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Use Translators Effectively

Happy belated New Year!  The holiday pressure is off and I’m trying to get back into writing.  My Ukrainian girlfriend and I recently became engaged over the New Year holiday.  We’ve been together for almost a year and we were sharing memories of our first meeting.  She also wanted to tell me so many things about what she was feeling but her English isn’t good enough to do so.  It made me think of translators.

My fiancé and I never used or hired one.  She mastered enough basic English that our conversations flowed reasonably well.  If we needed to express something complicated the google translate app worked reasonably well.  I think we both knew that the this is the nature of international relationships–you don’t know each other’s languages very well.  So you enter them already prepared for this fact.

My experience with translators was with the Mordinson Marriage Agency in Kharkov.  Michael Mordinson, the owner, is very fluent in Russian and Ukrainian and was very helpful with translating letters and conversations during my first meetings with the girls at his agency.  He would only translate for our first date and leave us alone for our second dates and so on.  However, if the girls knew at least a little bit of English, he would leave us to ourselves at our first meeting.

Personally, I like Michael’s philosophy.  Translators should just be used to facilitate meetings.  Having a translator around constantly will make things awkward if you and your girl like each other enough to progress to multiple dates and then something more.  You also don’t want to talk about anything too personal with a translator so it can end up stalling a budding relationship.  At one point, you and your girl will have to learn how to communicate.  The sooner that happens, the better.

You also want to learn how your girl copes with adversity.  If she can’t speak or understand, does she get frustrated?  Angry?  Does she take it out on you?  Or is does she go with the flow and try and figure it out with you?  Is she patient? This can tell you a lot about a girl’s temperament and how well she can adjust if she moves abroad to be with you.  This is good information to have when you decide on which girl to be with.  In my experience, if a Russian girl likes you, she will try to communicate with you, so don’t get talked into relying a translator too much.


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Olga Reznikova Wants to Help You Find a Ukrainian Wife!

I’ve recommended readers to check out Olga Reznikova’s blog, Discover Ukraine before.  In it she discusses customs and traditions in Ukraine that can help the foreign bride seeker navigate the dating customs in this area of the world.  So it was already a good resource.

Olga Reznikova

I turns out that she gets many questions about dating Ukrainian girls and marriage agencies and she decided to offer consultation services starting at $50.  If Olga can spare you from being a victim of a scammer, bogus agency or green card girl, then I think $50 is well worth the investment.  She can also investigate the legitimacy of agencies and help you arrange flower delivery.  You can read more about the service in one of her recent posts.

Olga has also interviewed Michael Mordinson from the Mordinson’s marriage agency.  I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Michael when I was in Kharkov, Ukraine on my bride search, so he’s the real deal.  The interview is about 20 minutes but worth checking out.


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Can You Get a Hot Russian Girl?

The prospect of being able to get a more attractive and hotter girl from another country as your wife is what appeals to many foreign bride seekers.  However, this could be a recipe for disappointment.  You need a good idea of how beautiful a foreign bride you can get.

I know how this starts.  Most men begin their search on-line.  They are bombarded by profiles of women and photos of women in suggestive poses that wouldn’t give him the time of day in America under normal circumstances.  Advertising strongly implies that these long-haired beauties are fed up with their local men and want to marry a foreign man.  Your looks don’t matter!  He’s skeptical but he signs up for free at one of the sights, creates a profile and uploads his photos.  Responses start rolling in.  Many of them are scammers but some are genuine.  Even the genuine replies are coming from some pretty hot women.

This is much different from the daily grind of approaching women online or in public in America.  He thinks he’s struck gold!


You know that new sense of euphoria that you’re getting from being a desired commodity?  That’s what the average American woman feels between the ages of 15 and 35.  She gets a ton of interest from the opposite sex and she feels she can pick and choose based on increasingly superficial criteria until at around 35 when she hits the wall and wonder where all the good men are.  It’s because she was too picky.  She was that kid in a candy store that passed over all the different types of candy until the store closed and now she’s stuck with nothing.

Don’t fall in this trap.  Don’t think you can hold out or trade up to hotter and hotter women, because there are limits.  It’s not that you’ll end up with nothing.  The hotties will be more than happy to  go out with you (for a price), but your goal should be a long-term relationship that will lead to marriage.  You aren’t the only guy looking abroad and she is going to pick a man that she thinks is suitable for her.

Humans often practice assortative mating. This is the tendency of an individual to mate with someone who has similar attributes to yourself.  Colloquially this is described as dating within your league or ladder theory in some places on the internet.  It’s not that humans make a conscious decision to do this.  Many do aim out of their league to try to improve their lives but they are often rejected because their romantic interest is also trying to mate with the best that she can.

If most beautiful people are rated as a 10 on a scale of 1-10 that means they are in high demand and can be more selective.  If they do make a choice, they will choose a 10 as well.  The rest of us have to settle for lower on the scale, but not too low!  What happens under this selection criteria is that the dating and marriage market tends to stratify.  10’s will pair off with 10’s.  5’s with 5’s and 2’s with 2’s.

This is idealized but you get the point.  There is often couples that have a point or two difference.  You can often see a 5 with a 7, because circumstances vary and change.  Maybe one partner doesn’t realize his intrinsic attractiveness.  Maybe they were well matched in the past but one partner let himself go.  Maybe there was something quirky about him that turned off some women in his league but somebody else higher up found authentic and endearing.

But most people think that a difference of two between levels of attractiveness is the maximum.  Anything more strains credibility.  If you see a 4 with a 9, for example, then there has to be an overriding factor.  Often it boils down to money.  But there could also be self-esteem issues, or perhaps the marriage was arranged.

This is what you need to keep in mind to achieve the best outcome when searching for foreign brides.  Be mindful of your own attractiveness when deciding who to contact.  Your search will be a lot less expensive and frustrating and you’ll be better off for it.

This dose of realism isn’t bad news.  You will certainly end up with a more beautiful wife than what you are capable of obtaining back at home.  You are likely to score the full two points higher than you on attractiveness.  The fact that you are from a more economically developed country is a plus.  So if you are a 5 (average attractiveness), then you should be able to obtain a 7 easily.  Most people consider 7’s to be attractive so you’re doing great for yourself.  If you aim for a ten, you may get her, but people will suspect things like she only married you for the citizenship to your country.  That’s assuming the relationship even lasted that long.

Choose wisely!

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Rent Apartments Instead of Hotels

You’ve made contact with your Russian (or foreign) girlfriend and had a nice correspondence for a few months.  You like each other and agree that a meeting in person will be the next logical step.  As I’ve stated before, the first meeting should be in her city so you start looking for hotels.  But in Russia, Ukraine and other areas of the world, a hotel reservation won’t be the best choice.

You should rent an apartment for your visit and this is the conventional wisdom for many veteran bride seekers.  There are a couple of reasons why renting an apartment would be a better choice:

  1. It’s cheaper—  I’ve found that the rent per day for an apartment about 15-20% cheaper than staying in a hotel.  Also, the longer you stay, the cheaper the daily rate usually is. Despite the cheaper price the apartments are to western standards.  Keep in mind that when an advertisement indicates “western standards” they mean standards that you will likely encounter in western or central Europe.  Americans, Canadians and Australians will still find the conditions to be on the small side (including the bed).  Nevertheless, you should still be comfortable.
  2. More privacy— This is important if your girlfriend wants to visit with you or stay with you at your place.  In certain areas of the world, only prostitutes would visit men staying in hotels and the ladies will often get harassed by the hotel staff.  Even if you cleared this with the staff beforehand, they may use this to justify charging you double occupancy for that night and still harass your lady.  Prostitutes also solicit male clients at hotels.  You will likely get phone calls from ladies offering massages or sex or being approached in the lounge areas.  It won’t matter if they see you are already with a lady or not, they’ll try anyway.  Your girlfriend will know that all of this happens also.  So for her peace of mind, it’s best to rent an apartment.

Most major cities in Russia and the former Soviet Union have apartments to rent at daily rates.  Use the internet to find them.  You should be fine with apartments near the city center or a main highway.  I have used the Apartment Reservation Network with good results but there are many others.  If your lady lives in a smaller town that may not have a listing on the internet, she can help you find a nice place for your stay also.  Some places may only accept cash instead of credit cards so ask and plan accordingly.


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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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Ukraine Watch: Who Will Blink First?

The ending of a nominal cease-fire has escalated new tensions in southeast Ukraine that may make a foreign bride seeker reconsider his pursuit in this country.

Rebel controlled Lugansk and Donetsk provinces held elections for parliament members and ministers a couple of weeks ago.  Turn out was reportedly high and Russian president Vladimir Putin has recognized the results.  The rest of the world rejects the legitimacy of these elections, but the key factor is that from Putin’s perspective, perhaps he sees both Lugansk and Dontesk as independent, sovereign nations.  This will complicate the issue of ending the war in Ukraine.  Ukraine will not want to give up this territory but attempting to take it back may be the casus belli that Putin needs to commence and all-out invasion of Ukraine since he’ll see “Western-backed fascists” violating the sovereignty of nations full of Russian speakers.

russian trucks

Putin has recently sent additional troops and vehicles into rebel-held territory so this crisis isn’t going to end anytime soon.  First, it seems that anytime rebel progress stalls or experiences setbacks, Putin commits forces and equipment to turn the tide.  Putin is stated very directly that he won’t let the rebellion be defeated.  Second, the Russian economy has been taken a beating from the falling ruble and oil prices.  Russia has also been experiencing the largest capital outflow since 2008 and there’s an indication that Putin isn’t flinching.  He has currency reserves built up so the average Russian isn’t likely to feel the effects of sanctions for a while.  It all depends how long the reserves hold out and how well Russia can source various proscribed goods domestically.  The average Russian might feel the effects eventually, but it will be while.  Putin is obviously playing the long game.  He doesn’t have to worry about a reelection bid for a few years yet, and he has been very effective in the past of marginalizing his opposition if the opinion of the Russian public ends up souring.

Meanwhile, US president Obama has only a couple of years left in his final term.  Other European leaders may also not be around for long if their European economies don’t recover from recession soon.  Will the next group of leaders still have interest in maintaining sanctions this long or will they lose interest?  Perhaps Putin will eventually get his way.  That would seem to be a best case scenario.

A worst case scenario might see things escalating into a full-out regional war, if not, a full-scale global one. Putin and German Chancellor Merkel have ramped up the rhetoric.  Russia has expelled Polish diplomats.  And the Russian increase in air patrols has nearly led to some midair collisions because Russian planes aren’t using transponders and flying in aggressive and provocative flight paths that may trigger a shooting war according to some security experts.

All this means is that a bride-seeker still needs to exercise caution when flying to Ukraine because things are heating up once again.  There’s no guarantee that the war in Ukraine will remain local or end anytime soon, so follow the news updates when planning your trip.  An exit strategy may not be a bad idea either!

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Black Men Should Consider Brazil!

Occasionally, black men or other non-caucasian men will venture into the discussion of men seeking brides in Russia and the former Soviet Union (FSU), and ask (more or less) what their chances are of getting a lovely Russian bride.  They are effectively asking if their race will be a hinderance to their chances or are Russians tolerant to mixed race relationships?

The short answer is that a black man won’t be very successful in looking for a bride in the FSU.  It may be overly harsh to say that Russian people are racist, but interracial relationships aren’t broadly accepted and many families may discourage their daughters from marrying one, knowing the difficulties she’ll encounter in life.  In my travels to this part of the world, I saw only about two black people total.  To give you even more anecdotal evidence, hip hop and rap have risen in popularity in Russia, but the artists are all white guys.  There’s not a single black guy.  This was a little comical for me to see at first when I started traveling to this part of the world–music videos of a bunch of scrawny white guys wearing bling while standing by fancy cars and girls in bikinis singing about “bitches n’ hos” in russian.  I also found it interesting that when Russians use the term “black men”, they are referring to men of Arab decent.  Hopefully this gives you an idea of how rare black people are in this part of the world and I can’t honestly say that black men will get a warm welcome by the Russian women.

But all is not lost for the black man!  You just need to head south…to BRAZIL!  I’ve written about Brazil before and it seems that there’s the same demographic problems that Russia has: not enough men!  The Brazilian women also seem to be warm and passionate and have respect for men and family.  Brazil also has the largest black population in the world outside of Africa so they would be much more tolerant of black men than people in Russia, I would bet.  But don’t take my word for it.

Frustrated: Black American Men in Brazil is a recent documentary that documents a growing trend of black American men voting with their feet and seeking love in greener pastures.  You can find this documentary on the internet and I have shared it below.

They interview black men from all walks of life, and the reasons they give mesh very well with why all men in general are looking overseas.  They are simply sick and tired of the spoiled princess entitlement of American women!

Frustrated also interviews a couple of American black women and their answers are a real hoot.  One black woman’s BMI has skyrocket past ” a few extra pounds and curvey” and rapidly approaching “beached whale”, but attributes her lack of success with black men to her “success”.  Success in what?  Competitive eating?  Get real!

The other black American princess is pleasant to look at until she opens her mouth.  She might have a masters degree and make a six-figure salary but she’s willing to settle for a black man that makes $75,000/year.  Her and “beached whale” don’t understand why black men can’t give black women like them a chance instead of going to Brazil to hook up with Brazilian hotties.  Such educated ladies can surely spell delusional.

I know that “black princess” thinks she’s being magnanimous by willing to settle for $75,000/year, but at a median income of only $50,000/year in the USA, she is still pricing herself out of the market.  Consider that most of the men interviewed in Frustrated have been to Brazil about a dozen times each and some even live there.  So they have money, which would imply a stable job.  And they still wouldn’t measure up to “black princess'” expectations.

And to top it off she says that she might not be able to cook a nice meal when he gets home because she doesn’t have time.  Here’s a solution: MAKE THE TIME!  I don’t understand why American women think they don’t need to put any effort in attracting or keeping a man and think they’re entitled to a man that makes just as much as them and charming to boot.  Priorities, ladies!

“Beached whale”, on the other hand, needs to get her butt on a treadmill and drop a hundred pounds at least, but such advice would be futile.  Women like her tend to live in their own little worlds and surround themselves with sycophants chanting “you go girl” and posting selfies of themselves in bikinis to try and encourage fat acceptance.

Don't judge me!!

Don’t judge me!!

This rant isn’t to suggest that I think women should quit their jobs and get back in the kitchen.  Modern day economics wouldn’t even allow that.  It takes dual income households to raise a family these days.  But as a lot of the men in Frustrated suggest, it’s about showing respect to what a man brings to the table and having realistic expectations.

The video ends with a montage of interviews given by Brazilian women and the difference between these girls and “black princess” and “beached whale” is striking.  It’s not just the appearance, although that’s a big plus.  They speak in soothing soft voices and they look very easy-going judging by their body language and posture.

The black man can try Russia if he wants to, but it seems like heading to Brazil would be more fulfilling!


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