A matchmaker says there's a simple but overlooked way to boost your chances of finding a relationship

Dean Drobot/ShutterstockA relationship isn’t as elusive as you might think.
  • If you’re looking for a relationship, tell your friends and ask them to set you up.
  • That’s advice from Miami-based matchmaker Claudia Duran.
  • Research suggests most people still met through friends as of 2010, and our friends can sometimes know us better than we know ourselves.

Last year, I asked career expert Toni Thompson about the best ways to get ahead at work. Her response was simple: “Talk about what you want with your boss.”

If you’re gunning for a promotion, a raise, or simply more opportunity, let your manager know. Once you do, they will be able to advocate for you in conversations with their manager.

Dating, it turns out, may not be so different. If you’re looking for a relationship, or at least someone who has relationship potential, let your friends know. Once you do, they will start looking at their network with an eye toward who’d be compatible with you.

That’s according to Claudia Duran, a Miami-based matchmaker with dating service Elite Connections.

Duran told me it’s all about “being a little more communicative and vulnerable.” In other words, telling your friends, “Hey. I’m really looking to meet someone special. Do you know somebody you could introduce me to?”

As Duran put it, “Ask and you shall receive.”

Duran is onto something. Research from 2012 published in the American Sociological Review suggests that, as of 2010, meeting through friends was still the most popular way for relationships to start – though it’s gradually becoming less common as online dating becomes more widespread.

In fact, a 2011 paper published in Current Directions in Psychological Science suggests that other people can sometimes know us even better than we know ourselves. That’s especially true when it comes to behaviours like talking a lot, or traits we may not recognise in ourselves, like intelligence.

To be sure, app-makers have already capitalised on this: Wingman lets you set up your friends with potential partners, which could be a relief or a recipe for disaster, depending on your perspective. And Hinge matches you with friends of Facebook friends.

If you’re not up to asking your friends outright to set you up, Duran had a few similar suggestions. Hang out at clubs, sports games, charity events, and the like – the point is to find someone who shares your interests. “Really,” Duran said. “Don’t be shy.”

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