No Shame Senior Year: Good wingmanship

By Samantha Baker

I have noticed a problem on Macalester’s campus in the past year, a serious problem, one that affects many of our lives. There is significant lack of wingmen and wing­women. Whatever happened to the old system, almost like a sports play where you and your friends help each other out with those romantic encounters that need a little extra something? Of all my Macalester hookups and romances, I would estimate that two-thirds of them were thanks largely in part to one of my friends helping me set up a situation where I could be alone with that guy I was crushing on or where they did a little talking to the guy for me to help move the process along. Not to take away my own agency in making things happen, but I agree with Presi­dent Obama when he said, “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.” I do not want to try and analyze why there seems to have been a decrease in Macalester wingmanship, but rather help along those who have forgotten the ways to better dating success. First, let us remember the golden rule: wingman for others as you would have them wingman for you. Tact is of utmost importance here. Not every situation demands that you talk to the person your friend is crushing on to help move the situation along. Sometimes all that is nec­essary is for a friend to fall back in stride in a group of friends to let those two special people get a little one-on-one conversation. If you are going to explicitly talk to your friend’s crush, be sure not to say, “Do you know that Natalie likes you?” Rookie mistake. Always ask what the other person’s thoughts are. “I’m really trying to find Dave a girl, do you know of anyone who might be interested?” or asking about the crush’s current romantic situation are ways to more discreetly ease into a fruitful wingwoman conversation. Second, in a more passive rule of wingmanship, do not cock-block. You all know what I mean. If you know your friend is crushing on someone, let him or her shine. Especially if you tend to be a louder, more outgoing per­son, be sure to help your friend be the center of conversa­tion. That could mean anything from asking her questions about her life to get her to talk about how cool she is, to simply biting your tongue when you want to interrupt what he is saying. There is one technique in particular that I find to be quite helpful that may also be beneficial to you. This is what I like to call double-wingmanship. There are times where a female friend of mine and I begin getting friend­ly with a pair of guy friends. In this case when I know my BFF is crushing on one of the other guys, the crush’s friend and I can play matchmaker, and in the mean time strike up some romance of our own. Each amorous pair is helpful to the other with valuable information and schem­ing. Practically, finding a pair of guys that my friend and I both can pair up with is a very useful thing. It can flour­ish from double wingmanship to long term double dating and it can make coordinating plans with a love interest and my friend very easy. So let’s all admit our momentary failures as friends and wing-women or -men and make a conscious effort to keep it in the back of our minds at that next party, sport­ing event or Kagin dance to be helpful to our friends in their romantic pursuits. Do not treat this experience as a trade of services that your friend owes you back. Rather, think of the last time someone helped you out in a similar situation and decide, like the young Haley Joel Osment, to “pay it forward.” Because we all know that without a good wingman or woman, it takes a lot more gumption to fly. refresh –>