You鈥檙e the first person any of your pals calls after a bad day at work. You never forget a birthday, and sometimes you even send a card for no reason at all. You鈥檙e on a first-name basis with your BFF鈥檚 mom, and you feel pretty confident that you could successfully order brunch for most of your friends at any local restaurant. But you鈥檙e ready to take your gold star friendship status to a brand new level by helping all of your single friends find their next great romance. But setting up friends isn鈥檛 for the faint of heart 鈥 after all, you don鈥檛 want to risk the friendship! There are, however, ways to organize dates for the people in your circle without damaging your relationships with them, and we鈥檝e asked the experts for their tips on how to do just that. Keep reading for seven suggestions that will help you make potential love connections without throwing your social circle into total chaos.

A woman holds a sparkler at a backyard party

1. Have a good reason! Your friends aren鈥檛 destined for each other simply because they both happen to be single 鈥 and setting them up for that reason alone has the potential to offend them. 鈥淭hink about why they would make a great couple,鈥 suggests relationship expert and mental health writer Emily Mendez. 鈥淒on鈥檛 set them up unless they have things in common.鈥 This might seem obvious, but if you鈥檙e excited about the possibility of your single pals hitting it off, you might get carried away and forget to really consider how realistic the relationship might be.

2. Don鈥檛 overcomplicate the situation. 鈥淚f you鈥檙e setting people up, set them up!鈥 says Nathan John, founder of UK matchmaking service You Should Meet. 鈥淒on鈥檛 arrange an intricate set of meetings at various social events before the actual introduction.鈥 Assuming both parties trust you to set them up, go ahead and set the date for the two to meet. A more complicated strategy might confuse the issue or make your friends feel like they鈥檙e being put on the spot at other events.

3. Don鈥檛 set up friends with a dramatic breakup history. Breakups are never easy, but there are people who are more prone to dramatic splits than others. These people may not be the best candidates for a friendly setup, particularly if you鈥檙e nervous about the future consequences of making such a match. 鈥淪ome people have a pattern of volatility in their relationships,鈥 Match Made in NOLA founder Ann Parnes notes. 鈥淚f one of your friends matches that description, it is probably best not to introduce them to another friend.鈥

4. Keep things low-key. Once you鈥檝e committed to making the match, you can avoid putting unnecessary pressure on both people (and on yourself!) by ensuring that the introduction is casual and the first date is light. Make the connection at a laid-back event like a birthday party 鈥 and only once, per John鈥檚 advice 鈥 and suggest that the date happen at a fun, not-too-formal setting like a trendy casual restaurant or miniature golf course. 鈥淓ven if the two don鈥檛 end up pursuing a relationship, your friends will appreciate your efforts if you went about it in a nice way,鈥 encourages Maple Holistics wellness expert Caleb Backe.

Friends meet and hug

5. Be realistic. Don鈥檛 oversell the situation to your friend. If you鈥檙e excited to set them up on a date, it鈥檚 entirely possible that you鈥檒l exaggerate the odds that they鈥檒l fall immediately head over heels with the person in question 鈥 and while that would obviously be ideal, it kind of sets everyone up for disappointment. LastFirst founder and CEO Emily Holmes Hahn recommends a healthy dose of realism as you prepare your pal for the date. 鈥淚t鈥檚 better to leave a little mystery so that the couple will be pleasantly surprised upon meeting, rather than disappointed,鈥 she tells us. 鈥淪o much magic is involved in making a match, and if this is going to be the real thing, you need to allow that moment the couple locks eyes for the first time to be raw and not build up expectations too much.鈥

6. Make the match and walk away. If you鈥檝e made what you think is a promising introduction and put the two parties in touch, it鈥檚 time to back off. Doing so will help ease any jitters you might have about the effects of a romantic setup on your friendship. 鈥淪ometimes, friends feel hesitant or weird about being set up, because they鈥檙e afraid you鈥檙e going to dig and ask about every little detail,鈥 says DC-based Three Day Rule matchmaker Kat Haselkorn. 鈥淕ive the relationship room to develop slowly and naturally.鈥 If things are going well, we鈥檙e confident your friend will let you know! And if not, well, maybe it鈥檚 best you don鈥檛 talk about it.

7. Frame any feedback constructively. If you鈥檝e heard from one friend that the other didn鈥檛 come off so well on the date, take a beat before you report back. They have a right to know what happened 鈥 especially if you think they might be waiting for a call back 鈥 but it鈥檚 easy to make someone feel attacked or criticized in situations like this. Rori Sassoon, owner of high-end matchmaking service Platinum Poire, recommends that you express it as constructive feedback. 鈥淔rame it so that it comes off that you are trying to help and not criticize,鈥 she says. Who knows? Your friendly advice could be the key to your BFF totally crushing their next date, even if it鈥檚 not one that you鈥檝e set up!

Have you ever set up a friend? Tweet us how it turned out @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)