by mail is like anything else; the more experience you have
with it, the easier it is. If you're finding it difficult to
express yourself in your first letters, you might like to
try an uncomplicated, straightforward approach.
For example, try beginning with
a simple "Hello, my name is so and so" followed by
such biographical old reliable info as your age, height,
weight, occupation and marital status.
Next you might throw in
something about the city or town you live in, what it's like
to live there, what rivers or lakes it's near, what makes it
unique and what are its attractions.
From there you can move on to
your interests and hobbies. Don't be put off if your
favorite interests don't conform to theirs. Having different
likes can make you more interesting to each other, and
finding a carbon copy of yourself is probably not what
you're looking for.
Tell her about your life, your
goals, your job, your friends, how many people are in your
family, what things elevate your soul. Tell them what an
average day is like for you. While you're at it, ask them a
lot of questions, too, starting with what a day in their
life is like for them. If you know what their occupation is,
ask them to tell you all about it.
Do what you can to be polite
and respectful in your letter. Asking her about a negative
topic you may have heard about their country could offend
them. It's best to stick only to positives until you know
the person better.
Be as honest about yourself as
you can and speak from the heart, but stop short of
revealing your past relationships or any skeletons in your
closet at this point. The people you'll be introducing
yourself to will, with few exceptions, be very serious about
marriage and finding a good partner.
A "playboy" is not
what they are looking for or expect. Take care not to
mislead them or make any promises you are not likely to
You needn't tell them
everything about yourself in your first letter; that can
wait till later letters as you slowly reveal more and more
of yourself and build your relationship. For now, the idea
is to introduce yourself in this first letter-probably in no
more than five pages and perhaps ideally in two pages.
The main thing is to give the
person you're writing a clear idea of what sort of person
you are and enough information so they'll be able to decide
if you appeal to them. (You may also consider asking for
their phone #, fax #, or e-mail address.)
If you write a polite,
good-natured introductory letter, most of those you write
will answer you back. If you're starting out by writing to
many different people, there is a natural temptation to send
off the same typed form letter. This might be a good idea
for the first letter since most people learn English from
the typed form.
Before hand-writing a letter
(which is seen as more personable), find out if they know
hand-written English. It's also important to write as
legibly as you can out of consideration of the person who
will be reading your letter.
Try to avoid the possibility of
confusing them by staying away from any use of idioms, slang
or colloquial references.
Also remember to put the name
of your country in your return address; unless a person
you're writing to already knows you, they may have no clue
what country to send a reply to.
Consider it standard practice
to include a photo of yourself in your first letter -- if
not an original, then a color-copied one. Be sure to send
only recent photos. To keep your costs down, you might get
10 or 15 different photos of yourself and arrange them on a
sheet of paper; then take it down to your local printing
store and ask them to run off about 10 color copies of the
sheet. This will give you 100 to 150 color-copied photos
ready to send off. Plain black-and-white photocopies are not
likely to be well received.
Unless you've led the sort of
life where you're used to hitting the jackpot lottery in
anything you do, you'll be better off not limiting yourself
to writing only one or two people. The more people you write
to, the greater are your chances of finding the right