Although there are still some societies that practice polygamy, it seems that the thrust of history is towards monogamy. Especially in more westernized societies the majority of the population seeks stable relationships with only one special person with at least the initial desire that the connection last a lifetime. This mysterious drive for connection is accomplished in a variety of ways, usually highly influenced by culture. Are different cultures so different, really, in the way they go about finding that perfect someone? Let’s take a look.
Rabbi Tully Bryks discusses the issue of “How to find a soul mate?” on his “Ask the Rabbi” website. According to Jewish law, Rabbi Tully explains, if a Jew is committed to following the law, or halacha, his choices of potential mates dwindles down to only 1% of the population, “significantly increasing the chances of finding your soul mate.” Rabbi Tully adds that avoiding intimacy before marriage actually lowers the divorce rate by half, as well as reducing the number of affairs. Using a matchmaker can also be helpful, and the way couples use the services of a matchmaker, or ‘shadchan’ is often misunderstood. According to Jewish law the couple is required to meet and be attracted to each other. If not, the match is wrong. Couples should also be sure that their values are compatible. Thus, according to Rabbi Bryks, the matchmaking system can have many advantages over the secular system of finding spouses, which is often left completely up to chance.
Devin Rose is a Catholic writer and lay-apologist, according to his own blog “St. Joseph’s Vanguard“. In his essay entitled “How to Find Your Wife in Five Difficult Steps” Rose sets out a worthwhile approach to finding the perfect spouse. The advice is not necessarily a step-by-step guide, but more of a compilation of several strategies one can use to find one’s life partner. The first step is to go up to someone who has caught your eye after mass, and introduce yourself. This is a perfect way to find someone as serious as you are about your religion. After a brief chat, if it seems the right thing to do, ask the person to spend some time with you informally. Maybe going out to lunch, or for a walk. Next step, tell everyone you know that you are interested in meeting people with the intention of hopefully getting married. People who know you can perhaps judge who would or would not be compatible with you. Next, join a young adult group. This is another way to find like-minded people in a casual setting. If meeting people in this way is not working fast enough for you, you can try online dating. Although the odds may be small that you will meet your future spouse this way, the other chance ways of meeting are equally unlikely. Taking all these steps simultaneously, however, almost can guarantee that you WILL meet someone, somehow, at some time. Devon Rose sums up with his fifth strategy for meeting your spouse: be creative!
Raghad Ebied is a Muslim woman with training to help other Muslim women find their life partners. Ebied is a P.I.C.K. a Partner Instructor, (Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge.) She opens her blog with the discussion of finding a husband with the following statement:
“Many people will spend months and sometimes even years preparing for a wedding that will last for a few hours, not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars invested as well. But how many people actually prepare for marriage itself, which could last a lifetime, by ensuring they have selected the most suitable partner, based on the criteria set out by the Quran and Sunnah and the advice of experts in the field of forming healthy relationships that lead to successful marriages?”
According to Ebied, the key is to really get to know the potential spouse. As she puts it, “one must learn to follow their heart without losing their mind.” It is crucial to understand and learn the predictors of a happy marriage, developing a ‘roadmap’ to follow to attain the goals. Utilizing guidance from the Quran and Sunnah and the advice of relationship experts about compatibility and maintaining a healthy relationship, Ebied instructs women on how to find a suitable spouse for a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment.