Waiting dating marriage
That's not to say that physical attraction, "chemistry" and common interests play no role in choosing a potential spouse — of course they do.
But too often in our sexualized, romance-driven, self-focused society, those things play too large a role, often determining whether someone is pursued at all or the relationship moves forward to marriage.
Boundless has written a lot about women's responsibility to trust and wait on God, how does waiting on God apply to men?
It's a fair question, and the truth is there's not one absolute answer.
Still, I can offer a few principles that might be helpful.
And, as you wrote in your question, I will assume for these purposes that you generally desire marriage (that is, are not called to celibacy/singleness) and are in a position to marry should the right situation present itself.
I believe men should generally be the pursuers/initiators/leaders in dating relationships and in the pursuit of marriage.
The end goal of a dating relationship should be to evaluate whether marriage to that particular person is the right thing, and the Bible clearly calls men to be leaders within marriage (Ephesians -27), so why not begin the whole exercise growing into the role God has called us to as husbands?
You can check out Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3, Titus 2 and Proverbs 31, among other passages, for a good discussion of many of those characteristics.
Pray that you would desire (or grow to desire) and prioritize biblical characteristics in a wife.
Pray that God would present an opportunity and give you wisdom in pursuing it.
On the other hand, others are telling me that I need to be wary of making marriage an idol or trying to force it to happen and that I need to be patient and wait on God — that it may be too early since my last breakup and that I should let friendships develop naturally and see who God puts in my path.
The first feels like I would be pursuing marriage like I would look for employment and treat finding dates like finding job interviews. Where is the balance between a guy's responsibility to find and pursue, and the concept of waiting on God as a contented single?