Names: Metin & Vita
Been together since: 2014
Metin: I had just returned to Turkey from Thailand and was not in the best of places emotionally. I found I was staying home a lot, I was not feeling happy and could sense dark clouds above me.
I was on Facebook one day talking to my friend Mustafa, who lives in New York. As we were chatting, I saw photos of him and his wife and kids. I told him I had lived in many different countries, had been married twice and still hadn’t found what I was looking for. I was quite upset about this; I felt something was missing in my life.
Almost intuitively, Mustafa said, “Why don’t you have a look at my wedding photos on Facebook.”
Thinking back now, I am amazed that Mustafa had the time to sit and discuss all of these things with me, guiding me through everything as he is really an incredibly busy man with many businesses and properties all over the world. But here he was telling me to have a look at the photos.
I finally found the album and had a look. He said, “Do you see the girls?” and I told him I saw many. He asked me if any of the girls caught my eye. I said, “Gosh, there is no way I could answer that!” I didn’t think that was quite my way of going about these things. He said he would give me a few minutes to have a look and would ask me again.
I decided to be open about this, took a breath and gave it another try. I have a strong sixth sense. I was intuitively was led to one. I told Mustafa that I felt this one person felt interesting to me.
Mustafa told me her name was Vita. She was his wife Alyona’s friend from school. She lived in Kharkov, Ukraine. They said they would talk to her and see if they can arrange a friendly introduction. They came back to me saying she had said yes. And that is how it all began.
Vita: I had just gotten out of a relationship and had also lost my job where I was working as an engineer. Another way to look at this was that I was completely free and had nothing tying me to that place. So when Alyona and Mustafa wrote to me with this introduction I said, ‘why not’.
Metin: I told my friend Mustafa I would like to invite her to Turkey. He told me not to invite her but to go to her instead. I said, “Are you mad? How can I go?” I thought about it for a few days then Mustafa called me again and asked if I was going. I was quite hesitant but took the initiative and asked her if I can come to visit. She said yes.
Our first meeting was at the airport where she kindly picked me up to bring me to my hotel.
I was very nervous and excited so when we reached the hotel I just couldn’t stop talking. But something must have worked because she agreed to spend more time with me.
I told her what I believed: that the existence of a relationship depends on the woman. The woman is the one that accepts to be in the relationship, she is the one to decide if she stays in it. I told her you have 3 days to decide. We spent all that time together. We hung out at the hotel, we explored the city and I met with her mother.
I am a very quick person by nature, I do everything quickly. I asked her after 3 days if she saw a future with me. She wasn’t sure at that time.
Vita: It was just 3 days since we actually met, how could I know? I knew I liked him but I simply wasn’t sure that soon if we could have a future together.
Metin: When I asked her to come to Turkey and see how it was there, to see my home, my city and how I live, she said she would. She wasn’t working and had no ties binding her at that time.
Vita: We came to Turkey and I stayed with him for a month. It was enough for me. We decided to get married and live here.
Metin: When I asked her again after a month, she said yes, she would like to come to Turkey and make a life for us here.
I said let’s go see your mother and talk to her. I wasn’t sure what they used to say but I do know that every time she spoke to her mom it was an extremely emotional conversation, lots of bubbles everywhere. I had the wrong impression thinking they may be fighting, but it was more of an Italian style conversation, just highly charged. Just like the Turks, you think they are fighting but they are actually very happy.
We went back to the Ukraine and I asked her mother if she would be happy with this arrangement. She gave us her blessing.
We had some glitches with the paperwork in the Ukraine. See, we had asked Mustafa and Alyona which documents we needed and they gave us the list – but it was of the requirements they had to get married in the States! No wonder it had sounded so easy. We were quite disappointed as we couldn’t get married in Krakow.
Vita: So we came here instead. My documents were approved nice and quick. In Ukraine we would have had to wait for a month. When we asked them when we could get married here they said tomorrow.
It was a cozy ceremony. We didn’t wait to have a baby and we are now a family of 3 with our daughter. Having different cultures and so many changes are a challenge at times but here we are.
What advice do you have for anyone who is looking for love?
Vita: Many of my friends wrote their wishes on a piece of paper then forgot about it and they found love. I did this too. Sometimes it takes time but it probably is a good way to try it.
Metin: My experience is that it works on sight. I have to see the eyes and feel the connection. She told me the first or second night that I am a good man. She understood me. It’s always good to be open, to not hide behind any masks, don’t put on an act, be sincere. I think I get my sensitivity to these things come from my grandmother. She didn’t have formal education but she would know things, she sensed them intuitively. The same skill guides me along life as well.
What advice do you have for couples going through a hard time?
Vita: To trust, always trust and have faith.
Metin: I lived in many countries for many years. I know what cultural barriers mean. I don’t have the statistics but I also know that getting married to the person from the same village doesn’t really make much of a difference, it does not ensure bliss. From Japan to Egypt, I see that it really makes no difference. To bring in quality of life to any relationship I see that all you have to do is to trust and understand.
The most important thing with us might be that I don’t fit into any particular country or mould. I have no country, I have no religion. I am a global citizen. I am from everywhere and I am a stranger everywhere. Thus, I understand perfectly the differences that arise in the situations. My expectations might have different but I do understand. I therefore also see her situation: She is in a new country, is newly married, is a new mother, has a little baby… there are certain tensions that come with any one of those situations on its own, we are finding our way.
One thing I have learnt about love is…
Vita: Again, trust, you have to trust. It is first.
Metin: If this means having a good and absolute lasting partner, of course trust is very important but you also have to like – that also is very important. Also to not criticize, to accept.
Men and women – we are 100% different. I cannot think like her, it took me years to learn this. When I was 20, I would have said very differently. I would have said all women are angels and men are the bad eggs. But I see now how wrong this was. Wisdom comes later sometimes. I was around 45 years old when my vision got clearer.
Look and like what you see.
Communication and contact as nature intended it to be is very important.
I live without pressure. I realized very early when I was 15 or 16 how much peer pressure is placed on us, emphasized by all the traditions and expectations. I was always making an effort to try to form my own opinions without any outside influences. I fought all my life against traditions and systems. At that time vision was not always clear.
I am still learning, I don’t think it ever ends.