They mean well, they always mean well, but if you’re single and your mates are sick of it, one of these guys could be heading your way soon…
1. The “is he or isn’t he” colleague.
Most workplaces have a guy who just might be gay. Rather than do the decent thing and make polite enquiries or, preferably, mind their own business, workmates will reach for the nearest gay man, get them in the same room and hope it will encourage some light frotting.
2. Their boyfriend’s best friend.
What better way to solve a gooseberry problem than add you to the mix and make some jam? Singletons can become the target for anyone looking to dispose of a third wheel. They’re killing two birds with one stone, they figure – they get their Netflix nights in with their man and you get… well, some. At last.
3. That cute waiter from wherever.
Pals already paired up will live their sluttishness vicariously through you, hooking you up with just about anyone so they can hear all the gory details at your next sass-laden brunch. Don’t mistake this for friendship – they’re restocking the wank bank.
4. Some distant relative or person they vaguely knew that was gay.
“Oh my cousin/nephew/postman is gay; I should set you up!” Usually a straight thing; they assume all gay men will love each other on sight. They’ve clearly never been on Canal Street at chucking-out time.
5. The guy you already slept with, but nobody knows.
“Have you met Alex?” Well, yeah, we banged like train doors for a whole night last summer but he had a boyfriend so he never called.
6. Their ex.
Why someone they rejected wholesale would be perfect for you is anybody’s guess. What are they really saying? “My standards are higher, but you’re desperate.” Call it “vintage” if you like, but secondhand is secondhand.
7. Your own ex.
“You guys were so good together.” This is code for “we can’t be bothered learning anyone else’s name and your happiness is of no consequence to us”.
8. Someone they hate, because they hate you too.
When an enemy plays matchmaker, it means they’ve got someone really awful lined up, or a third nemesis, and they want to get the rotten pair of you off the gay scene for good, walking your French bulldogs somewhere else.
9. Literally anyone as long as you stop arriving to events alone and looking for attention.
“I just want you to find someone to make you happy,” they’ll say, faux-sympathetically, touching your arm and peering over your shoulder to be rescued by someone who won’t Bridget Jones them to death.
10. Someone who has a crush on them, who they need to get rid of.
Setting someone up is hardly ever pure altruism. It’s often the most convenient way of offloading unwanted attention or, more wickedly, a smokescreen for their own saucy secrets.
11. “He’s a really cool guy.”
He’s really not good with mirrors.
12. Their own crush, reluctantly.
It stings when a friend takes an interest in the one you truly want. But your crush just sees you as a “mate”, so you duly set them up, because your friends’ happiness is more important. Plus, the closer you keep them, the more likely they are to get drunk and shag you. Trust me.