Thursday, August 8, 2013

About Fixups

Everybody wants to make a sandwich with the last two pieces of bread. - Cathy Guisewite 

Sometimes I worry that I've gotten a bad reputation about dating. After all, I'm pretty passionate about my right to say no to a guy. But I'd really love to say yes to someone! Recently an online friend wondered "aloud" whether it was a good idea to set up two of her single friends who don't know each other. Replying to her helped me clarify some things.

I'm not against fixups. What bothers me is the following extremely common attitude:
"You're single and alive! He's single and alive! YOU'RE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER!!!"

Careless matchmaking reduces single people to paper dolls, notable only for their mutual singleness. Thoughtful matchmaking considers singles as complex, unique individuals with histories and personalities. I'm not saying to verify 95% compatibility before setting up two of your friends, but some real commonality or passion should be obvious. You should at least have an inkling of how they might fit together. In that case, even if it doesn't work out, your friends will still sense your care and appreciation of them as people.

On the other hand, setting someone up with a guy who's obviously all wrong for her can make her feel devalued and misunderstood. As if she'll be more acceptable with a man, ANY man, than on her own - and she should prefer it that way too. That hurts coming from anyone, but especially from a friend.

The other fixup scenario that irks me is when the family of a totally passive single man desperately casts about for any woman who will have him. You know what I'm talking about. I've watched it happen many times, and if it ever happened to me, I'd want to run away screaming. I'm not interested in being with someone who didn't care enough to pursue me himself, or in becoming his boss or mommy. To be fair, some women's families are overinvolved in their love lives too, but a lot of men are looking for a passive wife who can be easily managed. (Ugh.)

Anyway, fixups can be great if done considerately. So I'm very open to that consideration, but not to becoming PB&J with the other heel of the loaf, solely because we were both in the bread drawer.


  1. I think while the single girl might *feel* devalued/misunderstood/hurt/unacceptable, the intent on the matchmaker's side is not as insensitive. I think people hear their friends saying (often) that they want a man, and so they are on the lookout and wanting to help. Since it's really hard to know who will click, the matchmaker might not be as picky as the matchmakee would prefer. :) But their heart may be in the right place. Just, you know, in defense of matchmakers. Not that I've ever really been one.

    1. I guess. It definitely depends on the situation, but you can tell when the matchmaker just doesn't get it.

  2. PS That person should've used a serrated knife to cut that sandwich. ;)

  3. I appreciate your insight.

  4. I'm grateful for your thoughts on this!