Can You Trust Dating Sites?  Part 1. Market for brides

Can You Trust Dating Sites? Part 1. Market for brides

Can You Trust Dating Sites? Part 1. Market for brides

My affectionate and gentle Internet

As many articles and studies have been written about online dating – the fingers and toes of an entire army are not enough to list them all. And all the same, the topic remains and will become even more relevant over time. 18 years ago I worked as a translator in one of the dating agencies and I know firsthand about the reality of finding a life partner on the Internet – from personal experience.


Can You Trust Dating Sites? My affectionate and gentle Internet. Part 1. Market for brides
Photo: Depositphotos

My friend – I’ll conditionally call her Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll write about her again – began a long and tedious divorce from her walking husband. She, having defended her dissertation, was forced to raise two children. The walking husband, of course, threw money on the hearth, but when he was once again brought into the house in the position of a log, our Scarlett could not stand it. And she demanded from her husband for the six years of unemployed life spent on the family … a wheel from his second car, Toyota.

The tire fitting itself was not needed for a friend, so she demanded its cost in monetary terms. After another scandal, she received it in wooden terms. However, this was enough for Scarlett to start promoting one business after another. Soon it became a successful tourist operator, mainly due to the opening of left, supposedly tourist, visas to Europe – there was such a period in our common life. The business blossomed pink and a friend bought a computer.

For the perplexed, I will say that at that moment she was almost fifty ... That's when she decided to open a marriage agency on the basis of a travel agency. Not everyone had computers, and there was a "tenseness" with foreign languages ​​in the country.

A friend was almost 50 when she decided to open a marriage agency
A friend was almost 50 when she decided to open a marriage agency
Photo: Depositphotos

Many of our women were eager to go to the West, as in the anecdote, "at least a pig, at least a scarecrow" Scarlett enthusiastically took up the marriage business, not forgetting about herself, because unofficially she already felt like a free woman. She told me that as soon as a suitable candidate - in every sense of the word - was drawn on the horizon, who would accept both her and her two children, she would immediately dissolve the marriage with the log brought in in the evenings.

By the way, her not yet ex-husband, sensing a strange and successful woman nearby, retired from the apartment of the wife's parents to his parents. She invited me as a translator. At that time we did not have our own website, it was quite expensive in the late 90s, but we found free foreign resources and posted the profiles of our women on them, and the American Singles website became our favorite.

Somehow our incoming system administrator, or simply "sysadmin", decided to experiment and become a hacker. American Singles resisted a little, but how can they compete with our gambling programmers! A day later, our female clients got access to the profiles of 200 “their” men for personal use. Then we began to select the best of the proposed, and not they us.

But that was a long time ago, although even today I periodically help my female acquaintances to compose a questionnaire, write a romantic letter or a letter with a humorous slant, banter, even write poetry in English, translating someone's stream of consciousness into a digestible form. Men, regardless of their country of residence, like it very much.

Our Scarlett grabbed two straws. One broke after a while, and the other later became her faithful husband. But the whole point is that she has acquired a very good, caring, but ... "budgetary" husband, with difficulty supporting children from his first marriage. And then there's this Ukrainian woman with her daughter.

The son was old enough and he himself decided to stay in his native land and receive two more free education, but with regard to his ten-year-old daughter, everything was not so smooth. The log, that is, the husband, acted almost like the father of the heroine of the film "Intergirl". No, he did not demand money, but he did not give permission to export his daughter.

Scarlett wouldn’t be Scarlett if she hadn’t found a way out. She proved her ex-husband on her fingers that over time he would become the father of an American woman and would be able to come to the vaunted America, which attracted him like a donkey to a carrot. And if she doesn't, then she knows about his business that the entire city tax office will spend a year on this money.

Scarlett wouldn’t be Scarlett if she hadn’t found a way out
Scarlett wouldn’t be Scarlett if she hadn’t found a way out
Shot from the film "Gone with the Wind"

In conclusion, I will cite an excerpt from the story "My affectionate and tender Internet", written in due time, just illustrating our matrimonial stage. I confess, I also tried on this game - I have a wonderful husband and I feel good with him.

“Having launched the“ gray ”Helen into orbit, my friend and I did not hesitate to dive into the bride market ourselves. A friend was just beginning a period of difficult relationship with her husband, and I, as they say, for the company. After bewitching the questionnaires, subtracting a couple of years, adding a few centimeters of height and portraying ourselves as such ideal, from a male point of view, ladies, we both received several dozen letters from the States and even from hot Nigeria. It was amazing! We played the game, and it started to give real results. The letter from the Nigerian German also contained a photograph of him hugging a palm tree at the edge of the pool, in which he cooled down, and then scribbled his letters by e-mail. Exotic, which did not even fit into our post-Soviet imagination, and suddenly put at our feet!

There was also a letter from a certain Harold Bobb from Washington (he was immediately christened Harold the Womanizer), by the way, in the photo he was not taken against the background of a palm tree or a pool, and not even against the background of the White House, but against the background of our beloved monument to the lost ships in the Sevastopol. Another correspondent with the completely unthinkable name Irol Uygur turned out to be a sweet-talking Latinos from Montgomery, Alabama. In the first letter, he confessed how passionately in love with us. All at once. In the photo, he looked like a normal Brazilian-Mexican soap hero, and to be honest, I didn't understand what he was looking for in American Singles with his good looks and sweet speeches. It would be understandable to be a rich American, but write to the half-impoverished Ukraine? Maybe he just didn't know where she was, and for him we were as exotic as a Nigerian palm tree and a pool for us? I don’t know, because through several letters that are almost identical in content, “I am a romantic, sensitive, devoted” ... etc. the molasses ran out without any explanation. "

To be continued…

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Article published in Issue 11/04/2018

Updated 04.12.2018

Can You Trust Dating Sites?  Part 2. Stories of Marina and Helen

Can You Trust Dating Sites? Part 2. Stories of Marina and Helen

Can You Trust Dating Sites? Part 2. Stories of Marina and Helen

My affectionate and gentle Internet

Online dating brings a lot of unexpected and interesting things. The main thing is to be able to properly filter this entire shaft of information. Well, let’s continue our research …


Can You Trust Dating Sites? My affectionate and gentle Internet. Part 2. Stories of Marina and Helen
Photo: Depositphotos

Go to the previous part of the article.

All the names in this life story, except for Tatyana’s, have been changed for obvious reasons. Tatyana, on the other hand, agreed that her real name should appear.

Our absentee potential suitors kept silent all, gradually and it is absolutely not clear why. We also met with this phenomenon later: they write-write warm, even love letters, with a bunch of promises like “tomorrow I’m flying to you, Darling” - and suddenly a break, nothing ...

For our women, this has always been a shock and severe stress, they were still trying to figure out what and why, but these were just humiliating attempts to which no one answered. The only decent person turned out to be our Nigerian German, who honestly wrote that he "met another", probably on the open spaces of some other site, and maybe among the same American Singles. But this was an isolated incident.

Marina's story

Can You Trust Dating Sites?  My affectionate and gentle Internet.  Part 2. Stories of Marina and Helen
Photo: Depositphotos

Marina settled in Tatyana's office as a hostess long before she began to visit, and then I firmly settled down. Her presence and chatter undoubtedly helped Tatyana while away the long winter hours of sitting in the office. Over time, I realized that Marina considers herself a real estate agent, but since she started e-mailing with her Swede Rolf, she has not made a single profitable deal.

But first things first ... Her status in the office remained unclear - either an employee or a client. If the employee - she did not receive any salary, if the client - she never paid for our services. But it was she who became a vivid image of how not to act in our delicate matter. Subsequently, we even frightened the "novice" ladies: "Look, don't turn into Marina!"

Two people who live in different parts of the world responded to Marinin's questionnaire: one from Tennessee, the other from Sweden. The rich (at least, he described himself that way) handsome Bill, of course, attracted us more than the fair-haired, dried-out Swede, similar to the actor Albert Filozov (the latter, I really love very much). Marina did the right thing by starting to correspond with both of them at once.

After a few nice entertaining letters with the indispensable "I almost love you" playboy, Bill, like many others, "fell off." With all the more passion, Marina pounced on the remaining Swede Rolf. Perhaps I would even feel sorry for Rolf, who had to endure almost every day a flurry of all kinds of emotions in the form of exclamations, bewilderment, confessions and reproaches, but our imperturbable Scandinavian himself turned out to be a tough nut to crack, but rather a slippery eel.

He added fuel to the fire of Marina's passion, while maintaining his eternal Swedish neutrality, without saying "yes" or "no", without giving details about his life, without giving a postal address. He soon knew everything about Marina, starting from her toddler age. How he had the patience to read about her hobbies and manage not to open the curtain of his personal life even a little bit - and to this day is for me a secret and textbook example of male impermanence.

By the way, I want to emphasize that you need strong motivation to learn any foreign language. And the desire to find your soul mate somewhere “out there” is one of them. So even if your searches are unsuccessful, knowledge of the language will contribute to career growth, and simply increase self-esteem.

Can You Trust Dating Sites?  My affectionate and gentle Internet.  Part 2. Stories of Marina and Helen
Photo: Source

Marina had her own approach to the English language: she simply stringed words like a shish kebab on a skewer exactly in the order in which they appeared in the Russian sentence. By the way, her memory for new words and stable expressions turned out to be phenomenal. And what is the bottom line? Ralph began to perfectly understand her letters, and then they exchanged messages in a "free flight", bypassing me, Tatyana and our long-suffering computer.

History of Helen and VtiFr

It's a strange word, isn't it? The fact is that very often we called our correspondents by their name, which is in the email address before the @ sign, by login. That is how we began to call a certain Frank from near Detroit, who responded to my questionnaire under the pseudonym N. However, after learning his age and estimating how much I had lost to myself, I decided not to miss such a chance ... and to transfer the candidate to ours and Tanya to a common a divorced friend living in another city and only came to visit her relatives for a couple of days.

Due to our ignorance of the conjunctural market and the requirements for the “bride's” questionnaire, we wrote her a rather gray biography (by the way, this is exactly what this biography was). Due to the clumsy and tastelessly drawn up questionnaire, she may not have been lucky. And then we figured out what we could offer to the serious, as it read in the letter, to the widower VtiFru (this was an abbreviation for Frank and part of his surname).

Can You Trust Dating Sites?  My affectionate and gentle Internet.  Part 2. Stories of Marina and Helen
Photo: Depositphotos

So what if Helen has two daughters from her first marriage, and one child is announced in my profile? So what if her eyes are black and mine are gray? So what if she works as a secretary at a telephone company, and not as a university teacher? And finally, so what if her name is not at all?

Having fogged up, we convinced the poor fellow that Helen was me, just as a child I was called by an abbreviated name. With the eyes, it turned out quite simply: a photograph of Helen, scanned for writing, was compressed and blurred so that the question of eye color did not arise at all. Although our VtiFr immediately admitted that she is a real "beauty" and that he loves her very much.

It was worse with the children. I sat at the screen for a long time and painfully wondered which of Helen's two daughters to light up. On reflection, I made, it seems to me, a wise decision: if the older one passes, then the little one will slip. So Lilya was legalized.

After a very short time, the dearest VtiFr already wrote how he loves us, that is, both of them - Helen and Liza. Apparently, it was VtiFr who turned out to be the most positive, serious and actually tuned in to a strong relationship man. I became very attached to him - after all, I wrote letters on behalf of my friend! And he clearly fell in love - with her photo and ... my letters. (Isn't it Cyrano de Bergerac of the Mtsensk district?)

Soon there were unambiguous hints, and then persistent requests to invite him to Ukraine! I was full of confusion and mumbled something sluggishly from letter to letter. And our friend, who did not understand the situation, worked serenely in her city and only occasionally asked how her amorous affairs were going. Apparently, they did not really interest her.

The letters from this N. (to her, to me?) Came in very detailed, sensible and so often that soon all the "girls" got used to the fact that with almost every mail a long message comes from "our" VtiFra, which I printed out and wound up on her hand like a roll of toilet paper, and carried her home. At home, I sorted letters by date and periodically mailed Helen in huge envelopes. I'm still not sure she read them all. The "girls", who were not as lucky as our Helen, sighed and envied a little: such a decent groom was not needed.

VtiFr turned out to be a descendant of the revolutionary, after whose name the square in Hungary was named. He himself was a leading engineer in some kind of electrical industry and sent (Helen, me?) A gorgeous booklet describing his company, a business card and a bunch of photographs: his own, which depicted a very well-fed man, his two red-haired and also plump sons , cars and front and back views of the house and courtyard.

And only then did I feel ashamed. I realized that I couldn’t wait any longer, I wrote another vague letter, where I said that Helen had moved to another city and was waiting for letters from VtiFr at a new email address. Of course, she apologizes in advance for her modest English, because a friend helped her with translation in the same place ...

Their correspondence died out almost immediately after it was transferred to the warm Crimean soil. Either the friend did not want to make any efforts, or her letters were already too different from mine, but the fact remains - VtiFr disappeared. At Tatyana's office, everyone was really upset - after all, we are so used to him! And most importantly, his letters gave hope to other women.

We remembered for a long time our detailed, neat, well-fed Detroit: "Oh, what a man he was - a real fan!"

To be continued…

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Article published in Issue 12/04/2018

Updated 07.21.

Can You Trust Dating Sites?  Part 4. Lady Vanessa

Can You Trust Dating Sites? Part 4. Lady Vanessa

Can You Trust Dating Sites? Part 4. Lady Vanessa

My affectionate and gentle Internet

This is a life story about Vanessa. She appeared in Tatiana’s office about two months after our matrimonial start. I saw a Botticellian face, a thin pigtail and a gray dress that was completely unaccustomed to the modern look, and a gray dress, more like a hair shirt, with which fanatical Catholics tortured their bodies in the Middle Ages. Probably, from her point of view, it was vintage.


Tamara Lempicka, Portrait of a Young Woman (inspired by Botticelli), 1950
Source: artchive.ru

Go to the previous part of the article.

She tapped on the keys, peering intently at the text of the English translation written on a piece of paper. Once she picks up herself, it means she saves, we decided. Most of our clients eventually switched to self-service in order to save a couple of hryvnias and pay only for the translation of letters.

On Vanessa's questionnaire, containing bait that other women do not have (for example, "I like to meet the dawn while riding a horse"), answered at least a dozen of the same romantic admirers. Each of them was ready to meet with her sunrises and sunsets, riding a horse, bison, antelope etc. In addition, the attached photograph of Vanessa with her hair loose, in something translucent, with half-childish, half-sinful eyes could not leave men indifferent.

It is difficult to imagine a more controversial creature. On the one hand, she was incredibly devout, kept all the posts, dressed more than modestly, and once sang in a church choir. On the other hand, the photographs she sent to select respondents were very candid. And the statements that broke from time to time betrayed a rather purposeful and cynical nature.

Can You Trust Dating Sites?  My affectionate and gentle Internet.  Part 4. Lady Vanessa
Photo: Depositphotos

She signed all her letters "Lady Vanessa". And we received bundles of enthusiastic responses addressed specifically to "Lady Vanessa." She treated her popularity with restraint, and she was skeptical about letters, sorting them by country and continent, as well as by the alleged contents of wallets. “I’m not going there, it’s cold there,” she said. - And what am I going to do with this poor teacher? No, I won't answer that. "

Her letters "there" are worth a separate discussion. She used to bring me a bunch of beaded pages for translation. To translate them into English, you first had to translate them from Russian into Russian, because all of Vanessa's letters were a stream of consciousness. The letters were pretentious, and the thoughts were ragged, and I spent most of my time “combing” them, which was like working with a rake in an autumn garden. Vanessa would not allow me to divide long sentences into short ones "so that her writing style would not be disturbed." And the poor English speakers were forced to wade through the jungle of constructions that were completely uncharacteristic of the English language.

Having a higher special education (Vanessa graduated from the psychological faculty of the university) and giving out sensible advice from the point of view of psychology, Vanessa was completely helpless when it came to her. Questions like: "What did he mean here?" or "What is the best answer to this?" - Tatiana and I were bewildered. The further, the more we became convinced that the woman does not understand WHAT is written, but tries to find the subtext, WHY it is written. Men, as a rule, have a simpler structure: they write what they mean. “Everyone writes as he hears,” - as the unforgettable Okudzhava sang.

After several months of fruitless search for a partner worthy of all the given parameters, Vanessa despaired of finding her destiny through dating on the Internet. Saying something like Michurin's: “Let's not wait for favors from nature,” she decided to conquer the world herself. Nevertheless, the route laid by her lay through the points of residence of potential suitors - former correspondents. Brussels, Toledo, Parma, Avignon. The names themselves carried the charm of the unknown and breathed history.

Brussels city
Brussels city
Photo: Depositphotos

She decided to start in Brussels, where one of her most "reliable" fans lived, and Tatiana, as the director of a travel agency, helped open her a Schengen visa. An impassioned letter was sent to Jean from Brussels announcing an imminent meeting, after which he immediately disappeared from the horizon. Vanessa did not know this, as she was already on her way "there". She did not have a normal postal address for this cowardly Jean. This was the misfortune of many of our women: more often than not, all they knew about a partner was his e-mail and his legend.

So, Vanessa was in the center of Europe, with poor English, almost no money and with very vague ideas about what to do. She left in the summer. Once or twice a month, very messy letters came from her by mail, from which it was difficult to understand whether she decided to get a job as a dishwasher in a bar, or declare herself a former active dissident and await a decision in the European Parliament.

Three months later, her visa expired, and, apparently, Vanessa was offered to live in a camp for displaced persons, a sort of reservation. All the violators of the visa regime, caught by the special services, lived there and waited in the wings, or rather, the decision of government bodies to extend the period of stay or immediate repatriation. Sometimes such a decision has to wait for years.

Apparently, on the reservation they enjoyed all the benefits of the civilized Western world, lived off a special fund and dreamed only that they would not be sent home.

In any case, the last letter from Vanessa sounded optimistic, and she invited her mother to come and share with her the delights of life on the reservation. Probably, it was not so bad there ...

To be continued…

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Article published in Issue 14/04/2018

Updated 07.21.

Dating sites and serious relationships

In a recent article “Social phobia and thirst for society” this topic has already been touched upon. Today I will consider it in a practical application. I’m going to talk about how to use dating sites to find serious relationships.

From time to time clients come, suffering from forced loneliness, or the only “salvation” – the same forced destructive relationship, little better than a devastated, lonely life.

If life has become a rut from home to work, it will seem empty and meaningless to anyone. The boundaries of this track may appear to be the limits of the universe until they are explored with meticulous boldness.

Dating sites are a real way to get out of your comfort zone, expand your social circle, and have a serious relationship. But to the majority, it seems inoperative due to stereotypical delusions – most believe that relationships cannot be built artificially, they must be found spontaneously, on dating sites there are only freaks and losers, all men are preoccupied, women are corrupt, and it is impossible to find your man, therefore that in reality everyone turns out to be frustratingly different.

Let’s consider each separately.

Misconception 1: new acquaintances, friendships and relationships – something like a spontaneous fateful grace. It remains for her to humbly wait, as the naive Assol from “Scarlet Sails” waited for her mythical lover for years.

Building relationships on your own from this perspective will seem like an artificial fictitiousness. But you can unsuccessfully wait for your man until old age.

Imagine that you do not choose clothes for yourself, but quietly wait for what God will send you or your friends will donate. Maybe they will really share … something not very necessary.

People can spend hours choosing and trying on clothes, and not hitting their fingers in order to just as diligently approach the choice of a possible partner.

It is possible and necessary to deliberately build friendships and relationships. This is not a gift from heaven, but an independent painstaking work. And doubts about this are a sign of destructive fear-ridden beliefs.

Misconception 2: on dating sites, all men are preoccupied, and women are corrupt.

For a woman, the material security of the chosen one is really important – in the modern world this is how the ancient man’s duty is expressed – to be a breadwinner and protector of the family.

For a man, the first sex is really such a victorious line. But most still want a serious relationship and a family. Therefore, after the first intimacy, the man gradually switches, and pays more and more attention to the compatibility of characters.

Sexuality and social consistency are the “dressing-up” by which the evaluator is greeted. They will “see off” all the same, based on the general impression. I have already talked about this on progressman.ru in the article “Layers of personality”

Misconception 3: on dating sites – only “freaks and losers”, thrown by social natural selection to the sidelines of life.

Dating sites are a reflection of a crowded city street. Most are ordinary people – people who are supplied with the bulk of news, TV series, shows and advertisements. A few percent of the crowd are intellectuals: techies and humanities. Half are introverts, the other half are extroverts. A few percent are gay. The fifth part is fond of esotericism and psychology. One to two percent devote their lives to self-knowledge.

And all are strangers. But among them there is a percentage of potentially their own …

Imagine a junkyard. Around the dirt, garbage, trash, a bunch of bad smells. But you know you can find a diamond here. Therefore, you take a shovel, put on rubber boots, gloves, if necessary – a gas mask – and calmly move, leaving behind everything that did not arouse interest.

If, for example, your “diamond” is a serious relationship and spiritual harmony, and you are clearly being tried on as a means of financial or sexual gratification, then just walk by.

Misconception 4: dating sites do not work, because in real life a person always turns out to be unexpectedly different. So it is – offline all others, but not necessarily “worse”. Having gone to two or three meetings, one cannot rush to conclusions. Unsuccessful first dates are a real pattern. You just don’t have to wait for anything. Each meeting is like watching a movie. We drank tea, got new impressions – and went home. It’s perfectly normal to meet for the first and last time.

First dates, in general, have such a common property as unrequited feelings: either you don’t like you, or you don’t like you. And reciprocity is rare. But not exceptional. Perhaps I will write about this separately somehow – the topic is beyond the scope of the article.

And here I will say this: you need to go through about twenty first dates in order to find your man. Better to get it straight. Every fifth can become a friend, every tenth – a lover, every twentieth – the chosen one for a serious relationship. Indicators are approximate.

Two or three meetings a week – and the whole venture will take a couple of months. In a neglected case – six months. Is it worth it? You do not choose shoes, but the company of your beloved, who, perhaps, will fill you mentally for many years.

© Igor Satorin

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