Some Good Advice:
Corresponding with Foreign Women
We realize that this may be the first time you have ever considered meeting a woman by using a service such as ours. This section is intended to allow you to benefit from the experience of others. By interviewing numerous men and researching volumes of material, we have compiled a top-ten list of hints that may prove beneficial in your research of foreign dating. Even if you are an old hand at this, it's never too late to learn something new.
1. Do NOT Send Money! Just like anywhere, there are honest people and there are dishonest people. We want you to be aware that you may contact women who will ask you for money for one reason or another. If you are asked for money it should immediately set off alarms and you should proceed very cautiously, as well as notify us so we can look into it or at the very least provide you with some advice surrounding the request. There may be instances where there may be a valid reason to send money to someone, especially someone you have already met, but always be cautious and feel free to call and ask us if you are not sure. To view previous newsletters addressing this topic please click here:
2. Do include a photo of yourself, and not just any photo. Take some time and put some thought into it. For example, if you are the outdoors type you may want to take it while hiking or biking. The point is to give the women the best possible representation of yourself. Resist the temptation to place a photo of you from several years (or decades!) ago. If you feel you look younger than your chronological age your current photos will show that.
3.Try doing a little something extra to let her know she is special. This could consist of a picture of you as an infant or a toddler, or maybe a poem written in her native language. The idea is to try and distinguish yourself from others. You may also be interested to send gifts from our Gift Center.
4. Remember when corresponding that this woman's native language is not English and she does receive assistance from the Match Makers with correspondence, among other services. That doesn't mean she will not be able to understand your letter, as it is translated and she does receive support and help via the Match Makers. However, you still may want to try and be careful with humor or very specific or obscure pop culture or other culture references, as there is a chance it may not be understood in the way you intend. By keeping it simple you will have a much better chance of successfully communicating with her. Keep in mind that the women receive a tremendous amount of support from the Match Makers and they will assist her with correspondence including translations, photo selections, and even content. Many women welcome and want the assistance from the Match Makers/Staff as they work to make the process much easier and convenient for them, as well as effective. This is why it is important that you try and either meet or at least do a video call with the woman ASAP as the correspondence will also be influenced by the Match Maker/staff as they are assisting them. Once you meet (or do a video call to a certain extent) you will have a much better sense if a positive chemistry between the two of you exists and you want to move forward in getting to know each other.
5. Try to keep the initial letter fast-paced. You certainly don't want to be discussing things like marriage and what your children might look like in your first letter! You may want to tell her a little about yourself, where you were raised, and what schools you have attended. Write a little about your interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. Basically, just write about things that you would normally talk about on a first date. (Keep in mind - we always recommend writing as little as possible and trying to meet as soon as possible!)
6. Make sure you ask her plenty of questions about herself. People like to know that others are interested in them and their activities. By asking questions about her she will know that you are interested in her as a person and she will want to respond to you in kind. The idea is to get to the point where there is a mutual interest and she is also interested in you and asking you questions. This takes some time to develop which again is why if you are going to use correspondence at all prior to meeting you should plan to meet as soon as possible so as not to spend too much time or resources corresponding.
7. You may find it useful to do some independent research on the country of origin of the woman with whom you are interested. Not only will it impress the woman, but it may save you from committing a gaffe. You must always remember that this woman was raised in a totally different culture than your own. Obviously, it is in your best interest to know as much as possible about that culture. One of the great benefits of dating or even marrying outside of your culture is that you get to adopt a second culture. You will learn about, and enjoy, (hopefully) the traditions, food, holidays, language, and all the other things that are associated with a new culture.
8. Should you get to the point of wanting to visit the woman or women you are interested in or even corresponding with, we strongly recommend you consider taking the Group Singles Tour or Club experience Traveling abroad is very different and can be more dangerous than domestic travel. With a Group Singles Tour all you have to worry about is meeting the women you are interested in, we take care of all the other details. Even if you are interested in only one woman it makes sense to go with a group simply for the support you will receive. You never know what it’s going to be like once you meet the woman in person. If it doesn’t work out and you are with a Group Tour, you will have many other options to meet other women. You can get more information about the tours here Singles Introduction Tours. To view previous newsletters addressing this topic please click here:
9. Should you get to the point of wanting to marry a foreign woman, we recommend the services of a reputable attorney who specializes in immigration law. We have cursory information on immigration laws and various visas, however this information is intended to serve as an introduction only and should be supplemented with an attorney who specializes in this area. To view a previous newsletter addressing this topic please click here:
10. The last and probably most important tip of all is be patient. Consider for a moment how long you have been searching for that perfect mate: ten, twenty, even thirty years? This is an important process and the results of the decision that you make will be far reaching and long lasting. Take the time to correspond with many different women before committing to that special one. One of the key features of the service is that we are continuously updating the service with new profiles, thus giving you new choices on an almost daily basis. This is probably one of the most important decisions that you will ever make, so please be patient, be thorough, and most of all, enjoy the process!
How to Correspond the SMART way
S = SEARCH: The importance of conducting your own search cannot be overemphasized. Do not just rely on intro letters if you have them turned on. Intro letters are an indication that there may be a possible match. They indicate a possible interest or match and are most often, (almost always), sent by the office staff/matchmakers who work in various ways to help the women find potential matches. The matchmakers are also financially incentivized to find matches and assist with the correspondence, so they may urge a woman to respond and also assist her with that response, which is why you may receive more interest than what you might experience on other sites. Keep in mind that this is a premium matchmaking service, we give both the men and women constant support, including in on going correspondence, meetings, and even after the relationship has started. This makes both men and women much more comfortable, in that they feel the people they are interacting with, both men and women, have been screened to some extent and the women (and sometimes men) also feel comfortable because they have help with their correspondence, especially where there are language differences, through the support from our foreign staff. So when you receive a letter it normally goes through the staff and often times the woman does request that the staff assist her with the correspondence including the content, photo selection etc. This is why we feel it is important for the men and women to meet as soon as possible so both can get a much better idea if there is any chemistry or not.
M = MODERATION: Everything in moderation. The last thing you want to do is spend a ton of time, energy and money on just sending and replying to letters or going on some other site and getting caught up in endless chat sessions where you are paying per minute. There is a place for correspondence, that is why we have it on the site, but you need to be smart about how you use it. You really do not want to be writing endless letters about superficial things for months or even years. Unless that is all you really want and you have no intention of ever meeting anyone. But we would prefer that you use correspondence, whether in the form of letters or chat, in moderation and with a plan.
A = ACTION PLAN: The best way to use correspondence on any site is with an Action plan. Have a plan. Know what you want to do and when you want to do it. This means that first, you have to make a commitment to yourself that you are not just using our service as a pen pal site. Be sure that you are seriously wanting to meet someone that may very well change your life forever. Once you commit to that the next step is to choose a method to make that happen. Is it a group tour, individual club, Executive, something else? What method do you feel will work best for you? You can call us at 602-553-878 and speak to one of our experienced Matchmakers who can help you decide what would work best for you. Then, once you decide how you want to do it, you have to commit to a date. When do you want to go, yes go, actually go over and meet these wonderful women in person and not just be a keyboard Romeo. Now, once we know what we are doing and when we are doing it, we can start thinking about correspondence. Even then, our service does not encourage excessive writing or chat on another site, before you traveling. About 50% of men that travel write prior to doing so, with the other 50% opting to forgo correspondence. But if you feel the need to try and make some contacts with women before you go then you can write a few of them about a month or two out before your departure. You really do not need to do a whole lot more than that. Let them know when you are coming and how you would like to meet, maybe at the social or one on one, etc. etc. This is really a smarter more efficient way to use the correspondence.
R = READINESS: Again, do not write until you are actually ready to make something happen, (if that really is your end goal). That means you have to be ready for a trip to actually meet her within a month or so. Some guys want to write a bit longer than that before they go and we understand it, we do not think that is really necessary but we get it. But we do not think you need to be writing 6 months or a year or more before you go over. Know when you are ready, create your action plan and then execute it.
T = TOGETHER: Sometimes it takes a community to create a successful relationship. You have an entire team of matchmaking professionals at your disposal. It is important that if you are corresponding with one person and your intent is to fly over and just see her that you contact us before you make your plans so we can help you with some good advice. We have been doing this since 1995 and our experienced staff can save you time and possibly hundreds if not thousands of dollars if you let them know what you are doing. They will tell you what they think about it and give you their expert advice to best achieve your goals and then you of course ultimately decide how you wish to proceed. If you do not let us know that you are traveling and it doesn't work out chances are we could have either forewarned you about it and saved you the trip, or helped to ensure that it did work out, or give you some plan b and c options that you may not even have known existed.
So guys next time you look at correspondence remember to do it the S.M.A.R.T. way and you will be miles ahead of everyone else and on your way to really finding that someone special.
Some More Great Correspondence Tips
1: Never send money. If you are ever asked for money from anyone on any site that is a red flag. If it ever happens on our site we encourage you to contact us right away and let us know so we can look into it and offer you advice, as well as take any appropriate action if necessary.
2: Be careful of falling in love too soon. You really need to meet in person to understand how the chemistry between you both is going to work. If you are telling her that you love her in the first few letters or if she tells you, that may be a red flag. Take your time in getting to know each other and remember you never really know anyone until you meet in person.
3: If you are corresponding make sure that you take advantage of all the bonuses that you can earn depending on how you pay for correspondence. You should be a Platinum Member because that saves you money by providing discounted correspondence. Also, everything you spend on a Platinum membership can be deducted from the price of a Group tour, so if you take the tour your Platinum membership is essentially free! Additionally, if you add funds to your account in increments of at least $50.00 (instead of paying for each letter one at a time) you will earn credits of up to 10 percent of what you place in your account each time instantly, and also credits of up to 20 percent (depending on the amount you choose) towards a group tour!
How Correspondence Works
There are two types of letters - the letters in green are replies from women whom you have already written. The letters in blue are initial introduction letters from women who may be interested in you based primarily on your profile information. With the assistance of our Staff/Matchmakers, women have the ability to have their intro letter sent to men who may be a possible match. Intro letters are primarily sent by the office Staff/Matchmakers normally based on your profile matching some of her parameters, however, it is entirely up to the discretion of the office/Matchmaker as far as what is considered a possible match. Some offices will use narrow parameters while others may be much broader, thus it is possible that intro letters you receive may not be a good match due to larger age differences or other parameters that are too broad or not a match. Be advised that an intro letter is just an indication of possible interest and the office matchmakers can and normally will send the same intro letter to multiple men who, in their sole judgment, feel may be a possible match. It is possible that although you received an intro letter sent by a match maker and responded, the woman may not be interested in corresponding, video calls, or meetings, that is entirely up to her. Match makers may send follow up intro letters, if there was not a response, from the same woman to the same man as well. Blue letter(s), since they are only intro letters, are only $5.95 to open regardless of your membership status. If you wish not to receive initial/ or follow up intro letters, you may opt out (see "MY INFO"), and simply initiate any correspondence yourself. You may also block an individual profile, in which case you will cease receiving any type of intro letters or correspondence from that profile. We believe that you may be more successful if you choose the women you are interested in via your own search of the site, and write directly first instead of relying on intro letters as a guide, as many women are flattered to receive an initial letter of interest from the man.
Due to language issues and lack of experience with foreign men/cultures, etc. female members (as well as male members) may request and staff/matchmakers may assist with the content of their introduction letters (Intro letters) and or regular correspondence, as well as the selection of photos, if any, to be sent with any given letter, intro or regular correspondence. When a letter is responded to or initiated by a man to a woman on the site, there are various ways in which the staff will work to interact with the woman regarding the correspondence, including but not limited to, coming in to the office, via phone, via text or various social media platforms, or direct access and responding directly back through the site, etc.. On-going correspondence letters are continually sent to the men, and to the offices for the women, on a 24/7 basis, although, especially with respect to intro letters there may be delays in delivery and the site reserves the right to delay monitor or cancel delivery of both intro letters and on-going correspondence as they deem necessary. The matchmakers are also financially incentivized to find matches and assist with the correspondence, so they may urge a woman to respond and also assist her with that response, which is why you may receive more interest than what you might experience on other sites. Keep in mind that this is a Premium matchmaking service, we give both the men and women constant support, including in on going correspondence, meetings, and even after the relationship has started. This makes both men and women much more comfortable, in that they feel the people they are interacting with, both men and women, have been screened to some extent and the women (and sometimes men) also feel comfortable because they have help with their correspondence, especially where there are language differences, through the support from our foreign staff. So when you receive a letter it normally goes through the staff/Matchmaker and often times the woman does request that the staff assist her with the correspondence including the content, photo selection etc. Due to the assistance many of the women receive from the Matchmakers the correspondence may not be a "word for word" type translation as the Matchmakers can and do assist many of the women with the content, as stated in several areas of the site. This is another reason why we feel it is important for the men and women to meet as soon as possible, or at least do a phone or skype call, so both can gain an even better idea if there is any possible chemistry or not. Unless the woman comes into the office and works directly with the matchmaker, they normally do not view the men’s profiles, as they are not made public. The matchmakers can send info from the man’s profile to the woman including photos. However, no personal contact information may be exchanged unless or until the IMBRA form has been signed by the woman and or a personal meeting has taken place (IMBRA will always be executed prior to any personal meetings of any kind) (any contact information or information that may lead to the exchange of contact information will be edited out of the correspondence until the woman has signed the man’s specific IMBRA form. Many women, for various reasons, mainly safety and ease of use and support, prefer to exchange personal contact information at the time of the actual meeting, and the IMBRA form will be executed at that time. There is no extra fee to execute the IMBRA form for any type of in person meetings. However, there is a fee to execute the IMBRA form (if the woman is willing to do so) for those who have not yet met in person, please call 602-553-8178 ext. 0 for more information regarding this. Any translation of the letters are considered to be free of charge and does not affect the cost of the letter, thus if the letter does not need to be translated the price of the service is not affected. The term "Introduction Letter" includes the subject of the letter. The woman and or the staff/matchmakers may personalize the intro letter by using the first name of the possible match to whom the letter is being sent, again the same intro letter may and normally is sent to multiple men who may be suitable matches. Introduction letters normally go through an approval process to ensure they fall within site guidelines although we do not warrant, guarantee or verify any of the information included in the intro letter or regular correspondence. If you received a letter, introduction or regular, that you feel is inappropriate and or problematic, for any reason, please contact customer service immediately at 602-553-8178 ext. 0 and we will review the letter or letters and resolve the issue. It is entirely up to the discretion of the woman and or staff/matchmakers as to what constitutes a possible match. If you feel the Intro letters you are receiving are not good matches or you simply do not want to receive the introduction letters at all, you can disable the function by checking the box on the left side of your in box, and simply make initial contact via the site to the women you feel are the best match for you. If you do elect to receive intro letters you should never feel compelled in any way to open and or respond to any letters. Into letters are simply a tool for you to gain a little more information about the woman and see if you agree that there may be a possible mutual interest. Please be aware in many of the cultures/countries in which we operate the age difference between the couple, especially as it relates to inter-cultural relationships may be more elastic than what you are normally accustomed to, meaning larger age differences may be more acceptable in some of the cultures. However, as a rule of thumb, we normally advise to proceed with more caution with age differences in excess of 20 years or so, especially if the woman is younger (approximately 18 to 25 or so). We have had successful marriages with larger age differences of 30 to even 40 plus years, but we believe that there may be a higher risk level associated with those extreme age differences and you should act knowing that higher risk level may be present. Due to adverse economic conditions and other circumstances in some of the countries that we feature and service, some women may be reimbursed by the office or affiliates or by the client themselves for such things as profile photos, Internet access, transportation, etc. It is up to the office, affiliate office or client to determine the amount of reimbursement and for what purposes.
In addition to its own offices, AFA does contract with third party Affiliate agencies in order to provide the most opportunities possible for members of the site. AFA has guidelines in place that affiliates, (as well as its own offices) must adhere to or risk fines, penalties and possible termination. Client understands that Affiliate Agencies, as well as AFA office staff, are compensated by AFA for providing various services including gift deliveries, correspondence, tour support, translations, introductions etc. In most cases the compensation is dependent on the number or amount of services performed or provided, thus they have a financial incentive to support and provide services. If you ever feel there is a problem/issue with a profile or anything having to do with the quality or content of the correspondence, photos, videos, or anything else relating to the profile, or any other service, please notify us at once and we will investigate and work to resolve any possible issues to your satisfaction for that particular case. If for whatever reason we cannot reasonably resolve the issue, we will issue you a full refund for that particular case. By using the service and knowing and understanding that it makes use of multiple affiliate, third party, agencies in order to provide more opportunities for you, you agree not to hold A Foreign Affair, its employees, owners, or directors liable for any actions of an affiliate, even if those actions violate, in any way, the affiliate agreement between affiliate and AFA, and/or that fall outside the agreement between A Foreign Affair and any affiliate that may result in damages or otherwise cause injury to the user. In no event will the extent of the damages exceed the amount actually paid to AFA for direct services. If you would like to know if the agency providing you a specific service such as Express Mail is indeed an affiliate agency as opposed to a company office, please call (602) 553-8178. However, no agency, including any AFA office, should ever solicit services for introductions, translations, apartments or any other service or request for money via the letters/correspondence. If you receive any kind of offer for any service, or request for money please contact our main office at once, (602) 553-8178. We strongly advise that if you intend to meet any of the women you are writing that you contact our main office before travelling and allow the main office to make the arrangements, either by way of a group tour, or individual travel. We do not recommend allowing the woman or a third party affiliate to make any of your travel or interpreter arrangements, especially for your first visit. For more information please feel free to call us and we will be happy to discuss this policy with you.
AFA does no background checks on any of the women profiled on our service. In any case, AFA will not be held liable for any actions or events that may occur as a result of any introductions initiated by AFA.
All registered users must complete the Federally required IMBRA form in order to meet and or exchange personal contact information. The form only takes a minute or two to complete and consists of questions regarding certain past criminal acts, marital status, history of restraining orders, whether or not you have children, if you have ever sponsored a fiancee in the past, and the states you have resided in, (It does not contain your personal information such as your address or any information that could be used for identity theft in any way!) and is affirmed by you as being true and correct. The form is then translated into the woman’s native language and must be received by each woman you are interested in prior to any exchange of personal contact information. The specific woman must sign that she has received your specific IMBRA form. She is told that we did not conduct a personal background check on you and that you answers may or may not be truthful. The IMBRA form is a legal document and must be included in the fiancée or spousal visa application for all US citizens. However, it is required to be completed by all members, regardless of nationality. No personal contact information may be exchanged unless or until the IMBRA form has been signed by the woman and or a personal meeting has taken place (any contact information or information that may lead to the exchange of contact information will be edited out of the correspondence until the woman has signed the IMBRA form. Most women, for various reasons, mainly safety and ease of use and support, prefer to exchange personal contact information at the time of the actual meeting, and the IMBRA form will be executed at that time. There is no extra fee to execute the IMBRA form for any type of in-person meetings, however there is a fee to execute the IMBRA form (if the woman is willing to do so) for those who have not yet met in person, the fee can be up to $400.00 to execute the IMBRA paperwork and also store it until it may be needed to submit to the USCIS for the fiancée (K1), or Spousal (CR-1) visa.. Please call 602-553-8178 ext. 0 for more information.