To Swap or Not to Swap – Date Passing Etiquette

I was at lunch the other day with a girlfriend and during our conversation, she was telling me about this guy that she had just broken up with. She said that he seemed a bit controlling – always wanting to know where she was and what she was doing. She also got a bit creeped out with how quick he wanted to be “one big happy family” with her and her girls. In the very next breath, she said, “He wasn’t for me, but I think he would be a great match for you.”

I was shocked! What part of fast moving, controlling freak made you think that is what I was looking for in a man?! REALLY?!

This got me thinking to the whole idea of setting up your friend with an ex and when and what the proper dating etiquette is in this situation. I chuckled when I remembered the “rule” in my college sorority, you couldn’t date the ex-boyfriend of a sorority sister for 30 days after they broke up. Then, I was speaking with another relationship coach and she shared with me that a group of women she knew decided to have a cocktail party where each woman invited one of her “he is a great guy, but just not for me” to allow the other ladies to take a look.

Here are four guidelines to follow when mixing friends and ex-dates so you don’t end up with both an ex-date AND an ex-friend.

  1. Only share on the healthy ones
    If you really love your friends, only pass on the the dates that you know are really good people. I know this is all relative, but if you find the person to be very controlling, dishonest, in trouble with the law or hiding bodies in the basement – be a good friend and don’t pass them on.  Now if the guy is really a good guy, there’s just no chemistry between you – then feel free to pass.
  2. If you slept with them – don’t pass them on
    There is a certain dynamic that changes between two people once they sleep together – even if it is just once. So if you have slept with the date in question, don’t pass on sloppy seconds to your friends.
  3. Once you pass – Don’t pass back
    If you are passing, pass. Don’t be wishy-washy about the whole thing and want your friend to pass the man (or woman) back. This isn’t ping-pong.
  4. There are thousands of people out there- don’t ruin a friendship over a possible date.
    If you can’t pass a date and do it with every wish and intention of making a match and without any feelings of jealousy, then go for it. If it at all feels uncomfortable to any member of the three involved – just walk away. A true friendship isn’t worth losing over a “possible match.” There are millions of other people in the world – over 7 billion to be exact!

I have a dear friend who met his wife through an introduction from a woman he met on Match.com.In other words, he was a “passed date.”  In fact, the “match.com date” stood up to my friend’s wedding. So if you end up on a date with someone who isn’t your cup of tea, but you think they might click well with your friend, by all means do them both a favor! Use proper dating etiquette and be very careful that you respect the feelings of all the parties involved — especially the feelings of your friend. A true friend is much more important than any possible date.