Unsolicited dating advice: The art of the wingman

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unsolicited-headerwebEveryone has that friend – the one they dread bringing into situations involving mixed company. You know who I’m talking about … it’s that clueless friend who totally ruins your game, kills any potentially flirtatious moments and is completely oblivious to the fact that they have a severely negative effect on your relationship mojo.

If you don’t have one of those friends, odds are you are that friend. Now that you know, stop ruining my game!

Here are some ways to transform yourself from being that dreaded ball blocker to an all-star wingman.

• Learn to carry on a conversation on your own. When your friends bring you to a party, the last thing they want to worry about is whether or not you are entertained. Learn to hold your own in a social situation. Your social leeching and awkward hovering can kill a good conversation faster than Sarah Palin can kill a moose.

• Start connecting people. If you want to be an awesome wingman, introduce your friends to attractive members of the opposite sex. When facilitating a meetup, tell these people why the other is so awesome. Brag for your friends so they don’t have to. “Hey, this is my good friend Suzy! She started her own design business before she even graduated from college. She is so awesome. And this is Jon. He just ran a marathon. There’s nothing this kid can’t do.” Never demean or speak negatively of a friend in front of members of the opposite sex. If you manage to do this on a regular basis, you will be invited to every party and will have more friends than Mickey Mouse.

• Don’t be intrusive. When you see a friend isolated in conversation with a member of the opposite sex with a smile on their face, leave them alone! No, seriously. Don’t try to be protective or territorial. Don’t be jealous. Don’t be curious. Turn around. Walk away. If you need to go home, find another ride. If you have a problem, talk to someone else. If you had a crush on that person first, it’s time for you to be a good friend and take one for the team, not undermine the situation.

Basically, if things are going well for your friend, don’t be the one thing that blows it for them. Intentionally interfering with the flirting of a friend is not something friends do. Ever (unless there is alcohol or STDs involved).

• On a similar note, put others before yourself. Know when to disappear, leaving your friends in good situations, not awkward ones.

Don’t be the person who gets invited to the party solely because it needs the stereotypical pooper. Facilitating great friendships and playing the role of wingman can be fulfilling and entertaining while strengthening your friendships and providing some great “remember when” stories along the way.