If I do say so myself, I'm a fantastic yenta.
It all started my sophomore year of high school, when I broke up with my first boyfriend only to promptly suggest (in the very same phone call) that he might like my "little sister" — the cute freshman I'd been assigned to mentor for that year. They dated until she went off to college. My next meaningful success came when I introduced one of my co-workers at the other women's mag I worked at to one of my best friends from college, which led to a yearlong relationship. When I was quitting that magazine, I introduced my favorite co-worker to another good buddy from my undergrad days — and they spent two solid years together.
They are also plenty of set-ups that go nowhere — but I realize that I have to make many attempts before things will stick, and I'm fine with that.
So, in the last two weeks, I've set up a million people: After meeting one guy at a party, I connected a very impressive guy who used to work for Obama with a gorgeous woman I met after trying to buy her kitchen table through Craigslist. I hooked up one of my neighbors with a friend of my new pal Easy Walnut. I set Easy himself up with two girls I know. I put a very nice dude I know from the gym in touch with Bear Cumming's lovely ex-girlfriend.
I always go out of my way to set people up. Why?
1. I don't have the time to properly befriend every cool person I come across — and setting him or her up with a buddy of mine is one way to strengthen the social tie.
2. I'm into the whole idea of doing unto others as you'd have done to you — not that I'm religious, and not that I believe in karma. But it just seems like a very nice, very easy way to potentially make two people very happy. Even if it doesn't work out romantically, I am pretty confident — given my great taste in human beings — that no one will have anything but a pleasant evening. A friendship may even emerge. Best-case scenario, of course, is having another huge success on my hands.
3. It's really hard for most of us to meet any new cool people once we get out of college. So when I come across a jewel of a person, why not share the wealth?
4. Being a good yenta can make Internet dating seem like less of a waste of time. More than once, I've set up an awesome dude I met through OkCupid or Nerve with friends of mine. And if you go into a date thinking, "Will he be good for me — or for one of my buddies?" it can help take the pressure off.
5. It's just kind of fun.
6. I enjoy being helpful.
7. People are very appreciative and even if they don't do anything concrete in return, I am sure you will have their eternal goodwill — which makes it easier to ask them for, say, career advice, if you need some, or for ice cubes if you run out while entertaining guests, or for a little help assembling that new bookshelf.
Tomorrow, I'll talk about how to be a good matchmaker. The suspense is killing you, I know.