GlamourglamourBy Jake, Author of Always Hit On the Wingman...and 9 Other Secret Rules for Getting the Love Life You Want
I'm just guessing here, but if you're reading this, you're probably interested in men. And you're probably, on occasion, confused by men. On behalf of all guys, let me say: We're sorry. Men are confusing. How do I know? I once made a living trying to explain them to millions of women. I learned a lot-and what I know, you should too. It's criminal you don't already! But let me explain.
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I took up the "Jake" mantle a decade ago, for three enlightening cocktail-infused, blind-date-laden years. Even before I became Jake, though, I knew who he was. The famous pseudonym masks a guy who writes about how men think in Glamour. But I had no idea that by taking the job I'd come to see women, dating and myself in a whole new way.
Two years or so into my life as Jake, you see, I started dating a woman I code-named Orange Blossoms (due to her insanely intoxicating perfume). We were nuts about each other, but she pushed hard for commitment, and I felt trapped. Much to the horror of my readers (and they were very vocal), I broke up with her. Months later I bumped into Blossoms at a real estate open house, and I realized she had changed. Whether consciously or not, she had tapped into some secret reservoir of power. "I thought you were responsible for making me happy and responsible for when I wasn't," she told me. "That wasn't fair." I'd never seen her so strong, and suddenly I wanted nothing more than to be with her, to make her happy.
Buy Jake's new book, Always Hit On the Wingman...and 9 Other Secret Rules for Getting the Love Life You Want, here!
That's when it hit me: Every month, all those cute, desirable, frustrated-in-love women who wrote me letters asking me how to get men to notice them, to love them, to commit? They would never get anywhere trying to change their boyfriends. What they needed to change was their own attitude.
This is what Jake has been trying to tell women for 56 years, and it's what I'm saying to you now: Women, you have no freaking idea how powerful you really are.
The truth was shockingly clear: While some men are, of course, irredeemable and not worth one ounce of any woman's energy, the rest of us average guys jerk you around mostly because you let us. Because you give up the power. But secretly, those of us who want a real, exciting, fulfilling relationship (and that's most men) are dying for you to turn the tables on us. Because the less you sit around waiting for us and resenting us, the hotter you are to us. And as you grow more independent and unclingy, and love every inch of yourself, you get even hotter. It's that simple, really. Men like confident women. Blossoms had found her secret powerful self, and I'd found the woman I wanted to marry.
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So how do you convey confidence within minutes of meeting a guy you're interested in? You hit on the wingman. Just like this...
The year was 2000. I was with my friend Mark at a house party. We were feeling self-conscious, the way men tend to when they roll into a place together. You know what I'm talking about: Two guys enter a bar or a party like some kind of lady-molesting team. They try to appear laid-back as they awkwardly suck down their drinks, ogle women and don't talk to each other. These lame and transparent characters are called wingmen. Some people think the wingman is the second fiddle. Not true. If two single straight guys are out together, they're both wingmen.
Anyway, Mark was my wingman on this night, and I was his. I came back from the bathroom and saw a gorgeous woman chatting him up. I'd noticed her when she walked in, but I had quickly become distracted by another woman at the party whom I'd slept with once before-and never called after. Should I try to do it again and hate myself? Not try to do it again and hate myself? I was too absorbed in this internal debate to actually put all that aside and approach someone new.
Ms. Gorgeous had blond, almost freakishly long hair. If you were a hair fetishist and you saw her, you'd have had some kind of aneurysm. "She's from Delaware," Mark filled me in when I joined them.
"You don't say," I replied.
"Look at that hair!" Mark said. "Wouldn't you think she should be from Sweden or something? Or at least Minnesota?" Ms. Gorgeous laughed and put a hand on Mark's arm. With that little brush of her long fingers, she became at once more desirable and more unattainable. I figured that since she was after Mark, I would at least try to make her laugh. I spent the next half hour in the attempt, and eventually, when I went to the bar area to get another drink, Ms. Gorgeous said she'd come with me. Yes! I got her! Little did I know it was she who'd gotten me.
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Flash-forward three months to my bedroom: Ms. Gorgeous and I are a couple and will be for another glorious and tumultuous six months. We are lying naked in bed, eating take-out sushi and talking about the night we met. "You know, I never wanted to talk to Mark in the first place," she says. "I was just trying to get to you."
"Shut the f*ck up!" I say.
"Are you kidding? You didn't know that?"
"All these months I thought you were harboring some unresolved attraction to Mark!" I say. "And I've felt guilty around him."
"It's one of the greatest tricks of all time," says Ms. Gorgeous. "Always hit on the wingman." And she was right: It was so simple, so perfectly tailored to men's innate competitiveness, so...genius! Here are four reasons it works:
1. Flirting goes best when it feels effortless.
There's a truism that you always do your best on the interview for the job you don't want. Flirting is the same way. Have you ever noticed how cute you are when you're talking to someone you're not attracted to? How you're always getting the wrong guy to eat out of your hand? The best part of the Wingman Technique is that you get to be cute and confident and relaxed in front of the guy you actually like. Hitting on the wingman is like interviewing for the job you're not after, with a recruiter for your dream job right there, very impressed. Big caveat: There's a difference between flirting and coming on like a starved velociraptor. I bet you can guess which side of the fence to stay on.
2. Men crave what they don't have.
I like to call this one the Cheeseburger Principle. When a guy sees his friend eating a cheeseburger, he instantly becomes hungry for one. Even if he just ate. Even if he's trying really hard to be a vegetarian. Watching a woman flirt with his friend can have the same effect. It makes a guy realize she is-no, not a piece of meat, but-yummy-looking and worth getting hungry for.
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3. Competition makes the heart beat harder.
This point is an extension of the Cheeseburger Principle: If men think something is too easily attained, we worry we may be too good for it. More enlightened dudes may be above this way of thinking, but most men aren't there yet. So let your crush see you as a challenge to win over.
4. And you never know: The wingman could actually be your man.
Sometimes the guy who doesn't knock your socks off at first is the real catch, as anyone who's seen the last 10 minutes of a romantic comedy from the past decade can appreciate.
Bottom line? This isn't really about the wingman. It's about power. When you hit on the wingman, you're in control. You're also giving yourself a break, making the seduction game a little less intimidating. And you're being playful, toying with men in a lighthearted way. (If you don't already know, we like to be teased a little.)
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But here's the best part: You can use the Wingman Technique for the rest of your life-even after you know your crush is interested in you, hell, even after you have a kid with your crush! This is hugely important. I wish I could add a line to the marriage vows: Both man and wife promise to keep doing the stuff that made things work at the beginning, forever and ever. Because it's not just important to show a guy your most powerful self during that nascent, "all I can think about is getting into your pants" stage-it's important for every stage of a relationship.
So let's say you've met the guy you think you'd like to be with for the long haul. Say you're no longer nervous that you're going to break up over the weekend, and you know that your next vacation will be together. You should still hit on the wingman, but now it's subtler. Next time you're at a dinner party with your boyfriend, sit next to someone else. Or have a long, intense conversation with his coworker when you stop by his office. Don't do anything that makes him question your feelings, but mix things up a bit. Flirting a little or cultivating male friendships shows your guy that he should never take you for granted. It reminds him what drew him to you in the first place. And in the early days, it tells him you are not the thing many men fear most: clingy.
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Done in the right spirit, hitting on the wingman is a no-fail way to get the guy or, if you've got him already, to inject the relationship with a shot of energy. If you're still not convinced, turn the tables: When is a guy most attractive to you-when you're getting an up-close look at his pores or when you stand back 10 feet and watch him wash his car, or wrestle with his nephew, or charm your great aunt? That's what I thought. So if you're into someone, give him that little bit of distance to watch you too. Foster male friendships; flex your independent muscles. Just take a few steps back now and then, and do your thing.
Download a free preview of the first two chapters-plus a bonus dictionary that decodes the secret dating language of men at amazon.com, bn.com, Apple's iBookstore or Sony's ebook store now!
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