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8. How much time it takes to develop a relationship

I must be honest, I was sure about my feelings for Elena and that she was the woman I was looking for, but I was worried how she would accept my letter. I was sure that she would accept it positively because the indications in the letters were quite clear, but as a normal human being, I was still a little bit nervous. Nervous, similar to when you wait for the results of the final exam - you have prepared well and you believe you should pass, but you are still worrying when waiting for the results. Nevertheless, I trusted my instinct and feelings about the relationship that we had built over three letters (I do not count a few postcards that we sent to each other). You can probably wonder how people can build something over the course of 3 returned letters - well, that surprised me too, but I did feel very strongly about her. Our letters were VERY long, 5-10 pages every time, with lots of discussion and confessions, and we asked each other many, many questions. I felt that our communication was very good, and it was like we knew each other for years. Sometimes it happens in real life that you meet somebody that you feel comfortable with from the day one, I think this was the same thing.

I was relieved after receiving Elena's next letter. She told me that she was glad about my decision. She never told me that she was also corresponding with somebody else, but she told me later she had quite a few admirers, and my decision to continue corresponding with her only had given our relationship a great boost. Nowadays relationships are built much faster because of Internet access - I don't mean the number of letters but the time it took for us, nearly six months because we were using snail mail. I placed my advertisement in July, received Elena's first letter in August and in February it was on the right track. In my following letter I informed her of my intention to come and visit her. Telling her this had further strengthened our relationship. It is very important in these long distance relationships to keep it real. Attractive Russian women receive many letters from men, and if you do not act you are at risk of loosing her. Russian women prefer men to make the first move, and if you wait for her to invite you over, you will probably wait forever. 

By the way, you must know that it is virtually impossible for a single Russian girl to get a visitor's visa to USA (as well as to other countries like Canada or Australia) because of the immigration rules. The immigration services consider every applicant as a potential immigrant who intends to stay in the country, and they (reasonably) believe a single Russian girl visiting her boyfriend would not be eager to come back after her visa has expired. So it has to be you who must go over to see her, if you want to turn your correspondence into something real. (More information about visas you can find here.)

In my case the women responded to my advertisement, but they also sent their data to some dating agencies and had their ads placed on the Internet. If a Russian woman has decided to seek a foreign relationship, she will make every effort to receive enough letters so she could also have a choice. I find it understandable.

In our correspondence with Elena we shared not only our dreams and aspirations but also our views on marriage and relationship, what each of us considered important in life. We were also talking about many other things, such as politics, current world events, history and things that were affecting our countries. I have learned a lot about Russia and related topics. It was things in which we had a common interest.


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Church at the hotel "Rossia", Moscow, Russia - I took this picture from my room window. At that time it was still in the process of renovation.

During the Soviet times churches (the ones that had not been destroyed) were painted in pale colors to make them "invisible" - now they paint them bright colors. This church (also at the hotel "Rossia") is half-renovated: can you see the difference?

Yet another Moscow church - the Cathedral of the Mother of God's Kazan Icon (1626-1636) on the Red Square. Reconstructed in 1993.

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