Ukrainian brides isn't a new phenomenon, but this doesn't mean it doesn't come with important risks. One of the benefits of a free-market economy and capitalism is that there are services for everything. Just like the popular catchphrase, “There’s an app for that,” if something is difficult or confusing for someone to do, you can be sure someone out there will come and simplify the process for you. For a fee, of course.
One of these services is the familiar “mail-order bride” phenomena that started some time ago. It’s a way for men abroad to choose among the preselected women and marry them right away, instead of endlessly dating them for many years as traditionally done.
Another way to view the entire mail-order pride phenomenon is as a “concierge” service where someone is essentially hand-holding your hand throughout the entire process, from helping you choose a mate, to communicate with her and, ultimately, arranging for you to meet her in her home country. That’s in comparison to a “self-service arrangement” like Tinder or an online dating site where you’re forced to do everything else.
There are obvious benefits to such an arrangement. For example, if you’re an American guy in Texas, and you’re interested in a Ukrainian woman from Kyiv, there’s a lot of things that you need to know and understand. The elephant in the room is the cultural differences. Someone with experience matching such people before would help you navigate the landmines of incompatibilities and other possible problems.
But just like with any full-service arrangement, there are various risks that you must take into account. First of all, there’s a big risk of being scammed by the agency owners. Secondly, there’s the risk of being scammed by the foreign women themselves. Let’s analyze these risks in greater detail.
Marriage agency scams
When you’re dealing with a full-service agency, you’re essentially relying on them to help you at each step of the way. Naturally, they’re going to charge you for this. The more hand-holding you need, the more money you will have to shell out. I know a dating agency here in Kyiv that charges you every time a woman opens and reads the man’s message. Another agency charges when someone sends a guys message. This is an addition to charging various fees when it comes to actually meeting the woman in person and everything else.
There was a popular documentary on Netflix named “Love Me” that chronicled the journey of several Western men, ranging in age from mid-30s to 60s as they traveled from their Western country to Ukraine, all arranged by a particular marriage agency. Only one guy (a guy from Texas) brought his new Ukrainian wife back to the States; the rest were played (manipulated) by the women in one way or another. One guy was even swindled by the local police that worked in tandem with the “bride” he was pursuing.
The moral of the story is that grass isn’t particularly greener on the other side and that many things can go wrong when a wealthy Western man tries to marry a not so wealthy, but very attractive Eastern European woman. Of course, there are success stories as well, but the point is when things don’t work, not only do they hurt the guy emotionally, but financially as well.
This brings me to the second point: apart from being gamed by these marriage agencies, there’s also the risk of being gamed by the women themselves. Ukrainian (and Russian) women are known for being experts in manipulation. (As someone who’s been living in Ukraine for five years, I confirm this and tell you that it’s true.)
Ukrainian women are experts at extracting resources from men like oil companies are experts at extracting oil from the ground. Part of it is because they’re very beautiful and sexy and they know that men are crazy about them—especially those men who’re willing to travel abroad to court and seduce them.
How Ukrainian bride scams work
The way it works is that if a woman feels like you’re valuing her very high because you’re always doing things for and are afraid to voice your concerns or even say something negative about her, she will keep asking for more and more things. A lot of Western guys that come to Ukraine are naturally smitten by the local women, and women feel this right away and demand more and more things as a result of the guys’ high interest.
This type of manipulation can start small and innocent. It can initially take the form of financial help, maybe as low as one hundred dollars or as high as several hundred dollars. If she gets that, she may ask for more and more things until you draw the line and refuse. Even if you refuse, she might use guilt into getting you to do additional things for her.
This is a trap that many guys fall into because as men we’re hardwired to acquiesce to a women’s demands to get what we want (e.g., sex, relationship, marriage). That’s especially true if the woman is ultra-feminine, a stark difference from the most masculine Western women that we are surrounded by today.
While this type of manipulation is difficult to handle, one way to deal with it is to trust your intuition. If you feel that you’re taking for a ride—in a literal or figurative sense—then it’s not a “feeling,” it’s most likely the reality. As they say, the gut rarely lies. In my experience, the gut has been right in around 99-100% of the cases.
Of course, another option is to not put yourself in such a position in the first place. When you go abroad to meet women, and you’re socially awkward or of a certain age (e.g., over 50), you’re essentially conveying that you can’t get laid at home and that’s why you’re going abroad to trade your wealth and passport for the chance to be with a woman. Although that can result in love, you have to admit that the first thing these women notice is the material gain to be had.
Yet, another option is a sort of a middle ground. You go abroad to meet foreign women, but you don’t employ the services of these dating agencies. Instead, you go the independent route by flying to the foreign country and meeting the women on your own. This might be in person or with the help of the various dating sites. There’s the infamous Tinder, but we at Maverick Traveler are huge fans of Ukraine Date (read our review here or join the site for free here), which we believe is the best way to meet gorgeous Ukrainian women in Ukraine.
While marriage agencies and “mail-order brides” fill a particular niche in an ever-expanding and lucrative international dating market, they are certainly not without their drawbacks. Having said that, I’m sure there are plenty of love stories and successful relationships that have resulted from this arrangement. But, as always, it pays to stay vigilant and trust your intuition for any foul play—all without having to keep your guard up so high that you can’t enjoy the woman you’re after.