Do you have that single friend who is always complaining about wanting to meet someone? Are you in a relationship and tired of all your single friends having carefree fun? Either way, there’s an easy fix. All you have to do is set your friend up with another friend, and then when they eventually get married (because you’re a modern-day matchmaker), you get first dibs on being the best man/maid of honor. Successfully setting your friends up isn’t easy, however. You have to do it right if you want to get the best results (friends that don’t hate you). Here are some tips.
Be realistic about your friends’ attractiveness.
Look, I know they’re your friends and you love them. And I’m sure they’re all amazing, and “a beautiful soul,” but none of that shit matters at first glance. You need to objectify your friends’ physical attractiveness in a numerical scale, and then only match up people within a few points of each other. Girls, I’m talking to you. I know all your friends are “just the cutest,” and “sooo pretty,” but let’s be real. You know where they stand compared to the rest of humanity. Put your feelings away, and match accordingly. Telling a soft six to ask out your friend that’s a hard nine is just going to end in an awkward rejection that neither party wants.
Don’t set people up just because they’re both single.
It may have been a long time ago for some of you, but I bet you still remember how awkward dates can be when both parties have nothing in common. Don’t force that shit on your friends. Being a matchmaker is a serious business, and you’ll lose all credibility if you set people up that clearly won’t work. Ask your friends what kind of people they’re into and set them up with similar people. There’s no shame in telling someone “sorry, I don’t know anyone you’d like,” but there is shame in setting up your buddy that likes adventurous world travelers with a girl who has never left her home state and has dinner with her parents every Sunday.
If possible, set up a low-pressure meeting.
Being set up holds a lot of pressure. Not only do your friends have all the stress of meeting someone new and hoping to hit it off, they also know that you’re invested in their meeting. That third person’s expectation is pretty awkward for them, especially if you’re hovering over them making sure everything’s going well. The best way to let people meet organically is to talk both of them up to each other, and then host an event where they’re both in attendance. A party, a pregame, a beach trip, it doesn’t matter. Introduce the people you’re setting up and walk away and let them mesh (or not) in a natural setting. There’s no need to plan a blind date between two people who have no idea if they’ll get along, and it’s just setting everyone up for awkward failure.
Don’t be a helicopter parent.
Do you remember how uncomfortable it was being around your parents and your crush in middle school? Especially when your parents knew you liked each other? For the love of god, don’t do that. Don’t walk up to your friends and ask, “How are you guys getting alooong?” with that obnoxious all-knowing mom smile on your face. Don’t text your buddy, “You gonna make a move tonight or what?” and then wink at him from across the bar when he checks his phone. Not only are you being the worst, you’re actively hurting your friends’ chances of finding love (or at least, you know, sex). If they are truly your friends, you should trust their ability to not be a weirdo and be able to talk to someone on their own.
Create a common bond.
About 60% of first dates are literally spent just quizzing each other on interests, hobbies, and parts of each other’s lives in an attempt to find a common bond you can both enjoy talking about. You have the power to cut through at least some of that by sparking a conversation you know both parties are into. These are your friends, you should know what they like and don’t like. Something simple, like “Hey Mark, this is my coworker Jess, she actually just got back from a trip to Madrid where you did your study abroad!” is all you need. Hit them with that, make an excuse, and walk away.
If they’re hitting it off, be cool.
Congratulations! Two of your friends who you thought would enjoy each other’s company seem to be doing just that. Your work is done. No, hey- I said your work is done. Don’t go over there! You’ve already made the sale, don’t keep sell- “Aw look at you two lovebirds! You guys are so cute. I was just thinking; the four of us should do a double date soon! Or maybe a weekend getaway, we were thinking of renting a cabin on the lake next month! Wouldn’t that be amazing?”
Aaaand you ruined it. You had the ball on the one-yard line, and for some reason decided to have your 5’9” QB pass it instead of giving it to your star running back. Horrible decision. I know it’s been a long time since you were single, but commitment, especially when it’s way to soon, is terrifying. It’s hard to remember now that you and your partner drop L-bombs on each other every third minute, but think about how freaked out you’d be if he or she said that on your first date. Remember that just because your friends are hitting it off doesn’t guarantee anything, and they’re still way far away from a relationship. Keep your distance, and let things progress or fail on their own.
Being a matchmaker is all about those stats, baby. Print out this column, tape it onto the wall of your cubicle, and keep that success rate high. Also don’t set up friends who don’t ask for it, because they’ll stop being your friends. .
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