It becomes clear that the dating scene in Odessa is not all it seems.
Locals laugh when I ask them about the strange no-shows, and tell me that in all probability, the women that these men thought they were falling in love with do not even exist.
He is beginning to wonder whether Ukrainian women might be just as bad as their American counterparts.
Habitually, they are joined by another young woman, the translator, who facilitates the dialogue."She says she likes a strong man who knows his mind." "Tell her I love the idea of two cultures coming together in a relationship." "She says she thinks you could be her soulmate."Hundreds of dating agencies operate in Odessa, luring the foreign dollar into the laidback Black Sea port city with a suggestion of the nubile young model living a life so impoverished that she will be ready to fly away with the first slack-skinned foreign pensioner who offers her a way out.
Other cities in Ukraine, and other countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, also have well-developed bride industries, but Odessa is a global hub for men looking for love.
The socials spawn dozens of dates for the coming week, but there is a recurring complaint among the men.
Most have spent between £3,000 and £10,000 chatting to women online prior to the tour, and were looking forward to meeting in person these women with whom they had formed an emotional connection.
As a by-product, the company runs tours to locations as diverse as Colombia, the Philippines, and Ukraine, to meet the women they have met online.
For the not inconsequential sum of £3,000, the 39 men present at our induction meeting on day one have bought the chance to attend three "socials" – huge events at nightclubs where they will be in the company of hundreds of young Ukrainian women apparently looking for love."I've tried local dating sites but nobody wants to live on a farm," he says."I wrote to one lady and said she had nice hair, but she didn't even reply to say thank you." Faced with so many women to choose from at the social, he had no idea where to start. I am not used to being outgoing, or talking to ladies, so I didn't know what to do." Others find it easier: within half an hour, Mohammed from Saudi Arabia has his arms around two women and is throatily growling "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica on a karaoke system.Some of the Americans wear sharp suits and talk loudly about their property empires; others are from small towns in the Midwest and have acquired passports specially to make the trip.Most of the men are divorced and in their fifties or sixties.The oldest is 76-year-old Giuseppe, an Italian plastic surgeon, while the youngest is 29-year-old Chris, a stand-up comic from New York.