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The Dos and Don'ts of Matchmaking
Warning: do not play matchmaker with your friends.
Okay… now that I know you’re going to ignore that warning and do it anyway, let’s go over some things you should absolutely do, and some things you should certainly avoid, when hooking up your friends.
We all have great friends who we can’t understand why they’re single. He or she is attractive with a great personality—little to no baggage (never been married and no children) and yet, remains single. And then, you come across someone who you think would be perfect for your friend. What do you do? Let’s say you are good friends with both people. Do you run the risk of ruining your friendship with either friend? But, if you’re right about these two people making a great couple, it will be wonderful and worth the risk.
Even if you’re not a professional matchmaker, everyone is tempted to match friends whom they think would make great partners. I haven’t done it a lot, but there are times when I find it difficult to resist. I have also been on the other end of the matchmaking where a friend (who shall remain nameless) introduced me to a guy who turned into a stalker. Yikes! She’s still apologizing for that one. So, hooking people up is something you should use great discretion when attempting.
If you are a romantic, you’ll feel compelled to go for it. So, here are some “dos and don’ts” starting points to get you going.
Do seek to understand what motivates the two people individually.
What are their values and practices? This will help you see if the two are a good match for one another. Is one of them spiritual and the other, not so much? Is one of them motivated by material possessions and the other one couldn’t care less about acquiring things? These are just a few basic areas to be cognizant of. And if they do differ in certain areas, will this help or hinder the progression of a relationship?
Do be certain that your friends are available and interested in being in a relationship.
There are times when we’re in love and we want everyone around us to be in love too. Just because you think your friend(s) is lonely and looking for love, doesn’t mean that they really are. Be sure that they’re open to it especially before mentioning them to the other person.
Do consider basic lifestyles.
If your friend has young children, hooking him or her up with someone who has grown children, or no children, may not be a good fit. Know whether or not the hook up has a preference before you proceed. There are some men or women who love children even though they don’t have any of their own. You should know this in advance.
Don’t think just because they look like a good fit to you that they will be.
Whether physical and/or emotional chemistry happens between the two is not something you can predict. Matchmaking is as much about chemistry as any chance meeting of two people. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope the sparks fly.
Don’t put yourself in the place of one or both of the parties.
Your ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ are invariably different from others. Your personal deal breakers are not necessarily your friend’s deal breakers so that’s something to keep in mind when matchmaking. Maybe you would never date a smoker but your friend may not mind one.
Don’t force the relationship if it’s not working out.
No matter how perfect you think two people are for each other, there is a chance that it just doesn’t work out. That’s okay. Sometimes people are just meant to be friends. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with either of them, they’re just not right for each other.
Be prepared in the event that your two friends don’t make a love connection. And be prepared for a situation of unrequited love. When one has stronger feelings than the other, it’s always difficult, especially when you’re the matchmaker. Think through how you will handle things with each of your friends if this happens.
What do you do if things don’t work out with one friend but you have another one that may be a possible good match, too? My personal rule of thumb is to move forward with the other friend only if those two friends are not also friends. If they’re friends, then you run the risk of hurting the first friend’s feelings and that is a slippery slope you should try to avoid.
After all that, if you’re still brave enough to try matchmaking, good luck with it and God speed. Ultimately, avoid it if you can, but it is so worth the efforts when it works out.