The Great Matchmaker Guide.

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Our relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr, gives us her top 10 tips on playing Cupid.

I'm a complete pushover for romance and love matchmaking, having put a fair few couples together over the years. Show me a single friend and it’s like showing a red flag to a bull. Mind you, I try hard not to be like a bull in a china shop when it comes to setting people up. You won't succeed if you thunder in, heavy-handed with a couple of shy singletons. True matchmaking is an art and takes finesse and tact in equal measure.

Like me, you might have enthusiasm for putting singles together. The good news is you've also got science on your side. Dating research shows that the two most likely ways that a single will meet their Mr or Ms Right is either at work or by being introduced by friends. That's where you come in. Armed with my 10 top tips for the dos and don'ts of matchmaking you might find yourself buying a wedding hat sooner than you expect.


1/ Do get on with the job! 

It's great to mention that you'd like to potentially match-make for a single you know. Some of the singles you know may be desperate to meet someone and simply haven't had the right opportunities. Yet they don't want to sound desperate and ask if you know any singles for them. If you hold back and feel you can't bring it up, they may miss out on a potential love match. And you miss out on the pleasure of having put two great people together.

2/ Do sound them out tactfully. 

If you steam in, implying that they’re a sad single, you might definitely hurt their feelings. But if you take a positive approach along the lines of, "I know you have a busy life but I've got someone nice I'd like you to meet - if you can make time," they won't feel embarrassed.

3/ Do ‘know’ their life goals. 

One single friend may be looking for some flirtatious fun, yet that single colleague you know at work may be looking for true love and marriage. By knowing what their goals are you'll know who to try and set them up with. One might suit that really fun guy you know at work and the other might suit, say, your husband's brother who has reached the stage where he'd love to settle down.

4/ Do you keep your suggestions simple. 

When giving the two singles each other's phone numbers plant the idea that they just meet for a coffee or a glass of wine after work. There's no need to create extra pressure by making it sound like they should do something "special" when they get together.

5/ Do be realistic - there's no point in promising the earth! 

When describing the person you want to set up with your single friend, give a responsible description of them. You're bound to create disappointment if you exaggerate how wonderful, handsome, and successful they are.


6/ Don't keep nagging a single friend. Some singles may have had bad experiences of being set up - I know I had a couple such experiences after my divorce. So even if you think you've got a wonderful person for your single friend, if they say they don't want to be set up, you need to take their word for it.

7/ Don't make it obvious at a dinner party.

If you decide to invite a couple of singles over for a dinner you need to use subtle tactics. Invite three or four singles - not just the two you think would make a good couple. Or if you invite two singles, don't seat them together. Let conversation between them occur naturally across the table or after dinner when you're all sitting around having drinks. Using these tactics help avoid making the entire evening feel like a setup…even if it is! 

8/ Don't make assumptions.

Just because you have two single friends who are both divorced with two children each, doesn't mean they’re necessarily going to gel. Look beyond such obvious things before trying to pair people up.

9/ Don’t put pressure on them.

Resist ringing up your two single "victims" for a "dating debrief" on how things went. They might’ve had quite a good time and are both thinking about possibly meeting up again. You ringing, and piling on the pressure, might scupper such plans.

10/ Finally, don't twist their arms.

Accept it if they don't want to see each other again. Just because you think they'd make the "perfect" couple, take their word for it if they don't agree! It's tempting to try and force two singles to give each other a second chance. But you'll appear to be a meddling busybody who doesn't know when to let it rest.

So chill out, cross your fingers and accept you've made the most of your matchmaking skills.

Originally posted on Dr Pam Spurr’s blog.

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