Imagine your best mate was interested in meeting someone. And, because you know them best, you were asked to champion them to all the people you know.
But instead of talking up all their natural attributes and all the great things about them, instead of describing all of the things they had in common with like-minded friends – all the shared interests – you chose, instead, to write out an online dating profile. A really truly bad one.
The bad dating profile
And your mate steps out wearing brown corduroys and a jazzy tie with a naked lady on the front – attire that hasn’t helped them out.
The scorn-slinging mates
Nor has the fact that you and your mates have begun to openly slate other people in the room in a bid to decimate the popularity of any attractive would-be competitors.
You call out lots of different people for being either shallow or fake. Your mate is a catch. The real deal. And if people can’t see that, well frankly, they’re idiots.
The problem is: You’re out of touch with this dating lark. Admittedly, you don’t know what’s sexy or appealing. Not these days. Fashion confuses you. And the chumps that are attracting all the attention, they confound you more.
Yet you were asked to step up and help out a friend. Breathe new life into them, revitalise them. Get them re-appreciated.
They’re just ‘misunderstood’. Is it your fault?
Because they are decent – one of the best and you completely undersold them.
The overlooked attributes
What you thought and wanted somewhere along the line became more important than what would have been considered ‘acting in best interests’.
You were so busy trying to describe them by comparing them to others and by trying to impress people with details on their past or intellect; you forgot all of the really great things about them.
You forgot the fact that they are honest. Humble. And really really nice.
You forgot to say how, when you met them, that moment was life-affirming. And how, for lots of your shared time, they have always been a pleasure and a comfort.
You forgot to mention that they’re a pal who, despite being prone to vague timekeeping, is often your best and most reliable buddy. A gift for the soul. Your stalwart and savior in equal measure.
You forgot to mention their self-deprecating wit and – well, how they’re often so even-tempered. You forgot to smile and laugh and ask questions. You neglected to add that they are the most sociable one of the gang. Great at getting people together and getting everyone chatting.
You forgot all about the way people are attracted to hearing about qualities they can understand. Because, halfway between trying to detail all their credentials, all those people who could have and would have been attracted to knowing more about your mate and would have jumped at the chance of taking them out, lost interest and wandered off with their arms linked to others.
You forgot what it is to be positive. And, admittedly, you also began braying.
It was all a bit awkward to watch.
You gave no hints of their beguiling nature. You had no positive things to say about their style. Or depth of character. You made nothing of the fact that everything they are has been earned, fairly.
The ungracious finger-pointing
Instead, you talked about how all the other people in the place had indulged in cosmetic surgery and were simply artificial. You kept on mentioning that until it became a dull echo that made you sound bitter and haggard.
The belief that being tight-fisted is a virtue
Then, you told them all how much of a cheap date your mate was in reality. That seemed more important to you than it really being reflective of their nature. Really, you enjoyed this about them, but being perceived as frugal and economical really didn’t do anyone any favours.
The decision to swerve all hip encounters
It’s true they have traditional values, but you presented them as old fashioned and not in touch with any trends. For instance, when a date was on the cards you suggested attending an event where pie-eating was de rigueur. You never mentioned music or art or street food.
The prehistoric measures
You suggested anyone interested in giving things a go with your friend commit to something big and longer-term immediately. Even if they didn’t know each other very well or were completely new to dating.
You just put people off entirely.
You were meant to be a best mate. Things could have gone better. But then, there’s still time to champion a good friend. There’s time to retell their story.