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RWD Newsletter
The RWD Newsletter
February 2009

In this issue:

Site Stats
Cultural Exchange
Overview of the Process
Signs That She Truly Loves You


Welcome to the February 2009 edition of the RWD Newsletter. This edition of the RWD Newsletter represents a change in direction from past editions. Publication of the Newsletter in the past has been irregular and inconsistent. We plan to fix that. Our future plans are to develop interesting and informative articles for our members, as well as begin regular 'columns' that focus on particular themes. This is the first of those, and we sincerely hope you enjoy the information contained herein.

We also recognize that some of our members are not interested in seeing the Newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time, and you will no longer receive the Newsletter by clicking on THIS LINK.

Please feel free to provide feedback at RWD. We are genuinely interested in your thoughts and concerns and welcome your comments.


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Cultural Exchange

“I’ll be right back with a refill of your Coke.”

To most Americans, this innocent phrase likely does not even register in the spectrum of consciousness. Be it McDonald’s (insert the name of your ubiquitous fast food chain of choice) or a sit down restaurant, the soft drink refills are expected and never given an afterthought. The never-ending fountain of Coke (insert the name of your favorite soft drink). Hmmm. This small expectation is simply understood in America, just like larger portions per meal. Its part of the culture you grew up with and likely take for granted.

To Russians experiencing America for the first time, this innocuous phrase from the server might be met with a jaundiced eye – one of scorn and skepticism. “How dare they assume that I will pay for another drink without first asking me?!” might be the words of the inner voice about to be spoken. Simple phrase. Simple, but real, adjustment.

You see, in St. Petersburg where I was raised, this simply never happened. Even at the McDonald’s, things are based on the culture of the host country. When my American husband, then boyfriend, first traveled with me to Russia, he wanted to visit a McDonald’s to see how true it remained to what he knew. At the counter, he requested a hamburger prepared without pickles, mustard or ketchup - plain. When I relayed the order in Russian, the crew stood and returned a stare to me. I had to explain again what he wanted and, eventually, they agreed to prepare the order as requested. To my husband, this was uncommon and unexpected. I explained to him that Russians just did not request a menu item at McDonald’s to be prepared differently than the standard expectation.

To his satisfaction, he mentioned that had his eyes been closed he would have been unable discern any appreciable difference in location. I call this a cultural exchange, albeit a small one. The Russian crew at McDonald’s prepared food a different way and the American customer received exactly what he expected. Perestroika in action.

While my husband and I maintain that people are essentially the same everywhere, regardless of language or customs, these two everyday experiences in restaurants, each from a different perspective, showcase how small expectations can lead to large differences in acceptance.

I wish you all the simple enjoyment of “cultural exchanges” to make getting to know one another a fascinating journey.

Tamara von Schmidt-Pauli at RussianWomenDiscussion.comTamara von Schmidt-Pauli is a native of St. Petersburg Russia who has been visiting, and living in, the United States and Canada since 2002. She holds bachelors and masters degrees, with honors, covering teaching of language and translation and currently resides in the greater Minneapolis area. Tamara is affiliated with Prime Language Services (

Overview Of The Process

(How To Marry A Russian Woman)

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of finding, dating and marrying a Russian woman, it is basically a 10-step process:

1. Decide this is really what you want, make a serious decision.

2. Find a Russian woman...don't worry, you can do this online.

3. Communicate, build rapport and develop a relationship.

4. Commit to making a visit to Russia, Ukraine, or whatever country she is from.

5. Travel to the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and meet her!

6. If you are convinced you have met “her,” then return home and begin the paperwork

7. Finish all of the initial paperwork and file your application for her visa.

8. The waiting game begins—you wait for approval and she gathers her documentation.

9. She (and you if possible) attends the final visa interview and receives approval.

10. Bring her home, make final marriage preparations and marry within 90 days (or send her home).

Please bear in mind that the following discussion is just a basic overview of the process. As you go along, please continue to educate yourself and get more information on the various steps.

The first step is really self-explanatory. This is not something to play around with. These women are very serious, and if you are not it does them a big disservice. So, do your research and self-education first, but once you decide to persue this option, be committed to it!

Next, you need to find a Russian woman. The easiest way to do this today is online. When I started, the big way was catalogs (way back before the digital age!). Please do not go to a general dating website. Places like match dot com and eharmony, etc… are way too general for this. Plus, there will be a much higher chance of finding a dishonest woman who is only interested in getting your money.

Find an honest marriage agency. Start out by looking at some of the forums and advice websites. See what kind of recommendations they give. Look at some of the agency reviews as well. Also, focus on advice that not only tells you which agencies are good, but how to determine for yourself whether an agency is good or not. Kind of the old give a man a fish versus teach a man to fish theory. Once you know this, you will be able to evaluate any agency on your own. Of course, reviews will still always be helpful whenever you come across a new one.

Step 3 is communicating and developing a relationship. Of course, there is a lot involved in terms of writing and communicating with a Russian woman. The first tip is to be prolific. Find at least 100 women to start your letter writing campaign. You can expect your response rate to be between 20-30%. For every 100 letters you send, expect 20-30 replies. Of those, expect at least half to drop out of correspondence after a while. It may be your decision or hers to stop.

Just understand that in the beginning this is really just a numbers game. You need to have enough women in the pipeline to give yourself a good chance of success.

While it is not essential in the beginning, you may want to limit your search to a particular city or region. Eventually you will want to make a trip to see these women; it helps if they are within the same general area. Otherwise, you will be spending all your time going back and forth. Not fun!

This may seem like a heavy time investment. To combat this, what is usually recommended is to write a good, but general introduction letter. You want to tell a bit about yourself, a basic background. State why you have decided to write to her (it can be the same reason for each woman), and what your ultimate goal is. Just keep it simple, one to two pages. Probably one page is better for the first contact. You do the work of writing this once and then it is done. Use this as your first contact for every woman you meet. Sometimes, you may need to make some adjustments, but they should be minor.

Keep yourself organized. I like to have a folder on my computer labeled Russian (or Ukrainian) women. Within this I have sub-folders for each woman I have received a reply from. In this individual sub-folders go all of our letters and contact details. If we speak on the phone I also make a file with the date and notes on the conversation. Trust me, organization is essential once you are talking with more than about 5 women at once!

The letter writing a later the phone calling is nice, but understand that most of these single Russian ladies will not consider this to be a “real” relationship until you meet in person. This is just the way it is. I have also found out that most women will general give you about 6 months to commit to a trip to meet her. After this time frame, they will think that you are not really serious and may even move on. Understand this, and be ready to commit to a trip to meet the ladies you are starting to feel serious about.

In fact, once you have committed to visiting you will see a rapid escalation in your relationship. She will seem more serious, more interested, even more caring. She may start writing more frequently, and answering your letters faster.

Now it is time to visit. Just a few travel pointers: be vigilant in your search for tickets. You can find better deals than the Travelocities and Pricelines. You can search online even for international travel consolidators. Look at the various agencies for their recommendations as well. The off season for travel to the Former Soviet Union (FSU) is between November and the end of March. This is when you will generally find the best deals. Before I was married, I would leave on March 31st whenever possible. This way I would get a good deal at least on one leg of the trip and could be fairly sure that I would not have to deal with snow or sub-zero temperatures.

When making your arrangements, I would strongly suggest you use the services of a marriage agency. Have them set you up with an apartment. You will be more comfortable their than in a hotel. Plus, it will be significantly cheaper. The hotels in the FSU are generally not up to western standards and should be avoided. Unless of course, you want to go first class and spend $300+ a night! Also, have the marriage agency send a car and driver to pick you up at the airport.

I would also suggest you have a back-up plan. Find another local agency in the city you are visiting. Do this BEFORE you visit, of course. You never know what will happen. If you have their contact info, including address, you can be as flexible as you need to be. You could meet women from both agencies while you are there.

If you visit for 2 weeks, take the first week to meet as many women as you can. Start with the ones you have been communicating with. Then, if there is time and interest, maybe set up meetings with some other women from the agencies. You can meet 2 or 3 each day if you are organized and diligent about this. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right!? Spend the second week getting to know the women you met during the first week. Of course, do not feel obligated to have second meetings. Only continue things with those that you are serious about and feel a good connection with. You need to be disciplined about this.

Of course, dating overseas on a two week trip is much different than dating a woman back home. Just the fact that you are trying to pack a lot of getting to know each other time into a very short period. Your dates should focus on this one task, not on entertainment. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being entertained, and by all means do so. Just understand that if this is ALL you do, it will be a tremendous waste of your time, effort and resources. You are trying to gather information that will lead to a marriage decision.

It is also entirely possible that it will take you two or even more trips to the FSU before you feel comfortable proposing to her. That is fine. Do whatever you need to do to get the information you need to make your decision. Do not feel pressure that you have to make this decision by 10am of the day before you are scheduled to fly home from your first trip!

On the other hand, once you have made a decision regarding marriage (and she has accepted!), you need to start doing the government required paperwork. This is somewhat beyond the scope of this article, but fortunately there are many places you can find out about the act of applying for her fiancé visa. Take a look at the website to download forms. The ones you will need initially are the I-129f, application for alien fiancé, and the G-325a, which is a biographical information form. Not that you will need 8 copies of the G-325a (4 for her and 4 for you). Start filling these out in the FSU. In fact, there will be information you need from your beautiful Russian woman for marriage that she can help you complete.

Once you have returned home, you file this paperwork by sending it along with the required fee to whatever government office is required (it should mention this in the instructions of the forms-the I-129f). Then you wait.

You will receive several notices of action. The first is just simply an acknowledgement of receiving your application paperwork. It does not mean approval. The next notice will mean that you have received initial conditional approval. This simply means that everything looks in order and your paperwork will move on to the next step.

After a little more processing, your packet will be sent overseas to the proper consulate. This is usually located in the capital city of her country, but there are exceptions. The two of you will both receive notice that it has been received by the consulate. She will then be mailed a packet of information which will state what further documentation she needs to gather. Once she has these, she send notice back. Then, the consulate will send her the final information, which includes the date of her final interview as well as where to get her medical exam.

The last step in this process is for her to attend the interview. I attended the interview with my then fiancé and it was a neat experience. If you are able, I would recommend attending this together, but it is not necessary. After approval, she will receive her visa (but methods for delivery can vary…and it can be immediate to several days before she actually has her visa in hand). Then, and only then, is it time to book tickets and make arrangements to get her home to you!

Her fiancé visa gives her the right to enter the US one time only, within 6 months from the date of issue. She is allowed to stay for 90 days. Within this time period you must either marry, or she must return home. By the way, if you decide not to marry, you are LEGALLY responsible for getting her a plane ticket home and getting her to the airport on time! Make a copy of this ticket/receipt just for documentation and proof.

That’s the process in a nutshell. As I mentioned before, this is only a very brief overview. Please continue to educate yourself about this whole process. Look at forums, reviews and other advice sites.

After having traveled to Russia, Ukraine and the FSU over 14 times, and being married to a beautiful Russian woman, Joseph Carducci is truly a man who has ‘been there, done that!’ For more info, advice and details on the process of finding, meeting and marrying a Russian woman, along with a free report and 7-part email course, please visit his site: How To Marry A Russian Woman

Signs That She Truly Loves You

How to know if your Russian darling loves you? Love can be a game of hide and seek. Nowadays, when girls have made it trend to flirt out with many guys openly, it’s even harder for a man to define whether the girl from Russia whom he is dating or with whom he is seriously in love shares the same feeling for him. Having different modes of thinking and ways of expression, men's interpretations of the signs that these mystery of a women show often result to mixed up signals. So what is the right way to interpret their actions and to know if your Russian woman loves you with all her heart? In case your beloved one too is putting you in a confusing state of “she does” or “she does not” here are some tips which will help you to find out her true feelings and to make sure that she wants to carry on a long-term relations with you:

If she loves you, she always:

  • cares for you and takes interest in all your activities
  • brags about you to her family and friends
  • tries to get closer to you by touching your hands, shoulders or cheeks
  • keeps staring at you during the conversation wanting to say something but being too shy and confused
  • blushes when you talk and keeps praising you in front of your friends
  • accepts your family despite of everything
  • encourages and motivates you to go ahead with your plans which means that she’s sincerely attached with what you want from your life
  • wants to spend some time with you and help you out in every project or assignment
  • makes an effort to like all your friends
  • is jealous of you, which is actually healthy to a relationship as it validates feelings and reassures the partner that the other is afraid of losing you to someone else
  • laughs at your jokes no matter funny or not
  • caters to you and takes special care to cook your favorite meals
If she is just flirting with you, she:
  • does not respond to your messages and tries to avoid you
  • doesn't want to declare it in public or make some excuses when caught by your close friend in public by saying, “ he's my friend”
  • never praises you and keeps counting flaws in you which means she's trying to dissolve the relation by taking these flaws as the base

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