We’ve all been there: You really want to set up two people you know, but you’re not sure how the whole matchmaking thing works (and it's not exactly like you can invite them over to play spin the bottle...).
So how can you do in a way that’s (a) not lame and (b) not going to scare both of them away? Dating expert Julie Spira, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online, says it’s all in the approach.
“Some people just have that amazing knack to be able to fix people up and get it right,” she says. “But most people don’t.”
Here’s where a lot of us go wrong: We set expectations way too high. Phrases like, “I met the perfect guy for you!” should never be used in a matchmaking situation, says Spira.
Why? Sometimes there’s just zero chemistry and your friends are left having to deal with that situation while trying to avoid hurting your feelings (since you were the one that thought they’d be so great together in the first place). And if it really wasn’t a good match, you’ve kind of lost your credibility with them when it comes to fix-ups.
The best way to approach a set-up, says Spira, is to manage expectations. Try something like “I met a guy who I think you’d like. Maybe you could be friends or maybe he’s the perfect guy for you. Would you be open to meeting him?”
“This way you don’t have your friend going into it thinking, ‘This could be it,’” says Spira. This also takes a more realistic approach than “I MET YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND!!!,” since there’s really no guarantee that they’ll hit it off.
"Phrases like, 'I met the perfect guy for you!' should never be used in a matchmaking situation."
But this approach has one more perk: If your friends go into it thinking they may just be meeting a new friend, that could actually happen. And then one might introduce the other to another friend, who could be a good fit.
The best way to get them in the same room together, says Spira, is to host a dinner party. It takes the pressure off of both of them and, if things get weird or they really don’t hit it off, there are other people around to talk to.
But if they do like each other (because, of course), they can move forward at their own pace after getting the awkward first date stuff out of the way in the comfort of friends.
As for getting the dirt after the fact, Spira says that’s totally okay—provided you make it clear you’re not going to dish to the other person.