“Wait…so you guys don’t meet the way my husband and I met? You know, like ‘Hi, my name is…’”
So, my boss (who is basically my second mother) said this to me yesterday as we discussed my love life (or lack thereof). And, by “you guys” she meant my generation. My wonderful, smart, well-read, completely not socially retarded, generation. Unfortunately my response to her went something like this:
“No, not really. We need a third party or something to help foster the connection.”
Take a moment and think back to your past flings, hookups, and relationships. How did they start? Do you remember some cute guy just coming up to you and introducing himself? (If so, you are in the minority and defying what this post is about so go away. Also, if this applies to you, ask yourself how inebriated you were at said encounter? Ok, cool, then it doesn’t count.) Or do you remember yourself telling one of your friends that so and so was cute and then that friend telling so and so?
While there are the exceptions when two strangers just happen to strike a conversation out of thin air and become lovers, these exceptions are rare. When I think back to my roller coaster of a love life, many of those interactions with my favorite species—men—have been facilitated by a mutual friend. Yeah…even I’m a punk sometimes.
Why? Because it is damn difficult to just strike up a conversation with someone when you have absolutely no common bond with them. It’s—my generation’s favorite word—awkward. And, it’s also far more likely to result in rejection than an in from a mutual friend.
Let’s use my California shenanigans for example. I visited my good friend in Cali, hoping to make a poor decision or two. And I made that poor decision…with a friend of hers who she could verify was not a complete sociopath. She says something to him and soon enough, I’m…well…you can fill in the blank.
That’s the thing also: at least if a friend knows the person, you can verify that you aren’t ending up with the next Craigslist killer.
Perhaps using a mutual friend is shallow or cowardly but let’s face it: it has its benefits. No shame in using a friend’s game.