Rules for playing matchmaker with your friends

At some point, you're probably going to be faced with the option of setting up your friends if you haven't already been in that situation. Playing matchmaker can be tricky. You want to help your friends get together without putting yourself in the middle. So what are some rules to follow so you increase the chances your plan will work out?

Don't set them up just because they're single

An acquaintance of mine used to try to set up her friends just because they were single even if she knew they wouldn't be a good match. That's like thinking two puzzle pieces are going to fit together just because they're puzzle pieces. When you're setting up your friends, make sure they're actually relatively compatible otherwise you're not only wasting your time, but theirs, and you're putting both their hearts on the line.

Consider the ramifications

Decide first if playing matchmaker is really worth it. You may have the best intentions, but if things go bad between the two, one or both of them could end up blaming you since you set them up in the first place. If you're willing to take the risk, go for it, otherwise you may want to take a less obvious approach to setting them up or skipping it altogether.

Don't get stuck in the middle

Should your two friends like each other and start dating, make sure you don't get stuck in the middle of any problems they have. The first time either of them come to you and start giving you an indication that they want you to choose sides in an argument, remove yourself from the situation even if you think one person was wrong over the other. Let them know you value their friendship too much to put yourselves in the awkward situation.

Don't ask, just do

My friends know better than to make it obvious that they're trying to set me up. I think it's way too much pressure for both of us and I prefer things to happen in a casual setting. If you want to set up two friends who feel the same way, play matchmaker in a group setting instead of doing it in an obvious way. Gather a group of friends together and let things play out naturally at a bar or dinner. If they're attracted to each other, they'll gravitate to each other.

Mention one to the other in casual conversation

Whatever route you choose to set up your friends, you may want to give them a bit of a heads up by casually mentioning it in conversation. For example, if you're out at the bar with one friend and you're planning on trying to set her up, say "I invited my friend John to join us. I think you'll like him." It gives her an idea of what you might be up to without all the added pressure.

Know what they're looking for

If one of your friends is asking you to set her up, make sure you know what she wants first. You may have an idea about the type of guys she goes for, but it doesn't hurt to ask just for confirmation. It's also important to find out her deal breakers you may be unaware of, such as smoking or guys with kids, that can eliminate a few potential options.

The most important part of playing matchmaker is to let things fall into place. Don't push anyone to get together. It may not happen right away, but that doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. If you believe two people would be great together, don't hesitate to initiate things! You never know what could come of it.

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