Correspondence vs. Extended Tour question

by Gary
(Boston, MA)

Bob, I was reading through the YOUR Questions section and I saw where you were musing about taking the approach of visiting Kiev for an extended time
(a couple of months?), perhaps through Daisy Brides (I like that site), and give yourself the chance to date and really get to know a special woman in
person. Have you done this yet and, if so, do you think it was a positive experience?

This approach appeals to me. I mean I can do the correspondence approach but for me there's something about sitting at a restaurant and looking into
her pupils. I really think one meeting (or even 2-3) can go a long way. For correspondence, I have the fear of a woman ending up a flat experience after being so promising. It has happened to me here in the USA in the past.

I am ambivalent on the correspondence vs. individual tour through Daisy Brides. Both seem viable but my lone fear on Daisy Brides is these girls know you're in town to meet multiple ladies so they may feel cheapened... like a number. So maybe they look at you with disdain or go in with very lowered expectations.

I mean it's just about meeting ladies (like at a coffee house... for an hour... feel each other out) and see if there's a connection. It's dating.
No promises or anything. Just see if there's a freaking connection. It shouldn't be about a pride thing.

Within two weeks you should have a top 2 or 3 so you whittle it down to 1 and then literally date her for 6 or 7 weeks, fall in love, fly back and do the Skype/correspondence thing and keep the train moving. Maybe a vacation to the Dominican Republic, another month visit to Ukraine. By that time you should be hearing wedding bells.

I'd really be interested in your perspective on this subject. Thanks for your site. It's been a BIG help. Boy, I love these Slavic women. I am now
looking at western women when I am out and thinking to myself, "You self-centered, career-minded, high-maintenance snobs... you should thank God every night for the Atlantic Ocean because, if it wasn't there, you'd have to act like civilized people". Sorry, I really shouldn't be so snarky. :-)

Bob's Answer:

Snarky is welcome here, but you only get a "B-" in snarkiness... :)

No, I really haven't quite made that extended tour plan yet, not quite like I wanted anyway.

I understand your concerns about the correspondence approach. It worked perfectly for me when I first did it, but my biggest challenge with the correspondence approach now just seems to be the lack of ability to really get anything going. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough, and maybe first time I was just really lucky (which I really feel like I was).

Best I remember (can't seem to find the actual material now) my idea was to go and stay longer, kind of blending a correspondence approach and tour approach. So, go to Kiev, use Daisy Bride for accommodations and for intros when I'm having trouble keeping my schedule full, but between dates (and ideally starting a week or two prior to departure) write women online in hopes of getting to that 2nd or 3rd message by the time I'm there so that I could just say "Hey, I'm in town, let's meet for coffee..."

I did that back two years ago, minus the "extended stay" part of the plan.

And the "extended" part simply works more on the logic that there's never enough time, and less to give you longer to date one girl after you narrow it down further (as you describe).

Your idea is good, but you're really just describing a classic individual tour followed by a longer period to spend more time with the one remaining after all the narrowing down.

I can tell you with a fairly high degree of confidence that the plan you describe (go individually, arrange your own dates for two weeks, narrowing the field down to one, then spending another few weeks there mostly with just her) has at least one very predictable surprise.

Russian/Ukrainian women are ***FLAKEY*** about scheduling. When you arrange dates yourself directly with the women, they're late, cancel, postpone, reschedule, or flat out just don't show up more than 50% of the time (Dale, you out there? Can I get an "Amen"? :)

After two weeks you may end up meeting only three different women. AND, that concern you have about the agency approach, where the women would know you're seeing other women... They're going to figure that out pretty quickly with this plan anyway, and the whole "cheapened" experience could actually be worse because it will probably seem more like you're trying to hide it.

Agencies REALLY smooth out this "flake factor". Dates arranged by the agency cancel far less often. There are probably several reasons for this, but let's leave that for another time.

With an "Oksana" (the Daisy Bride manager, and I promise I don't get paid for saying this :) on the job, she has your list of girls you want to meet, she schedules them, and she'll manage your schedule. And when a girl flakes an hour before the meeting time, she'll usually call Oksana, not you. Then Oksana gets on the phone and feverishly works to just have a DIFFERENT girl on your list show up at the exact same place and time as the other one was scheduled... She just calls you and says "Hey Gary, Olga ditched, but I called Natalia from your list and she'll be there instead... Same place, same time, just Natalia instead of Olga..." It doesn't always work out that perfectly, but it always works out better than you could work it out yourself. If you were scheduling this all yourself, you'd be in your apartment/hotel that night surfing the web trying manage the rest of your schedule.

Another predictable surprise is that nothing goes according to plan! Maybe you use the agency and your appointment schedule stays full, but that narrowing down to one just doesn't go as smoothly as you hoped. The one you liked most is going out of town for work next week and will be gone for a month. Another one will be around, but isn't as interested in you as you were in her. You settle for #3, have a few more dates with her, then #1 informs you now that her business trip has been postponed and she can see you again now. I guess that reminds me: Bring aspirin, sedatives, etc. :)

And THAT is the magic of "more time". If a guy has the opportunity to be there for a few months I can't help but feel like it will provide the context in which these things can develop more naturally, and with less time pressure.

Anyway, does this help answer some of those questions? Does it create MORE questions? :)

Comments for Correspondence vs. Extended Tour question

Click here to add your own comments

Boston, MA
by: Gary

Bob, thanks for the reply. I didn't explain myself completely. I didn't mean to imply I would make my social calendar while out in Kiev. What I meant is to do the Individual Tour through Daisy Brides and arrange through them to stay extra time. So here's what I was thinking.

I pay for the Daisy Brides individual tour so they pick me up at the airport, bring me to my apartment and arrange my schedule. I also work out a plan with Daisy Brides to allow me to stay in that apartment for another 7 weeks (either at their weekly rate or maybe they'll be cool and give me a special 7 week deal - I can always ask).

Oksana works her magic and I have several dates for five days through Daisy Brides. When I said the women feel 'cheapened' or go in with lowered expectations, I was actually speaking about the Daisy Bride ladies. I would imagine they know the score but still... even with them joining the agency... do they still have this "I may just be a number" kind of impression? I want them to be as excited to meet me as I am to meet them. But I digress.

While this is all happening I could also start writing women on online sites a week or two prior to arrival to see if I can augment to what Oksana is doing. Or I could also go to that agency you mentioned (in another posting) in the same location as Daisy Brides and pay for some additional intros. Or I could go to any other marriage agencies in or around Independence Square (I thought you said others exist around there) and pay for additional intros just to increase my chances. The more dates I can arrange while I'm there the better, right? Or am I on Ukrainian lady overload at this point? Should I just do Daisy at the outset and see what happens?

Ok, so now a week or so goes by and I meet as many Daisy Bride girls as possible (and others I can pull off). I'd like to think I can whittle it down to 3-6 women I like (and who like me, too). The first dates are probably an hour or so for coffee. The second dates (over the next 7 days) would be more like dinner and other activities - an extended time kind of thing.

After a week of additional dating I have a top 3 but I pick one to focus on. If she flakes, maybe I can resurrect #2 and focus on her. If she flakes, too, I focus on #3 and so on. The idea is I have 4-6 weeks (depending on how things go) to really date the hell out of one woman and develop something special. If the fertilizer really hits the fan, I go back to Oksana for additional intros before I leave trying to salvage something.

Assuming I meet one special woman and date her Ukrainian butt off, after I return to the states, we correspond, Skype, etc. I plan another trip to Ukraine (for a month... or maybe two separate trips at two weeks a pop). I could also arrange a vacation to the DR if we're really clicking. By the end of that second (or third) trip to Ukraine, assuming everything feels right on both sides, hey I'm on one knee proposing.

Am I dreaming or does this seem like a viable approach? I have to admit your response above leaves me a bit unnerved when you say Ukrainian women are flaky. I thought they were looking for a nice man. I mean women are women are women but so few foreign men actually make the trip. If they want to meet a foreign man for marriage, wouldn't they be excited to meet one who actually puts boots on the ground? I guess I'm confused.

I don't want to be doing this for years. I mean the goal is to meet one special woman, get married, share my life, live happily ever after. I don't want them changing the sign from "Welcome to Kiev" to "Welcome to Kiev, Gary", know what I mean?

Boston, MA
by: Gary


I was just thinking of something and needed to add some perspective to my last post on this subject. I am 53. I am good-looking for my age. I take pride in my appearance, I am slender, got the vast majority of my hair, etc. At the risk of appearing vain, I think I make a good impression visually to women in general. I get my share of smiles.

With that being said, I am not insane. I am not looking for 20-something supermodels. My age range is 35-50 with my PRIMARY hunting ground being 37-45. However, I do lean toward women in that age range who are very good looking, more on the slim side.

If I were to make a prediction, I would say the kind of woman I feel I would likely end up with at this point in time is someone in her early 40s (40-45), good-looking, preferably with grown kids (if she has any) though a kid in his/her mid to late teens is fine. Just no kids really young.

Would you say that women in their VERY late 30s and early to mid 40s, given what I say above, are more punctual, less likely to cancel or be a no-show? Is it your personal experience that the 'flaky scheduling' personalities are more the younger women? Or is it ubiquitous regardless of age?

by: Bob (Site Owner)

Hey, never thought of that... "Welcome to Kiev, Bob"... I like :)

In random order:

Thanks for clarifying. I interpreted (obviously) that you were leaning away from the Daisy tour option.

"Flaky"? The ones who accept dates through the agency are more reliable, but on their own, yes, flaky. Cancelled, postponed, rescheduled dates are a regular thing.... not for ALL women there, but more than ideal. Sometimes maybe just a hectic life pace, sometimes just a lack of self-discipline. And yes, in some cases, they're just not that serious.

But in my experience the historical flake-rate for agency-arranged dates is probably less than 15%. For dates I arrange directly, probably 50% flake-rate.

With Daisy Bride, get Oksana's help (from a distance, prior to tour) in building your list. She'll know almost every girl you'll want to know about, and she'll tell you her real opinion, IF YOU ASK (she won't tell you if you don't want to know... she says "not everyone really WANTS to know" :)

Everything else you describe in your plan sounds exactly what I would recommend for this kind of tour. And with the way the Daisy tour works, it's a minimum five day "full tour" which includes the airport shuttle, apartment, pre-arranged dates (the ones you list before you arrive that Oksana tries to schedule), and unlimited intros. And that's what you would want... the five day tour. After that they will let you continue staying in the apartment minus all the other service perks.

So, I think with the exchange rate the tour is around $180/day. Then after the full tour period the apartment alone will be anywhere from $75 to $125 per day outside the full tour.

And the real idea here is that after the first five days your need for the ongoing full tour service should be dramatically reduced. By then you will have been through your first and second rounds of dates, obtained direct contact info from the ones you like most, and established enough connect with them to be able to arrange further dates without Oksana's help.

I don't think you're dreaming at all. Review the story of "Matt" at Russian Language Barriers. I see now that I didn't mention that his tour was 2-3 weeks. He went without any advance contact with the women, went through a grueling date schedule arranged much as I describe "playoffs"... For the first 4-5 days he had 3-4 dates/day. After that he had second dates with the top half of the field, after that followup dates with half of those remaining, etc. By the time his trip was over he had proposed to one girl through a translator, and they are happily married to this day (last I heard anyway).

And as much as I am the guy with the sign at the Kiev airport, I seriously can't think of a trip I made where the outcome wouldn't have been different had I just been a little more focused and less distracted by the glittering decoys.

by: Bob (Site Owner)

Yes, the flake-rate is MUCH higher for younger/hotter women. But it's not completely exclusive to them.

By searching for 35+ I think you increase your chances of success dramatically.

Gary to Kiev
by: Dale


You are on the right track. In theory.

Bob is correct that many who you might arrange on your own never show, but I think its because they were not there anyway, or not serious, so nothing against you. Ones arranged through any agency will most likely be very punctual in my experience.

I would have Oksana set you up some appointments early in your week, even 2-3 per day. for coffee at Oliva right near the office. She will intro you in front of Mcdonald's or in the office and then walk to Oliva.

Then you can choose which to have dinner. Make notes cause you will forget who is who.

They all know you are meeting others, they expect it but they don't ask, and you don't mention.

Then use the last days of your first week to meet one or two you like.

Repeat in week two, etc. as needed. But you will run out of Daisy girls I think, even in that very forgotten age group you mentioned.

Use other agencies, there are many. And many to avoid. I can tell you which if Bob wants to give you my email.

Your framework of a plan is solid, but idealistic. But then, multiple trips to Kiev are great fun. You will love it. Get some pointers so you don't get scammed too bad as you work through this process.

Good luck, and invite me along.

Gary to Kiev
by: Dale

And one for suggestion. I would stay in a hotel. There are many good values at various price points since the dollar is so strong, and the hotel will pick you up from the airport. There are big disadvantages to staying in an apartment in my opinion, and now there really is no savings.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Russian Women Questions and Answers.