Is your heart weary of troll-punching, Dragonborn? Do you seek the emotional and inventory-lightening consolations of earthly kinship? You need to get laid, friend. But which of Skyrim's reported 62 potential snugglables should you bed?
Possibly the most eligible man in Skyrim. Belrand can be found at the Winking Skeever in Solitude, waiting for someone to rent out his sword arm. If you hire him (and you're wearing the all-important Amulet of Mara) he'll get down on bended knee and beg you to make it official.
Belrand is at his best in battle. His love of staffs and light armour make him the perfect ally for anybody who favours ranged weapons, whether bows or spells, and he heals up fast. On top of that, rumour has it that Belrand has an on-board glitch whereby magical staves that are given to him sometimes duplicate - helpful indeed if you're looking to make money or brandish double-handfuls of enchanted wood. Finally, Belrand is one of the NPCs that can join the Blades. Just in case you have a thing for a bloke in uniform.
Aela the Huntress
She might wear bizarre make-up, but Aela is an extremely useful spouse. Usually found hanging around with the Companions in Jorrvaskr, Whiterun. Aela takes an interest in you as soon as Kodlak appoints you leader of the Companions. Hope you don't mind sloppy seconds.
The best thing about Aela is her versatility. Besides holding her own in battle, she offers training in Archery up to level 75 (which you can get for free by trading back the gold afterwards). She can also give you work for the Companions killing monsters, and she'll share the profits from her shop. So if barmy blusher is your thing, and you don't mind skipping the sleeping bonuses associated with marriage (she's a werewolf, and thus, not much shop as a bedmate) then you'll struggle to do better than Aela. If you prefer the company of men, consider Farkas as an alternative partner.
She's a bit of a nightmare to woo, but once you've won her heart Brelyna makes a fantastic sidekick. A student in the college of Winterhold, Brelyna takes a shine to you once you've allowed her to perform magical experiments on you. The road to marital bliss isn't always carpeted with roses...
Brelyna is a powerful Mage, blitzing opponents with Destruction spells then conjuring Frost Atronachs to finish them off. On the downside, she can't take much damage, often running away from battle to heal herself. She's also a noisy type - flying balls of ice have a way of attracting attention - making her unsuitable as a partner for stealthy players.
A hunky black sheep of a Nord. Onmund also studies at Winterhold, and will offer his hand to whoever recovers his family's amulet from Enthir. He goes large on Destruction magic in combat, rarely using anything else, and is tougher than most mages - you can equip him with heavy armour to help him last a bit longer. If you do marry Onmund, don't rehouse him outside the College, as a bug in the game sometimes makes him unavailable as a follower.