Matchmaking has existed for almost as long as the idea of monogamous relationships, and the idea of finding yourself a mail order bride is not that drastically different to that of an arranged marriage.

In fact, the goal of both is identical: to find the love of your life, but without all the hassle involved in a traditional dating arrangement.

What most people don’t realize is that the “mail order bride” concept originated in the United States during the Gold Rush of the 20th century, using paper catalogues to help lonely gold miners connect with women willing to travel across the frontier to meet them.

It became so popular that women took the initiative and placed adverts looking for men in the newly-booming gold towns, destroying the myth that the whole mail order bride process was a man’s idea.

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Post-Vietnam America found itself in the throes of feminism, so American men looked overseas for women who actually wanted to get married and start a family. They knew how attractive foreign women were, and didn’t want to deal with the hassle of an American feminist wife.

The seeds were sown for the emergence of Russian mail order brides, as a growing number of men in the western world looked elsewhere for women who were more compatible with a conservative lifestyle.

Two things happened to propel Russian women to front and center of the mail order bride scene. The first of these was the collapse of the former USSR, and the second was the creation of the public Internet during the 1990s.

Suddenly, millions of sultry Eastern European women were brought to the attention of millions of single men in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.  Not only were these hot Russian and Eastern European women beautiful, but they also shared the same strong family values as a majority of American and European men.

Women from the former USSR were more than happy to embrace the idea of meeting a foreign man who could offer them a life outside the economic and societal misery of life in the new Russia. Put simply, this was a far better life than she could ever expect to have in her home country once the collapse of the Communist state was complete.

Hundreds of websites sprang up overnight catering for the demand for Russian mail order brides, international dating, and the associated “marriage agencies”. In many Russian cities the first Internet servers catered solely for dating websites and almost nothing else.

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All of these online portals were eager to help lonely western men meet the Russian woman of their dreams. And since those early days there have been tens of thousands of successful matches made between western men and Russian brides, with most of them resulting in happy marriages for both parties.