Tuesday, December 27, 2005

No stress marriages

Six days ago, I was contacted by a man from America's east coast who'd stumbled upon my site at work. The story he shared with me challenged the most commonly held presumptions of an internet-brokered marriage, so, at the risk of putting forth something that sounds like it belongs in a brochure, I'll post it here. I hope he doesn't mind my posting this truncated version; I asked if I could, but five days have now passed without a response. Perhaps it's the season. Anyways, I see no reason not to, so ...

My New Year's resolution for 2003/4 was to have 5 major international vacations, with most of them being to countries where I haven't visited before. (At that time, I had been to roughly 50 countries in various capacities.) One area of the world that I hadn't been to that I really wanted to go was the FSU (Former Soviet Union). None of the friends that I travel with were interested in going to the FSU, and I speak no Russian. (Even today, I still can't roll my r's.) Since I didn't have any connections there, I thought that I would post an ad on Elena's Models. While I adhered to the standard ad, in a very early mailing, I would always mention that I was primarily interested in seeing and experiencing a new country. What did I look for in a travelling companion? Someone around 30, fluent in English, well-educated with a background or at least an interest in history, and enjoying travel.

Inna had joined Elena's Models at the urging of a friend. She felt it would be an excellent way to practice her English. If someone actually visited, she thought it would be fun to show the person her country. She was planning on becoming a professor of history/philosophy in Belarus upon completing her doctorate and really didn't have much intention of leaving.

So, I went to Belarus for a couple of weeks during the first half of 2004. I selected Inna/Belarus and not some other person in that she was the easiest and most fun to talk with, and I figured we could have an enjoyable time together. At the time of my visit, I was dating a couple of women in the US. Of course, neither one was yet serious, but when I got back from vacation, I would have to figure out which one I wanted to date seriously.

Bottom line, Inna and I had a wonderful time together, and I felt that I got to experience a little of what life under Communism must have been like. When I got back to the US, I decided who I really wanted to date. Much to my surprise, it was Inna. We had a wonderful time together about 5 weeks later in Moscow, then a month after that in Prague, then Warsaw, and finally Lithuania. We continue to have a good time in the US. Inna and I have been married for three months today.

I think the secret to my success is that I didn't go to the FSU to "meet a wife", I went to "meet a friend" and to have an enjoyable vacation. Many of the other successful couples that I've met have also met under lower stress circumstances.