Some friends of mine decided that their friend, Katie, was "perfect" for me. They launched a campaign to get us together. The tagline was:
"We have someone for you. She's just like you." This wasn't the best selling point, considering I'm often annoyed at myself. Nevertheless, the next few weeks were full of emails and requests for me to come out and meet Katie.
I finally got the chance to do so and, as soon as I arrived, my friends got up in my face and pressured me to make an approach. No doubt they had given Katie a "pre-game speech" about how we'd hit it off. Meanwhile, some guy was relentlessly hitting on Katie anyway. The whole situation felt weird and I avoided making a move for a while.
Then my friend, getting drunker and drunker, pulled me aside angrily:
"What's wrong with you? Be a man. Go talk to her. Are you a man?"
I didn't know that alcohol turned my friend in to Lady Macbeth. Eventually, I lost all interest in Katie because of the pressure, and the "forcing" of the whole thing. The guy hitting on Katie became my excuse for not trying, and I rooted for him whole-heartedly to take Katie home.
I finally had a pleasant conversation with Katie outside the bar at the end of the night. But, it was too little too late. The awkwardness hit its pinnacle when I said goodbye to Katie and gave her a clumsy hug/handshake/kiss on the cheek hybrid thing.
In my opinion, my friends went about the fix-up incorrectly. Four couples have met through me: two of the couples are now living together, one is married with two babies, and the other just broke up after years of dating. So, I consider myself somewhat of a "fixer-upper". Keeping these tips in mind helped me do it:
Don't Assume - Do you really think you know what's better for your friends than they do? Scale back your approach and say you have someone your friend might find interesting. Don't say you have the "perfect person" for them. Take it slow. If they are "perfect" for each other, they will hit it off whether you tell them you think they are perfect for each other or not.
Don't Force Chemistry - Chemistry is one of nature's miracles for falling in love. You can't just "play God" and will two people together. It's up to them, not you.
Don't Coach, Unless You're Asked To - Sometimes I like a girl telling me how to win her friend's heart. But only help me out if I ask-that means I'm interested.
Keep The Meetings Natural - Try not to headline events as "this is where you'll meet my friend, and we'll see if you two can hit it off". Keep it subtle when inviting people out to meet one another.
Don't Apply Pressure - If your friend is one of the few single ones in your group, they are most likely putting pressure on themselves anyway. As soon as you tell your friend that you "have someone for them" there is pressure added to the situation: they don't want to let you down.
Keep It A Secret - None of the couples that met through me knew about one another before they met. I just took friends along to events, or invited a lot of different friends to gatherings. This may be the most important aspect of the setup: sometimes it's better to set people up without actually telling them.
What techniques have you used to set up friends? Has anyone set you up before? What has worked, and what hasn't? Do you agree with my "secret set up" technique, or do you think it's unfair to hide your intentions? Do you think that I reacted strangely to my friends trying to set me up?