In her talk on “How to truly be sameach b’chelko” when finding your bashert, Esther Wein notes that our zivug (soulmate) is supposed to be predestined — that at the moment of conception, Hashem matches you up with your bashert, your destined mate, whose path you will cross at some point near the time you expect to get married.
But what happens if you are a convert to Judaism? Or if you somehow have no zivug? How do you find your life partner then? We all know people who are unmarried into their middle years who, when asked, say they are waiting to find their bashert, destined husband or wife. So there clearly is choice involved in the process.
Ramban says that marriage is not predetermined, that it is a choice — since it is a mitzvah to marry, it is impossible be predetermined, as Hashem does not predetermine a person doing any mitzvah.
Wein said that we have two zivugim. The first, at conception, is when Hashem matches your soul to your embryonic body. It is the second zivug that involves your choice in whom to marry and that can be many different people. You choose your mate based on your values, and your overriding question in that choice is: how do I make a kavod hashamayim out of this situation? —CW