Although understandable, many players mistakenly think that the task of finding a spouse for their girl is something they have very little control over, trusting on the moderators to have a plan and wishing them to find the perfect eligible bachelor. Much patient waiting ensues, for the moderators are not actively making sure all ladies get married. Instead we respond to actions players take. So, miscommunication there! If you want to find a husband it is above all in your own hands to find one. This blog discusses some strategies you can use, including some pitfalls to avoid.
Before we begin the reminder that marriage is a dynastic concern (the gaining of heirs) as well as an economic treaty (the gaining of dowry or combining shared interests on both sides of the family). For women it is also a way to gain a measure of freedom, getting out from under fathers, brothers or other guardians watchful eyes, running one's own household and in time, after having given your husband an heir, perhaps even being allowed a lover. It is, in general, not a way to gain romance. If that is what you seek you'd be wise to adapt other strategies than the ones discussed here, though some might work. The majority of bachelors however are not going to fall in love and then marry you.
You can make an OOC search (the biographies of those unmarried or widowed come to mind), talk to people in chat etc. However why not take your search IC, putting them in your posts repeatedly? You can talk to matronly types or persuade others to give you suggestions. You can watch at Church and at Balls and inquire who well dressed so and so is. This will spread the word you are looking for a husband, are on the market so to speak. It will set wheels in motion.
Also at this stage, make a list of what are your assets. Skills? Connections? Dowry? Beauty? You want to spread the word on them, even before you have selected your prey. Think of yourself as a product that you are marketing. Create demand.
2. The Art of Meeting Men
Oh, that first step. Once you have made a selection of men you want to persue (and by all means you don't have to select just one, spread your chances), how will this man learn of your existance? Sure, you can ask a friend or familymember to introduce you (good thinking) but are there other ways?
Here are some tried and tested methods:
- Wear something stunning and remarkable to a public gathering that draws attention to your best features
- Call attention to some talent you have by a performance (singing, dancing, horseriding, poetry) and hope he will notice. Best practised in larger gatherings so you have more than one admirer.
- Flirt wordlessly. Make eyecontact over your fan for a few moments, then look away.
- Drop something as you pass your target, so he may retrieve it for you (handkerchief, fan)
- Literally bump into him.
- If he's shy: smile and simply open conversation, take initiative.
- Damsel in Distress: you have broken the heel of your slipper, are threatening to fall from the stairs, have lost your way and please sir could you help me?
- Be where he can usually be found (the courtyard, the stable, the library, the park), and have some excuse to show up there.
3. Beyond Introductions & the Discussing of Weather
Once you have met your potential husband it is time to get to know him better. Is he really a great choice or do you need to go shopping further? You also need to make sure he realizes what a great wife you'd make. Make him feel important and let him talk about himself. What are his likes, his political interests? Who is in his family? Is he interested in art, food, sports? What does he want out of life? Use it to show your expertise on the matter, introduce him to people that might help him further and entice him to invite you to an outing, or the next dance. Flirting helps and the sharing of kisses in the Restoration period was not thought too wicked, but be careful girls, guard your maidenhead. Be too easy and he'll sleep with you but never marry you. Only widows can afford such tactics. This phase entirely depends on your womanly wiles, your skills of seduction and temptation, without going all the way. Hold out for the bigger gain!
4. Clenching the deal
It is to the man to propose, sure, but you can introduce the topic and demand to be proven he is serious about you. Throw a temper tantrum or break down in tears if he keeps you in suspense for too long. Or if you have a father or brother, maybe even a friend of the family, let him inquire after the intentions of the gentleman. Underhanded tactic that works with gentlemen that value their honour but are weak in the flesh: let yourself be found in delicto flagrante (but be careful, this could backfire if you are caught or the gentlemen duels your brother but refuses to marry you).
Player Initiative and Opportunity in particular the paragraph on taking risks - translated this means that any marriage of more worth (a big reward) rests upon your own initiative and the risks you dare to take.
Goal Oriented Playing
Gender and Courtship