1. Get permission first. Never presume a pal is unhappy just because she isn’t attached at the moment. “People in relationships sometimes think anyone not in one needs to be in one,” Dr. Locker says. So check that your friend actually wants your matchmaking help. “Say, ‘I have someone I think you’d like to meet.’ If she’s divorced, don’t ask why she isn’t dating or say she should meet this person. Just ask if she’s ready,” suggests Dr. Locker. And never ambush her with an impromptu setup. “It’s offensive and alienating,” she adds.
2. Choose the right mate. So your friend’s on board. Still, you shouldn’t set up two people just because they’re both single, says Fay Goldman, founder of Meaningful Connections in New York City. “Think about their sense of humor, their relationship goals and their professional status,” she recommends. “If she’s career-driven, someone who isn’t might not be a good match. If she wants to remarry, a newly divorced guy who’s playing the field isn’t the right fit.” Adds Dr. Locker, “While you can’t account for chemistry between two people, the only real question for you is, ‘Would this person like this person?’ If there are no romantic sparks, at least they might enjoy each other as friends.”