Dear Mr. Nice Guy…

Dear Mr. Nice Guy, 

About 2 years ago, I got out of a string of abusive relationships. I’m now 28, and I feel like I’m ready to get back out there. However, guys I meet seem to just want to hook up—I want something serious. Recently, my hair stylist started asking me what kind of guy I was looking for. Once we got to talking, she said she knew of a few guys that might be a good match and wanted to set us up. I’ve always been afraid of setups because I don’t want the setter-upper to be upset if it goes sour. However, I feel like I shouldn’t rule it out. What do you think? Do you have any advice for a first-setup-date? 
Thank you, 
Ms. Single Setup 
*     *     *

HeadshotDear Ms. Single Setup,

You most certainly are right, don’t rule out the idea of a Setup Date.

The people we keep in our lives; friends, family, and in your case your hair stylist, can often think “outside of the box” and see things in us that we would typically overlook, or even disregard because we’d think it a flaw rather than a selling point. This makes them an excellent source when it comes to finding potential dates and/or significant others.

There is one very important question I recommend everyone ask when they are approached with a potential setup.

Why do you think we’re compatible?”

You need to make sure there is more of a reason to set you up other than:

“Well…you’re both single.”

“Well…you both are sick of being single.”

“Well…you both have trouble going out and meeting people.”

“Well…you both have abysmal luck when it comes to finding someone on your own.”

“Well…you only find assholes/bitches.”


Fortunately, it seems like your stylist may be on the right track since she asked what kind of guy you’re looking for; just make sure they are valid reasons.

Do you have share interests? Similar backgrounds? Have you both expressed an interest in doing something new?

I must say I’m extremely impressed that your concern isn’t so much being set up on a date, but that if things don’t work out the relationship with your stylist may be altered. To be frankly honest, I had never thought of things turning out that way. My personal thoughts are, I doubt she’ll give it a second thought if things don’t work out with you and Guy A, B, or C. (unless one of them is a son/nephew/cousin/grandson/etc., that she’s absolutely crazy about)

When it comes to the date itself I highly recommend trying to make it happen during a group outing. Having been the subject of two Setup Dates in the past this helped avoid any potential awkward situations. The first one consisted of her meeting me at a bowling alley where I was with a good buddy of mine and his girlfriend. For the other setup a mutual friend brought her to an annual fondue event a group of my friends have every January.

The bowling date went well and we continued to go out on a few more dates after that. In the end things didn’t work out, but even now we are still friends. The fondue setup didn’t even really have a chance to gain momentum; which I will admit was largely to me being somewhat picky at that time.

Coincidentally, just two weeks ago my sister told me that a friend of hers wants to set me up with her daughter. Now, I don’t know much about the daughter other than the fact that she’s cute; and that she has apparently already Facebook stalked me and said I was cute. Not following my own advice, placing blame on the 25 ounces of beer I had already consumed on a virtually empty stomach, I slammed my hand on the table and said with a smile, “Set it up!” To the best of knowledge the tentative game plan is a double date night, consisting of dinner and games, which will include myself, the daughter, my sister, and my brother-in-law.

See? Safety in numbers.

Any of those situations not only helps take some pressure off the two of you, but it makes conversation and getting to know someone a LOT easier. Having trouble coming up with a question to ask? Perhaps someone else in the group will have something to say.

Better still, you will get to see how this person interacts with other people. You can learn a lot about a person even when not directly involved in the conversation taking place.

Here’s my final little conclusion of advice for you.

Take up your stylists offer to set you up, but do your homework first. Start off small and find out which one guy may be the best fit for the setup. Find an activity to do with a group of people; they could be your friends, they could be his friends, they could be a mix of the two. The focus here is a fun activity where interaction is a must.

Last, don’t try to think of it too much as ‘a date’. Think of it as a group of people going out to have fun. If, at the end of the day/night, you’re vibin’ this guy let him know. There’s no problem in saying, “It was great getting to meet you and I had a lot of fun. Do you want to, maybe, get drinks or dinner sometime.”

Good Luck, and let us know if anything develops!


-Mr. Nice Guy-

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