This article was submitted a by a friend of mine and it is so inspiring and informative that I had to share. Thank you Ressurected for your added insight.
First you must allow your Heavenly Father to do the picking. And second, the decision for a mate must be made on a spiritual and intellectual basis before it's made on an emotional one. 'What about love? Shouldn't that be the third? you ask. No, and I'll tell you why. 'The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9). The heart is willful and is driven by its own agenda. It does not consider things rationally and intelligently it just loves to love! Therefore you have to point it in the right direction: 'Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life' (Proverbs 4:23). Whenever you meet a man, you need to get clearance from God, check out his attributes, and then allow your heart to engage. Dating exists not for mating; it exists for collecting data. I believe that the biblical design would be friendship, courtship and then marriage. Friendship is two people walking together in agreement and accountability, learning and growing together. Courtship follows the mutual agreement to commit to one another exclusively - it is the decisive turning toward the agreed-upon goal of the marriage altar. It is a period of laying a foundation and preparing your life together after marriage. But dating? Well, if you do date, use the time wisely to gather these facts.
I find the prayer below deserving of reading...
Dear Heavenly Father, God I confess that I have not always been as careful as I should've been with my heart. From time to time, my desire for love has caused me to leave my heart in the wrong hands. I now commit my heart into Your hands for safekeeping. Please help me to stop being so impulsive with what you deem so precious. As I learn to celebrate Your love for me, let me learn from Your example what a bridegroom should really be like. Help me to never settle for less than what you desire for me. As I embrace You as the Lover of my soul, keep my affections in the haven of Your own heart. As I rest in Your love, make me more discriminating of those who approach me. I ask that You take over this area of my life.. Keep me from those You know would hurt my heart. I invite You to set a hedge around me and keep me from all who would draw me into unfruitful relationships until the day you present me to the mate that You have selected for me.. Grant me the discernment to recognize him as he recognizes me. Cleanse me from the temptation to typecast the men I meet according to what I see. Help me to trust in Your knowledge and lean not on my own understanding. I know that You know what is best for me; therefore I yield to Your choice. In Jesus Name. Amen.