There can be severe, catastrophic pitfalls if one marries prematurely before the sha'a tova umatzlachas (fortunate, ready, destined time). As Tehillim 127:1 says, "If G-d does not build a house, in vain have the builders toiled to build it." To bring some encouragement and insight, I'll bring some examples that can result from marriage before the destined, ready time. Often people (e.g. audience members, individuals in counseling, the lonely single dismayed by the wait for the "right one") feel bad at remaining unmarried.
One can make an erroneous or immature choice because appreciating and selecting your "basherte" may require more maturity or self-awareness than you have now. You may choose someone now who is lacking qualities or characteristics necessary for your ultimate destiny or life purpose, which only your true mate can achieve with you. You may not yet be the person who your basherte would want. Your basherte may not yet be the person you want.
Even if you both would choose each other already, if marriage comes before the destined and ready time, you might:
* destroy the relationship with the right person,
* take the right relationship and fail to go in your life's destined direction,
* fail to bring your marriage to its potential and to your life mission,
* fail to get from marriage what G-d deems you need from it. Perhaps you or your spouse do not yet know how to treat one another so as to be happy or to get along with each other. One or both may be headed for some direction change or growth which will later allow you to appreciate each other or share a common life together.
Can you say that you are adequately aware of yourself as a person or of your life's greater mission or of your faults as a human being, to know what in a partner will complete you, get along with you, be a lifelong ally and teammate with you? In what ways are you capable of hurting or neglecting another person? What faults in yourself do you still need to work on? What faults must a spouse be realistically capable of helping and supporting you with (such that you would be receptive and appreciative of the help and support - not defensive, closed up, resistant nor impenetrably self-justifying)?
You must differentiate faults into two basic categories. Category one consists of shortcomings that are part of being a human being. These don't cause actual harm of consequence. These lackings can actually define part of who your mate should be. Mates have to have strengths that allow each other to strengthen and complement each other, or at the very least to be able to tolerate each other compatibly. A big mistake in matchmaking is failure to be honest about each individual's faults. One must be able to live with the shortcomings and temperaments of the other. By pretending that no one has faults, matchmakers themselves can be destructive.
Category two consists of those faults which can hurt another human being. The Torah prohibits every form of damage, neglect and irresponsibility to another human being - in or out of marriage. This includes hurting feelings, dignity, reputation, health, property, business interests, body, etc. This includes intangible forms of damage such as wasting another's time, waking a person from sleep for a cause that the person wants less than the sleep, misleading, harassment and failure to actively take precautions to safeguard another person from coming to harm or loss. The obvious is certainly included (theft, physical violence, kidnap, murder, terrifying, pressuring, overcharging, etc.). The closer someone is to you, the more harm any given harmful act will cause, and the more that harm outweighs the good that one does to the rest of the public. The greater the level of damage is and THE
* MORE DEPENDENT OR
* MORE VULNERABLE
the victim is, the more Heaven holds against you your causing of
damage. THE MORE HARMFUL TO THE MORE HARMABLE, THE HARDER HEAVEN'S VIEW OF YOUR CAUSING OF DAMAGE.
The more that you can be harmful, neglectful or irresponsible, the further you are from being entrusted by Heaven with a spouse to be with you. A spouse must be "safe in your hands," as if to say that Heaven must be able to trust you to be good to and to be responsible to a mate.
Is there anything which you can discern that doesn't work about what attracts you or about the way you manage relationships? Are there ways you need to improve in how you get along with other people? Are you communicative, giving, thoughtful, respectful, reliable, adaptive, principled, capable of compromise? Are there ways in which you hurt, abuse, discount, disrespect, neglect or shortchange another person? Do you put fault or blame on others? Could you be experiencing hardships, rocky relationships or isolation which are the means by which G-d is bringing you closer to, or preparing you for, your zivug? Sometimes we can discern messages (or be prompted to study what the Torah has to say)? If you think hard, objectively and honestly, can you discover any patterns and/or messages?
The Talmud [Brachos 5] tells that Rav Huna, one of the sages, suffered a massive, agonizing financial loss. He was a wine wholesaler. 400 barrels of wine soured and became cheap vinegar. The rabbis told him to inspect his deeds. He rebuffed, "Do you suspect me of wrongdoing?" The rabbis replied to him, "Do you suspect G-d of wrongdoing?" He asked if anyone heard of anything against him. He was told that it was "going around" that Rav Huna failed to pay a financial obligation which he decided unilaterally was unjust but which the Torah required to be paid. When Rav Huna paid the financial obligation, the price of vinegar on the market went up to the price of wine and he recouped all his losses. Rav Huna had to receive a painful message from Heaven. He got the message. The thing in which one stumbles is the thing through which the repair comes [Brachos 40].
A basically sincere and nice woman was once speaking to me in my role as a matchmaker. She told me that Hashem had been giving her a hard time finding a nice man. Some of the guys she had gone out with were downright mean. I told her that Hashem's standards for how one must treat a spouse are high. Readiness to receive one's soulmate has to mean that one practices G-d's high standards consistently in the interpersonal sphere. She insisted that she was ready for marriage. In the conversation she mentioned that she can take weeks to return phone messages and that she unilaterally decides when a matter is small (so that she doesn't address it as another person wishes). I told her that courtesy to others, respecting another's feelings and being considerate of what is big to someone else is central to G-d's standards in an interpersonal relationship - and central to whether another person is capable of being happy with you. That could be why Hashem wasn't sending her mate to her. Maybe there were ways in which she hadn't been nice to others and Hashem was sending not-nice people into her life as a message. I told her that "small" things that are used to fulfill the will of G-d are opportunities for holiness. People who don't work hard and objectively on inner growth often do not see their own shortcomings, or the impact of their behavior on other people. It came out during that conversation that the woman realized that there were things in her practical life in which she would be thoughtless or inconsiderate to other people. She told me that she would work on it.