Whether you're thinking of finding a Russian, Asian or Latin American bride, there are essentially four main types of foreign dating website:
- Those that are free to join but you have to take out a subscription if you want to contact other members.
- Those that are totally free.
- Those that charge you to get the email address or contact details of other members.
- Those that charge you every time you send or receive a letter from.
Totally free sites can be havens for scammers as well as timewasters like people who are already married but want to check out their options. It's best to avoid them unless you have a lot of time on your hands in order to sift through the tens of thousands of profiles that you usually see on such sites.
Subscription sites are good because once you've paid your subscription you can generally chat to as many members as you want. For Russian dating the best subscription sites are probably Russian Euro or International Cupid.
Sites that charge you for email addresses are generally OK. A lot of the A Foreign Affair and LoveMe sites use this charging model. Of course once you have the lady's contact details you're on your own. If you use a site such as Russian Euro then the site can at least be on the lookout for scammers. So take things slowly with ladies you're chatting to outside of an introduction agency or dating site framework.
Letter writing sites are the final type of foreign dating website. Popular examples include Chn Love and Army of Brides. The good thing about these sites is that they have a built in translation service so that you can talk to ladies who don't speak or write much English. The problems with these sites are numerous however. Problems are:
- Dating profiles can be faked, and men will end up paying money to talk to ladies who don't actually exist. Are there fake ladies on dating sites? It's very difficult to prove.
- Duplicate profiles can appear, and men who don't have good photographic memories for faces could send two letters to the same lady. I personally have definitely seen duplicate profiles on one of AFA/LoveMe's site (the ladies were two Chinese ladies with different names but the same photos).
- You have to pay for translation costs even if a lady can speak perfectly good English. I've seen proof that this happens.
- Ladies who have become engaged or who are in a relationship with another man aren't always removed from the site. I visited a lady in China, but her profile remained on Chnlove. So this definitely happens.
- Sometimes you get duplicate letters from the same lady, and if you're not careful you can pay to read the same contents twice. Yup, that happened to me with the notorious Chinese marriage agency, the Changsha Love Bridge Company.
- You'll often see a lot of email responses that are full of fluff, i.e. they don't answer your questions or are just romantic fluff. Get these types of letters and you'll have to send dozens of letters to find out the simplest questions about a lady.
- Sometimes you'll have to pay to read letters from a lady that are just sent if you haven't corresponded with her for a few days. In many cases these are just standard letters so it's unfair to have to pay to read these. Be wary of this, and if the site allows it, block any lady that you're no longer interested in.
- On many of these letter writing sites you'll get swamped with interest from ladies that are clearly unsuitable for you (i.e. in the wrong age range etc.). I know that on the Chnlove letter writing site I was bombarded with letters from 22 year old girls, even though I put in my profile that I was looking in the 30-35 age range. I've seen a lot less interest from 22 year olds on Chinese Love Links. So all I can conclude from this is that the marriage agencies behind Chnlove were trying to increase their cut of the revenues by getting me to waste my money by writing to unsuitable (but very lovely) younger ladies.
On top of this, some sites like Chnlove actually expire your letter writing credits if you don't write enough letters in a set amount of time.