The desire of Filipinas to find husbands abroad, particularly of European extraction, is difficult to ignore for the anthropologist who continually finds him/herself positioned as a potential transnational dating agent, chat-room tutor or even highly eligible marriage prospect. Extending analyses that view this phenomenon as multifaceted and irreducible to economics, we situate the search for transnational marriages in the context of imaginings of self and other. Drawing on ethnographic research in two areas of the Philippines, we consider some of the ways in which Western men are constructed as desirable marriage partners, relating this to broader imaginings of national difference. We then argue that finding a foreign husband may be about more than changing personal and familial circumstances, more even than a desire for the romanticised other. The desire for transnational marriage can be seen as part of a process of self-actualisation: a quest for knowledge and experience of the world through which a paradox of self and other can be reconciled and the self remade.