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Everything I Know About Dating, I Learned from the Wife of Bath’s Prologue

I don’t know a lot about dating—I know it involves holding hands, and making out, and heroically sacrificing yourself for the other person if the situation calls for it, but beyond that I’m coming up empty.

It’s for this reason, and this reason alone, that I am glad I had the Wife of Bath’s prologue foisted upon my person while I was in high school. Sure, it’s written in the incomprehensible gibberish otherwise known as Middle English—a language that didn’t even have the common courtesy to use the letter “j” yet—but hidden within all that gibberish was some wisdom of the ages RE: dating and relationships, such as…

1. Men are a dime a dozen.

2. All women are called Allison.

3. Old men make for boring lovers but are very easy to blackmail.

4. When somebody loves you, you should try to establish merciless and unyielding control over their finances.

5. Virgins are good, but having sex and making more virgins is also good.

6. Only prostitutes ride horses.

7. You can never have too many husbands.

8. You should definitely tell people about your sex life to win a storytelling contest.

9. The best quality in a potential spouse is “has lots of money.”

10. When someone treats you poorly, that’s how you know they’re a keeper.

11. It’s better to be in a relationship than to be on fire.

12. When your significant other dies, make sure you have another one lined up and ready to go.

13. Bonus points if you meet him at the funeral.

14. What a bunch of dead white guys did with their life should have no bearing on what you do with your life, particularly if what you’re doing with your life is HAVING TONS OF SEX.

15. But also? There’s nothing wrong with abstinence.

16. Don’t let anyone shame you for your sex life.

17. King Solomon himself had a sex life and there’s no reason we shouldn’t all have a good laugh about it.

18. Always misinterpret the Bible to make points.

19. There is no relationship problem that bribery and extortion cannot solve.

20. Owning goats is a very attractive quality in a person.

21. Words like “bacon” and “candle” make great euphemisms.

22. A wise man doesn’t worry about how successful others are, which means you can have sex with other people and your husband can’t be mad about it so long as you are also having sex with him.

23. It’s always good to describe your relationship with phrases like “tribulation…upon his flesh.”

24. Always throw your husband’s books into the fire.

25. No one has ever died of not having sex, but who wants to take that chance?

26. Openly advertise the fact that you’re on the hunt for your next husband. Suggest that there is never a moment where you are not on the hunt.

27. There’s nothing that brings people together quite like a good bawdy tale about pleasures of the flesh.

28. Do what you want. Like who even cares.

29. Life experience is the best teacher.

30. Men named Jankyn make the worst husbands, but also the best husbands, you know what I mean?