In the season of mistletoe and champagne flutes, when visions of chemistry and compatibility dance through aspiring matchmakers’ heads, it’s only natural to want to bring people together.
Dating experts say that singles in search of a serious relationship generally appreciate a thoughtful and tactful setup. But just about anyone who has ever dated can tell you about a blind date that never should have happened. And, for the unattached, the holidays are often already a time of unwelcome attention, says Megan Carson, author of A Year of Blind Dates: A Single Girl’s Search for “The One” (Regal).
“You think, ‘Oh gosh, I’m by myself, and I have to go to the family dinner, and Uncle Steve is going to ask me for the 100th time why I’m not married yet,’ ” Carson says. “Often we’re already sensitive, so if you can just find a fun and casual way to connect people, I recommend that.”
Among her recommendations: Keep the hype to a minimum, and don’t send people off on blind dates. Carson recommends having a party or inviting a group of people to a restaurant, bar or concert where introductions can be made without fanfare.
Victorya Michaels Rogers, author of Finding a Man Worth Keeping: 10 Dating Secrets That Work (Howard Books), favors the group meeting as well. When you introduce the pair, mention a common interest, she says, and then stick around, if need be, to get the dialogue going.
“Matchmaking is the art of knowing what matters most [to people] and if they’ll have enough in common,” Rogers says. “You want to know enough about each side to know if they’re going to get along.”
In one unfortunate case, the now-married Rogers recalls, a well-meaning relative arranged for her to meet a successful, good-looking man, who came to her workplace and took her to lunch.
“I didn’t even make it to the car in the parking structure before I knew about his obsession with guns,” she says. The gun talk continued during an uncomfortable lunch.
When she talks about great matchmaking, Rogers talks about the friend who introduced her to her husband.
“She had odd quirks, but she ‘got’ people and she focused on the person,” she says. “She always focused on what the guy was into and personality, and that is the key. You listen to what people are looking for and what they like and don’t like. You don’t always put the pretty people together — it’s who is compatible.”