How To Survive The Waiting Time
You did it! You finally went on one of the A Foreign Affair Singles Tours, you met the love of your life, you had the time of your life, and the time has come to start the fiancée visa process. And suddenly it hits you - this is going to take a bit longer than I thought. That's when the questions and fears start to take on a life of their own and you start to feel uneasy. How will I keep the relationship going? …is she going to believe that I'm truly serious because this is taking so long? …is she going to get "cold feet"? …am I going to get "cold feet"? … is she going to meet someone else?
After 9/11 a lot of things changed in the USA - including the fiancée visa process. More security checks are now required and the effective time to get your fiancée here has lengthened from 3 to 4 months to around 6 to 9 months. This increased time to wait also increases your apprehension about what you are doing - it heightens your stress level, it may cause you to loose sleep, eat more, complain more, and simply just become more frustrated. (The good news is that the processing times should start to become shorter again as soon as the filing fee for the fiancée visa is raised from $110 to $165 and additional people are added to the service centers.)
Be positive and do not dwell on the fact that it may take bit longer than you originally expected. Negative thinking breeds more negativity and will confuse you. The thing that you have to remember is that your final goal is getting closer with each passing day. Although it may seem like it's taking forever, the time will quickly pass but, what is the best way keep the relationship alive while you're waiting?
Communication is the key.
Writing to your fiancée by e-mail is great but actually receiving a letter in the mail is also very important. It's like the difference in receiving a picture of a rose and actually receiving a rose. When she receives the letter from you she is receiving a present from you and she'll share it with her family and her friends and most likely carry it with her and read it over and over again.
Phone calls are also important to keep your relationship going. Hearing her voice makes you feel good inside and comforted and, for your fiancée, hearing your voice does the same for her. She can hear the emotion in your voice, the tenderness in the words you say to her and she can feel your sincerity. Suddenly you're not as far apart as you were just before you called and she'll play that conversation over and over again in her head - and you'll be doing the same.
Start planning what you'll do when she gets here, as well as what you need to do before she gets here - and keep her informed. You'll be surprised how long and how much planning a small project can take. Are you going to redecorate or paint or add new tile? Whatever it is, let her know. She will enjoy being part of the process even though she is not here yet, and you will again be building on your commitment to her and your approaching life together. Also, it will fuel more conversation in the future when she asks how everything is going.
Look again and again at the pictures taken of her and of the two of you together. Tell your fiancée you have done it, or that you are doing it as you're speaking or writing to her. Talk about where you were when the photo was taken and how you were feeling. Place her photo on your computer so that each time you turn on your computer you see her. Have her picture on your refrigerator - especially if it's a funny one of her eating pizza - so you again think of her as you go about your everyday life. What you're doing is reliving the experiences that made you fall in love in the first place, and at the same time you're making that love stronger and reinforcing it.
Try to learn some conversational Russian. This is not an easy language and if you can learn just a little this will really impress her family - especially her father. He may never say this to you but, believe me, he would really like to speak directly to you. (My future father-in-law did say this to me.) After all, you're going to be the husband of his little girl and he wants a relationship with you. When you call your fiancée - and her parents answer and you ask for her in Russian - they will laugh and smile and most likely try to answer you in English. This will go on for a short time before you both get to a point where you don't understand each other anymore and you both just start to laugh. This brings all of you closer together - especially you and your fiancée.
Remember March 8th. This is International Woman's Day and it's a much bigger holiday there than Valentine's Day. This day is celebrated all over the world and is a day to honor women. Telling someone that she is "special" and that "she means the world to you" can be magic for both of you. If you cannot be with her on this day, call her. Send her flowers. Let her know how special she is to you. You can't do this too much.
Above all, remember to say those magic words: "I Love You." Tell her every time you speak with her, every time you write to her, and say it to yourself every time you think of her. Getting past a little processing delay will happen sooner than you think. You'll then have a lifetime together with each day a new adventure so, for now, keep in mind that each day is one day closer to when your bride arrives.