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The Short Version: Established in 1993, Encounters International is one of the longest running international dating agencies out there, and it has hundreds of success stories to its name. According to expert matchmaker Natasha Spivack, the company has facilitated over 500 marriages between Western men and Eastern European women. By hosting frequent events for its current and former clients, Encounters International gives love-oriented individuals a friendly community where they can socialize, grow, and fall in love.
Professional matchmaker Natasha Spivack has been in the business of love since 1993, and she’s brimming with pride over what her international dating agency has accomplished in that time. Encounters International is responsible for more than 500 marriages, and many of its happy couples keep in touch with the matchmakers as they start their new life together.
Over time, Natasha has helped many Western men meet Eastern European women, but her work is more than just putting men and women in a room together. She guides them so they’re ready for love and can navigate the unique challenges of international marriages.
We asked her to give us some of her takeaways about the international dating scene, and she was full of insights on how to build a successful and lasting cross-cultural relationship.
Natasha said some dating rules extend to all cultures. “Women all over the world are women in the first place,” she said. “If you come late for the first date, no woman will appreciate it.”
Natasha makes her clients aware of the different dating customs and expectations of Eastern European women. For instance, while American women may not expect flowers on a first date, most Eastern European women will take offense if their dates don’t have at least a rose for them. On the flip side, American women may get upset if they went to a fast-food restaurant on a first date, but Eastern European women wouldn’t see anything wrong with that.
These subtle cultural differences can be tricky, but all it takes is someone to tell you the rules and you’re golden.
“If you think that you did everything right, but, at the end of the day, your partner seems to be upset, talk to your matchmaker and tell her all the details of your date,” Natasha advised. “You might learn if it was a cultural difference or if the woman is not right for you.”
International dating has become more widely accepted and popular in recent years as technology allows people to cross vast distances and build relationships based on mutual interests. Since 1993, Encounters International has been at the forefront of this cultural shift, and its international matchmaking services have facilitated hundreds of marriages.
Natasha has seen many authentic individuals find their soul mates at her social events, but she also knows the potential pitfalls of seeking love in the wrong places. Unfortunately, some scammers prey on lonely hearts by using online communication on illegitimate dating services.
“Longer virtual relationships can offer a wonderful experience of getting attached to each other’s souls,” Natasha said, “or it can be a big trap and an invitation to a scam.”
Natasha warns singles against falling in love with a photo on a website. Encounters International works hard to make genuine matches between marriage-minded individuals; however, some businesses aren’t nearly as exacting or honorable.
Some international dating companies can support fake profiles or inauthentic communications, leading its members to converse with love interests that aren’t real. The purpose is to turn a profit, not to facilitate relationships. According to Natasha, these scam artists don’t always ask for money directly. They may simply encourage men to send gifts or pay for airfare. Men should be wary of such arrangements and carefully read between the lines in love letters from online strangers.
Encounters International has spent years building trust with its members and supporting the interests of considerate, passionate, and authentic singles around the world. The matchmaking company’s successes are a testament to its legitimacy.
In the coming year, Natasha said she wants to prove that international dating can work by highlighting her company’s success stories. She is working on putting together a video series where she interviews her former clients who have been married at least 10 years. She wants to ask them about their experience falling in love and get their advice on how to make a cross-cultural marriage last.
Natasha plans to interview couples of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to give a full, nuanced look at these relationships. She hopes their testimonials will be inspirational for a new wave of people entering the international dating scene.
“I believe that I am in a unique position to do this project given how long I am in business and my closeness with the couples,” Natasha said. “It will be one of the most impactful learning materials for anybody who has ever thought of international dating.”
Encounters International aims to assist and support singles seeking love abroad, and that road isn’t always easy. Natasha has written the Handbook of Knowledge to counsel potential clients through the ups and downs of international dating.
Before clients even go on a date, the Encounters International team makes sure they know what to expect and how to woo over someone who comes from a different cultural or economic background. The matchmakers can also offer advice about age-gap dating because in many cases the Eastern European women will be 10+ years younger than their matches.
Natasha told us she encourages her clients to meet in person ASAP and not engage for months in virtual communications that may not lead anywhere. You can’t tell what a person is like from typing letters back and forth, so it’s worth attending the social events held by Encounters International to mingle with genuine singles from all over the world.
“Nowadays singles want more assurance before they invest themselves into a relationship,” Natasha said. “They want the personal opinion of a knowledgeable matchmaker who knows her clients personally and can give them honest answers to their biggest questions.”
The Encounters International matchmakers have decades of experience behind them and can accurately assess the date prospects of their clients. While not every match will be a perfect fit, they will share common characteristics and relationships goals. The matchmakers conduct compatibility assessments to ensure the couples they introduce have the potential to fall in love.
Of course, matchmakers can’t do all the work. They can only make introductions and hope that the chemistry is right. It’s up to the couples themselves to take the matchmaker’s advice to heart and build a healthy relationship.
“Each expert has a unique knowledge base from real life experience,” Natasha told us. “Collaboration will enrich this knowledge base.”
The Encounters International team stays abreast with developments in immigration law and ensures couples follow the correct steps and get the paperwork done to enter legal marriages. This process can be difficult and time-consuming, but the matchmakers have been through it hundreds of times and can offer sage advice along the way.
“The role of the experts increases because there are more gray areas,” Natasha explained. “Setting realistic expectations to deal with the realities of the international dating scene is, in my opinion, the main goal.”
Since 1993, Encounters International has fostered deep, meaningful relationships between men and women who may never have met without the dating agency’s assistance. The matchmakers take a vested interest in their clients and go to great lengths to ensure they have an enjoyable and rewarding experience in the international dating scene.
When asked if she had any advice for singles interested in international dating, Natasha said it’s important to find a reputable agency that will have your back and guide you toward the right person.
“Do your homework first — it’s the key and the main difference between the most rewarding experience and what might be your worst nightmare,” she told us. “Avoid the agencies that insist that you pay for the interpreter or make one on one communication difficult or impossible. Learn how to read between the lines when dating internationally.”