Look around you. They’re everywhere. Sitting near you in work. Serving you your early morning flat white and grimacing while you encroach on their personal space on an overcrowded bus. Single people. Like Tinder in real time, you’ve been absent-mindedly swiping right and left on them your whole life and it’s a real pity that that app capitalised on dating when what you’ve been looking for has been right in front of you all along. Strangers. Single strangers that might fancy you, love you or walk right on by you. All this time has gone by and you’ve forgotten that you might have a friend - or a friend of a friend - that has the power to link you up with these moving bodies.
Since September 2012, the year of our Lord, Tinder has replaced the meddling friend when it comes to matchmaking but, for some reason, there’s a deep shame in being set up. No more, I say. In the oversaturated market of Tinder, Happn and Bumble, you stumble upon former colleagues, cousins of friends, old Gaeltacht pals and that guy that’s always in the gym, no matter what time of day you swagger in and go “Oh! Did not realise that they were on the market”. Scrolling through the thousands of profiles is like a hormonally charged game of Blind Man’s Buff. You spin around until the blood in your head reaches a gentle boil. You steady yourself and then point the finger at whoever fits the bill, whatever your bill may be. We shall hold no judgements on the potential other half that may floatilla your boatilla.
But if you suffer from a mild case of social awkwardness, first dates with a stranger are a living hell, making Tinder interactions and dates an endless slosh-pit of small talk, prolonged silences and jokes that just don’t land. If this is the case, you might need to a third party to step in and make meeting new people an organic thing and doing so is far easier than you would think. To create a real life Tinder without the awkwardness, people across the world need to learn how to promote their friends. This isn’t matchmaking because Willie Daly of the Matchmaking Festival in Lisdoonvarna is on top of that. Real life Tindering is simply a clear-cut method of navigating your way through a sea of single people. This is the second boat reference I’ve made so far but the end goal here is to say “climb aboard” to someone so let’s stick with it.
Potential Future Lover
To make this work, all you have to do is inform your single friends on the whereabouts of other single friends, and maybe list two or three of their charms and then leave them to it. It’s best to avoid making introductions a la Bridget Jones; “Perpetua, this is Mark Darcy. Mark is a prematurely middle-aged prick with a cruel raced ex-wife…”. Or, if you’re really the meddling friend, you wait until your first friend gives the blessing to start promoting them to the Potential Future Lover, by listing off two or three of their charms. There’s a real sense of consent here and the cardinal rule is to not throw anyone into the deep end, you’re simply shoving your nearest and dearest into their best light for everyone else to see. It’s the Traffic Light Ball of your Freshers Week in college but with fewer servings of WKD Blue. It’s all about subtle suggestions to the Potential Future Lover. You’re planting the seed of a flirt and it’s up to the two consenting adults to tend to that seed and let it bloom because I guess we’re using gardening references now.
One clever way of doing this, should you be in the position of organising the seating arrangements at your own or someone else’s wedding, is to sit your fun-loving single friends at the same table as the fun-loving couples, where conversations and lols flow just as much as the wine. This isn’t the singles table, it is the fun table but you’ve just conveniently placed single Patrick from your old college days and single Orlagh from the PR department beside each other. Surrounded by other craic merchants, their personalities can shine and by the time the DJ plays Proud Mary, they’ll be doing the Dirty Dancing run and jump into each other’s arms and, hopefully, into each other’s beds and hearts. And all you did was lightly suggest that as far as people go, they’re not that bad. Plus if it doesn’t work out, there’s no big rejection; you just move onto the next.
Your friends often know what’s best for you when it comes to getting the wear and as long as they don’t force you onto some undeserving soul, they’re the ones that will always have your back. If you’ve got Tinder fatigue and the endless scrolling is getting you nowhere, maybe now is the time to start promoting your friends and having them promote you in return. We’ve been wasting so much time looking down at our screens that we’ve forgotten to scan the room and smell the pheromones in the air. So with a good friend taking the charge of your own personal PR, step out with the most open of minds and your nostrils flared… to smell the pheromones. Sure, if this really works out, maybe I’ll capitalise on this technique and launch an app called Meddlr because sometimes all you need is a meddling hand.