So your friend’s single and you think you’ve found them the perfect match. We could all use a little nudge in the right direction sometimes… But nobody wants to push their besties beyond what they are ready for. Here’s how to set up your single friend without annoying them.
It’s hard sometimes to convince friends that they’d be great together and need to date. In such times, it’s up to a true friend like you to save the day. But getting involved in other people’s relationships is not a matter you should take lightly. So before you rush in to play cupid, there are a few things you need to consider.
Permission is important
So you’re in a great relationship and think it’s all the rage. It’s easy to get carried away in the game of trying to set your friend up but don’t forget what this is really about: their happiness. Perhaps they like being single at this moment. Maybe you’ve conveniently forgotten how great it is to sleep without someone snoring next to you or stealing your duvet. Either way, it’s best to ask if they need your help in the first place.
A great way to do this is to tell them about the person you have in mind and see if it sparks an interest. “I think you’d like Emily, she’s so sweet and loves comics” is all it takes sometimes.
Show them a photo
Even though sometimes looks don’t give a true sense of how beautiful or fun a person really is, there’s no harm in showing a nice photo if you have one. A nice photo of them hanging with their friends that you took from Facebook is a yes, a blurred photo that you secretly snapped while hiding behind a tree is a NO!
Trust me I’m a love doctor
If they tell you that they are not interested, and you can see that they want to remain single, then accept it and move on. It’s important not to criticise your friend for their lack of interest in dating or any problems you think they have. Setting them up on a date without telling them should also be avoided. Friendship is about honesty and trust. Don’t do anything that might embarrass your friend, it will make them mad at you and possibly ruin your friendship.
Picking the right partner
You’ve managed to convince your friend to allow you to help. But if being single is the only thing they have in common with the potential partner, you might have to do more research. Think about their sense of humour, interests and why you think they would hit it off. Maybe get to know the other person better first before you unleash them on your friend. What do you really know about them? You don’t have to look up their FBI files, but something like their star sign, their favourite music or film, whether they like cookies, something! I mean, sure they look cute, but you don’t want to set your friend up with the local axe-murder. Do you?
So now your friend’s on board, and you have a very promising (non axe wielding) potential partner. Hardest part over right? Wrong!
Setting up the date.
Getting your friend to approach their potential date can be an uphill process. Sometimes we build up irrational fears about rejection. But don’t despair, maybe all it takes is a little pep talk from a good friend (you) to realise that its not as bad as they think. What’s the worst that could happen? The other person saying no? Rejection is all part of the game, and you always live to see another “yes”. Surely the worst thing that an happen is to be the lonely old crazy cat person. Use humour, and lots of encouragement but…
If your friend is reluctant to make the approach, you should show understanding. Stick to gentle encouragement and avoid putting too much pressure. Encouraging someone to do a bungee jump is helpful. Pushing them off a cliff is annoying.
Your friend may not be the social butterfly that you are, so it’s important not to judge them or be disappointed in their efforts. Perhaps they have been hurt and need a little time for wounds to heal. Perhaps they have self-esteem issues. Whatever the reason, stick to gentle encouragement and don’t pressure. Encouraging someone to do a bungee jump is helpful. Pushing them off a cliff is annoying. Focus on building their confidence, making them know how highly you think of them and that you are always there if they need.
But if you can’t convince your friend to take the plunge, all hope is certainly not lost.
My friend fancies you
Of course, it’s usually better for the person to bite the bullet, show confidence and ask for the date themselves. But there are times when someone has such a fear of rejection that they might need a little help from their friends.
The old playground classic of telling the other that “my friend fancies you” still works in adulthood. Asking the potential love interest whether they might be open to a date with your friend could lift a lot of barriers and make things so much easier. But unlike when we were children, perhaps do it in a more subtle way and mention why they would like your friend. See if there is any interest, then go in for the kill.
So you’ve got your friends to agree to meet. Hard part over right? Wrong! The setting can be the difference between a dating disaster and the perfect union.
Choose the right place
If your friend hates bowling, then perhaps sending them to your local alley will result in all your efforts going down the gutter. Cinema dates sound like a good idea, but if your friend is gripped by the latest Star Wars release, they might forget all about the wonderful person sitting next to them. If you’re set on cinema, perhaps make sure that they start off with dinner, a few drinks at a bar or a coffee shop first.
The proven method of the double date! Moral support without the awkwardness of being alone with a total stranger. Bring your friends on a date together with you and your partner. Remember to be a good example of how great having a mate really can be, and have fun group conversations to keep things flowing. If both of them like travelling, perhaps bring up the fact that your friend has recently been abroad.
When they see you two lovebirds enjoying each others company and being affectionate, it might make them realise that romance is a good idea and help them go for it (you can always continue the argument about how your lover chews too loudly later when you get home).
If a double date is too intimate, why not plan a group day out with a few friends. Roller disco, picnic, house gathering, barbecue or there could be a birthday party coming up. The possibilities are endless! As long as they are in the same room, you can work your magic to make sure that they at least say “hello”.
Don’t meddle too much
You can take a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink. You’ve done your bit, so let nature take its course and whatever happens happens. Sometimes matchups just don’t work out, but you win or you learn as they say! Perhaps your friend learns what it is that they really want, or that they are not quite ready to meet someone just yet. Either way, at least they tried, and you will be there if they need some moral support or a good shoulder to cry on.
Avoid pushing your friend too much or showing disappointment when they tell you that things didn’t work out. Trying too hard to get them to talk to each other can also make things unnatural. There’s a fine line between being a good cupid or just an annoying flying baby thing that keeps throwing arrows at you.
Remember why you are doing this
Have your goal clearly in mind, you want happiness for your single friend. You know that they are great otherwise, they wouldn’t be friends with you, would they! Sometimes a love interest will take away your friends time and availability, so be ready for that, or perhaps there will be a lot of uncertainty in the feeling out process, where your friend will seek reassurance and more great ideas from you. Be ready for any scenario. And who knows? Perhaps your friend will be thanking you one day for finding them the one!