This and this reminded me of my four year search for a wife.
For men that are serious about finding a wife, the situation on the ground is complex. There are things you can do to make your way through these landmines. CH's advice is sound, but the key is the attitude. The single greatest thing you can do is realize you are doing the interviewing, not the other way around. It's very similar to going into a job interview. If you have the attitude that you are interviewing the potential employer about whether or not you want to work for them, the interview will go better. Not only that, but you will be much happier long term if you are making sure they meet your standards. I'm speaking here of both employers and potential wives.
A couple of things I would add:
“Are you a player?” I replied with, "I don't lie to anyone. They choose what they do with the truth." The important part here is that you don't lie. You must be honest about your intentions. I let potential mates know that I was looking for a serious relationship and they had two weeks to prove they were worth it to me. The last point didn't always happen immediately. It absolutely happened by the third day. This was before texting.
“I have a boyfriend.”This one is too easy. "It's not serious." Works every time. If it is serious, they go away. If it isn't, they engage. You follow up the statement while looking around for other prospects.
Many of the examples CH has should never happen if your attitude is being the employer vs. employee. If you don't have the confidence to think that way, then you need to fix your issues. I will grant that the exact words can vary according to existing pop culture. However, the basic principle is that you, as the man, must be in charge mentally. You are doing the interviewing. Women younger than you are going to be more likely good long term prospects. The half your age plus seven years is a good measurement.
Finding a spouse is an on-purpose activity. You are deciding with whom you will raise children and spend the rest of your life. I see men spending more time and effort on what type of phone to get than defining the characteristics of the wife they want. The characteristics you want are a separate issue, however you need to have a game plan about what you want out of a wife. To think your spouse will magically be dropped in your lap is ridiculous. You are living in the Disney-happily-ever-after mentality. This is the biggest decision you will make in your life. Consult those you respect. Develop a plan.
Remember, you da man.