The less strange the stranger you're finding to date, the easier and more comfortable the early stages. People you both know and trust are a great bridge. Whom can you trust more than your friends, your Mom, or your ex (assuming that you two are still friendly)?
I Friends: Fix-ups are good news/bad news. On the good side, your friends presumably wouldn't fix you up with Jack (or Jackie) the Ripper, and they probably know you well enough to know what you like. On the bad side, often they want to know specifics, may choose sides, and will likely be miffed if you don't treat their friend right, don't come up with the details, or don't spend as much time with them as you used to because you're seeing the friend. All things considered, fix-ups are often worth the risk of somebody knowing your business, especially if your friends are perceptive and know cool people.
I Relatives: Isn't it fascinating what people who love us think we'll love? This outlet has all the problems of a friend fix-up with the added problems of gossip and the inability to ever go home for Thanksgiving if it doesn't work out. On the other hand, presumably they do love you and will have to answer to your Mom if they come up with a real loser.
I Exes: Allowing your ex to fix you up with someone can be a bit dicey (after all, an ex with an ax to grind can come up with a doozy of a loser). On the other hand, who knows ya, baby? Whether you agree to such a fix-up or not probably depends on the comfort of the break-up. If it was super icky, you're probably not speaking anyhow. But if your ex is still a friend and other signs seem right, go for it. If your split-up was marked by scream fests and flying fur, and you still refer to each other by unprintable expletives, my advice is to politely decline.
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