Mail order brides… you’ve heard the term before, and although it’s a bit on the derogatory side, the practice lends itself to the name. Ultimately, you browse a (now online) catalog of hundreds, or even thousands of girls, and message the ones you’re interested in. If they reciprocate interest – or at least have the hankering for some USDA prime choice all-American male – they’ll message you back. Romance is in the air.
Now, a common misconception in this business is that the brides really are mail order. As in, you pick a bride, we ship her in a handy travel crate complete with enough food and water for the trip, and upon arrival you two tie the knot and live happily ever after. The misconception dates back to the days of shopping catalogs, or men’s magazines that advertised this service – as well as a few pictures of beautiful women – in the classified sections that used to adorn the final few pages of these types of publications. So, what’s this business like today?
Well, it’s not quite what you think.
For one, the girls are from countries like the Czech Republic, or Russia, where wars have left the male population much smaller than the “single and ready to mingle” female population. This leads to a severe gender imbalance that finds women looking for husbands from abroad. Others are from poor countries and are looking to escape to a life that they only see on television.
As with anything, your mileage may vary.
So, How Does it Work?
Services vary, but there are two models that are pretty common in this industry. Do your research, as there are plenty of services with shady reputations.
The Pen-pal approach: These services show you a listing of girls on their website, or in their office and charge you for their contact details. You can look through photos and descriptions of thousands of women and you’ll only pay when you decide that you’d like to contact one.
Visiting: Other services offer group trips from your originating country. These trips typically allow you to meet girls who are looking for potential mates at social events that range from adventure tours to cocktail parties. If you hit it off with someone at these events, you can exchange information and set up additional dates while you’re in town.
After you head back to your home country, it’ll be like any other long distance relationship. You can voice chat on Skype, call, write, or email in order to get to know your potential life partner a bit better. After weeks or months of this, there are typically additional trips set up to visit, and spend time with your new love.
Closing the Deal
At this point, you’re probably interested enough to where you’re thinking about marriage. I mean, that’s why you signed up for the service in the first place, right?
Visa issues are a huge hurdle that you’ll have to overcome. The laws vary depending on where you live, but in short it’s always best to find an immigration lawyer, or service, that you trust in order to expedite things as much as possible. In the US, it’s possible to get a temporary visa for a fiancee to move to the US while you’re planning a wedding. All you need for this is to fill out a fiance visa application at your local consulate, or use the aforementioned attorney or service to do it for you. In most cases, having a professional walk you through this process is going to be much more efficient and less of a headache.
After the wedding, in most cases, they’re allowed to move here permanently – although there are stipulations. It’s best to talk with an attorney about this one, as immigration issues are often quite complex.
Once you have the immigration issues worked out, it’s all about adjusting to your new life with a wife who may need to adjust when it comes to language, cultural differences, and the subtle nuances of life in a new country.
If you’re unlucky in love in your current country, what could it hurt to give international dating a try? Just be prepared to do your research and take things slow while you learn the ins and outs of the game. This is a billion dollar industry for a reason, so I can assure you that you’re not the only man who has ever thought that dating outside of cultural borders might be a good fit. If this is something that interests you, give it a try, what do you have to lose?