Here’s a new one.
Yesterday I met a woman who told me she uses an incentive program as a way to meet men. Not just anyone is allowed into the program, but the friends who are invited are presented with these guidelines: Introduce me to the man I marry, or even a man I stick with for for the long-term (anything more than a year), and I’ll reward you with two round-trip first class tickets to Hawaii.
I can’t remember if hotel was included, though I don’t think it was.
This is fascinating to me. And of course my first thought was, would this have worked for friendship?
It’s unconventional, sure. But since we met, I’ve been wracking my brain for her perfect man.
Hey, I’ve never been to Hawaii.
I’m sure there are many arguments against this means of meeting your mate. Perhaps it feels to business-like and transactional. Perhaps you think romance should be more “locking eyes across the crowded room” than “I’ll provide you one Mr. Right for one first-class airfare.” But how is it any different than hiring a matchmaker? And it’s better, because you only have to pay if the match is successful. And the person you’re rewarding is a friend. And the matchmakers are people who really know you.
I’m not pro or con, really. I just think it’s intriguing. As someone who so deliberately looked for friends, I certainly believe in using whatever means necessary to find the right person for you. The whole “it just happens” thing doesn’t work for everyone. So, I guess I am pro, after all.
That said, I don’t think this could work for friendship. Mainly because there is no way to tell who is The One. If you meet a man and get married, that’s a pretty definite way of saying, “ok, this one stuck.” There is no BFF ceremony. (Though, omg, how fantastic would that be? I picture two ladies exchanging friendship bracelets with the Friends theme song playing in the background. Perhaps this would take place in front of a jungle gym like the “weddings” at elementary school recess.) And you can have more than one BFF. Or you could think someone is your BFF and it turns out that she doesn’t feel the same way. It’s not as cut and dry as romance. You could end up having to send a lot of women to Hawaii when you find yourself surrounded with new lifers.
The best way I could think to start a BFF incentive program is to say to a long-distance pals, “set me up with a new BFF and I’ll fly you out here to hang out with us!”
Presumptuous? Maybe. But more friend time for you! Or maybe there’s an exchange program here. Like, you reach out to your single guy friends and say “I’ll look out for girls for you, and you look out for girls for me.” Actually, that seems like a smart idea. Perhaps I should have tried that.
What do you think about relationship incentive programs? Is there one that might actually work for friendship? Do you think the incentive this woman is offering for her mate is totally nuts or just good business? And what would the BFF ceremony look like?!?!
Anyone out there near Lansing, Michigan? I’ll be reading/answering questions/signing copies of MWF Seeking BFF at Schuler Books & Music (Eastwood) this Thursday, 1/26 at 7 pm. I would absolutely love to see you there!