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Dating Advice # 178: Green Card Marriage
Dating Advice 17

Dating Advice # 178: Green Card Marriage

She's ready to try anything, just to add the prefix 'Mrs.'


Dear Rosie & Sherry,

I have never been married. I am pretty much on my last straw of the dating scene. I have no problem attracting men. It just seems they are always the wrong one with many problems, or they’re not willing to commit to marriage. It isn't always easy for me to travel to meet a date, and many men do not want to bother with the hassle of traveling to meet me.

Anyway, I have the chance to enter into a green card marriage. I have had this type of proposition before, but declined, as I hoped for a real marriage someday. Well, the someday has never come and I am sick of saying I have never been married. It would also be a big financial help at this time. I can at least die saying I have been married, even if it is not a real marriage.

Is this a crazy idea, or is it a reasonable attempt for a woman my age?


Dear Allison,

We are truly sorry that you are in so much pain that you are about to give up hope of ever having a real marriage. We don't think that this green card marriage is going to do anything more than allow you to use the prefix "Mrs." before your name. It won't be a solution to your financial difficulties -- it can even cause financial problems down the road if your "husband" tries to get a share of your assets when you divorce. And even though you will be able to use a label that tells the world you are married, the fact that inside you know the truth can cause you more emotional pain than you are now experiencing.

We personally know four individuals who entered into green card marriages. Three of the relationships were so difficult that both parties regretted their actions. One of the couples actually had a relatively happy life together for several years.

More than discouraging you from getting involved in a scheme that is legally and emotionally troublesome, we'd like to discourage you from giving up. Yes, it is harder for women in their 40s to find suitable marriage partners. We know how dejected you are after years of unsuccessful dating. However, we have worked with many older singles who were able to discover reasons they did not succeed in the past. They changed their outlook and their style of dating. And they got married -- to real partners.

It sounds like one of the reasons you've had trouble with men in the past is that you've been attracting -- and perhaps even been attracted to -- men who are emotionally unavailable or afraid of commitment. In addition, it may be possible that you have been projecting an air of desperation that has turned off some potential partners. We sense this because you mentioned being approached about green card marriages a few times in the past. Is it possible that other people have picked up on certain cues you've projected and have made these offers to you?

Wouldn't it be better to gain an understanding of the reasons why you've had difficulties, and address them? Then you can go on to have a successful courtship that leads to marriage. A goal-oriented therapist should be able to help you do this.

In addition, there are a number of books that women in their 30s and 40s have found to be very helpful. Rachel Greenwald's Finding a Husband After Thirty-Five has excellent pointers about networking, which is the key for women in your age group finding a match. Myra Kaplan has written Finding a Keeper, which uses a different approach for women 35 and older. And Shaya Ostrov's The Inner Circle has methods for turning your dating history around.

We hope that you'll decide against going along with a fictitious marriage, and work instead at identifying what has been impeding your success, eliminating it as a barrier, and adopting dating practices that will lead you to build a lasting life with the man who's truly right for you.

Rosie & Sherry

April 30, 2005

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Visitor Comments: 15

(15) Anonymous, January 17, 2006 12:00 AM


if you were that person,the one who desperately needed that green card,yet also needed that prefix "Mrs" & realized you couldn't have one w/o the other & your days of opprtunity were numbered,woudln't you take that opportunity?i would

(14) Bek, May 21, 2005 12:00 AM

Dear Allison,

I can say that the whole thing spoken by you is the truth and I can support your ideas. It is so appriciated to see the women so strong like you. If any advises please my e-mail

Best regards,

(13) Cindy, May 10, 2005 12:00 AM

You Go Ruby

Thanks Ruby. It`s about time someone spoke the truth.

(12) Anonymous, May 9, 2005 12:00 AM

Don't lose hope!

Rosi and Sherry's advice to look at why you are single is great. I'd just like to add that perhaps instead of doing it on your own you could find a therapist or similar.
Perhaps also consider where you live. If it is such a schlepp to potential suitors then perhaps a move to city or neighborhood that is not such a distance would be beneficial. If you cannot move try taxis or meeting your date some halfway point reachable by public transport. ALso, if you work someplace that is more convient than your home arrange dates for right after work. You could also get friends to double date with you (only sensible considering the modern day perils of being alone with a virtual stranger) and get a ride with them!
Unfortunately its a rough world of dating out there for any Jewish woman, and the older we get the worse it is.
Take heart, having a husband and child is not completely impossible for a woman over fourty. I just read an article about Helen Fielding (who wrote Bridget Jone's Diary). After a lifetime of singlehood and writing about it she is about to become a 45 year old mother and wife.
ANd the best advice that I'm sure you've heard before. Just be happy with yourself. No man (or woman) wants a mate who is desperate. Desperation is the most unattractive quality in a potential dating partner. If you have a passion or a hobby make an effort to pursue it with a passion. Use the passion to fill up the void left by singlehood and then go out into the dating world with the idea that you are looking for someone to complement your life, not complete it.
(note to commentor: Jewish women are not ALL selfish and materialistic. And being aware of our rights as humans is not a fault! Marrying a non-Jewish woman is not the only answer to finding a well balanced partner. Perhaps the comment writer should ask why he has this insane prejudice?)

(11) Ruby, May 9, 2005 12:00 AM

"Jewish Man" must be living in a different world

Most of the American Jewish women I know do not particularly like Jewish men or find them appealing dating partners.

While "Jewish Man" claims that Jewish women are snobby and materialistic, my friends and I find that American Jewish men are spineless, submissive, un-sexy, not masculine, bland, and personality-less drones.

Maybe they are somehow successful at work (who knows how?), but they are unable to successfully interact in a dating situation.

We are not looking for someone with a lot of money, just someone with good social skills who can have the guts to approach a woman, carry on a decent conversation, and be charming enough and have enough basic appeal for us to find you attractive.

Unfortunately, many of us find American Jewish men sorely lacking and eventually look elsewhere for dating and marriage partners.

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