We all know our friends are sometimes far better at picking dates for us than we are for ourselves. But if you want to be the best wingman for your BFF, you should learn a few things first.
Since Wingman launched earlier this year, they’ve been helping people play cupid for their nearest and dearest. In a recent survey, they asked their top 50 matchmakers (those who’d had the most connections accepted by both parties) what their proven strategies were. The answers, which they’ve shared with Mashable, are both intuitive and surprising. So what are their secrets?
It seems obvious, given that you’re setting out to find a match for your friend — not yourself. But it’s surprisingly easy to let your own preferences or issues cloud your judgment. In the words of one of the top wingpeople, “It really can’t be about you; it has to be about what they find attractive.”
They’re putting your trust in you, and you’d better take it seriously. So that means no funny business. In the words of another wingperson, “Never pick some who seems creepy as a joke.” Amen.
Protect them…from themselves
Being a wingman is tough. You need to respect your friend’s desires, but you also want to steer them in a direction that you feel is best for them. So if, for instance, your pal will only look at people half his age, one wingspert says you should feel free to step in and say, “Look dude, they’re no good for you.”
Another said, “I protect my friends — both men and women — from getting into the same old relationship disasters, falling for people who didn’t appreciate or listen to them or are destructive or possessive.” It’s a balance, but it’s also a good opportunity to encourage them to think beyond the type they usually go for, especially if their usual patterns haven’t been working out so well for them.
Don’t overthink it
It’s advice you’ve probably given your single friends a million times, but you should follow it too. As one top wingman put it, “Don’t overthink it. You are not picking a husband for them. This isn’t arranged marriage.”
Another top matchmaker said, “As a friend you will instinctively have an inner ‘feel.’ Trust your gut, and then leave it to them.” This is supposed to be fun for everyone involved, so don’t get too bogged down in finding Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Be honest, but not *that* honest
The Wingman app lets you create a profile on your friend’s behalf, but even if you’re just helping your pal sort through matches in a different app, the same strategy can be applied. Basically, you want ensure it shows off your real friend. No kittenfishing allowed.
The master wingpeople say you should urge your friends to use recent profile pics that actually look like them — which a surprising amount of people don’t do, even though it seems like Dating 101.
The other key is how you fill out a profile. As one wingperson said, “Celebrate their unique traits and weird behaviors — it makes life more interesting and saves time.”
Remember, though, that while you do want convey what you love about your friend, you don’t want to embarrass them. This isn’t the time to reveal that humiliating thing they did in college or highlight their crippling fear of commitment.
Strike a balance
Nobody gets your friends not-so-perfect traits like you do, so why not use that knowledge to help them find someone who complements their specific personality. One of the super successful wingpeople said, “I know my friend’s worst qualities, so I look for people to balance them out. Like if my friend is a control freak, I look for someone who looks really strong and secure.”
Another person advised, “Find someone they have one thing in common with, but then a number of interests that will be new to your friend. That way, they’ll have new things to do and new things to talk about!” Follow the old “opposites attract” maxim, and you just might find your BFF a new BF.
Being a killer wingman or wingwoman isn’t always easy, but it’s worth giving your full attention to the gig. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to help your best friends find happiness — and take credit for it for the rest of your lives.