Don’t you hate it when the male and female lead of a drama keep missing each other by a hair’s breadth? You know they are perfect for each other but the show makes you sit three episodes in before they discover each other’s existence by some twist of fate. Don’t you wish you could have jumped in at episode one, smashed their heads together and screamed, “You are made for each other!”?
The good news is, in real life, there’s no need to wait around and rely on fate when you spot potential lovers who don’t know each other yet. The bad news is, it’s still not acceptable to smash people’s heads together. Here’s how the more civilized of us make it happen.
Know what your friends are looking for
Before you jump in because YOU think it’s a good idea, consider what your friend is on the lookout for first. The easiest way is to have an honest conversation about the type of person they are looking for and what they want in a relationship.
Beyond just ideal ‘types’, it is just as, if not more important to find out what are your friends’ dealbreakers. It differs from people to people. For some, it’s height while others would never date smokers. It’s unlikely that you have a match that checks every single description on the wishlist but as long as there are no dealbreakers, it might be worth a shot.
Next, you want to consider if they would be a good match in terms of beliefs, lifestyle and personality. It will naturally be easier to jumpstart a relationship when your friends already begin on the same page. But don’t get too hung up over this as William Doherty, a professor and program director for marriage and family therapy at the University of Minnesota puts it, “Compatibility is overrated.”
Don’t go all cupid on your friends just because they’d be a good ‘match’. Spend some time understanding what they want in a relationship first. No matter how good you think they look together, it would never work if one is looking for a fling while the other wants to settle down.
Setting up the ‘get-together’
The ‘get-together’ isn’t a date. Not in the strictest sense. It’s more like a social warm up. It’s where your potential soulmates meet for the first time in with your company (and other mutual friends if there are any). You don’t want to throw two friends who don’t know each other in the same room and leave it to fate. The get-together warms them up and lets their relationship kindle until sparks are ready to fly.
Inform your match-makee beforehand your intention of introducing a potential partner at the get-together so they’ll know what to expect and be ready to impress. But never frame it as a date.
The get-together can happen in two phases:
Phase 1: Warm Up
The goal of the warm-up is to remove any social tension your friends might have while introducing them to each other. You don’t want anything that suggests it’s a date or a ‘match-making’ session so candlelit settings or anything that has the notion of love is off the table.
Start somewhere simple like a cafe or a restaurant. If you know any mutual interest between your friends, you can use that to spark conversations. Otherwise, expect yourself to be the mutual ‘thing’ to be talked about.
Phase 2: Turning Up the Heat
Phase 2 is basically the activity after your initial meal. By now ideally, you would have dissolved any awkward tension and your friends should be acquainted. The goal of Phase 2 is to create opportunities for your friends to have more personal moments together.
When planning what to do for Phase 2, consider where your potential lovebirds would shine best or are most comfortable in. Here are a few Phase 2 locations to get you started:
If you know they love to sing and have similar taste in music, this is a no-brainer! Also, it gives them a good opportunity to connect personally when others are hogging the mic.
For foodies, a great after meal spot is to go straight for…more food! Ask one of your friends for directions to their favourite sweets in town and let them take the lead from there.
To get everyone in a more relaxed atmosphere, a little social lubricant goes a long way! It’s an added bonus if your friend is a wine or craft beer connoisseur and can make personal recommendations.
Any game-type activity like going to the arcade, playing pool or even bowling can be a great way to cap off the night. Having an active activity like that takes the pressure off your friends and allows them to get familiar naturally.
If your get-together went smoothly and your friends are keen to move things along, they should be able to take it from there. However, if nothing happens, there is no need to force your friends on another five ‘get-togethers’ until they become lovers.
It might seem like a lot of trouble and consideration, just to meddle with someone else’s love life. However, the only thing better than having two of your friends end up happily ever together is the satisfaction of knowing that you are the one who made it happen.
If you have any other methods or tips that worked in bringing your friends together, let us know and we’ll share it with everyone else! If you are curious about anything adulting and we haven’t covered it yet, write in to firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest a topic too!