We (Adrian and Elena) are now married. This is the story of how this happened.It is important that when wishing to continue a relationship into marriage with a foreign national that the relationship is, of course, genuine. My relationship with Elena started with email contact, with both of us risking her visit here (where reality can overturn email hopes and fantasies), finding that together we more than suited one another. I love her very much and we need to be together. This is the account of our relationship.
During November 2000 my relationship with a woman, who I met via my website, was in terminal decline, and I decided to seek out other women on the Internet who were perhaps interested in relationships. On 14th November I received a reply from Elena Kursheva and another, and for a time I had contact with a number of women from as far as Japan and the United States using email.
It was clear to me that of them all, Elena was the most interesting. She sent photographs and her six foot height suited me (6' 6") and I found her physical appearance attractive. She also had a level of intelligence and qualifications similar to mine (different subjects: she is a highly qualified scientist and mathematician, whereas I am a social scientist). She also has a similar career profile, she teaching computer use mainly at a basic level and me a little higher, and her qualifications were not being fully applied, as mine were applied only patchily in Higher Education. Her experience was living with her parents, as I was with my mother. She had no children. I noted that I would grow tired of the American contact, and although Elena was far away she ironically seemed more practical. No one else came close to her for potential interest and suitability. In the end all other contacts came to an end, but I was very interested in Elena. Elena also had other replies to her Internet presence but she continued replying to my messages once over a short cold.
It was soon clear that we had other shared interests, for example photography and an interest in spirituality but rejection of dogmatic Christianity. By as soon as the end of November I knew that I wanted to actually see Elena. I was already considering how much of my savings would be involved. I was describing my failed recent relationship to her and started painting Elena´s portrait and mentioning her to friends.
I also wanted to tell her about the advanced work at Hull University, which relates to her scientific and technical skills. I was answering some of Elena's questions about my history, family and situation. I said that as emails become more sensuous actually meeting might remove the fantasy (as was my previous experience), but I was aware of the constraints of emailing a work based computer. My own view was that I wanted her to visit as quickly as possible but expected this would be Easter or summer. However, Elena' main opportunity to visit was as soon as January and in December she quoted a dollar sum to come.
At this point my suspicions were raised, of course, given the speed of events - yet this was a speed I had encouraged. One question was whether, on sending the money I would see her! The other question was the motivation of the visit, something I would only be able to test during the visit. I went on a steep learning curve about how to send what money, finding out about dollars as almost a parallel currency in Russia especially since 1998.
Here I made the jump to proposing that we try to be intimate together and see how we would be. Obviously I wanted the visit to start a relationship, but it might be only a visit and a friendship.
Nevertheless I was faced with a lot of money to risk and spend, and could be a disaster for me. Friends gave their opinion, which was mainly positive, and as far as I could tell everything was genuine. The only puzzle was why travel money needed to go to Voronezh and not Moscow. In the end I accepted this, the timescale was met, the arrival airport chosen, and, after a large hiccup at the British Embassy, Elena was on her way.
When I met her at the airport she was as glamorous as her best photographs, but I was struck then as how 'foreign' she was, and for a short time I thought that here was reality compared with email impressions and fantasies. However, soon I was struck by not only the realised compatibility that had been thought about before, but how well we actually got on together, with our shared temperament. Behind our growing relationship was a real meeting of persons. When I came home from college on 16 January I caught Elena at the computer with a message from someone who veered between phonetic Russian and English. I could not help but see the message asking her if I thought she had nice features (eyes, mouth, etc.). I replied that she could tell her friend not only do I think she has such features but that we get on very well together and in fact I want to marry her. I had been thinking this in the car coming home. Elena replied that yes she feels 'easy' with me but wanted to think about it. Some time later she was clear that she did want to marry me, and our stay in London at the end of her time here was as partners together.
I was aware from embassy website literature that if I wanted a relationship with Elena that it would involve marriage. In my past I have not thought anything in particular about marriage, nor regarded it as important. But with Elena I actually wanted to marry her. However, even as our relationship intensified, I said that she would have to go home and really think if this is a country she wanted to settle in for the rest of her life, and in small New Holland for at least the start of her life with me.
Elena back in Russia gave both of us the chance to think. There was one point where I put all the issues to her starkly. I was still clear that this was the woman who suited me and at last it seemed that I suited someone. It was a pity, perhaps, that she did not live in Britain and was even outside the European Union. Nevertheless I did not want her coming here if this continental in outlook 'city girl' could not live in the village (if near a city and towns) and get on with the British mentality (never mind the disappointing climate). She might have found someone else in a far better place, in the Russia she knows or abroad in Canada or other such places. However, her main priority, it seems, has been to find the right person. This was my priority too.
Elena visited the British Embassy, and with her impressive qualifications had a far briefer interview than we had expected. They granted her permission for a fiancé a visa there and then which she collected and I met her at Heathrow Airport on 29 May 2001.
The visa overlapped with her visitor's visa, but this did not matter. We had the proper visa by which to marry, and set about arranging this. The wedding was arranged for 14th July at Hull Unitarian Church. It went well and Elena stayed until May 2002 when she went for a seven week stay at home in Russia to see her parents and friends.
Since then the relationship was affected by her time in Portsmouth, the mental decline and change in personality of my mother, and Elena's own difficulties in Reading. She won't live in New Holland or even the north of England but we remain in friendly contact.
Adrian Worsfold Wednesday, March 28, 2001 & May 11 2002. Further update in 2009.