Jan 19

How To Tell If Your Parents Are Setting You Up

After the awkwardness that was the Christmas church concert in 2007, you’d think my mom would never try this again. But no. I was wrong. This is my wonderful guide on how to tell if your parents are setting you up (at least, this tends to be how it works in my world).

I suspect it's because of this. (Credit.)

Change Taiwanese to Cantonese SDA and you’ll have my mom’s current standards for me. My dad’s standards are probably along the lines of “non-serial killer any-Asian bordering any-race with a job.” (Credit.)

Let’s backtrack a bit–back in 2007, I was home for winter break. My mom had been telling me great things about a guy at church for the past 3 months, but I was way too busy to really take note of it, so let’s just fast-forward to that Christmas concert.

I was catching up on life with a friend I hadn’t seen in months, and my mom came out of nowhere, death-gripped my arm (she’s tiny and I’m way stronger, so I have no idea where that strength came from), and pretty much dragged me over to where this dude was standing.

Farrah, this is _____. _____, this is Farrah. You’re both 18!”

Then she walks away.

I kid you not.

Our conversation went something like this:

F: …So…I’ve heard a lot about you from my mom.
D: I’ve heard a lot about you from your mom too.
F: …
D: …

Needless to say, that went swimmingly. My mom refuses to acknowledge that this ever happened now because she had a few more interactions afterward with this dude and concluded that he didn’t have the greatest attitude and wasn’t that considerate.

I guess enough years have passed that my mom felt that a part 2 wouldn’t hurt. This happened over my winter break (aka the only vacation I had all year), and I feel mildly betrayed, as the time that I get to spend with friends is already severely limited.

Here’s how I deduced that it was coming:

They start voicing their concerns regarding your lack of a love life.

(Because it’s not like med school takes up a lot of time or anything.)

After my first interview this year, my dad called to tell me he was happy that I was finally getting somewhere with my life, but that he was concerned because I had terrible luck with dating and my only serious relationship didn’t work out. (…way to salt the wounds, dad.)

Your relatives start asking about whether you’re seeing anyone.

During my drive to one of my interviews, my aunt called to ask me if I was going out with anyone. Then she decided to give me dating advice. (“Be nice to them, don’t worry about money, and don’t be too picky.”)

You are suddenly required to have dinner with family friends but your sibling is not.

This isn’t entirely uncommon, because I do actually go with her to get lunch/dinner with her friends sometimes because they’re awesome, but it’s never been forced. I agreed to this one a couple weeks ago because I thought it was the same sort of thing, but it started getting fishy when I asked if I could skip it to see a friend I hadn’t seen in years. She got pretty pissed.

They get increasingly vague when you ask for more details.

After that rather unnatural response to my wanting to peace out on dinner, I started getting kinda suspicious, so I started asking more questions. I was not allowed to leave after dinner either, because “they were coming over afterward to talk.”

F: …why do I have to stay if they’re your childhood friends?
M: They traveled from so far away!
F: …but they’re your friends.
M: They want you to stay!
F: Why?
M: (changes the subject)

You get confirmation from your sibling.

My brother’s one of my best friends, so since I was getting absolutely nowhere with my mom, I asked him.

S: Yep.
F: …So why didn’t you tell me?
S: She forbid me from telling you. Don’t tell her I said anything.

I rest my case.

  • If you’re a parent, have you ever tried to set your kid up with someone? How did it go? The guy was nice enough, but if my mom never tries this again, it’ll be too soon.
  • If you were on the receiving end like me, care to share your story? :]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.fairyburger.com/how-to-tell-if-your-parents-are-setting-you-up/



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  1. Rachel G

    ahahahaha! Parents. I was going to say that I don’t think any of us kids have reached the age where our parents actually carry out threats to set us up with anyone…but then I remembered, back in 2010 (I was 18)…there’s actually this pretty epic story where my mom somehow came to hear about this guy, Andrew Kooman (I don’t mind saying his name, he’s actually famous enough to have a Wikipedia page and no one in my family has ever met him) through, if I understand correctly, seeing his bio on a book cover, and she decided he was perfect for me. She started a campaign to get me to email him and started talking to find out if we have any mutual acquaintances who could introduce me to him and she thought it was really perfect because we’re both into writing and theater and social justice and this guy just seemed so amazing…
    This was early March 2010. Is it any wonder that I started going out with a perfectly average nurse who I love so very much in late March 2010?
    Rachel G recently posted…When I Visit the USA Someday…My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, that’s awesome. Your mom was clearly on a mission!! That’s kinda awesome how she went from his bio on a book cover to “he must be perfect for you.” :O… I’m so glad you found someone way more perfect for you so shortly after that! :]!!

  2. CARLA

    and this was my parents with nerdy Jewish men.
    All the damn time and ANY ANY MEN.
    (have you seen the movie MEET THE PATELS? Hilarious….)
    CARLA recently posted…Creating a Fitness Mission Statement.My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, glad I’m not the only one! 😛 I haven’t seen Meet the Patels, but I’ll have to go check it out! :]

  3. Susie @ SuzLyfe

    I am so glad that my parents never did this to me. SO GLAD
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Quick, Clean, and Healthy Cabo Shrimp Jicama Tacos (Gluten Free)My Profile

    1. Farrah

      I’m glad for your sake too! SO AWKWARD. D:

  4. Dianan

    Oh gosh this made me laugh so hard I think I peed a little!!(jk!!)

    Yes. I can relate!!! Ugh I feel your pain! People! I a, single because….I chose to be single!!!


    1. Farrah

      hehehe, I’m glad you got a good laugh out of it! I’m with you there!! My life is wayyyy too unstable at the moment for me to sustain any sort of committed relationship without me feeling super guilty that I never have time for the other person! x_x

  5. Ariana

    Hahah! That’s rough! But they do it because they love you and want the best for you 😉 Fortunately my parents have never tried to set me up – in fact until I met my current boyfriend, they probably would have been happy if I stayed single and lived with them forever LOL.
    Ariana recently posted…Plant-Based Sun Butter Energy BallsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, yeah, I know they mean well, but if they never do it again, it’ll be too soon! :O I would’ve thought my parents would be happy to have me just live with them forever, but apparently they’ve told my brother they’re worried I’ll be foreveralone as a cat lady and no one will be there to take care of me (but I can take care of myself!!).

  6. tianna

    my dad tried to do this to me so many times. I cringed every single time. He would always act like I was some hideous person who needed to “settle” for a nice guy. Not that I have a problem with nice guys, but it was implied that since I’m “not that attractive” that I should find someone who has a good heart. Totally whack. My mom and step dad only embarrassed me once by saying that before my current boyfriend, they thought I was a lesbian. Thanks guys! lol. Glad I’m not alone with the weird parent situations!
    tianna recently posted…Sustainable Is Sexy!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Aughh, nooo! Never ever settle for less than what you deserve! My family members have been telling me that I’m way too picky, but…I like to think it’s more of having standards than anything else? (What’s the point if I’m not actually interested in them? 😮 )

      My closest friends’ parents have asked them in the past if they’re in a relationship with me. Apparently they’re okay with their daughters being lesbians if I happen to be the girlfriend(?). Not sure if I should be flattered, but I guess I’ll take it, hahaha.

  7. Jen K

    Soo funny Farrah! I love it!

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, thanks, Jen! <3

  8. Laura

    Ohhhhh goodness… parents are so nosy sometimes, haha.

    At least your brother was honest 😛
    Laura recently posted…The PERFECT Tomato Chicken SandwichMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      haha, right?

      I can usually count on him to be, thankfully!!

  9. Annmarie

    Hahaha, this is so funny! Sorry that happened to you though- must have been a little awkward!
    Annmarie recently posted…DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Snow Strong WorkoutMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, justttt a tad. I called my mom out on it and she flatly denies that she ever tried setting me up, but promises not to do it again. (Only time will tell if she actually sticks to that. >_> )

  10. Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    haha!!! I had a good friend in High School who had to find a “good Chinese boy.” She did 🙂
    My hubby and I were actually a set up– but by close friends, not a parent.
    At least she means well? 🙂
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Super Sweaty Home WorkoutMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, they definitely mean well, but sigh! I think my taste in dudes is infinitely different than the “type” of guy my parents would like me to be with. I think my close friends would probably have a better idea of the kind of person I’d be interested in though. I’m glad it worked out really well for you and your husband! <3!

  11. Sola

    Omg I’m rolling on the floor laughing. This is the same set up I get but I find out way after I met the potential bachelor. My parents are like, so what did you think of that nice Nigerian boy and I’m like noooooo guys stop. And I have to think about if it seemed like I was being rude or flirting with said bachelor. It’s a mess. I can’t wait to share this one with my friends.
    Sola recently posted…The Ultimate Guide To Self-Care (Because You’re Worth It)My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, so sad. :'( I’m glad I’m not alone?! I’m always worried that my being nice to them will have them thinking that I’m interested when I’m actually not. Tis a huge mess that I’d really rather not have to deal with right now! Glad you got a good laugh outta this though! ;P

  12. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    NO, ahha I can say nothing that that (will ever) happen to me!
    But you know what’s awkward…my brother is dating a girl named…REBECCA! :O
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Vanilla Rhubarb Yogurt Blue CornbreadMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I’m glad your parents don’t do this sort of thing to you, hahaha. ._.

      Ah! That really is rather awkward. I’ve always hoped that I won’t end up meeting a guy that has the same name as my brother that I end up really liking! o_o

  13. Mandi Korn

    So wait, did you go to this dinner and meet the “guy?”
    Mandi Korn recently posted…Photography from Northbound 421My Profile

    1. Farrah

      It was basically dinner with him and our parents, and my mom kept very obviously making us sit next to each other. D: Not awkward at all!!

  14. kerri mcgrail

    Omg – I don’t think my parents would ever try this on me bc they know I would not be having any part of it lol. I feel you on the whole not having tons of time as a professional student tho- like sure let me just not study/do school work/lab work and go on dates- sounds like the ticket to success- ha!
    kerri mcgrail recently posted…Running in My Underwear?!?!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, I feel like my parents should know I want zero part in any of that, but…apparently not. ._. I’m not sure where they see it going, since I could very well be back on the other side of the country again for residency, so why try to start all this stuff up right now!?

  15. GiGi Eats

    Can I tell you something funny….??? I have always been the SINGLE GIRL… Down to my GRANDFATHER even asking my mother if I were a LESBIAN!!!!

    When he asked that, I had just started dating my current fiance. SADLY – My grandfather DIED before he could meet him, so he died thinking that… Well, yep… Playing for the same team! LOL!!!

    Oh man, and if YOU REALLY want to hear a funnyyyyy story, ask me how my sister met her husband! LOL!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Fishing For Healthier Fish & ChipsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, I wonder if my parents have ever wondered that(?). My brother jokingly asked them what would happen if I were into girls and my mom said, “That wouldn’t be good,” so I guess if I weren’t straight and had been finding the right moment to come out, that would’ve been my cue not to.

      Darn! :[ Well, at least you maybe-introduced the notion that you might not be playing for the other team (if he heard mention of him at any point while you started dating)? :O

      How did your sister meet her husband!?

  16. Jess @hellotofit

    So so awkward!! Luckily my dad has never done this to me, growing up. Hopefully they won’t keep doing this to you!! haha
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Gluten Free Chocolate Chip BlondiesMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Ah, spoken too soon. :[ My dad decided to join in on the fun and wants to matchmake for me now too. ;_;

  17. Channing

    Omg Farrah!! Do we have the same mother!?!?! I swear my mother is the exact same way and after one attempt at trying to set me up ( the guy clearly wasn’t interested), I made a firm stance on any future setups. My mother hasn’t bothered me with it since. They mean well, they really do, they just go about it the wrong way lol XD
    Channing recently posted…One Year Blogiversary!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hahaha, quite possibly! 😛 I made a very, very firm stance against being set up again, and hopefully they’ll adhere to it, but time will only tell. ._. I know they mean well, but noooooo.

  18. dixya | food, pleasure, and health

    hahaha it sounds a lot like my right now except that i get random photos of guys on my facebook/viber/msg. thank god no face-face interactions yet but i bet if i lived closer to my parents, that would so happen.
    dixya | food, pleasure, and health recently posted…Mexican-Style GritsMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Ahh! How are they getting to your viber? (I’ve gotten 2-ish weird messages and was wondering if they just put in a random phone number and hope for the best? Has this ever actually worked for them? o_O)

      I think they’re doing this to me because I’m at home for now, haha. x_x sighh!

  19. Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom

    Ahahahaha you’re hilarious and awesome. ;P Thanks for the laugh!! If you feel like it, you should come link up at the Friday Frivolity link party I help host each weekend!!

    Following you on twitter now!! 🙂
    Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom recently posted…Friday Frivolity – Encouraging Quotes and Printables to Re- Motivate Your New Years Resolutions! + a LINKY Blog Party!!My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hehehe, I’m glad I could entertain you! 😛 Thank you for the follow! I was a little behind on life and didn’t manage to catch your linkup in time, but hopefully this week! :]!

  20. Jennifer

    This is hilarious! How did it end up going? Parents…they are oh, so helpful!
    also, the comic was spot on — “any guy with a pulse will do!” lol good luck with it!
    annnnd! thank so much for visiting my little blog and commenting! it seriously meant the world to me!
    xo, jen
    Jennifer recently posted…My happy placeMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Anytime, Jen! <3! It went okay--I went to eat dinner with him and our parents, and I did what I could to diffuse the awkward. He seemed like a nice soul, but I just really don't like the idea of being set up, haha.

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