I am aware that there are numerous singles who are essentially healthy, functional, good-natured and mature, and they have difficulty finding a mate. For every individual who is single, regardless of how complete or deficient his or her personality is, one of the key frustrations in remaining single is the question, "why not yet?" The single continues by saying, "I'm old enough." Of course, when G-d deems it to be the ready time, He will make it happen.
There is no such thing as coincidence. The closest Hebrew word to coincidence is mikreh (event, happening). It is related (by common shoresh, grammatical root) to koreh (the verb to "call"). When an event happens, it is because G-d called it, or brought it into being. There is no happenstance. Everything is supervised by G-d.
Rebitzen Tzipora Heller is a well-known teacher and matchmaker in Jerusalem. At a speech made in Manhattan in '90 she offered a brilliant answer to the painful question. The longer you are as yet unmarried, G-d is bringing you and your mate to a higher level of spirituality and readiness for what your unique marriage is supposed to be.
Say, 2 or 5 years ago you would have gotten married. You've changed since 2 or 5 years ago. Think: how different were you? Who would you then have married? How differently would it have started at that time? Where would a marriage that would have started then have gone (or, not gone)? What appreciations or maturing have occurred in you since 2 or 5 years ago? What maturing, refining, clarifying, direction changing might still be coming to you in the NEXT few years - that would enable you to choose and be married to the person who G-d created to be the other half of your being? You will find your zivug at the time when you and your zivug BOTH are at the time and place when and where it is supposed to happen; when you both will be able to appreciate, choose and keep each other. Then - and not before - can be the shaa tova umutzlachas (good and fortunate time).
Let me add some questions of my own. If you would have married in the past, would you be divorced, unfulfilled or unhappy today? What impact would having a baby from such a marriage have on your life today - and how ready or responsible a parent would you then have been? Project how you still may be changing, or in need of changing. What forms of judgement, values, priorities, goals, attitudes, emotions, midos (character traits), relating skills, capacities for giving or communicating, life direction, ideals, self-control, religious observance, or practical responsibility may still be forming, clarifying or maturing? How may you still be developing? What may become different about what you like, want, respect, appreciate or get attracted to in a person? What stands to be accomplished with your life if your choice is more considered, mature, clear, self-aware, objective, honest and reasoned than it would be today?
Rebitzen Heller asks that the single think into how you've changed in the past and how it could suggest to you how you still stand to change for the better. The same way you changed in the last 2 or 5 years, in what as-yet-unknown-ways might you continue to change, grow, increase clarity or maturity over the next 1, 2 or 5 years?
Rebitzen Heller insightfully points out that the right partner answers the question, "who am I?" You have a pre-ordained life mission and you are half of the team designed by G-d to achieve your unique individual mission, role, potential. Who is the other half of your pre-destined team, purpose? Truly? Objectively?
Let me add that you must clearly know yourself enough before you can elect a spouse who genuinely completes, understands, complements, and gets along with you. Since ongoing, mutual giving is the foundation of long-run relating, what person and I can give to the other what we each need? With whom can I develop our potential and the relationship that's supposed to be?
Let's take a step beyond this, using the midrash cited before about Rachel. Although chesed (lovingkindness) and a giving orientation that drives active and ongoing performance of chesed is key to readiness for marriage, chesed alone is not enough. Remember the power that is added when chesed is in combination together with rachamim (mercy, compassion, deep emotional sensitivity for another's feelings and situation) that contributes to readiness for, and meriting of, marriage.
Remember Rachel's chesed in combination with rachamim created the merit that will bring the Jewish people's redemption from exile (see the previous two week's magazines in the Archives). The midrash tells how the three forefathers all prayed for redemption of their descendants from exile and G-d said "No" to each of them. Avraham said to G-d, "I was prepared to sacrifice my only son for You." Yitzchok said, "I WAS the sacrifice." Yakov said, "I raised the twelve tribes so that there would be Your chosen people." The forefathers couldn't evoke redemption. Rachel did. Alone. Because Rachel combined chesed (active lovingkindness) with rachamim (compassionate mercy), in the act of saving Leah's feelings, she merited the combination of chesed and rachamim from Hashem.
This has powerful implications for earning the merit to prevail upon G-d to bring one his/her mate - which is a form of redemption - from the jail of solitude. Assimilating the "package" of ongoing chesed in combination with rachamim makes you a better "mate investment."
Remember, G-d keeps in mind how you would treat HIS CREATION were He to give a mate to you. G-d requires that you treat every Jew with love and respect - and your mate all the moreso. Obtaining one's mate (or any form of salvation or redemption) is asking for G-d to give one the combination of chesed together with rachamim. To deserve this "package" from him, we have to practice this "package" towards other Jews. We learn from the midrash about Rachel that one who practices this "package" can merit to evoke it from G-d mida kinegged mida (measure for measure).
This package consists of kind, compassionate deeds; rich in sensitive feeling, in responsiveness and emotional connection to the other person, and in extension of self on behalf of your beneficiary. Deeds have to be directed specifically, continually and fully towards the feelings, needs, dignity, well-being, happiness and the real situation of every other person. Each deed has to be delivered with wholehearted and deep caring. Such a person is one whom your soulmate would run to find. Are you a "candidate" who is suited to be "elected?" Why might your soulmate, today, not be interested in running to find you? What could get you to where, tomorrow, wild horses wouldn't hold your soulmate back from landing a chupa date with you? Especially if he or she could be secure that you are happy to treat people like they are royalty.