Third rule: Know something about the people you are setting up.
Once there was a guy named JP. He was a good family friend growing up and good friends with my brothers to this day. And though JP really wanted to find a girlfriend, it was quite clear he wasn’t going to find one without ever talking to girls, which was his current tactic. He’s a great guy, a computer programmer, and even a talker, but only when he’s comfortable and in his small comfortable circle. Solution: Find a way to bring the girl you want to set him up with into said small comfortable circle.
Although these two people had been on the same softball team for years, JP was never going to actually talk to Lee without some help. The lucky girl moved in with me, making this plan much easier to arrange. I had regular nerdy game nights with a small group of friends, and that group happened to include my brother and his wife who are part of JP’s small comfortable circle– SCORE! The other people in the group include another nerdy brilliant not terribly social engineer who I knew JP would find a kindred spirit. And as my roommate, I could start dragging Lee to these game nights just as easily as “Hey, come to game night!” And I could invite JP because I’m like that. Besides, I had taken it upon myself to flirt shamelessly with him so as to drive him into the arms of another woman (and hey, that plan worked!). But I digress.
I should also point out that I did ask Lee if she was okay with being set up with this guy and she was. Better to not blindside a friend, even worse to blindside a roommate.
Where was I? Oh right “Know something about the people you are setting up…” what I’m trying to say is, if you are setting up a nerdy engineer type who has a small circle of comfort, do not, I repeat DO NOT, invite him to a party with 30 people he doesn’t really know and expect him to shine. He won’t. In fact, it will, undoubtedly backfire on you. She will wonder why people even think he’s a decent human being because he is SO bad at parties!! Rather, invite him to a nerdy game night and happen to invite the girl too. Keep in mind you may have to invite him to a year or two of said game nights before he talks to the girl. Don’t give up. Understand that this gem of a guy just takes longer to warm up than the average human, that’s okay. And he warms up better in a consistent and safe environment. Provide said environment and let him get comfortable before springing the idea of the next step on him.
Another time a dear friend of mine tried to set me up with her brother in laws brother in laws brother (or someone about that related). He lived in the same state as my friend which was
part of the motivation for the set up, since we would love to live near each other again. Anyway, this particular set up was via email. Cole emails me after Anne gives him the info. His first email was a dead giveaway on how this was going to end… his only hobbies: sports and hunting. Now hey, I don’t think that I’m going to have all the same hobbies as the guy I end up with… but it would help to have at least something in common. As it turns out, after a couple months of awkward email exchanges, it was quite clear that we indeed shared no common interests and it was going nowhere. It petered out and ended, no big deal. But if the person doing the set up had known anything more about the guy she was trying to set me up with, we could have saved some time, energy, and a horribly awkward several month long email exchange.
So there you have it: know who you are setting up.
Fourth rule: Don’t, under any circumstances, chase someone down in a vehicle to make an introduction. There’s no way to redeem that. Ever. And yes, that actually happened to me once. True story.
To be continued…