6 Tips for When You Play Cupid

Think you have the perfect guy in mind for your pal? Here, six tips to consider before playing matchmaker:

Shed light on your motives and hopes. Make sure you want to see your friend happy with this man. Don't wait until they're a cozy couple to realize that you like him. Also, be prepared for your friend to end up in a relationship and not be as readily available to pal around with you.

Hone your matchmaking skills. Is your friend ready for love, or is she married to her job? Why do you think these two would make a good couple? Do they have the same sense of humor? Work in a similar profession? In other words, don't just set your friend up with any single guy in pants. Chemistry is a wildcard, but make sure there's a chance at compatibility.

Give details -- but not too many. Give each person an accurate description of the other in terms of appearance, personality and profession. But it's not necessary to tell your unattached male coworker that your friend gets panic attacks when she's nervous. And don't build up the date as the Second Coming or there is bound to be disappointment. "The key is to take the pressure off," says Dr. Jan Yager, author of 125 Ways to Meet the Love of Your Life. "You're not setting up your friend because you think he could be the one necessarily. You just think they should meet and see what happens."

Offer to host the meeting. Offer, don't insist! A dinner party for six or eight people is a relaxed, fun way for your intendeds to meet. Introduce them, start the conversational ball rolling, then attend to your other guests while paying attention to how they are -- or aren't -- progressing. Casually pop over when necessary to re-spark conversation. If the two would rather meet one-on-one, don't push.

Three's not always company. After the date, they're on their own. Don't be dragged by one or both into serving as a go-between. Say, "I'm glad you liked him and I believe he had a good time as well but I'm not comfortable calling to insist he ask you out."

Don't take it personally. If your friend rejects your choice, she's not rejecting you. Perhaps, you can use the feedback to find her a more appropriate match. If she rails at you for setting her up with a cretin, well, what you did was still a caring, wonderful gesture for which you'll win karma points. You'll also know from now on not to meddle in her love life.

Sherry Amatenstein is a contributing writer for iVillage. Follow her on Google +.

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