Advice and Insights for Modern Daters

A Tale of Two Matches

Molly counsels a letter writer who matched with a great guy. Unfortunately, her best friend did, too. 

Q. My best friend and I are not speaking over something that sounds trivial, but given the size of our town and the available number of single men, it’s not that silly. I’m curious to get an outside opinion on this and find out if there is some sort of etiquette I’m missing here.

Here’s what happened: we both matched with the same guy on a dating app. This probably happens more than we even realize as we live in a relatively small college town, but this was the first time we noticed, since he asked us both out the same week! We always tell each other about people we’re going out with, so that’s how we figured it out.

Cue extreme awkwardness. We both really wanted to go out with this guy and neither of us was willing to “back down.” He was scheduled to go out with her on Wednesday and me on Friday. FML. We agreed to just let the dates both happen and see if either of us felt chemistry, then go from there.

Guess what? Both of us loved him. And he’s still texting us both. At least, I’m pretty sure he is. We haven’t really spoken since I gave my positive date report.

I feel like I’m on the brink of losing a friend over a random dating guy and I’m not sure how to deal with this. Eventually he’s going to have to choose one of us, and I feel like the end result will be us no longer being friends.

Emily, 28, Ann Arbor, MI 

A. Ah, how times have changed. It used to be that Suzie and Mary would spot Johnny at the soda fountain, he’d approach Mary, and that would be the end of of it.

These days, Johnny’s posted up on his couch with a Blue Moon, virtually entertaining Suzie, Mary, Karen, and Linda — and none of them are the wiser!

I know it’s exciting to come across someone who seems to have real potential. When you spot him or her, you  do not want to let go.

I also know I’ve matched with the same guy as my friends in large cities, so I can’t even imagine the awkwardness of this being a regular problem in a smaller town. By the way — neither of us are alone in this unfortunate phenomenon. 26% of Hinge Members have connected with at least one person a friend has also matched with. This means “match overlap” is a actually a pretty common problem, and probably even more of a problem in a smaller town or city.

There are a few ways to approach this situation.

The most pain-free, “fair” solution: sit down with your friend and discuss the possibility of both of you giving up this guy. Neither of you will be 100% happy, but your friendship will survive.

This is the advice you will most likely get from your other friends, and definitely the advice you will get from your friends in relationships, who have forgotten how exciting it is to meet someone you connect with after a long, frustrating search.

26% of Hinge Members have connected with at least one person a friend has also matched with.

Unfortunately, that advice does not take into account one seriously annoying aspect at play here: feelings. You like this guy. A lot. If you didn’t like him a lot, you wouldn’t have written in. If you didn’t think there was a possibility of this turning into something, you and your friend wouldn’t be at odds.

Here’s the bottom line: if you decide to pursue Mr. Maybe Right, you will be faced with the possibility of losing your friend, as will she. Love makes people crazy, and this situation will only get messier as the days pass.

But wait! We’ve forgotten to take one person into account here: him. Eventually, he will decide he likes one of you more than the other, or he will decide he likes neither of you.

This is why I suggest the following: have an honest conversation with you friend about what’s going on. Agree to keep each other in the loop about how much he is pursuing each of you. If each of your relationships “progresses” at a typical rate, it is highly unlikely his interest level will remain “equal” after dates 2 or 3 — it will become clear who he likes more. At that point, one of you can bow out gracefully and be happy for the other.

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Molly Fedick is the Editor-in-Chief of IRL. She has written extensively on the role of technology in modern dating for publications including Glamour, NBC, the Chicago Tribune, Elite Daily, and Huffington Post. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @mylifeasmolly. Send Molly your questions at


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