Wellcome to Slavic Dating

Welcome to a Western man’s point of view on dating a Slavic partner with a child and the issues you will experience with child custody, immigration issues regarding the child, permission from the child’s father, and how to navigate, most surely, having a partner with a child.
In the winter of 2012, I traveled to Siberia to visit my close friends that lived in Novokuznetsk. I began dating someone —I will call Masha. Things went rather well until the reality that her ex-husband was an active good father sank in. He had a close connection with their 8-year-old son. I tried to overlook this because I thought surely her former husband would see that in many ways the west offers more opportunities for a young boy. The young boy and his father did not see it this way. Sure, I was looking BIGGER picture, but they just wanted to live their lives as they always had lived, and they wanted me to just leave it alone. Five months later Masha and I decided jointly to give up and remain friends. To this day we are friends and stay in touch.

Fast forward to 2018. I was at that time 43 years old and although most dating and marriage sites do have many younger women, I still knew that I had to keep my feet grounded in the reality that finding a partner that was an appropriate age for me meant that she would likely have a child. The results were mixed. My Ukrainian pal Vlad reminded me that I am not that old, so I looked at the age groups of 30 years to 38 years old.
Having traveled the world I sort of knew that I would find 2 types of ladies.
One would be super hard-working Alpha females that had a life goal that did not include having a child early in their lives.
The second group would be the traditional sort of lady that has family values and can balance family and a career.
I have dated both of these types of women.
The first type of woman does kind of have a child, but it is not the kind we think. Their child is their career and they tend to have a partner when they are bored or when they are in crisis. Sure, many women that are Alpha career women can have a family and a partner and do it quite well, but in my experience, a partner and family are both not as important as a career to many of the Alpha ladies.
The second type of woman is found all over Ukraine. Women that have the values most Western men want are in every facet of life, in every city, and in every corner of Ukraine, from Kyiv to Lviv, from Odesa to Poltava, and from there to Kharkiv. In dating a Ukrainian woman, I found that she and her family were very open and accepted me with open arms. Yes, there are many speed bumps you will have to overcome but they are just like the ones in your own country, with a little culture shock sprinkled in to liven things up.

In another blog post, I will talk about Ukrainian traditions of gifting flowers, and how to shake hands, and greetings, but for now, I will end this post on custody issues and the roadblocks you may encounter. If your new love has a child then you will need to seek permission from the child’s father. This has to be a notarized court document to be used with both Ukraine and your own countries’ customs service. You will not be able to leave Ukraine with the child and your partner without this document. It is best to check with your Embassy to narrow down the mistakes that inevitably will be made. Don’t give up, and remember that your partner is worth the little bit of trouble and travel you have to do to secure the correct travel documents for her child. Try to keep in mind that her child is experiencing all of this change with you and that they may be scared or anxious, just like you. Offer as much comfort and support as you can and keep your eye on the prize.
Feel free to comment and ask any questions you may have.


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Author: Andy Scoggins

Andrew has traveled extensively from his home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina having starting his journey through the former Soviet Union in Winter of 2012 to Novokuznetsk, then on to Ukraine's Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkov, and finally his second home, Odessa.  

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