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It happens to even the most cynical and the most skeptical of us. We meet someone who we think would be perfect . . . for one of our friends. The love bug takes a bite, and we want to play Cupid. Our matchmaker instinct is set off and tripping with the thought,  “You just have to meet a friend of mine.”

But there is an art to shooting Cupid’s arrow to ensure lovestruck stars and fireworks. There is such a thing as aim. So before you don those Cupid wings, here are some things to remember before you take flight.


1. MATCH FRIENDS WITH COMMON INTERESTS.

It may seem obvious, but sometimes logic gives way to the temptation to test the old axiom “opposites attract,” but a compassionate matchmaker will make sure the couple has something in common. The would-be couple will also thank you for being considerate enough to give them something to talk about. 


2. CONSIDER YOUR FRIENDS’ NEEDS.

This means two things: one, ask yourself if your friend really wants to be set up; and two, know the person’s objectives for dating.

For number one, is your friend ready to start dating, or is it just that you who thinks she should start playing the field again? Is she or he just coming out of a bad relationship? While you may have nothing but good intentions, dating right away may not be the answer to that kind of heart ailment.

The converse may also be true. Is your friend dead set on looking for a one-life-stand? If that’s the case, the least you can do is look for someone who also wants to settle down. Priscilla was set up with her colleague’s Fil-Am cousin who was in Manila on vacation. She nearly fell off her chair when, over dessert, he said, “I’m actually looking for a wife.”

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“Here was this young, intelligent, cute guy—perfect, right? But he was hoping to find a wife by the end of his three-week vacation. I wanted to run for the nearest exit. I wish my colleague had told me about his ‘requirement.’ I am so not ready for marriage, and I felt like I was wasting his much precious time,” says Priscilla.


3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Before you even say the words blind date out loud, do a background check on the network and affiliations of the potential date. Check if he or she is related to someone you know, someone’s ex, or worse—a distant relative of your friend.

Considering just how far some extended families go, it is better to be safe than awkward or, well, incestuous.


4. NO SETUPS WITHIN A 2-DEGREE RELATION.

Related to number 3, remember to apply the rule of not playing matchmaker for people within 2 degrees of consanguinity or affinity. This means you should not attempt to fix up an ex-whatever (ex-boyfriend, ex-fling, ex-crush) with a friend, no matter how much you think both of you have moved on. Do not attempt to fix up siblings or those who have a second degree relation to you.

As a matchmaker, have a duty to uphold the honor code of delicadeza which states that exes and siblings are not to be touched with a ten-foot pole.


5. BE CREATIVE.

Don’t confine yourself to traditional setups. The blind date or group date setups are not your only options as far as setups go. Check out speed dating events for yuppies organized by the Love Institute (call 436-4143) and offer to pay for your friend’s entrance fee.

And don’t be too quick to knock the online dating websites. Celine was recovering from the abrupt breakup of a long term relationship when her friends decided to share the membership fees and enroll her in e-Harmony, one of the biggest and most successful online dating sites in the United States. “I was skeptical, and only agreed to try out the site for the minimum three months. I met Bob during my last month, and now, after ten months, we’re engaged,” gushes Celine, who is now forever grateful to her friends.

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6.  DISCLOSE ALL PERTINENT INFORMATION.

Apart from the usual statistical information like age, educational background, and kind of work, consider that your friend has agreed to spend a considerable amount of time alone with a complete stranger mainly because of your endorsement. Don’t take that trust lightly.

Disclose all potential information that may be a show-stopper for your friend.  Does this person have a child from a previous relationship? Is this person recovering from substance abuse? It could even be as simple as your friend’s preference for not wanting to date a smoker or someone known to drink a lot. Disclose these details, then let your friend decide if he or she still wants to go out on the date. In short, don’t waste your friends’ time on people they wouldn’t really want to go out with anyway.


7. BOW OUT OF THE MATCH.

Once you’ve arranged the setup, detach yourself from the situation. Let the two grown-ups find out for themselves if they are compatible.

That way, you can keep your distance in case of fire . . . or sparks.


(Photo source: sxc.hu)

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