The settlers, most of whom were men, could not find suitable women to marry and had to write letters to Europe asking women to become their wives.
If a man is not married, it can only mean he is not willing to commit - even bad men can find themselves a wife!
Women must act fast if they want to get married and to ensure that they have a husband, one can only hope he will be a good man.
"Cosmo" was looking for somebody to feature in their article about Russian brides.
My letter was like a God sent, and they phoned me asking for an interview.
There were even talks about changing the family legislation so that it would allow men to have multiply wives so that there would be competition among men too.
(This is not a joke; this question was discussed in Russian parliament.) Most men thinking about "mail order brides" services are not even aware that they will not receive their bride delivered to their postal box (or their door) on request and will have to spend time, money and effort to convince a "bride" that he is a worthy candidate for her to consider.
Back then; the women truly were "mail order brides".
These days the term "mail order brides" is currently used to label the relationship between a man from a first world country and a woman from the third world country or the countries of the former USSR.
The common misconception is that the women only want a way out of their misery and terrible economic situation.