It’s the beginning of summer here in Kiev, Ukraine, and in my centrally located neighborhood, you can hear more and more English (as well as Turkish and other foreign languages). Yes, it’s the time of the year where tourists are coming in droves; one of my friends from New York decided to come out for the entire summer by booking an Airbnb for three months. When the temperature drops in mid-September, he’ll be on the first flight out.

There are many reasons that, mostly, Western tourists come to Ukraine. One reason is history. Ukraine is replete with history, so if you’re someone who’s interesting in exploring an ex-Soviet Union country, you will enjoy a city like Kiev as well as the entire region. 

But let’s not beat around the bush much longer. If you’re a man between the ages of 18 and 70, and you’re not accompanied by your girlfriend or wife, and you’re not some scientist who’s here to study WWII history or some ancient civilization, and you have a pulse, chances are you’re here for one reason and one reason only: the women. Everyone knows this. Everyone has at least has heard of rumors that Ukrainian women are some of the most beautiful in the world. Not to mention super feminine and submissive. 

Last week, I sat down and had coffee with a 57-year-old English tourist. He’s originally from southern England, but, just like myself, loves travel and women, and has spent a good amount of time living in all kinds of countries like Colombia, Thailand, and the Philippines. He loves women. And that’s why he decided to spend the summer in Ukraine. 

“Nothing beats Ukrainian women for their sheer beauty,” he assured me. 

The problem is that women know this too. A lot of guys think that women are stupid, that they’re emotional and can be easily manipulated, that you can arrive on a flight from Rome, Istanbul, New York or London and sweet talk some woman off her feet and make her yours. But that’s a common rookie mistake. Women—especially Ukrainian women—are actually pretty smart, and they know exactly why you are here. And, as the case is in Ukraine, they also know that they’re some of the most beautiful women and the world which gives them a certain sense of entitlement—especially with foreign men who flew thousands of miles for a chance to spend time with them.

In psychology, there’s an important concept called validation. Validation is when you elevate someone’s value relative to yours by doing something for them. You can validate someone directly or indirectly. A compliment is the simplest form of validation. It’s rare that I would compliment a woman if she’s not pretty, but if a woman is much more gorgeous than the women I regularly date, compliments will naturally fly out of my mouth.

Furthermore, If I take a girl out to an expensive restaurant on a first date, when I usually invite other women to my apartment for a glass of Georgian wine, I just validated her by letting her know that her value is super important to me and that I’m willing to do more than usual to get her to like me.

If I invite a girl on an expensive trip abroad, when I usually invite other women for a drink at a cheap dive bar, then, guess what, I’ve just validated her by indirectly letting her know that I don’t usually date women of her high caliber.

When you travel thousands of miles from your home to a country that’s known for very feminine and beautiful women, well, what does that say about you? In many ways, it’s the ultimate form of validation that a woman can receive.

A woman instinctively knows and understands this. She knows that if you’re willing to spend so much time and money to fly so far away, then perhaps there’s a good chance that you’re not very successful with women in the country you’re in, otherwise you would be having sex with them instead of spending many hours on the plane. That naturally puts you in a weaker position right from the start. (If you need further proof, watch a few episodes of the show 90 Day Finance.)

Of course, that’s not true in all cases, there are some exceptions (I’ll cover those later), but that’s really the elephant in the room that needs to be covered and addressed.

That’s especially true if you’re coming from countries that are known for sex tourism like Turkey or Italy, or if you’re over 55 with really no other business in Ukraine, or if you’re a guy of any age (even young) but awkward and not really social around women.

While I want to sound optimistic and tell you that, yes, you will find your love in Ukraine, the reality is that if you’re 55 and are trying to date 25-year-old Ukrainian women, you will need a bit more than pure charm and personality to compensate for the age difference. Of course, money, fame, and status all can bridge the gap, but my point is that merely “love” won’t cut it. A certain transaction must take place.

A couple of years ago, I remember having a conversation with a 52-year-old American guy who came to Odessa and ended up meeting a 23-year-old girl at a bar. As I was talking to him, he couldn’t stop how he was able to get this girl’s number as though he hadn’t talked to a single woman in the past 50 years.

Of course, he was happy that she liked him enough to give him her number, but call me a cynic (although I prefer a realist), the reason she probably gave him her number was because he spent all night buying expensive drinks for everyone in the bar including her, something that no regular Ukrainian guy would ever do.

For all the glory about being a foreigner who’s dating exotic local women, sometimes it’s nice to be a local guy. Ukrainian guys are simple, no-frills men. Unlike Western men, they don’t go out of their way showing off or trying to prove anything (showing off seems to be mostly a Western thing). They’re mostly to themselves and doing their thing. 

In fact, that’s the beauty of it all. Because when a girl likes a simple, no frills Ukrainian guy, she likes him for who he is. She likes him for his personality, for his stoic attitude, for his no bullshit behavior, but above all, for the very fact that all his sees in her is a simple woman, and that he’s not putting her up on the pedestal by traveling tens of thousands of miles away just to take her out to some expensive restaurant. She has no choice but to like him for who he is, otherwise, she wouldn’t be with him.

I’m not saying that all foreign dating is a form of validation. Of course not. I met my amazing Lithuanian ex-girlfriend by chance at a bar in Copenhagen. A year later, we were living in Copenhagen and later on even moved back to Lithuania to live together.

The keyword here is chance. It all happened by accident. I was just passing through Denmark as part of my European adventures when I decided to check out a bar. Our eyes locked and we decided to get to know each other further. Then, when I visited Lithuania, I came directly to see her—not because I was so desperate that I wanted to seek validation from random Lithuanian women.

The same thing happened to one of my friends in New York. He was in Moscow on a long-week business trip. During a random walk through Moscow’s downtown, he bumped into a girl at a store. They exchanged contact information and began dating. Three years later, they got married.

Compare both of those experiences to a 35-year-old needy and nervous guy who can’t get laid back home or a 60-year-old retiree who takes every woman he meets on an expensive date in the hope of impressing her into liking him. 

The difference between the two situations is one word: mission. It helps to be on your mission. Then, meeting a woman here or there becomes a nice side effect as compared to when you make meeting women your main focus.

The power of the local guy

A random Ukrainian guy might not have the cachet of being an exciting foreigner, but he will never suffer through the stigma of being called a sex tourist. He will never be in a position of trying to build something with a woman while the woman scheming with her friends on the best way to extract resources from him. He will never have to endure the pain of ultimately realizing that his relationship with that hot 23-year-old is contingent on him giving her money and taking her to nice places; as soon as he stops, the attraction disappears.

While this may surprise you, I never tell local women that I’m a US citizen who had spent most of his life living in the US. Sure, in some instances, telling women that I have such an important document can indeed be an asset and immediately set me apart from the run-of-the-mill Ukrainian guy, but I want to play the run-of-the-mill Ukrainian guy as long as I can.

Unfortunately, the truth can stay hidden only for so long. The longer I know the girl, the sooner my past will get discovered, and the sooner she realizes that I’m not some run-of-the-mill regular “Ivan,” but a man who’s very, very different from most of the men out there. That’s a double-edged sword, but as far as I’m concerned, the cons of being perceived as a regular guy outweigh the pros of her knowing that I have a US passport. 

As soon she knows that I’m an American citizen, I can no longer be fully confident for the real reasons as to why she’s with me. 

10x

Essentially, who you are multiples 10x when you go abroad. If you’re a fun and interesting American guy, you will be 10x more fun and interesting when you abroad. That’s because you now possess the exotic factor. The reverse is true as well. If you’re a needy and awkward dude who doesn’t know how to groom and dress well, you will be 10x less attractive when you go abroad. That’s because women see that you’re needy and lame, and, coupled with the fact, that you’re a foreigner who presumably can’t get laid at home, lowers your value even further.

One of my friends here in Kiev is a socially awkward and easily-triggered friend. He gets pissed off at pretty much everything. He gets defensive at a drop of a hat. He was born in Russia but grew up in Australia. As men, we may not want to admit if a guy is handsome or not, but we sure can tell whether a man gets laid or not. And it’s evident this guy doesn’t get laid very often in Australia (or elsewhere). And, so, it becomes extremely evident why he’s in Ukraine; becomes he can’t get laid elsewhere.

Another friend of mine is an extremely confident and tough guy. He is a black belt in BJJ and loves to surf. He’s the kind of guy who has no problems getting laid—whether it’s in America, Brazil or some other country he happens to be passing through. His attractiveness level is 10x thanks to his exotic foreigner status.

I remember a conversation I had with a Ukrainian girl a few years ago. She was in his early 30s and was very focused on her work and career. I hated the fact that her work had such a high priority in her life. One day, during some argument, I told her straight up that I didn’t come to Ukraine to meet some career woman; that we have enough of those in America. Moments later I realized my error: I basically admitted that the only reason I was in Ukraine was for the women, and, as I’ve already explained, you can’t validate women any higher than that.

When you go abroad to date foreign women, everything about you is magnified. If you’re a stud back home but prefer women of a certain nationality, you will be an even more of a stud abroad. If you’re a dud back home, those insecurities and complexes that make you this way will easily become evident and you will have the stigma of someone who can’t get laid at home. It’s all about where you’re in life.

That’s not to say that I’m somehow discouraging you from dating foreign women. No, dating foreign women is great. Leaving America for the more greener and feminine lands has been one of the best things I’ve done in my life. It’s just things are a bit more complicated on the ground than the rosy picture everyone else is trying to make you believe.