General Etiquette > Dating

Etiquette of Setting Someone Up

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Iris:
This is prompted by a real life event, but I'll leave the questions general because I'm interested in hearing general perspectives.

1. If you have a friend who is [happily] single, is it rude to set them up with someone? Does doing so automatically imply judgement of their lifestyle choices?

2. Depending on your answer to (1) does the method used make a difference e.g. inviting an extra someone to a group activity where it is acceptable to invite an extra someone versus making them the 'male partner' at a dinner party you host?

3. If you have a friend determined to set another friend up is it stepping over the bounds to intervene or is it a MYOB situation?

MariaE:
1. Depends on why they are single. Are they single because they want to be, or because they just haven't met the right one yet? (i.e. single for now vs. single forever). If it's the former then yes, it's rude. If it's the latter, then it doesn't automatically imply judgement.

2. Yes, the method makes a huge difference. Example 1 would be fine with me, example 2 would be majorly overstepping unless it's been cleared with the friend first.

3. Depends entirely on the situation.

sweetonsno:
I agree with MariaE. A huge part of this is why they are single. If it's "happily single" in the "I specifically want to remain single," then I'd say that it's rude to try and fix them up (both to them and to the potential partner). If it's more of a "I'm content being single but open to meeting someone" way, then it's less likely to cause a problem. Either way, I think potential partners are a bit like puppies: you absolutely should not spring one on a person unless you are 100% sure that they would welcome it (as in they've told you that they want one). I'd be a bit ticked off if someone surprised me with a "date."

The method does matter. If it's a mixer or a group activity and you simply bring along a friend and introduce them, that's fine as long as you don't put any sort of pressure on them to connect. If it's a couples event and you don't tell them that and you spring a date on them, it's rude.

I would probably do my best to discourage the would-be matchmaker from trying to set up an unwilling party.

Raintree:

--- Quote from: Iris on January 03, 2013, 01:28:15 AM ---1. If you have a friend who is [happily] single, is it rude to set them up with someone? Does doing so automatically imply judgement of their lifestyle choices?

2. Depending on your answer to (1) does the method used make a difference e.g. inviting an extra someone to a group activity where it is acceptable to invite an extra someone versus making them the 'male partner' at a dinner party you host?

3. If you have a friend determined to set another friend up is it stepping over the bounds to intervene or is it a MYOB situation?

--- End quote ---

1. It's OK to ask if they'd like to meet so-and-so. It's also perfectly fine to invite anyone you want to a social gathering, if you get my drift. If Sue is single, and Bob is single, it's fine to invite both to a group activity or gathering and see what happens. IMO probably better if you don't tell Bob, "Sue will be there!! Nudge wink!! Sue's single you know!! She'd be perfect for you!!" (or vice versa). Doing so just makes the meeting awkward. Better just to invite them both, and don't say a word.

2. The method matters (see my answer to the first question). Making them the "opposite sex partner" at a dinner party would be very awkward. Let's say you know one couple, and Sue and Bob (singles). Seems a bit awkward to make them feel like they are "supposed" to be together. Mind you, it may be perfectly innocent as the hosts may just not know that many single people. I guess it depends on the size of the group. I probably wouldn't think twice if I were invited to a gathering of 12 people, all couples, plus a single, but it might seem odd if one couple, and me, and Bob were invited.

3. I think if the friend is seriously overstepping boundaries it's OK to say, "Hey Jane, I really think you should back off this business of trying to get Bob and Sue together. I can see that Sue feels pestered and cornered. Just invite Bob, and invite Sue, and let them be."

LifeOnPluto:

--- Quote from: Raintree on January 03, 2013, 04:47:45 AM ---
--- Quote from: Iris on January 03, 2013, 01:28:15 AM ---1. If you have a friend who is [happily] single, is it rude to set them up with someone? Does doing so automatically imply judgement of their lifestyle choices?

2. Depending on your answer to (1) does the method used make a difference e.g. inviting an extra someone to a group activity where it is acceptable to invite an extra someone versus making them the 'male partner' at a dinner party you host?

3. If you have a friend determined to set another friend up is it stepping over the bounds to intervene or is it a MYOB situation?

--- End quote ---

1. It's OK to ask if they'd like to meet so-and-so. It's also perfectly fine to invite anyone you want to a social gathering, if you get my drift. If Sue is single, and Bob is single, it's fine to invite both to a group activity or gathering and see what happens. IMO probably better if you don't tell Bob, "Sue will be there!! Nudge wink!! Sue's single you know!! She'd be perfect for you!!" (or vice versa). Doing so just makes the meeting awkward. Better just to invite them both, and don't say a word.

2. The method matters (see my answer to the first question). Making them the "opposite sex partner" at a dinner party would be very awkward. Let's say you know one couple, and Sue and Bob (singles). Seems a bit awkward to make them feel like they are "supposed" to be together. Mind you, it may be perfectly innocent as the hosts may just not know that many single people. I guess it depends on the size of the group. I probably wouldn't think twice if I were invited to a gathering of 12 people, all couples, plus a single, but it might seem odd if one couple, and me, and Bob were invited.

3. I think if the friend is seriously overstepping boundaries it's OK to say, "Hey Jane, I really think you should back off this business of trying to get Bob and Sue together. I can see that Sue feels pestered and cornered. Just invite Bob, and invite Sue, and let them be."

--- End quote ---

Raintree has summed up my own thoughts very well.

Unless the Single Friend has expressed active interest in dating someone, I would not "set them up" in a date-like situation (eg a "double date"). I'd simply host / organise a casual gathering and invite both parties, and introduce them. But I wouldn't tell either one that I was doing it for the purpose of match-making.

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