The Good, the Bad, and the Awkward of ‘The Friend Set Up’

By now, most single young professionals have had a friend (or ten) try to set them up with a fellow eligible young bachelor or bachelorette.

We all probably know one couple who’s met via a set up thanks to eager matchmaking friends – the idea obviously isn’t new.

But when we think about the prospect of being set up ourselves, we’re a little divided. We mean, it could go one of a few ways – good, bad, or super awkward.

The Good
Sometimes our friends and family know us –and what’s best for us – better than we know ourselves. If a friend knows you well enough, having lived through your previous relationships, breakups, flings, crushes, and one-night stands, then they probably have a good sense of what you’re attracted to and what will work for you. Plus, if things work out, you know your new significant other is already friends with your friend (and their significant other), making for some quality future couples dates and vacations. Plus, telling your parents you met through a friend sounds better than a lot of other options.
The Bad
With the optimistic hope that your friend is 100 per cent correct that the person you’re about to sit across from will be ‘the one,’ comes the reality that he or she probably won’t be. We mean, think about the ratio of dates you’ve been on and the ones that developed into relationships. If it doesn’t work out (or worse, goes horribly wrong), that’s going to make for some pretty awkward birthday parties down the road when your friend invites you both. Plus, if you’re not into the person, you always risk the chance of an overly sensitive friend taking it personally (hey, we’ve seen it happen).

The Awkward
First dates are awkward enough; they’re even more so when it involves a completely set-up blind (ish – you stocked their profile obviously) meeting. First off, you’ll likely spend half of the date exchanging stories about your mutual friend and how the two of you know one another. That’s pretty much inevitable. But it eats away precious date time. Then, no matter what direction the date goes, the person who set you up will expect a debriefing session, which could get awkward too. Finally, if things go well and the two of you start a relationship, odds are you friend won’t be as great of a sounding board as they usually are when your boyfriend or girlfriend is annoying you. 

While we remain conflicted as to whether or not the setup’s our thing, in a time of Tinder, “hookup culture,” and a city full of people with Peter Pan Syndrome, we’re not sure there’s a right way to date these days anyway.

So, yeah, it’s probably worth a shot. 

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