7 Ways To Find A Wife (According To Outdated 19th-Century Advice)

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Marriage and dating have changed greatly over the years. But when you look back at ads and old articles, you find out how differently people thought back then.

Mental Floss gathered advice from The Marriage Guide for Young Men: A Manual of Courtship and Marriage, a guide from the 19th century on how to find a wife. Here are seven of the craziest ones!

1. Her curves should be in all the right places, especially her hands.

"Choose for your wife a woman with full bust and good round limbs, as well as a good, large, well-proportioned head — one who can run and walk and lift a good load ... What if her waist be a little large, and her hands, too? This is a good fault in a woman who is to become a mother."


2. If she can't cook, you're putting your own health at risk.

"You will find many who say they can learn: you may be inclined to try one of them. But suppose she should not learn! It is running considerable risk. Think of that fearful period of learning, during which your stomach must be made the receptacle for all sorts of messes, and your home remain in a chaotic state! You may die of dyspepsia, or go mad before she succeeds."


3. Stick to finding a young wife.

"A man should never marry a woman who is his senior. You will have no inclination, I trust, to do anything of the kind."


4. A big head is a big deal.

"Whenever you see a woman with a good, full, round back head, combined with a good front, you may be sure that she is capable of giving a good degree of energy and pluck to her children; and better still, that full back head denotes that she is well sexed, capable of loving husband and children devotedly, and capable of giving her children a good sexual endowment."


5. Shun the hell out of women who don't agree with you.

"[S]hun, as you would shun death, the woman who never agrees with anybody, and who never has a good word for anybody ... True, you cannot always tell by appearances, for Satan often 'appears as an angel of light'; but with a little care you can usually determine pretty accurately."


6. Since she's pure, sex probably grosses her out.

"She may seem slow to accord to you the privileges of married life, but defer to her will; do nothing rashly. It will be quite a shock to feminine modesty when she, a pure-minded maiden, shall be called upon to lie down in the same bed with a man. It will seem repulsive at first, because she will feel that that lying down robs her of her feminine prerogative, and puts her person in the power of another."


7. Excellent health and money are non-negotiable.

"Why should men with good mental endowment, good physique, good lungs and sound in every part, marry poor, sickly, weak-minded, consumptive, scrofulous women, and bring into the world families of children doomed either to sink into premature graves or drag out a sickly, whining existence?"