I am a single man who, after the end of my last relationship, took a
few years out of the dating scene to really rethink what I want out of
my love life and learn to be happy with myself. (For context, I’m 32,
my divorce was 5 years ago.) I feel ready to come back onto the
market, but I’m finding it hard to meet single women who actually
inspire my interest. I’ve tried online dating and singles events, but
they don’t really work for me.
Far from sitting idle, I have become more and more active in the past
couple of years about pursuing my hobbies and interests, which has
helped me extensively expand my social circle. However, it seems that
every time the circle grows, the women I meet are either happily
attached, gay, or just folk I’d rather have as platonic friends than
romantic partners. I’m thrilled to make all these great new friends,
of course, but there’s more I want out of life than my platonic
friends can give me.
Cutting back on my hobbies and going to more singles events would be a
false economy; I’m at least making new friends through hobby events,
whereas singles events have given me nothing. At the same time, I
don’t have time to cram in even more regular social activities – not
without ending up with such a busy schedule of commitments and
responsibilities that there isn’t actually space for a relationship in
my life anyway.
This being the case, I’m thinking about outsourcing the problem by
asking trusted friends to try and introduce me to single friends of
theirs. Since I’ve put in the work to expand my social world in the
first place, why not enjoy the benefits of that expansion? Plus I’d be
more confident making contact with someone a friend has recommended
than a total stranger.
That said, how do I:
– broach the subject in a way which makes it clear that this is a
serious request I am making of my friends without sounding needy and
– make it clear that if people don’t want to play Cupid for me we’re still cool?
– make the point that I’m not up for “blind dates”? (I’d like to know
a bit about the person in question before meeting them so I can
politely decline suggested matches which clearly aren’t going to
The Last Turkey In the Shop, UK
I have thoughts! on your question.
Say only nice things about yourself. Stop calling yourself a turkey or any other clever and self-deprecating phrases about being the only single person out there. I know you were making a joke, but if you make those jokes around other people, stop.
You’re already doing a lot of the right stuff. I think your instincts are good to stick with your hobbies in meeting more people. Are you also reading books, etc. by women?
Actual matchmaking services exist. Is it possible to work with a professional matchmaker where you are? My friend at the link is based in Toronto, but is there someone nearby who does this?
Start small. I think you should start with one friend, someone who hosts a lot of things and seems to enjoy introducing people to each other, rather than develop a system for asking multiple friends at the same time. And then put the request to that person as directly as possible, without hedging or apologizing or invoking the words “needy” or “pathetic.” Some people LOVE to be matchmakers and LOVE to be consulted about things like this. Possible script: “I’ve noticed how great you are at hosting and bringing people together. I’m feeling a bit stalled lately with efforts to meet women to date. Would you ever be willing to set me up on a date with a single friend of yours? Something casual, just getting a drink, no pressure?[Or, ‘Can you think of any great single women in your circle who might enjoy coming to [event]?’] You know so many wonderful people, and I trust your taste and judgment.”
You don’t have to front-load the “IT’S TOTALLY OKAY IF YOU DON’T, THOUGH.” Just ask the question, and if they say no, show them that you are fine with it. “Please, don’t worry about it! I thought it worth asking, since I trust your judgment so much, but there is no pressure at all. Thank you for thinking about it.”
Change your attitude to “Blind dates, fuck yeah!” In all probability, your matchmaking friend will run a name or names by you ahead of time without you having to make that clear from the get-go. They will feel some pressure to get this right, and they won’t want to set you up with someone you probably won’t like. However, if your friend or friends actually suggest someone for you, I strongly suggest that you go on one date with every single person they suggest. Exceptions: This person is an ex of yours, a family member of an ex of yours, this person is known to be a violent criminal. Otherwise? Go have one drink and smile and do your best to have a nice time.
You asked people to do this because you want their taste and judgment on your side, so go with it. This isn’t a service where someone is working for you by gathering potential matches, and this isn’t online dating where you can evaluate photos & interests ahead of time, this is a gift from a friend and a situation where you are giving up a bit of control in exchange for meeting someone new. Even if they get it hilariously wrong, you will end up with stories to tell. I think you should be very picky about who you go on second or third dates with, but I don’t think you should be picky about blind dates. First dates aren’t contracts or life sentences and the only way to “fail” at one is to not show up or to be an asshole. Either embrace the chaos, surprise, and mystery, or don’t do this at all.
If someone is consistently setting you up with mismatches, thank them and tell them that their kind efforts have given you the mojo you needed to go back to trying it on your own.
Make sure your follow-up is impeccable. You can’t just ghost here.
“Friend, thank you so much, it was wonderful meeting your friend. I don’t think she and I clicked, but I really appreciate both you and she making the effort.” Don’t go into details as to why you didn’t click, lest you invoke adages about Gift Horses, Mouths. Nobody needs that.
“[Date], I enjoyed meeting you. Sadly, I don’t think we clicked, but I really appreciated your willingness to come out to meet a total stranger” + (some specific compliment about something you talked about – for instance “Thanks for recommending X author, I will be sure to check out their work.”) You never know if your date will turn into a friend who has a friend who would be perfect for you.
Good luck out there.
Comments closed Feb 8, thank you.