Make Dating Connections through Friends - dummies

Make Dating Connections through Friends

By Pepper Schwartz

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

If you accept the proposition that tempting and exceptional people over 50 are reentering the dating world just like you are, then the next thing to sort out is where to find them. Happily, you have a number of different routes to travel, any or all of which may be successful.

Friends may seem like the least likely people to help you find a great date. After all, you may assume that you know all their friends or that if they knew someone to set you up with, they would have already suggested it.

But that’s not the case. Friends often think you’d be insulted if they offered to fix you up, or they worry that if it’s not a match, you’d blame them, and the friendship would be endangered.

If you release your friends from responsibility, you may find out that they know some possible dating candidates. Here are a few things to tell them to make them more likely to refer you to someone:

  • It doesn’t have to be a perfect match. You’re looking for dates right now, not a spouse. Just providing company would be a service. In fact, any live body that isn’t dangerous is a good idea because you’re just starting out, and you can learn from any experience.

  • You won’t blame them if it doesn’t work out. Reassure friends that you’ll be pleased with any introduction and that no matter what happens, you’ll hold them blameless and protect the friendship.

  • They don’t have to know the person well. If this is a friend of a friend, that’s fine with you. Tell friends to keep you in mind as an eligible person because they may meet someone interesting for just a fleeting moment, and if they’re thinking about you, they could slip the person your phone number.

Friends can be squeamish about playing cupid, but if you’re direct and even a bit forward about asking them to help find you someone, they may feel that they really have to put out extra effort — and that may net you someone special.

Sometimes you can help friends remember people they know but aren’t thinking of off the top of their head. For example, instead of asking a friend, “Do you know anyone?” try asking “Do you know anyone who really loves bridge like I do?” Asking more specific questions may jog a friend’s memory.

Or if you say, “Do you know anyone who may have single friends that love hiking like I do?” they may think of who they know in a new way. If you let people know that you’re serious about finding someone, they may spend a little extra time thinking more creatively about who they know.