I admit it--I'm a matchmaker at heart. Whenever I meet someone who's single, I'm immediately thinking about other people I know who are single and whether they could be a match. It's just fun! I only set up individuals who agree to it first and I always do my best in trying to match the people I know. The problem: my past two set-ups have gone awry and now these acquaintances are irked at ME for having linked them up with someone who isn't for them. In one case, the guy with whom I sent my friend on a date was arrogant and rude to her throughout, she says, and she is insulted that I'd set her up with him. In another case, my guy friend wasn't fond of my match for him but now the girl won't stop calling him and he's peeved at me. Am I wrong to continue wanting to help?

Miss Match, Murray Hill

Matchmaking is very tricky business and, for that reason, should often be left to the professionals who can match people in whom they have no investment other than a business-minded one and then retreat to their separate lives. You, on the other hand, have created a situation in which you actually become a significant player in the relationship of the two people. First of all, you're the only thing they have in common, at least at the outset; and, even more importantly, whether you like it or not, they will likely each evaluate the date with an attitude of "Is THIS what she thinks of me?" When the pairing works, you're golden and may even get wedding toasts and a child named after you (hey, it's happened...). However, when the pairing is a mismatch, you can suddenly become the enemy of either or both parties.

You have to ask yourself whether this is the sort of involvement you want to have with your /acquaintances, or whether it's better just to be their friend and let them find love in a way that doesn't involve you. If you really want to help two great people meet each other, invite them to the same event, preferably one in which there are other folks present as well, so that they can meet 'organically.' Sure, they won't have you to thank if they hit it off; but if they're turned off, they won't have you to blame, either.