Matchmaker, Matchmaker…

Welcome back from the turkey haze. My holiday involved bourbon-infused mashed sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows and two different types of apple pie. I hope you all were so lucky.

Matt and I stayed at his brother’s house, and, over a rousing game of Scrabble in which I was demolished, my sister-in-law and I played the usual catch up. When I inquired about one of her single friends, sis-in-law said, “She’s still looking. So if you know anyone…”

I don’t do set ups. I don’t outright refuse, but I avoid. There’s a lot of pressure in choosing who would make good mates.

The full weight of the responsibility hit me a few years ago. A friend who’d recently been set-up told me the girl he’d been matched with wasn’t hot enough. “Is that what they think of my looks?” my friend said of the set-uppers.

I learned that day that finding two people who’ll fall for each other isn’t the only goal of setting up friends. If you find someone who the other doesn’t deem “worthy,” you might find yourself the target of an inquisition.

“How could you think I’d like him? He was an ogre! Do you think I look like a troll?”

“She was a moron! Do you think I’m stupid too??”

No, thank you.

There’s also that fear that the set up will work out. At first. Until it doesn’t and you’re suddenly in the middle of a bad break up.  Again, I think I’ll pass.

I have heard plenty of successful set up stories, of course. In fact, the sister-in-law in question was set up with my brother-in-law by their mutual best friends. They’ve been married for 3.5 years.

The few friends I’ve tried to set up have been people I didn’t know very well. (None of my matchmaker attempts have taken. In fact, there’s never even been a second—or in some cases a first—date.) I know my close friends so well that it’s hard for me to think of someone who would complement their every quirk. It’s easier for a more objective party—Match.com, say, or The Millionaire Matchmaker—to come up with the perfect fit.

As I’ve conducted my search this year, I’ve fielded plenty of “know any single guys?” requests. My answer is always the same: “Only two.” It’s true. My rolodex is full of single women and has contains exactly two single men. And these two guys are best friends.

I told my sis-in-law that no, I didn’t know anyone to suggest for her friend. The only matches I can make are of the friendship or book variety. (In another life I must have been a librarian. For all the difficulty I have matching a woman with a man, I can always match a woman with a book.)

Do you avoid set ups like I do? Or do you love to play matchmaker? Have you been set up by a friend? Was it a match or a mess?

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Matchmaker, Matchmaker…

  1. I won’t set anyone up, either. Although now that’s kind of a moot issue, because I don’t know ANY single men. Not one. How did that happen?

  2. Two of my best friends married guys I introduced them to, but it wasn’t through the usual means of, “Oh yes, I know this one guy that would be PERRRRfect for you, you should go on a blind date,” variety.

    Instead, when I thought my girl friends might match well with guys I knew in other parts of my life, I simply suggested to the girl that she might like this guy. Then I made sure they met.

    For one, I took her to a party at his house, made the introduction then found another conversation. They’ve been married 5 years and have 3 kids.

    The other, I invited her out with a bunch of us when he was there. Got them chatting with each other, then made sure he got her number. They’ve been married 7 years.

    I think the key was that I didn’t set expectations of introducing my friends to The One, and instead casually mentioned she might like this guy.

    Not as easy when it’s your sis-in-law’s friend and perhaps a co-worker or hubby’s friend… Kinda hard to make it seem accidental. So I don’t blame you for avoiding the pressure!

  3. JB

    I have set up three couples. Two of the couples are happily married with kids. The other couple was on their way to marriage (had just signed a lease to move in together, looking at engagement rings) when it turned out he had lied about something major and it was a deal-breaker for her. But I feel like that is something I could not have foreseen. So even though there’s a break-up in there, I still say I have a perfect set-up track record. :o)

    That being said, I don’t set people up very often. And in all three of these cases, it wasn’t my best friends. I think that would be harder to deal with if the relationship didn’t turn out…I do like to set people up, to see them happy and falling in love. Especially if they have been looking for love for a long time and then this relationship kind of comes out of nowhere…

    That’s the story of my favorite set up. My sister’s best friend with my husband’s college roommate. Both very quirky, but quirky in similar ways. They were living in different states at the time. They became friends online, then met in person, then met each other’s families, then got engaged, then married all within the span of less than a year. It was awesome! And they are so happy, which of course I can’t take credit for. All I did was set them up online–after that, it was up to them to try to make it work, and it did/does!

    I guess, I sometimes just “get a feeling” that people would be good together and then I try to set them up. I won’t do it unless I have that feeling. Because you’re right, set-ups can be very messy…

  4. I would like to set up my sister, but because we are nine years apart, I don’t know any bachelors her age. I’m always on the lookout, but I don’t know how I would feel if I did set her up and it didn’t go very well.

  5. I won’t set anyone up. Well, perhaps I would, but no two parties ever seemed like a good fit. If I was confident in their tastes, then I think I’d consider it. I have told friends blatantly that I would not hook them up with a friend. That’s been awkward. The conversation went like this, “Well, you cheat on girls so I’m not setting you up with my awesome friend. Sorry.”

    I’ve been set up once and it was a success. And oddly enough, it was one of my college professors who organized the match. (It was after I was his student, but I was still an undergrad.) It didn’t work out because the guy was moving away, but it was nice having a friend in common to work conversation off of.

  6. Rema

    I’m pretty sure I asked you if you knew any single guys for me and now your I totally get your reaction! haha! jk.

    I would set people up in more of a casual setting, like inviting the people i think may hit it off to the same bar to meet up with me for a drink and have it be a group thing. That way there is no pressure and if they hit it off… great. If not, at least my friends get to make new friends.

  7. Jean

    I met my husband through a mutual friend. Actually, the aforementioned friend had tried to set us up in 2005, but Chris and I both said that we weren’t interested. In 2007, our friend tried again, and at that time we did end up connecting through email and talking on the phone. (We lived in different cities at the time, about an hour apart.) I guess it really is all about timing. It was also a really casual set-up, no expectations, and we communicated online for a while too. Our friend isn’t even smug about his matchmaking success. He never said, “I told you so.” But he totally deserves all the credit.

  8. Natalie

    I encouraged a girl friend to get involved as a volunteer where I knew she might like a guy friend of mine who was already volunteering with the organization. She did go to see what she could do to help and of course met my other friend. A month later they started dating. I hope it works out. It’s been 7 months since they have known each other (6 dating months).

    I want to match people all the time that I think would be at least be really good friends, maybe fall in love too. But I don’t force the issue of people meeting because I don’t want to be to blame for introducing people if something goes wrong and a relationship ends badly.

  9. Pingback: Your BFF’s Ticket to Romance? You. | MWF Seeking BFF

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