Author Topic: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up  (Read 4999 times)

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Iris

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Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« on: January 03, 2013, 01:28:15 AM »
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?
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MariaE

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 02:42:01 AM »
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.
 
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sweetonsno

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 03:36:44 AM »
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

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 04:47:45 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?

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

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 05:21:39 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?

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."

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.

bah12

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 10:40:56 AM »
In general, I'm not a fan of setting people up, but  I do think it's ok to invite two people to a group activity and let them see if they hit it off for themselves...without any interfence from me save the original orginization of the activity.   I think, too, that I'd be more willing to set up someone that is "happily" single vs. "unhappily" single.  As the second group of people tend to put too much pressure on potential relationships and aren't that much fun to be around.  I wouldn't set up a friend with someone who is generally unhappy about anything.  I do agree that those who are "happily single" because they don't want to be in a relationship shouldn't be set up at all.

To answer your second question, I do think the method matters.  Putting them in a setting with a bunch of other couples is awkward at best.  But, I wouldn't think it be nearly as awkward to invite them to a group activity, introduce them to each other, and let them go from there.  I also think, depending on the people involved, that it would be ok to set up a blind date or double date if everyone involved were interested in doing so.  (This is something that I personally would never do though).

Finally, it's definitely over the line to insist on setting someone up and intervening in relationships when one or both parties has expressed disinterest (or indifference).  It's definitely a MYOB situation.

onyonryngs

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 10:45:39 AM »
1) Only if you have permission from both parties. 
2) Your friends aren't stupid - they're going to figure out if you've invited someone you're wanting to set them up with.  Again, don't do it without permission from both parties.  Don't try to be sneaky and use the "Oh, well, I just invited them both - I didn't have an agenda" because you do have an agenda.
3) Intervene.  Make sure that your friend knows that she's being set up.  Let her handle the friend who's trying to set her up.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 11:31:39 AM »
Inviting two single friends to the same group outing is not a set up, even if you are doing it because you hope they'll hit it off.  Inviting two single friends to a coupley outing and seating them together is a set up.  And should not be done without the express permission of both parties.

If a friend was trying to plan a set up without informing both parties?  I'd intervene and let both parties know.
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MrTango

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 01:36:12 PM »
1. It depends on how you "set them up."  If you try to set them up on a blind date knowing that they aren't interested in dating, then yes, it's rude and will likely come across as judgemental.

2. The method makes a huge difference.  If I have two single friends that I think would be a good match for each other, I make a point of inviting them both to the same parties/events.  I make sure they are introduced (as I would with any guests of mine who don't otherwise know each other) and then I back off and let them decide on their own if they're going to take any further steps.  At no time do I let either of them know that I think they might be right for each other.

3. Unless you're the "victim" who is being set up or being used as fodder for a set-up, I'd suggest staying well clear of the whole situation.

Cosmasia

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 01:47:00 PM »
1. Yes it's rude to set someone up when they haven't asked. It's not your place to decide that so-and-so absolutely has to give a chance to whatever person.
If someone asks you to set him/her up, or if you ask and they accept, then it's not rude.

2. There's nothing wrong with inviting person X to a party that best-friend-Y is attending, with the hope they might hit it off. It is, however, rude to try to push them together or do some form of bait-and-switch where some from of activity you didn't tell them about forces them to have to couple up in a date-like way.

3. If said friend tells you, it's perfectly fine to let them know that it is in fact not very cool to set people up without their permission.
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miranova

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 04:31:46 PM »
I don't consider inviting 2 or more single friends to a party a set up.  I don't think someone's hopes matter.  People are allowed to hope things and that doesn't make them rude.  I hope my brother meets and marries a nice girl because I know he wants that.  I am not going to invite someone that I otherwise wouldn't to a party just because my brother will be there, but in the same vein I don't think that secretly thinking (hmm those two might make a great couple...maybe they will hit it off) is an agenda per se.  As long as you just invite who you want to invite and don't make a production out of it, I really don't even consider it a set up.

A set up to me is deliberately putting two people in very close contact with the intention of it being or becoming a date.  A set up should never be done without both people's permission. 

If someone were trying to set up a friend of mine without their knowledge, I would tell the friend.  I would not sit by and allow them to be ambushed.  But then again I am thinking of my own definition of set up when I say that.  I don't think anyone must be told exactly how many other single people are invited to someone's party.  They don't have to socialize with any one person, and I don't think they need to be warned that a single person will be there.

Iris

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 04:42:15 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I have one friend who is more or less permanently single  - I don't know how she feels about it because its not my business so I've never asked. Another friend of mine, not as close to single friend as I am, has decided that she knows the PERFECT guy for single friend and  was a bit pushy about  manufacturing a situation where they can meet.

It hasn't gone far, but I was feeling very uncomfortable even discussing it the one time she brought it up. Good to know I wasn't just being an old fuddy duddy. I think I shall approach our next get together with a vat of bean dip and be prepared to give single friend a heads up if necessary.
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guihong

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 02:03:57 PM »
I think it's really risky to "fix someone up", besides just inviting both of them to a group party and staying out of it.  For one, your single friend just might be in the closet or keep her personal life really personal.  Boy, is that asking for an awkward conversation  :-[
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 02:07:04 PM by guihong »



GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 10:23:28 PM »
Good point, Gui.
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Iris

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Re: Etiquette of Setting Someone Up
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2013, 12:04:41 AM »
I think it's really risky to "fix someone up", besides just inviting both of them to a group party and staying out of it.  For one, your single friend just might be in the closet or keep her personal life really personal.  Boy, is that asking for an awkward conversation  :-[.

No, it's definitely not that (trust me, 100% sure). It's just that as far as I know she's perfectly happy on her own and it seems interfering to set her up at all, and I didn't enjoy the level of ... enthusiasm(?) ... Setting-up Friend was showing. There was a certain "I'll fix her life for her!" attitude to it that I was uncomfortable with. Single friend is very independent and even if she would prefer to have a partner I'm pretty sure she'd prefer to sort it out for herself anyway.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

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