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Matchmaking

After the unfriendly response from the DateHarvardSq folks, I decided to pause and reflect on my purpose as a columnist. My period of nirvana was cut brief, though, by Sophie Bishton, who yelled at me after class, “Where has your column been?” Unwilling to disappoint my readers, particularly the female ones, the Sutra is back.

Interestingly, during my time away people consistently came up to me, with each person asking for the same favor: “Kwame – can you set me up” said a forever gorgeous and sultry EC classmate.

“I’m presently single” I said while looking into her eyes and noting in a coy manner, “even better – I love grabbing dinners.”
“Haha. That’s funny, but I’m serious, I really think you’ve got the connections to find me someone,” she responded, patting me on the back and walking away.

And such is my life. While my latest rejection hit me like getting shot in paintball, I couldn’t help but wondering if she had a point. I also couldn’t help but wondering when she’ll wise up and go on a date with me, but that’s for another column.

Somehow, I had created (at the very least) a correlation between dismissing a dating service and being viewed as a campus matchmaker.

Could I add matchmaking to my dating repertoire? ÿI must admit, like all consultants at HBS, I am great with giving advice on dating, but actually implementing my plans might prove troublesome. In addition, the potential fallout of not making successful couples could damage the brand identity I have so carefully crafted as a cunning, wily, and competent member of the student body.

Nevertheless, I kinda want to give it a go.

The obvious first question here is how in the world should I start setting up classmates?

Learning from my marketing mentor Michael (admit it – you loved that alliteration) Norton, I know that people tend to see increase in happiness when they are involved in the construction of a good or product. ÿHence, the “good” here can help form a relationship, requiring our aspiring couples to feel as if they have contributed to forming a bond. Still, I had no idea how to actually accomplish this goal.

So I get that asking two HBS students to participate in a group activity will lead to a stronger (potentially romantic) bond between them, but I had no idea how to actually do this.

To be honest, the lack of ideas circulating around how to lump future mates together almost led me to end the whole project, and then I got that stupid song “matchmaker matchmaker make me a match.” stuck in my head and it hit me like getting tagged in paintball (sure, I’m running low on analogies).

Using Norton’s framework as I guide, I realized I can use my singleness to make other people happy.

To execute my plan, I will help pairs of people meet up with the explicit goal of setting me up. This difficult, yet rewarding goal will test the two participant’s creativity, faith, and endurance. Setting me up is no easy task (this has now become gospel if you are a frequent reader). Thus, finding me a suitable mate will create a bonding experience that proves to be a catalyst on the path towards love.

The best part of this experiment is by using Professor Norton’s theory, I really absolve all responsibility from myself if this doesn’t work out (or even worse is a drastic failure).

To recap, if you are searching for love, the best way to find it is by finding me love. From this point, there are two ways to go about this. The first is if you are afraid or too shy to ask someone out, you can sugar coat your invitation under the guise of helping me out. Use something like, “I just read that Kwama Sutra column – that guy really needs a date – would you want to brainstorm with me?”

The other way to do this is to go through me. Ergo, the next time the EC classmate asks to be set up, I’ll redirect her to a nice guy and instruct the pair to find me a date. Voila, we have love. Perhaps the best part of the experiment is that I won’t charge any fees because there is no reward greater than finding love.

Complex? Maybe. Successful? Absolutely. Take away – use me to help you.

October 18, 2010
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