Serendipity means a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.

The more I learn about successful International dating and romance, the more serendipity seems to apply. The poet Robert Burns observed, “The best-laid plans of mice and men oft(en) go astray”. How true. So, we must find a balance. Should we plan, meaning establish search criteria, review profiles and write a few letters before leaving on a romance tour? Of course we should – it only makes sense. At the same time we must remain flexible and open to serendipity. Why? Well, I have seen it so often recently.

A friend or client will depart for a tour having considered the essential criteria for himself – age, children, height, background, etc. This is wise. He may have identified a handful of ladies that seem to be a good match and are appealing to him. Perhaps letters have been exchanged and plans to meet have been arranged – great. However, something unexpected may happen that makes all of this irrelevant!

I’m thinking of a good friend who did exactly that. He left with dates arranged with several possibilities including a lady he had dated before. After arriving he went on two dates. Then he attended a social and encountered another lady he had met briefly on a previous tour.  Although it turned out that she was a bit younger than his criteria indicated, they began to talk and “Bam” – serendipity. He said to me upon his return, “stick a fork in me, I’m done”. Given his criteria, he never would have considered her.

I’ll give you another great example in a minute, but I’d like you to remember a famous seen from “The Godfather”. Michael Corleone is wandering the hills of Sicily while in exile with his bodyguards. He suddenly encounters a beautiful local girl in a purple dress and “Bam” – serendipity. His guard says, “I think he just got hit with the thunderbolt”. He goes on to marry her. That’s the way it happens sometimes.

I remember a client from early last year. While sitting next to me on the plane, he showed me photos and letters of a lady that held his interest from our first city stop. “Very nice”, I said. I wished him the best. He did indeed meet and date her and seemed quite happy. Then it was time to go to our second city. He balked at the idea and wanted to remain. I persuaded him otherwise and off we went. Although he wasn’t enthusiastic, he went to the social with all of us. While he was standing by the bar, a stunning lady walked up and said, “I’d like to meet you”. They just stared at each other for several minutes. When we returned to the hotel he was on “Cloud 9” and couldn’t stop talking about her. He called me almost every day when we got home to give me an update. They have filed for their Fiancée visa and will be married soon. Serendipity.

The best example I can provide is on the Foreign Affair website. It is the great story of Terry and Lia Mayo. That’s right, they are married.  The twists and turns that are involved in their journey will amaze you. You can view it for yourself as John Adams interviews the happy couple. It’s good for the soul. Enjoy.

So, the lesson? Yes, read Bud Patterson’s book, Foreign Bride 101, set up your criteria and search in the cities you will visit. Write a few letters before you go and set up some dates if you can, but watch out for “the Thunderbolt” – serendipity. I wish you well.


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