How to …

Be a good wingman

By: Mel Sundquist

Issue date: 2/04/08
Section: Life

One of the best ways to prove your loyalty to a friend is to act as his or her wingman. Invest a single evening in finding your friend exactly what they want and you may just illustrate your commitment to the friendship. Also, it can be a lot of fun.

1. To be a good wingman, you really can’t have anything better to do. If you’ve got your own affairs on the brain all night, you’re not going to find the perfect date for your friend – who we will now refer to as the pilot. Save your ventures into the dating pool for a night when you have nothing else planned. Get your homework done beforehand and set your Tivo to record anything you might miss. This will help with the next step.

2. Keep your mind in the game. This can be tough. You’ve got to remember that you’re not there for yourself, but simply as a tool for the pilot. Be sure to continually play the role of intuitive personal assistant, and don’t step into the spotlight. Never point out a merit of your own, keeping your focus on the pilot’s strengths. Try not to let this persona slip even once during the night.

3. If you just can’t find the motivation, remember that if you find your friend a good date, he or she will owe you something. Think of it as collecting points. If you do this favor for them, they are much more likely to do one for you in the future – especially if they find an ideal mate.

4. Don’t make yourself too attractive. You’ve got to be sure that the pilot is just a bit more resplendent and alluring than you are, or a terrible reversal of roles might occur. If you’re the one who winds up with a date at the end of the night, and the pilot goes home alone, you’ll just grow further apart.

5. Be honest with the pilot. If they want you to reel them in a fish that you clearly see they’ll never hook, tell them. Don’t be blunt or rude, but politely recommend that they start out fishing in shallower waters. Point out prospective mates that are a more reasonable match. This is true in the opposite situation as well: If the pilot is only shooting for minnows, tell them that they deserve a swordfish, at least, and encourage them to try for one.

6. Finally, don’t take any of your metaphors too far. You’ll regret it a second later.


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