How to Matchmake Two Friends (Yes, We’re Be­ing That Spe­cific)

Pair­ing two peo­ple – not the same as dump­ing a bunch of sin­gles to­gether – re­quires a dif­fer­ent strat­egy. It needs to be done sub­tly, el­e­gantly, preferably on the sly – es­pe­cially if you know they will make a good fit but won’t agree to a oneto-one. And i

Herworld (Singapore) - - MANUAL - DON TAN

1 Why it must be at your home

Be­cause fancy restau­rants add too much pres­sure. “For one, they’ll worry about their din­ing eti­quette, which dis­tracts from get­ting to know one an­other,” says Cindy. “A house party is great be­cause you can con­trol all the vari­ables – whether to break out the wine, pull out a board game, or put on some mu­sic – all that’s up to you.”

2 Cap it at eight peo­ple

More than that, and the pair you’re try­ing to cou­ple up might not be able to in­ter­act as much, says Cindy. Don’t tell the other guests about your match­mak­ing plans. They might try to help, which will only make things awk­ward. Also, make sure your other guests aren’t all cou­ples, so the pair won’t feel un­nec­es­sary pres­sure.

3 Seat them op­po­site each other

Once you’ve got the per­fect con­di­tions to put your guests at ease, en­sure that the two you’re try­ing to pair up are sit­ting di­rectly across from one an­other, and at the end of the ta­ble. It’s eas­ier for them to con­verse than if they were side by side, and they won’t be dis­tracted by too many peo­ple if they’re at one end, so there’s more op­por­tu­nity to chat each other up.

4 Don’t in­vite the bros

“If you must in­vite friends in com­mon, avoid his guy friends at all costs,” warns Dolly. When a man is with his “bros”, he will speak their lan­guage. And frat-boy lock­er­room talk isn’t a great way to make a first im­pres­sion. What’s worse, Dolly says, is that he’ll prob­a­bly re­treat into his com­fort zone and en­gage less with the woman you’re set­ting him up with. Cindy adds that you should avoid invit­ing friends who know ei­ther of the pair, so that no­body ends up feel­ing awk­ward.

5 Drop the la­bels and don’t over­share

Never im­ply that you’re set­ting them up on a “date”. In­stead, say that the gath­er­ing is for every­one to hang out and have fun. Or that you want to try cook­ing a new dish and need some guinea pigs. For each of the two you’re try­ing to bring to­gether, you can ca­su­ally drop hints about the other in the lead-up to the party, but keep to neu­tral ar­eas like jobs, pos­i­tive per­son­al­ity traits and com­mon in­ter­ests. You don’t want to do a hard sell and give the game away.

6 Have a be­fore and af­ter plan

Some peo­ple need a warm-up. Try set­ting the tone with a pre-din­ner ac­tiv­ity like an es­cape room (where you solve puz­zles to get out of a room you’re locked in), be­fore head­ing back to yours for the main meal. If things go well, sug­gest post­meal ac­tiv­i­ties, says Dolly. “Bring up a bar you’d like to check out and let the night’s plans move for­ward nat­u­rally.” If the pair you’re try­ing to set up like each other enough, they’ll take it from there.

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