Playing cupid

When it comes to affairs of the heart, older doesn’t always necessarily mean wiser. I have found this week, that I possess a vast amount of online dating knowledge that has been sloshing around my brain. I have started to share it and also discovered that I can like most people, give everyone great advice without providing myself with even a lick of it. This is the kind of revelation that repeats; I realised it five years ago and I’m realising it again.

Apparently I quite enjoy writing about the path to and from relationship, whether it’s complaining about online dating, trying to be better at it, or recounting the worst dates I’ve ever had; relationships are my jam. Plus, despite my seemingly cantankerous attitude about them at times, I love playing match maker with my friends.

Cut to a party I had a few weeks ago where I tried to introduce one of my single female friends to a single male friend, despite the fact that their personalities probably were not compatible. I wasn’t trying to get them hitched, I was just trying to hook a sister up. I pretended to forget all the times other friends had done that to me as a single person and how much I hated it. Hypocrisy can be both fun and educational you guys.

However, despite my own experiences (my own mother trying to set me up with a long distance boyfriend who made a habit of telling girls he loved them during the first conversation), I like the idea of being the cause of great happiness. Initially I thought the only way I could achieve that was by finding love for myself, but as I haven’t been holding out much hope for that as I grow more and more picky with my increase in years, I have realised that it can be found in finding love for others. There’s a trick to it, of course. Well, many tricks in fact.

You need to know the person you’re trying to set up pretty well. Do your research. That doesn’t mean study their every move, their diet, watch them sleep and take detailed notes of their breathing habits. It just means that hopefully they would be a part of your select group of ‘close friends’ – someone you might laugh with who will be there for you in your hour of need. This will help with the motivation to fix them up, because you also happen to care about their happiness.

Don’t set them up on looks alone. You might meet a guy or girl that you think aesthetically would be your friend’s type, but what about their personality? Could they hold a conversation with said friend? Are they employed? Is there something about them that your friend might scoff at? All of these questions are irrelevant however, if your friend has asked you to find them a one-night stand of sorts, and they’ve stipulated that it would be good if the person spoke very little. You might be rethinking your friendship at this point, but that’s got nothing to do with romantic matchmaking so let’s move on.

Lay the groundwork. OK so you’ve found someone who would be great with your friend (you think), but you can’t just throw them into a room together and hope their bodies and minds spontaneously collide. You have to see where they’re both at mentally, if they’re actually open to meeting someone new or if they’re still in rebound mode after their last relationship (this match might be too good to let drown in the murky waters of post-breakup-dom). However, if their mental health and optimism check out, then let the potential matches see photos, just to double check they find each other attractive, Instagram filters and all.

And the final step? Well, if like me, you and your friends are not bursting with natural confidence, you might prefer a more low key first hangout then a very serious dinner date with a stranger. Might I suggest a friend hangout? There can be 5 plus people involved who are mutual friends; creating an atmosphere that puts everyone at ease and allows for romance to blossom in a safe environment. Or some people to escape to if the love connection goes horribly wrong because you’ve massively missed the mark with your two cupidees (cupidites?).

Like much of my advice, none of this is fool proof and should be taken with lots of salt, and maybe some black pepper for good measure. What I do know for sure though, is that seeing a relationship blossom that you helped start feels pretty good, and helps keep a dwindling belief in love alive. So why not do it?

Image credit: cupid by sobinsergey from the Noun Project

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Maame Blue

Writer| Poet| Blogger| Ghanaian by heart, Londoner by nature

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