you may be interested in using and get people’s opinions about it.

The agency is being run and managed by Michael Mordinson.  He was more than willing to answer any questions I might have had.  He personally meets the ladies in his office and interviews them before accepting them in his agency.  The ladies are notified that Mordinson is an international agency which means that the male clients are men that live in other countries, so the ladies are aware that they may need to move abroad if they get married at this agency.

Some of Mordinson’s services

Mordinson has a good reputation among foreign bride seekers on the internet but many believe that he’s too expensive for some reason.  Mordinson has an introduction package that covers a 10-day visit for $2,650 which many think is a little pricey.

In my opinion, you have to think about value.  The introduction package includes apartment rental, unlimited translations and dates, transportation to and from the airport and a cellphone that Michael provides you during your stay that you can use to call him at any time if you need anything or if you get lost.  The apartment is pretty spacious but lacks a kitchen.  But fortunately Kharkov is a pretty inexpensive city.  Meals were typically only a few dollars and I wasn’t spending more than $30 each day.  You will still need to cover your own airfare.  For an American, that price can be significant.

I think what sells the service is that there is no limit to how many ladies you can write to and date.  So to get good value, you would have to adopt the write many, visit many (WMVM) strategy.  I think the price also keeps many looky-loos and keyboard romeos from swamping the ladies with attention so the ladies won’t get too jaded and think that you’re a serious man. Also, when your in town, Michael will show you around and give you advice on how to impress the ladies and what they expect, so you might as well listen to him.  You’re paying for his advice too.  Michael seems to be a humble and energetic person and is good company to be with.

The best thing I could say about Mordinson was how fast the translations were completed.  Even fairly lengthy letters were translated within a day and there were often times where I would receive a lady’s reply withing 24 hours after I sent her a letter.  But your mileage may vary.  But it seems the main factor that affects the reply time is the lady herself.  The agency isn’t sitting on the letters and milking the subscription service. So if you ended up subscribing to the monthly translation service ($175) and write to several ladies, you will get your money’s worth!

I’ve always been puzzled about some bride-seekers attitudes about price.  Even if you’re thrifty in this bride search, it will cost more than you think.  But in order for an agency to stay in business, it has to make a profit so that the owner and employees can make a living.  Many men will agree to this sentiment (of course).  But they still complain about outrageous pricing and agencies ripping them off.  To be sure, there will be some sketchy agencies that do this, which is why research is important, but I think Mordinson has a good price structure for now.

The ladies of Mordinson

The agency is exclusive to the area, so they don’t have a large database of ladies which might be bad if you like a lot to choose from, but on the positive side of things, the agency interviews each girl personally and determines if she really wants to be married and is willing to marry a foreigner.  The ladies also don’t seem to be listed anywhere else that I can tell.  I’ve been to other websites looking for women from Kharkov, Ukraine and don’t recognize any Mordinson ladies.

Mordinson seems to have started out in professional photography and it shows.  The photos of the ladies are fantastic.  Some men have expressed skepticism about whether or not studio glamour shots end up being a misrepresentation of the ladies, but I’ve found that I’ve still been able to recognize the ladies in person.  You are just seeing the best of themselves in the photos and they are still quite beautiful when you meet them in person.  I think Mordinson knows what everybody else knows, that men judge women with their eyes and the agency that takes the best photos of their ladies will have the advantage in this market.

It’s not just appearance.  As near as I can tell, the women seem genuine.  The first meeting is usually at a cafe so it’s not an expensive date.  Even during second or third meetings, the ladies aren’t trying to take you to expensive places or shopping sprees.  They are very nice to be around.

What can you expect?

In my case, I took advantage of the unlimited correspondence and wrote to every lady that interested me.  I would say that I received about a 30% positive response.  This is much better than a typical man would get from dating in the US unless he was a pickup artist or an alpha male (celebrity, business man, professional athlete, etc).  I’m more of an average Joe so this seemed to be a good response for me.  Your mileage may vary.

Ultimately, I met about 6 ladies.  This seems to be an ideal amount but you can meet more of them.  There were others I was interested in meeting, but they cancelled.  This happens sometimes–you click with a girl and make plans to visit her, but on the 11th hour she gets sick or gets married or moves to that village with no name where all the grandmothers in Russia and Ukraine live that has no cell phone reception. In fairness, this is a risk when dating internationally, but this seems happen more when dealing with agencies and my trip was no exception.

You’ll spend the first few days of your trip meeting the ladies and use the rest of the trip build a relationship with who you like.  Of the six that I met, about three of them weren’t interested in another meeting with me.  One of them seemed like she really liked me but I couldn’t return her affections.  There ended up being one that seems to like me as much as I like her and I hope we can keep the relationship moving forward.

Basically, it seems if you have realistic expectations, things may turn out well for you, but nothing can be guaranteed since you’ll never know how the girls may feel about you because it’s only letters at first.  It might be worth doing a video conference with the ladies that reply to your introduction letter to see if there is any chemistry before you visit them.  I didn’t use this service, but it might improve your success rate.

Safety

I was in Kharkov during the end of September 2014 and everything seemed peaceful and quiet at this time.  The Russian-instigated rebellion that has been covered in the news has been confined to the southeast of the country while Kharkov is further north.  The American government has opposed Russian activity in the country and the Ukrainians like this so Americans seem to be well received.  Most people I talk to are in favor of a unified Ukraine.

The apartment and the Mordinson office are located about a 10-15 minute walk from the main square (Freedom Square) and is in a gated courtyard that requires a key to enter and it seems to be manned with a watchman.  You will also need a key code to get into the building and a separate key to enter the apartment so the apartment seems pretty safe with these three secure entry points.  I also recall hearing children playing in the playgrounds nearby so I thinK this is a pretty safe area.

It was odd that on the same day I left, a popular demonstration had pulled down the Lenin statue on Freedom Square.  I had walked past this statue several times during my visit and probably took the last pictures of this statue while it was still standing.  It’s a reminder that anything can happen when you travel abroad, but there’s obviously so much anti-Russian sentiment that there won’t be much meddling in this area of Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Anti-Russian demonstrators pull down the Lenin statue on the same day that I left; September 28, 2014

Anti-Russian demonstrators pull down the Lenin statue on the same day that I left; September 28, 2014

I highly recommend the Mordinson Marriage Agency in Kharkov and stress for you to do your research and follow the news carefully when planning your trip to this region.

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