Posted by: Lula in London | March 21, 2008

Singleton Situation: The Dreaded “Set-up”

A singleton writes:

Hey Lula!
Thanks for writing and I can’t wait to see the book! Perhaps you can give me tips on two situations. 1) When people think that because a guy is close to your age, attends church, and has a pulse, that you will just jump at the chance to date him. Not taking into account that he’s never been to school, has a low paying job, or better yet, almost 30 and still lives with his parents.
or 2) how to respond to the age old “Are you married yet?

Dear Set-up Sister,

You know it’s strange how well-meaning friends and loose acquaintances overlook key points when trying to set singles up on a date. After all, you at least pair up matching socks, and not just ones that haven’t had a companion for a while.

Perhaps if the well-intentioned could see how mis-matched their suggestions were for our goals of happiness this could be solved. Here are some practical and evil ways for pointing this fact out to them:

1. Invite them to double with you, and let them witness the aftermath of their meddling, live!

Let them listen to the conversations you have when you talk about your degree and he says, “Well, yeah, I would have gone to college, but after high school I was just sick of reading and learning. I’m just not into that kind of stuff, ya know?”

Or that time when you talk about your trip to Europe and he says, “Man, I’d never want to leave America! I mean why go somewhere else when you’ve got everything you need right here. I hate the French, I’ve never met one and I don’t want to. Besides, I spend all my money on my pickup truck.”

Or for that special time when 30 minutes goes by in total silence, because he feels uncomfortable eating outside of the house and having to think up conversation.

2. Let them walk around with you at church when he gives you creepy looks, letting you know that he has decided that you are the perfect girl to marry him and live with his mom. And, if you don’t respond in a favorable fashion, he will be devastated and it’s all your fault for…let’s all say it together now…”being too picky!

3. Show them the facebook profile that is a salute to his dark love for you and the torture he feels when girls keep rejecting him.

4. Give them a counter-offer.
After someone suggests your future spouse as the man who has been divorced twice, in debt for student loans he never got a degree with, and unable to use a “be” verb properly, give them a counter-offer. This is just like it is in the tv dramas where someone writes down a number on a piece of paper and they slide it across the table to see if it is accepted, and then the other person writes down another number slides it back across the table until both parties agree they are out of paper.

Your counter-offer would be suggesting they go out to dinner with the strange couple in the ward that has the wacko answers in Sunday School, and smells like old people. You can even use the same words to describe them as they used to describe your guy. It will probably fit perfectly. If they say no, then tell them to suggest a better option for you, and you will do the same. It might sound like this:

“Hey funny you mention this because I noticed that you and your husband don’t get out very much. I was thinking that it would be really good for you to go out with Brother and Sister Brown. They are married too, and live in the ward but don’t seem to be out much either. Perhaps you could find you have a lot in common? I think you’d really hit it off over dinner.”

5. Make up a fake boyfriend. 
Cut his photo out of a magazine to have on hand. Say he is in the war, and when a good man does come up, you can say your soldier ran off with a Sheik’s daughter. This way you are being patriotic for not dating while he’s gone.

6. Use a witty analogy to say no.
“Just because two socks are single, doesn’t mean they match.” Then wink and walk away. The key is quick wit and quick exit here.

7. Don’t thank them.
Although it’s tempting to be polite, if you thank them for thinking of you and suggesting a loser, this will likely be encouragement for them to think of other losers you may date. Answer quick, say no and leave. If you linger you will be subjected to a firing squad of questions to understand your type, in the hopes that they can point out to you that you are…oh now here it comes again…”Too picky!

8. Be as picky as you like.
And for that last question, how do I respond to “Are you married yet?”
Say, “No, but I will be.” Wink and walk away.

If you seem positive, it’s hard to feel bad enough to set you up with a hermit…for a few months anyway.



  1. This one made me laugh out loud!
    I especially like # 1, 4 and 8 but will likely go with #6. 🙂

    I have one more to add, but this only works on family members:

    My older brother used to do this to me all the time, however I got him to stop by doing this:
    Every time he suggested a guy, I’d turn on him with some variation of “oh, do YOU want him for YOUR brother-in-law?” or “so you WANT to be related to him?” The answer was always an “uhh, no.”

    And I’d always remind him that “anytime he met a guy he wouldn’t MIND being related to, only THEN could he recommend him.”

    My brother doesn’t meddle in my dating affairs anymore. 🙂

  2. As awkward as it may be for a girl to be set up, have you ever consider what males go through when being set up. Doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s by a married couple or a single girl, being set up by either can be a potentially deadly minefield.

    Set up master: “Hey Ryan, do you know the Smiths?”
    Ryan: “Yeah I know them.”
    SUM: “Well they have a niece that just moved into the area.”
    Ryan: “Great.”
    SUM: “Well I was talking with Sister Smith and we were just think you two would be perfect together.”
    Ryan: “Oh.”
    SUM: “Now Ryan, before you go discounting her I think you should take her out once.”
    Ryan: “Bang, you got me. I don’t want to bite but I will. What’s she like?”
    SUM: “Well she’s 23 and just graduated from BYU in General Education. She’s nice and has a great personality. Really smart girl, she really focused on her studies.”
    Ryan: “Great. Can’t wait.”

    See what I mean? Guys like to think they are the ones that take the initiative, not their married friends or family. It’s fine to introduce the two, bit not to set them up.

    As you probably can see from the conversation above, this is a recipe for disaster. Guys are very visual, especially when they first meet someone or try to remember someone. Describing someone to set them up with as nice and has a great personality does nothing but think you’re holding back something. Saying that she really focused on her studies when she was a general education student says she didn’t get out much.

    And it’s not like the guy can say no. After all, it’s his obligation to be the one to ask out girls and how can you say no to set up master. Then when you get cookies 3 times that next month along with the girl casually bumping into you asking how things are going, you know to thank your friend/mother/etc because dad knows better than to set you up.

    You can’t even begin to describe

  3. I am adding #6 to my blog
    I once went on a blind date with my parents (mom and stepdad who set it up) and yes it totally sucked. Need to post that on my blog but still working up the courage as Mom still hasn’t forgiven me for not making out with him in front of them.

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