It's crazy out here. That's a full stop statement but today, what I'm specifically referring to is, when it comes to the dating scene. And if you're someone who is sick and tired (then tired some more) of dating the same kind of guy over and over…and over and over again, or you're simply tapped out of options of where or how to meet someone new at the moment, a very valid option is to let some of your friends set you up. Now before you pull out your phone to ask one of them "What's good?", there are a few points that I wanna hit first, just so, if you do decide to take this dating route, you and your friend are able to survive it.
So, if you're tired of online dating and/or you are finally ready to leave your ex (or exes) alone and/or you've already got a friend who's been hinting around about hooking you up, here are the things that you need to seriously consider before you let them play matchmaker in your life.
Does Your Friend Know Your Type?
One of the reasons why getting set up by my friends is a personal no-no for me is because, well, you should see how my birthday goes. I've got some pretty quirky taste, no doubt about that. So, these days, my peeps are more in the lane of, "Shellie, just tell us what you'd like and we'll cop it"—and I sincerely appreciate that. Indeed, it is one thing to think you know what someone would like vs. being absolutely sure. So when it comes to men, while I do have a bit of a type (most of us do), it's kind of multi-layered and hard to explain once you get past the, please be well over 6' and chocolate, if possible.
There's no time to get into my personal preference list, but what I will say, as it pertains to you is, if you're open to letting a friend set you up with someone, make sure they know at least the "surface layer" of what you're interested in/looking for. Not just physically, but the kind of ideals and values you're down with and even the type of dating situation you'd like to get into at this particular season and stage of your life. Because wouldn't it suck to meet a man who checks all of your boxes, only to find out he's a commitment-phobe six months down the road—and your friend had an inkling but thought that you could be the woman to change him around? Whew. Talk about a potential fall-out. We'll get more into that in a little bit, though.
What Kind of Connection Do They Have with Him?
Lawd. So much drama can be avoided in life if, we simply don't make assumptions about, pretty much anything. That said, if you've got a friend who's excited about hooking you up with someone, aside from processing how close you and said-friend are (check out "According To Aristotle, We Need 'Utility', 'Pleasure' & 'Good' Friends" and "Always Remember That Friendships Have 'Levels' To Them"), there is nothing wrong with inquiring about their relationship with ole' boy too. Is he an ex? Were they ever intimate? Is he a relative (friends take it personally when things don't go well with someone in their bloodline)? If he's a co-worker or someone they go to church with, how well do they know the guy beyond just sharing the same space on any given day? Whatever the case may be, if they're presenting him to you as being so awesome, what makes him that way in their humble opinion?
There are people I personally know who hooked up a friend, simply on the basis of thinking that someone was a nice guy, only for him to turn out to be an individual who should've had a starring role in a Lifetime movie. The psycho guy didn't get blamed nearly as much as the friend did. So yeah, make sure that you've got a little bit of history on the relationship between your friend and "him" before agreeing to go out. It could shed some light on a few things that you wouldn't know otherwise.
Is This Their First Attempt?
If you want to see how the future will go, it can never hurt to look at the past. Case in point. I've got a family member who, every time they recommend someone to me, I'm looking at them, not side-eye but dead in the eye like, "Do you know me at all?!" There is absolutely no way that I would go out with anyone they suggested because 1) every single guy they think would be a good idea, I am not even remotely attracted to or interested in and 2) their own track record with their own relationships is less-than-stellar.
That second point? That too can play a role in whether you should let a friend set you up or not because, oftentimes, the mindset that a friend has when it comes to trying to connect you with someone tends to mirror the headspace they've been in when it comes to getting in their own relationships (or situationships).
For instance, love addicts are consumed with people being together—whether it's good, healthy or right—or not. So, if your friend is a love addict, they will probably want to hook you up, for no other reason than, they think everyone should always be in some sort of relationship. Plus, if they are a love addict, there's also a pretty good chance that they've either tried or did set you up before. And yeah—how did that go? Matchmaking ain't an exact science. Lord knows that it's not. But if you've already gone down this road with a friend of yours before, and things didn't go so well, you aren't being overly skeptical if you'd rather take a pass. Honestly, it could actually protect your friendship in the long run if you do.
Can It Be Something Casual Before Something…BIG?
So, what if this is your friend's very first attempt, you totally trust them, you've conveyed your type and the guy they're describing sounds like a good fit? What now? Well, unless you just adore blind dates (which kind of makes you a unicorn), who says that the initial set-up has to be some grandiose event? Something that can take the pressure off of, shoot, everyone who's involved, is if your friend has you and the guy over for brunch or dinner, or something casual along those lines. That way, it's not just you and him in the initial meeting, and you can get to know each other in a more casual setting. Then, if you both do hit it off on some level, the two of you can decide to take things further. Or, if there is no chemistry (whether that's one way or both ways), everyone can call it a day and go home with no drama.
Are Either of You Gonna Take the Situation Personally?
I know of a couple of matchmaking attempts that have worked out really well. Thing is, the person who did the matching up brags about it, every chance they get, even all years later. For the record, if there's anything to be proud of, it's bringing two people together, successfully. That still doesn't change the fact that there's some ego involved. And that's the last thing I'll say that you should keep in mind when it comes to letting your friend hook you up.
If only a couple of "light" dates occur and nothing materializes, that's not a big deal. But if the guy is an ass or you do end up dating and he graduates from ass to asshole or—God forbid—you end up being the one who hurts him, you and/or your friend could end up feeling some type of way. Super disappointed is one thing, but if it grows into hurt or pissed, that could affect your friendship in ways that you didn't quite predict. So yeah, also factor in your sensitivity levels as well as theirs. If you already feel in your gut that this could put more stress and strain on your relationship, either share that with them on the front end to see where their head and heart are at or, politely decline the offer. Then remember that the universe is huge. There are other ways to meet a man than through a friend. If it's meant to be that way, it needs to go smoothly. If it's not, let it happen another way—so that you and your friendship can remain intact.
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