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Top 5 Mail Order Bride Facts

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by Michael Wynands Money can’t buy you love, but technically it can find you a wife. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Facts about Mail Order Brides. Come along as we explore the realities of this distinct marriage service as it exists in the modern world. Special thanks to our users Ashjbow and Gerald Ricco for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 5 Mail Order Bride Facts


Money can’t buy you love, but technically it can find you a wife. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Facts about Mail Order Brides. Come along as we explore the realities of this distinct marriage service as it exists in the modern world.

#5: Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia are the Biggest Markets


Though mail order brides have often been referred to as “Russian brides,” that colloquial name is a bit of a misnomer nowadays. In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the women signing up for such services were indeed overwhelmingly of Eastern European origin, but in recent years, it seems that Southeast Asian countries have caught up, if not surpassed Eastern Europe. It all has to do with the socio-economic situations in the countries of origin, as well as the gender distribution. Countries in which there are a disproportionate number of women to men, or where the opportunities for women are limited, are more likely to see a booming mail-order bride industry.

#4: There are Two Kinds of Services


The thing about the term “mail order bride” is that it’s rather misleading. You can’t just browse a website, pick a woman and have her delivered. That would be considered human trafficking. In the legal world, two distinct kinds of “mail order bride” service exist. The first is little more than an international dating site intended to connect men with women from certain areas of the world. Such services are relatively affordable, but aren’t necessarily going to result in speedy nuptials. The other option is to go with an International Marriage Broker where the goal is really finding a match ASAP. It doesn’t come cheap though. Estimated expenses can easily get into the tens of thousands.

#3: It’s Got a Long History in America


Men in America have been looking long distances for women for centuries, but back in the day, they weren’t seeking a bride of a specific ethnicity or chasing some antiquated patriarchal fantasy - there just weren’t many women around. When the Western frontier was first settled, men who had established themselves would take out ads in papers back home in hopes of attracting a bride to join them. If a woman was interested, she would correspond with her western suitor by mail and, if all went well, a proposal and marriage would follow. It was considered a chance to start fresh and embark on an adventure, and quite frankly, was a necessary reality of the times.

#2: It’s Risky


Sorry… we should clarify. Yes, for men, seeking a mail order bride comes with the risk of disappointment and financial loss should your wife be using you as a quick ticket to a better life, and leave you shortly afterwards. However, the risks faced by women signing up for such services are much more serious. Though almost all marriage brokers insist on having the husband and wife to-be meet beforehand, a bride doesn’t really know her husband until she comes to his home, where, with no contacts and sometimes, little knowledge of the local language, she can easily be victimized by her new husband. There have even been multiple documented cases of men killing their brides. Yikes.

#1: It Often Results in Mismatched Expectations


One of the biggest issues with the concept of “ordering a bride” in the modern day is the disconnect between the men and women who sign up. Oftentimes, such men are reportedly seeking a more old-fashioned dynamic between man and wife. This might work for some brides, who are happy to play the role in exchange for a better financial situation and more comfortable life, but not all brides. According to a 2005 study from Knox College, many mail order brides are specifically looking to get away from a male-dominated society in favor of a country with more progressive views of equality and gender roles, making them ironically ill-suited for the aforementioned sort of suitor.
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