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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

As I get older, I find more and more people want to help each other when it comes to their love lives. Sometimes, it means taking cute pictures of a friend to put on their Hinge or Bumble; others go for the more traditional matchmaker mindset, and say, “You know who you would be perfect for?” Playing matchmaker is definitely a risk, though. For anyone who wants to see how matchmaking can go wrong, pick up Jane Austen’s Emma or watch the Emma-inspired Clueless. But, if you insist on setting up one friend with another friend, here are some do’s and don’ts for when you decide to play Cupid.

girl looking towards the horizon
Photo by Artem Kovalev from Unsplash

First, before you make any attempt to bring together two of your friends, make sure to consider your motivation. Too often, too many people, especially those in their own happy relationships, think the best thing for their single friends is to get them into–what else?–a happy relationship. However, not everyone wants to be in a relationship, particularly when life is already complicated for a lot of us. People have work and school to worry about, not to mention trying to stay safe in a pandemic, and maybe a new romantic relationship is not at the top of a single person’s needs. Also, before you start plotting, make sure both persons actually want to be set up and are, in fact, looking for someone. You’re not really being helpful if your motivation is your subjective concern that your single friend is lonely and might die alone. Bottom line: Nobody wants your pity. 

Second, make sure you know what your friends actually want out of a relationship. Believe it or not, no matter how close you are to your friends, you will be surprised by what they want in a relationship. Another bottom line: It’s not your relationship. It’s theirs. So if you insist on this playing Cupid strategy, maybe ask each of your friends about the qualities each of them looks for in a partner.  Look–and listen–before you make someone else leap.  

Third, it is important not to be pushy.  Don’t feel bad if your friend is not interested in the potential match. People are allowed to make choices on who and especially whether they date, so don’t force them to settle because you think you know what is best for them. If they say no, give them some space, and let it go. Your friends will thank you for that.

Photo by Derick Santos from Pexels

Overall, playing Cupid is more complicated than most people expect it to be, as matters of the heart are hard to make sense of (as we know from too many romantic comedies and romantic tragedies). So, before you set up your friends, remember that sometimes even you are not perfect, and your life doesn’t always work out the way you want. Even without you, you may find your single friends will find love at their own pace, and that’s good too.

Shayna Freedman is an English major at UCLA. She hopes to become a screenwriter for film and tv after she graduates. Her favorite genres are horror and romance. Shayna is often ranting about feminism when not writing about anything relating to nerd culture. Be careful, she might end up going on an hour rant about the politics in the superhero genre. You can find Shayna writing, reading at the beach, finding the best brunch spots, or out on adventures with her friends.