30 Day Challenge: Something You Feel Strongly About – Blind Dates Arranged By Friends

This is my second post in the modified 30 day challenge. My topic today is the horror of coupled friends who take it upon themselves to play matchmaker for everyone they know.

I’m sure most people my age have at least one friend like this.  You know the ones I mean. They finally get into a good relationship or get married (after a string of shitty relationships I might add) and so have suddenly become the experts on everything to do with love and relationships.

This could pass as cute if they restricted themselves to doling out unsolicited advice on everybody else’s love life but no, it never ends there. Usually, Cupid’s little helpers decide to take it upon themselves to pair off every last one of their friends. The little matter of whether said friends are interested in being paired up or not is seen as a small obstacle on the road to achieving their grand plans. Even worse is the haphazard screening process (by which I mean a totally random and inexplicable algorithm) they use in deciding who to set people up with.

Which is how you as the unsuspecting friend end up on the blind date from hell. The most annoying thing about these types of dates is that you are very limited in your reactions by the knowledge that this person is a friend of your friend so you know for sure that feedback on the date will reach your friend’s ears before you make it home that night. Therefore, you are duty bound to sit through it and act interested and at the very least, not bored out of your mind, even if in other circumstances you might have made your excuses and found a way to cut the experience short.

In case you think I’m exaggerating, I’ve had a version of this happen to me. I thought I was going to spend a nice evening with a friend and her beau whom I had just met only for me to find out on the way to dinner that an extra party had been invited. I still, for the life of me, cannot work out what they were thinking when they came up with this plan. The guy was a decent person on his own merits but trust me when I say I cannot imagine what they thought we’d have in common beyond both being single. It was almost insulting to say the least. The only saving grace was that we had company so there were other people to join in the convo. If it had been just us two, it would have been super awkward. That’s how much we didn’t fit.

I wish reading this would deter some of Cupid’s newly appointed helpers in their matchmaking fervour but I fear that my short piece is nothing compared to the fires of their enthusiasm. So I can only hope that it at least causes them to take a moment to think through their mission carefully. If you are a reader out there who’s still convinced that setting up your friends is the best idea since sliced bread, let me offer you a few pointers to make the experience less painful and embarrassing for everyone involved:

1. Try to limit your matchmaking to people who have expressed an interest in being set up or in each other. Don’t spring a surprise blind date on your friends. That is seriously not cool.

2. Try to match people that are at least superficially compatible. By this I mean, similar interests, personalities, hobbies etc. You can never know whether people who match well on paper will work out in person but that’s at least a good starting point. It’s not nice for your friends to be stuck on your date with not even topics of interest in common that could keep a good conversation going.

3. Don’t over promise on behalf of the people you’re setting up. Raising hopes unbelievably high can only lead to awkwardness and disappointment. An example would be leading someone to think that the girl/guy they’ll be meeting is very interested in getting married and having kids in the near future. If you don’t know your friend well enough to know whether this is an aspiration of theirs or not, that’s perhaps a good sign that you shouldn’t be doing this.

4. Don’t put pressure on people after they’ve gone on your date in an effort to move things forward. Seeing as they’re adults, they’re probably old enough to know if they like each other and want to take things to the next level. If they don’t, back out respectfully.

So that’s my piece said. Please remember that embarrassing your friends in a quest to find them love is a very good way to get them to start avoiding you.

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