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It’s Friday night and you’re out with your girlfriends when you spot a guy you’d like to talk to a few seats down. You don’t want to make the first move — not that there’s anything wrong with that — but it’s just not your style; however you don’t want to miss the opportunity, so what do you do?
I was recently at a party with a friend, and she developed a crush on the bartender. She was too shy to make her interest known, so when she went to the bathroom, I simply gave the bartender her information. If he was interested he could follow up, and if not, no one's feelings were hurt.
Many women agree that they can and will do things for others that they wouldn’t do for themselves. So in the scenario above, a woman who would feel awkward approaching a guy that she’s interested in might not have any qualms striking up a conversation with a stranger as a way to introduce him to her friend. I call this the “Wing Woman Assist.”
As a tried-and-true Wing Woman, I’ve introduced couples who’ve gone on to get married or form long-term relationships. Some were from casual introductions like the bar scenario above, while others were full-on, set-up situations. So what does it take to be a Wing Woman?
Here are five tips:
Meeting new people should be enjoyable, and who knows where it will lead? Even if it doesn’t result in a love story, stay open to making new connections and friends.
If you make “fun” your foundation, it’s bound to be a successful encounter for all involved.
If you’re approaching someone for a friend, start with a genuine interest in something you’ve noticed about them, not just “Do you come here often?”
Know what kind of relationship your friend wants. This is especially important if you’re actively trying to set someone up. If you’re considering approaching someone who’s already in your friend pool, make sure they’re available. I find it’s best not to tell either party that you’re trying to set them up, but if you must, only tell one or the other. Telling both people may result in way too much awkwardness.
Clarity is also important when approaching a stranger. If you’re married or spoken for and you’re approaching someone, make that fact part of your opening statement to avoid making them feel like you’ve pulled a bait and switch. You don’t have to say “Hi, I’m married,” but make sure they know who is the interested party.
Don’t put anyone on the spot or open with an aggressive come-on. If the guy you’re approaching is out with friends, include them in the conversation.
Even though you might be performing a Wing Woman assist, it still takes courage to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Pat yourself on the back for that.
Being courageous, kind, clear, curious, and having fun are things we should all be doing all the time. It takes practice — we must exercise these emotional muscles, just as we exercise our bodies. Soon those qualities will become habits that may positively impact many aspects of our lives in unforeseen ways.
Maybe being a Wing Woman isn’t your style; maybe you need a Wing Woman instead. If so, it’s okay to ask.
Don’t make a date with a girlfriend under the guise of wanting to catch up, only to spend the night man hunting. Instead, be up-front and ask if she’d like to participate in your mission. If you’re both single, you can both be Wing Women for each other — rather than competing for male attention, let’s support each other in having the relationships we desire.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “If you light a candle for another then your path will also be illuminated.” That also applies to Wing Womaning. In a perfect world, we would all act as Wing Women for each other in every arena of our lives. Perhaps then we would fulfill the lesser-known meaning of the word sister: “an entity that has a special or affectionate, nonhierarchical relationship with another”; or as a verb meaning “to strengthen,” as in to “sister a joist.” I believe these meanings paint a fuller picture of what it means to really be a sister on a scale larger than our personal one-to-one relationships.
Just think — your sisterhood built on affection and equality has the power to strengthen another woman. Doesn’t that kind of make you feel like a superhero? So I say, go forth, Wing Women of the world, and fly!