Allow me to let you in on a lil secret: When two of your friends get together, you're the one who really benefits. There are group vacays, endless double dates, and less “Omg, why don’t you like my boyfriend?” drama. In short, it rocks.
But let’s be real, set-ups can get messy if not done correctly. Matchmaking involves two people who you actually like—and how many people even fall into that category in the whole wide world? It's super important to take extra precautions before suggesting that two of your pals catch feelz for each other.
Here, psychotherapist and relationship coach Toni Coleman gives her two-cents on playing matchmaker, and how to not eff up your friendships by throwing them down an ~un-destined love~ drain.
Consider this beforehand:
Make sure these two friends have something in common besides just being single. Do they have the same doggy meme humor? Political affiliations? Goals? Aspirations? “It’s important to reflect on their compatibility instead of just wanting to fix them up for convenience,” says Coleman.
Ignoring warning signs (like, if one is a player, and the other is looking to settle down) will just lead to a messy breakup that could potentially involve you.Which, yikes. “Don’t set them up for misery should they have different interests and wants from each other,” says Coleman. “If you can really see them together, living a shared life—go for it.” This means that you should know beforehand whether or not they're looking for similar things.
Are you sure that you, yourself do not having feelings for the person with whom you’re trying to set your friend up? Don't put yourself in a rom-com, girl. Whether or not you’re single, this is especially important to think about, considering you may just watch the LOYL fall in love with someone else. (We’ve all seen Something Borrowed but let me tell ya, these kinds of situations don’t always have happy endings, girl).
If the friend you are trying to set up has dated another person in the friend group, this can make the situation…well, complicated. Talk with both peeps and make sure there wouldn’t be any jealousy involved, or opt for setting up friends who don't have exes in the inner-circle.
So, how does one "go for it"?
When both friends are available, interested, open, and seemingly ready to meet new people, it’s go-time. "Start by asking them if they’re open to being set up with the other friend of yours," says Coleman.
If they're into it, answer their questions as honestly as you can. Hint: This is the time to include why you think they’d be good together. You shouldn't have to sell them on it, but def mention if they both are die-hard GoT fanatics, for instance.
Next, point them to the person’s Instagram or FB to do some back-stalking. But obvi make sure that they're not basing their interest strictly off the pictures—after all, dudes aren't the best at pics anyway, and you're setting them up because you think they'd be good together! Remind them of your expertise, queen.
Then, as the setter-upper, coordinate the romance-y meet-and-greet. This could be in a group setting at a bar with multiple people, a smaller house party, or a date between the two. Having you there will help take the pressure off of the (potential) love birds, but obviously, let them jump in and take the reins whenever they're ready.
At this point, your work is over, Patti Stanger. You can go back to your day job until the next singleton pops up in your friend group.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.