(for the sake of simplicity I only talk about “girlfriends” and “wives” in this post, but everything also applies to “boyfriends” and “husbands” as well)

Many ESL speakers make the mistake of using the verb “make” with girlfriend or wife. English speakers do use the verb “make” when talking about platonic (not romantic) relationships:

It is important to make friends when you move to a new school.

It is difficult to make close friends.

However, we do not use the verb “make” when talking about romantic relationships:

I want to make a girlfriend. (WRONG!)

When will you make a wife? (WRONG!)

Instead, we use the verbs “find” and “get”. (“Find” is more common.)

I need to find a girlfriend.

Where can I find a wife?

It is easy to get a girlfriend, but hard to keep one.

It is hard for some divorced men to get new wives.

“Find” is also sometimes used when talking about platonic friendships.

If you are willing to meet people, you can always find new friends.