Trend Alert: Date My Friend Parties

Ever met someone who's good-looking, smart, sweet, a total catch... but just not for you? Of course you have. Maybe you've tried dating this person and it didn't work out, or maybe your relationship has always been purely platonic. Somehow, at this point, you just know you two aren't meant for each other, even though you're certain that he or she will make someone very happy. Only who?

Thus the "date my friend" party was born-an increasingly popular option for singles who prefer to meet romantic interests through friends, but would rather do so at a party than a potentially awkward setup. Also called "not date" parties, these soirées adhere to one simple rule: All guests must be single and are required to bring at least one single friend in tow. Unlike typical singles events, everyone at "date my friend" gatherings is handpicked, upping the odds for a love connection or two, to which one recent party host, Susan Friedman, can attest.

"As a recent transplant to Texas and newly single, I hosted a 'Suddenly Single in Dallas' party and requested that my female guests bring tall, single gentlemen," recalls Friedman. Several margaritas and friendly introductions later, she met a great guy she's been happily dating for several months. "There was already more trust from the beginning because my friends already liked him," she says. "When you meet someone randomly at a bar, there are definitely more precautions to take, and it may take more time to really get to know the person."

"Date my friend" parties have become so popular they've even spawned a party-planning business called Date My Friend, which has hosted nearly 40 parties in major cities across the U.S. "We know of at least four marriages of couples who met at our parties. One of the couples had a baby this spring," says spokesperson Trish Gardner. "It's great 'love karma' for us." So why not gather some friends, break out your little black books, and start e-viting?

Writer Lisa Cericola has never met someone at a "date my friend" party, but she's got a Rolodex full of people to bring, should she be invited to one.


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