Bud Patterson has done you a big favor. With his permission here is a great list he put together of great ladies in Odessa. So, if you plan on visiting there in the near future – have at it. Your one and only may be here! Even if you have not decided yet to go on tour (and you should!) and are in the mood to write to a terrific lady, enjoy.
Just FYI… ok?
If you are receiving this, here’s why: Below are links to some profiles of ladies of all ages we have talked to in the Odessa area very recently who have all told us they are getting little or no emails, or introductions yet still very much want to meet someone! A few have even attended recent socials with no results – only due to the fact there are too many ladies at those darn things! LOL!
I know some of you want to write to ladies who are available and interested in meeting someone, so here is your chance to cut through the haystack and go right to the needles. I hope this is helpful – please let me know if you make a good connection. While I cannot guarantee your results with any of these ladies as I have not met any of them in person, (unless indicated by **) I can tell you they are quite real and interested according to our very reliable new staff in Odessa:
If you are new to international dating, it can be very confusing. Most of us are used to domestic dating or perhaps marriage. Most guys begin to look at this because local options are not working for them for a variety of reasons.
The divorce rate in America is alarming. I have seen it as high as 57% and climbing. In California it is as high as 70%! Of course, sometimes the reasons are valid. But here is a shocking statistic. About 80% of filings are done by women! On occasion of course, there may be good reason for this.
OK, let’s move on. The world gets smaller all the time. Frequent travel and technology such as Skype, Facebook, email and inexpensive phone calls do not recognize national boundaries.
Obviously, there are obstacles such as language. Even more alarming scams are easier to perpetrate. However, there is help.
The good news is that many have succeeded in finding an international bride and are happily married. So, how did they manage it? The safest way is to secure the help from an American introduction agency that has been in business for many years with a good track record. The industry leader is A Foreign Affair in Phoenix, Arizona. I have had a relationship with them for over three years.
So how should you proceed?
You are reading my blog at the moment. Thanks. I have logged almost 100 posts on a variety of subjects to help you. Bud Patterson also has a blog at foreignbride101.com. It’s very useful.
The site at loveme.com is amazing. It would take you weeks to view all that is included here. There is information, video blogs, testimonials, pictures and videos from tours and much more.
Bud Patterson has been doing a Monday night conference call at 9:30 PM EST. You can just listen or ask question by pressing *1. The number is (404) 920-6610. He covers all topics from any of the many countries served by AFA. You should always dial in.
Also, if you are interested in the Philippines, you can use the exact same process and time on Wednesday night. This call is hosted there by the local office managers. What is interesting is that several girls will be there. Their ID number will be provided and you can speak to them and ask questions! Because it is so early in the morning there, you may have to wait 10 minutes or so for the call to start.
Bud Patterson has written the best book on this process you will ever see. I read it before traveling and it was very helpful. It is titled “Foreign Bride 101 – A “How To” for Nice Guys”. Bud provides all the topics you will see in the book. To purchase, simply log on to loveme.com and scroll down on the right (blue) links until you see “Foreign Bride 101”. Reading this book is like listening to years of his Monday night calls and you still could miss important topics.
Since you are on my blog, you may notice a book that I wrote. It does not compete with Bud’s in any way. What it does is address dating and relationships in general. If it has been a while for you or you have had limited success, I hope that it is helpful. You may purchase a PDF copy of it through AFA. It is called “A Man’s Field Guide to Dating”.
Get off the couch and go!
So what’s next? Well, you need to have your own criteria in order. What would be age appropriate for you? Remember she will have to be comfortable and happy with your family and friends since she will be leaving her own. What about children? This is a huge issue. Yours, hers and yours together or not at all. You must have an opinion about this. It can be very complicated and will change your life.
Once you have an idea what would be best for you, you can begin to look over the 40,000 profiles in various countries on loveme.com. Of course every guy has his own preferences. Some like steak and others lobster. Are you more attracted to Asian, Latin American or Eastern European? Look over the profiles and decide for yourself. All of them have their own charm and beauty. It’s up to you.
Once you have made a decision, you may wish to concentrate on a city. For example, if you like the Philippines you can choose between Cebu or Davao.
Once you have made your choice, learn a bit about the culture and language. Lonely Planet publishes an inexpensive series for most countries. Learn a few words in the native language. You can do this for free on YouTube.
Another idea is to print inexpensive personal cards listing your name, address, email and phone. These will be useful at socials.
Now comes the task that so few complete! Bud estimates that it is less than 5%. Save up some money and time and book a tour!!
Once you do this, the world is your oyster. Now you can select profiles in each city that interest you. Once you know when you will be in their city, you can put this in the subject line and write to them. The odds of a reply are very much in your favor.
Perhaps you are aware, but if not, do you know that there are over 2000 lady’s profiles that include a video? You can watch these for free! Not only that. but AFA posts over 100 new ones on a regular basis.
So, if you don’t know, here’s how to find them. Just log on to loveme.com. Once there you will find a link at the top of the page labeled, “Foreign Women Profiles”. When you select it you will see “Women with Video Clips” and “Women with New Videos”.
Pour a cup of coffee and settle in as the number is overwhelming. Most of the videos are from the Philippines, but some are from the Ukraine. It is very convenient because you can view the profile before linking on the “View my video” which is the second blue link on the right. They are usually 1 or 2 minutes long and professionally produced. If the lady speaks English, she will give you a greeting and tell a bit about herself.
Even if you are not interested in these countries, it is entertaining and you can learn a great deal. Try it and I am sure you will enjoy the experience.
As I always say, nothing will happen until you get off that coach and get on a plane! I have never heard of a guy establishing a relationship using only letters or videos. Save your money and time and go. I assure you that you will not be sorry. Don’t be a “keyboard Romeo”!
Guys, I have a few more ideas for you regarding translation – it’s the use of translators while dating. On most of the Romance tours you will on occasion need the use of a translator with the exception of the Philippines, where English is common.
This does not have to be difficult for you once you understand a few basics.
The translator should be working for you. After all you are expected to pay for her services. You should always try to use the translators working for AFA on the tour. You can usually meet them at the beginning of the tour and certainly during the socials. During the social they will probably have a badge designating them as such and AFA pays for their services. On a date the accepted charge per hour is $15. You should make this clear up front. The office or tour leader can assist you.
On occasion a lady may ask if she can bring her own translator as she would be more comfortable. This can be OK, but may be problematic. As long as the fee is the same as AFA and you are satisfied with the service – fine. If she asks for more or you find her and your date in extended conversations to your exclusion, then a red flag should go up. In these rare cases, do not be afraid to discontinue the meeting and report the incident.
A good translator should be accurate and in the background. You need to be focused on your date and she should be focused on you. You are not out with two people. Of course you should be courteous as your date will be sure to notice.
If you are having a drink or eating something light, the translator should be able to order likewise. Of course, you will be expected to pay the check for the three of you. Don’t forget to leave a tip as this will be noticed. In Ukraine there is a word they use – “greedy”. However it only means cheap, not our English meaning.
A first meeting should only last an hour or so, unless you feel that there is a connection. Then, of course, you can extend it. Realize that you will be obligated for portions of an hour as well, billed as a complete hour.
Although you should be aware of how much time has gone by, I always ask the translator, “what do I owe you?” It might be best to do this after the meeting or when your lady uses the restroom. I usually tip her a small amount. These girls talk to each other, of course. This will increase your reputation as many will not. Also, you may discover that she is willing to give you an opinion after your date has gone.
If a translator does a good job for you, you may use her again.
Each city will have a different set of translators of course.
Can you date a translator? Yes, you may, but you will have to ask her out on a date, not during the social or a translation. It might be a good idea to clear it with your tour leader or the office manager first. She might have a boyfriend or be engaged. Also, many of them tend to be young, perhaps they are still in college. If they are in your target age bracket, fine.
I hope this is helpful. Never allow lack of English to eliminate a potential match. She might be terrific in all other respects and the perfect girl for you. If all goes well, I assure you that she will learn English.
I included a post concerning a “travel visa” to the US. I was under the impression that it was very difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately, I was in error. I want to present you with a detailed experience of a friend of mine who succeeded. Enjoy and learn.
I have recently been in contact with a friend of mine whose Ukrainian girlfriend was granted a visa to visit the United States. Here is the story and what they did. There is no guarantee of success and every case is different, but I have heard so many disappointing stories where visas were not granted, I wanted to share a story where a visa was in fact acquired, and the steps that were taken.
Julia had gone to a local travel agency in Ukraine to inquire about getting a visa to visit the United States. She was told that because she is unmarried and unemployed, that the only chance she has of getting a visa was through a fiancée visa.
When Julia relayed this information to her American boyfriend, Todd, he decided to contact his US Congressman to ask if there is any help that they could provide. He was told that they would be able to write a ‘letter of interest’ to the US Embassy and let the embassy know that the Congressman has taken an interest in the visa application. By law, the Congressman can not ‘influence’ the decision of the Department of State. Todd was told that if interested, two weeks before the visa interview of his girlfriend, contact them and they will write such a letter.
While visiting Ukraine, Todd and Julia went to a travel agency to discuss things further. The representative echoed the fact that it was a long shot, but suggested applying for a ‘Guest Visa’. That is what was done. With a guest visa, the US Citizen must ‘invite’ the foreigner to visit. Todd was provided with a sample letter of invitation. Basic information about the citizen and guest was required. Within the letter, Todd took financial responsibility for his guest while they are in the US, including medical bills if treatment needed for some emergency.
Todd had to submit a copy of his passport as part of this process.
Julia had to apply as for any visa request. There are document fees that are paid to the travel agency to put together all the documentation and file with the US Embassy and schedule a visa interview.
There is also a visa application/interview fee that must be paid to the US Embassy.
Julia was instructed to get information regarding her family ties to the Ukraine, documentation of any property owned and financial statements. A visa interview in Kiev was scheduled.
Once Todd was back in the United States, he contacted both a member of the US House and the US Senate. He put together a little documentation package that included the Letter of Invitation, the Cover Sheet of Julia’s visa application that showed her picture and visa application confirmation number, a copy of both their passports and a professional letter briefly stating information about himself and Julia, Julia’s ties to the Ukraine, some of the things they had done in the Ukraine on Todd’s visits and what they hope to do when Julia comes to the United States. The offices of both representatives wrote Letters of Interest to the US Embassy in Kiev on Todd’s behalf.
On the date of the visa interview, Julia arrived at the embassy professionally dressed with all documentation ready. Her interview lasted less than five minutes and she was asked only 3 or 4 questions. She was told her request for a visa was granted and that the visa would be mailed to her shortly.
Todd received confirmation from the offices of his representatives that the visa was granted.
So for all of you out there, there is hope of getting a visa for your girlfriend before you are ready to seek a fiancée visa. I would suggest following the framework detailed above, get the help of your US Representatives and good luck. Todd has visited Ukraine 4 times this year and had established strong ties with his girlfriend, which is a factor that can not be ignored.
Good luck!! Where there is love there is always hope…
I hope this helps and it is a nice way to avoid the restrictions of the K-1 visa.
It was a good movie starring Bill Murray if you didn’t see it, but I’m talking about the problems and some solutions to this critical issue. First some obvious facts. Here is a breakdown of AFA’s target countries.
The Philippines – You have it made as almost all of the ladies you will encounter speak English. However they do have native languages called Bisaya or Tagalog.
Latin America – Columbia, Peru, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Obviously Spanish is the dominant language here. Of course it is rapidly becoming America’s second language and is not difficult to learn. You will most likely need a translator here, but not always.
Ukraine and Russia – Here the native language is, of course, Russian. In the Ukraine many people speak Ukrainian as well, but Russian is universal. This will more difficult as it is not a “romance language” like Spanish which has a lot of cross-over to English. They do not use our Roman alphabet of 26 letters, but Cyrillic which has 33. None of these look like ours. Although you may encounter English speaking ladies, you will most likely need a translator.
China – We have all seen and heard either Mandarin or Cantonese. This can be a real challenge although learning English is very popular there. It is very likely that you will need a translator.
If you have not studied a foreign language before you should understand that there are levels of competence. What I mean is that from easiest to most challenging it goes as so.
Understanding the spoken language. You can often pick up words here and there as you travel.
Speaking the language. This is much more of a challenge as vocabulary will be required to express yourself.
Reading the language. If our alphabet is not used, this can be a real challenge.
Finally writing in the language will require study and skill.
Technology to the rescue! There is hope.
Email translation – this is quite easy using Google Translate which is free. You simply log in and you will be presented with two text boxes. You can place any language you wish in each. Obviously you will initially want English on the left and your target language, Russian or Spanish on the right. I find it easier to compose my note in a text editor like Word and copy and paste it over to Translate. It will quickly present your text in the target language. Then just copy it over to your email.
However, here are some ideas for you. Naturally the process is not perfect. You can help by using short, simple sentences and avoiding contractions, idioms, slang or sophisticated phrases. What I do is copy the translated text back to the application and translate it back to English to see what I have.
Also, I find it helpful to present both the translated text and the English version in my note. Some ladies may find this useful as they can view the difference and translate the English themselves if she wishes.
I have used Google translate when dating, but it can be very tedious.
Most smartphones now offer a translation app. Some are very effective and will speak. However it can be slow going during an extended conversation.
Also, there are electronic translators available. I purchased one from Ectaco and find it quite useful. Loveme.com has a link to purchase on the left side of their menu.
I hope this has been helpful. Just do not allow differences in language to become and obstacle to finding your special someone.
There is a lot that can be learned from these stories. In the first season the brides came from Russia, Brazil, Columbia and the Philippines. The men were from a variety of ages and backgrounds. What is most interesting are the various mistakes and problems the couples encounter. It is my opinion that most of these issues resulted from misunderstood expectations and lack of preparation.
Here is where we can learn from the expected drama. Of course the producers were hoping for this to create interest and tension. It makes good theater. Here are few that I noted while watching.
Not spending enough time and visits with the intended before seeking the visa. Obviously the more time you have together, the fewer problems you will encounter once she gets to your home. You need to clearly understand each other’s expectations and needs. She will be leaving her family, friends, job or school, language and culture behind to attempt to blend in to your life. What it were the other way around? How would you feel?
Not preparing your family and friends for the process. This is huge. She will need all the love and support of you and your extended family in order to feel comfortable and welcome. You will naturally encounter well-meaning resistance from some. Even after careful explanation, it may not disappear entirely. In that case your fiancée should be aware of this and receive your support. Skyping back and forth while you are in her country can be very helpful.
Moving too fast.Also, if you take enough time before filing for the visa some of the resistance may fade. It is not unreasonable to allow almost a year and three or more visits to be sure beforehand. During this time daily emails, phone calls, Skyping and photo exchange can increase comfort for both of you. Try to balance the initial infatuation and exuberance with calm meaningful discussion to focus expectations and eliminate misunderstandings.
I hope that you enjoy the shows and try to place yourself in the scene. Would you be able to eliminate some of the mistakes you witness? How would you feel in these circumstances?
I have often heard clients ask about a tourist visa as opposed to the K-1 Fiancée visa. Here is what I learned.
I called the office of my US House of Representatives representative. They cannot ‘help’ get someone a tourist visa, unless they personally know the individual. However, they will write a ‘letter of interest’. What they will do is write a letter to the Embassy in Kiev and let them know that the Congressman has interest in the outcome of the visa request/interview. They will send the letter directly to the Embassy, plus will provide a copy to you, so that you can get it to the lady, so that she can carry it to the Embassy for her interview.
Whether or not it helps at all, who knows? When push comes to shove, it’s all about whether or not they believe the person requesting the visa will return to the Ukraine. If the lady has a good job, it should be a big plus.
I did ask if I were to escort a lady to interview in Kiev at embassy, if that makes a difference. The response was ‘no’. I won’t be allowed in the interview and they would not ask any questions of me. It does not matter and would not be considered.
Ukrainian nationals can travel to certain other countries. I have personally gone to the Dominican Republic twice and the lady had no problem entering, just her passport and $10. So perhaps that is more useful idea.
I also found out the Ukrainian nationals do need a visa to get into Canada. Whether or not Canada is a little more liberal with granting tourist visas, perhaps .
Guys, you can learn a great deal about a lady when viewing their profiles, beside the lovely photos. Age, height and weight, children, profession and language are usually included and clear. The comment section is another matter. Sometimes there are only a few sentences, like I like pets and moonlight walks. Do not dismiss a lady because of this. Often they may be shy and not know what to write or they are very private and do not wish to reveal much. Sometimes it is the language barrier that prevents them from expressing themselves.
My advice? Take comments with a grain of salt. However, on occasion a lady may include a meaningful and complete commentary. Although this is not often the case, it happens.
I think that you would benefit from reading some examples of this. You can learn a lot about how foreign women feel about their life, this process and foreign men. I will provide three ID numbers for you to examine. Try to study these in a universal sense, not perhaps particular to the lady. I think it will be helpful. Here they are:
Look past the lovely photos and study these comments to increase your understanding. I hope this helps.
By the way we are often confused by some words that are often included in comments. For example, economist does not mean the same thing as in America. It usually means that they are occupied in some form of commerce. Cozy is a nice term for keeping a nice comfortable house. Family may indeed mean children, but not always. Some ladies mean a man and his wife.
One more thing. I have enjoyed reading about the Ukraine in the Lonely Planet guide. I highly recommend this series no matter what country interests you. They publish guides for many countries that cover culture, food, history and helpful tips for getting around.
As always, best of luck to all of you and especially those of you who have decided to get on a plane and meet these wonderful ladies in person. It is the only way to achieve success.