Eli'ezer chose Ribqah Immenu, 'a"h, to be the wife of Yis-haq Abinu (Isaac), 'a"h, because she was kind. Her whole being was that of kindness and that is why he chose her to be the wife for his master’s son. This was, in fact, an arranged marriage. There was a time when arranged marriages were the norm.
Today, there are also Jewish communities which have prearranged marriages. The parents of the boy meet the parents of the girl and they decide, based on certain factors, whether or not their children are suited to each other. The young couple themselves, sometimes only meet once briefly, and the decision is made. What is interesting is that their marriages are no less successful than the ones of those who date for a substantially longer period.
What does the Torah tell us about Yis-haq Abinu, 'a"h? We are told that he brought her to his mother’s tent, he took her as a wife, and then he loved her (וַיֶּֽאֱהָבֶהָ). As a matter of fact, if you speak to people who are married you will hear from them that real love in the relationship comes after the wedding. In the movies they first fall madly in love and then they get married. What really happens, however, is that we grow in love...our love grows. You marry someone because you feel that he is a person who has certain characteristics that are important to you and then you work on the marriage. You each give of yourselves and learn how to act in time of conflict and how to bring peace to the home.
When choosing your soulmate, you shouldn't feel that you dislike the other person or are unhappy in their presence, but neither should you expect that you can't sleep at night thinking of him and think of nothing else the whole day. That is what they show you in the movies and does not exist. If you feel some repulsion towards, or rejection by the other person, or don't feel comfortable, that is a sign that it is not for you, but if he has certain qualities that are important for you and you feel pleasant and comfortable in his presence, and are at ease discussing certain feelings, then these are good signs. You should feel like you can be yourself and don't have to act.
Don't look too deeply into the weight of the person and whether he is losing some hair. As long as there are no negative feelings, but there is an overall pleasant feeling between the two of you, and you feel that he has some basic qualities that you are looking for, don't look for more than that. That is not to say that there should not be some basic expectations. Neatness and cleanliness, for instance, do make a statement about the person. But don't fall into the trap of "attraction and chemistry". Chemistry can often happen between people who are not suitable for each other.
(To be continued)
Shiduch, Besheret, Basheret, chachamim, mitzvah, Shiduch