Relationship Advice


younger woman

I have a middle-aged American friend, divorced for many years, who ended a long relationship a few months ago. Recently he became fascinated with the culture and women of a country where marriages are arranged. He found himself a couple of pen pals and is planning to go over soon and interview potential brides.

He's not one of those creepy, bitter, chauvinistic, mail-order bride seekers. He genuinely believes in gender equality. He likes the idea of a relationship based on shared values with a full commitment to making it work. He thinks American women are too quick to write him off based on superficial checklists.

While I think his intentions are good, I'm worried he's plunging into this too fast. His knowledge of the culture is limited, and the young women he is corresponding with have never been outside their country. There'd be a lot of adjustment on both sides, and he doesn't know these women at all.

I have nothing against marrying outside of one's culture, but you are ultimately marrying a person, and I don't believe you should objectify based on a stereotype. Also, he's only a few months out of a long-term relationship and still figuring out what he wants.

Is he on the right track, or am I just being sensitive because I'm an American woman?


Marianna, do you think a young woman dreams about marrying an older man who doesn't share her culture, language, heritage?

Or do you think your friend is ascribing virtue to women who, by virtue of their culture, are either prevented from making a free choice or must make a choice based on need?

The women in Hugh Hefner's mansion weren't there because they loved Hugh Hefner. It sounds like your friend is doing exactly what he claims women in America do. He has a checklist, and he wants a woman of an age and beauty he could never get.

He's outsourcing marriage. He wants to get more for his dollar than he could in the States. You are giving credit to what he says, while trying to ignore the fact it doesn't make sense.

Wayne & Tamara