Let’s talk about set-ups

If you’ve ever been around me for more than a minute, then you know I love talking about dating and have all kinds of thoughts about it. But when it comes to writing about it, I tend to get hung up on wanting to say things perfectly and consider every angle so I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings or sound ridiculous. And then I just end up with a lot of drafts that never get published. It’s a bummer. I’ve been falling into that same trap as I try to get some of my thoughts down about set-ups. My inability to just publish the ding-dang post has gotten me thinking about why I even bother writing or talking about dating. I came to the conclusion that I don’t actually want to to write the perfect post. I don’t want to be an expert. I just want to help start conversations. Talking with friends, with God, and having honest conversations with my own self were what helped me get intentional with my dating life. So, I’m going to go for it. I’m gonna publish the non-perfect-there’s-surely-lots-more-to-be-said post. I hope it gets you talking. =)

Here’s what I know about set-ups-

  • They can lead to great first dates.
  • They can lead to awkward first dates.
  • Sometimes they never go farther than a first date.
  • Sometimes they lead to second dates and eventually great relationships and marriages.
  • My parents met because they were set up by a mutual friend. Trav’s parents were set up on a blind date. Trav and I only met because we have mutual friends.

I’d say set-ups have been a pretty big part of my story. God graciously uses all kinds of people in all kinds of ways to bring about his plan. It’s remarkable and lovely.


If you desire a healthy marriage someday, I’d recommend that you consider being open to getting set up and going on blind dates.

If you have friends that want to date and get married, I’d ask you to consider setting up your friends. I think it’s a form of hospitality that is often overlooked.

Here are a few tips that might help

To the person being set up…

  1. Chill out about the whole thing. You are not asking your friends to introduce you to your future spouse. You are asking your friends to introduce you to people you haven’t met before. Your attitude and chill level about the whole thing does make a difference.
  2. Chilling out does not mean that a set-up is easy. A set-up requires effort on your part. In fact, you’re in charge. It’s your life. Your desire for marriage. It’s not your friend’s job to find you a spouse. You need to bring it to their attention that you’re open to being set up, and then if they say they’ll think about it, you have to follow up the next time you see them or shoot them a text to remind them to keep it on their radar. I know, so annoying! But life is busy, and when you throw in that touch of self-centeredness that we all suffer from, people forget! So you have to kindly remind them that they casually mentioned that second cousin they have and did they have a chance to call him yet? =) It’s up to you to get your friends to set you up.
  3. Tell your friends how you like to be set up. Obviously this will require you to decide how you like to be set up. Do you want your friend to pass along your phone number? Or email address? Or a link to your facebook profile? Would you like the person’s info so you can initiate? Would you like to meet on a double date with your mutual friends? At a party? Do you want to see a picture or not see a picture? Want a run down of his life story as told by your mutual friend or is knowing “He’s a great guy!” enough info for you? Personally, I liked giving my number to my friend to have them pass it along to the guy they wanted me to meet so we could plan a blind date. I didn’t want an audience when I met him. But figure out what works best for you, and let your friends know! And if the person you’re being set up with prefers something else, then you adjust. But know thyself and communicate it.
  4. Be open to going on any blind date if a friend you trust is recommending the person. It could leave you wondering if your friend knows you at all. You might feel like the only thing you had in common was that you’re both single. Or you could have a lovely time and be so thankful that you met through your mutual friend. The risk is worth it.

To the friends who do the setting up (the setter uppers?)…

  1. Chill out about the whole thing. You are not looking for a spouse for your friend. You are introducing your friend to people he/she hasn’t met before. Your attitude and chill level about the whole thing does make a difference. (Sound familiar? LET’S ALL CALM DOWN)
  2. Think a little bit about it, but don’t over think it. From what I can tell, there’s no rhyme or reason to why two people click or don’t click. So, I don’t spend too much time “match making” or trying to determine if two of my friends might work out as a couple. They’re going to have to meet and figure that out for themselves. I do try to consider life stage and general age range, and any basic preferences that my friends mention.
  3. Remind yourself that the outcome is not your responsibility. This part is hard for me because I am very responsible and a bit of a control freak. So once I’ve introduced people I tend to worry about it and wonder if it will work out and then what if they date, but then they break up, and then they’ll be sad, and then they’ll hate me… I know. It’s so fun inside my head. Anyhow, on the regular, I have to remind myself that my only job is the introduction. I can’t control if they have a good time or if it’s awkward. Or if it leads to joy or heartbreak. Pain is a part of dating. That fact must be acknowledged. But it would be tragic if this kept us from helping our friends date well. Though there can be awkwardness involved and possible pain, let’s all jump in and help our fabulous single friends meet each other. The risk is worth it.
  • Well, I’m sure I’m forgetting heaps of things I’ll want to add later, but I’m going to post anyway! And might I double-dog-dare you to think of someone you could talk to about set-ups? I’m over here cheering you on!
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  • Performance anxiety/perfection anxiety is such a crippler, Laura, and I’m happy to see that you talked yourself past it because this is a superb post. Practical. Applicable. Liberating. Conversation-opening!

  • […] Ask friends about potential set-ups. Consider asking friends that are not in your inner circle. You probably know everyone they know, so you need to ask friends and acquaintances that have friends and family you haven’t met before. Check out this post for some help with set-ups! […]

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