Wingmen: A Hurt or Hinder on Finding Love?

Don't Let Their Help Hinder Your Chances

By James Lane for
In this day and age, we rarely go out to bars or clubs alone. We usually are accompanied by friends, co-workers, or that crazy aunt or uncle who still thinks it's okay to tag along to happy hour. Usually when we go out, we want to spend time with our friends, but there is always that one person at the bar we are dying to walk up to and strike up a conversation with. Usually, we tell our comrades that we think said person is cute, hot, sexy, etc…and they try to force us to be brave and brazen and make the first move. Of course, we don't listen, and that is when our friends get involved and try to help hook us up. In the dating world, we call these friends wingmen (or wing-women, but it just doesn't roll off the tongue as well).

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Here's how it typically plays out: your friend goes over to the guy or girl you are cruising and tries to strike up a conversation. You, in turn, will stand there, drink in hand, praying that this agony will end. Since your friend is not interested in the person, they usually are much more comfortable, vocal and personable. You see a totally different side of them. Over time, and another Bud Light, you are eventually brought into the conversation. Maybe he or she has a cat, too. Or you're both in the same line of work. Maybe it's as simple as both of your names beginning with the same letter. "Oh, Jenny, this is Jeremy. You guys will totally hit it off - Your names both start with a J!"

Do wingmen help or hinder your chance at finding love? Sure, without them you probably would have never had the opportunity to go over and have a conversation with the person you're interested in. So that's one point for help. You also don't have to do the probing with questions, because your wingman did that for you. Two points. And lastly, if the person isn't interested, married, gay, or has an awful accent, you don't have to fret because you never put yourself out there. Three points! Looks like this contest is a wash!

But what if the girl or guy you wanted - the one you noticed first when you saw them from across the bar - is actually interested in your friend? What if they dig the confidence your friend has shown and barely address you? Now you have to stand there, awkwardly watching while your best friend flirts with what could have been your soul mate. Sooner or later you will get bored and digress back to your corner table, sip on your beer alone, and wait for your friend to return (if they ever do). This is a big, fat point to the hinder side.

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Also, what if your friend is obnoxious and drunk, and is practically shouting/slurring at your prospect? That's no good! In fact, that is embarrassing, because surely you could have made a better impression sitting all the way at the other end of the bar than the one your friend is making. Said guy or girl is now scared for their life and will do anything to leave the conversation: "Well, it was nice to meet you both. But I have to check on my pants back at home" as they bolt to the nearest exit. Now, because of association, you are the friend of the crazy drunk, and no one wants anything to do with you. That's another point for hinder.

So, the question, do wingmen help or hinder your chances at finding love? With a final score of 3-2, Help wins - but not by much. I would have to agree (well, especially since I conducted the contest myself). Sure there are downsides to having a friend help you hitting on someone, but the fact that you made any attempt to talk to them is a positive.

One of my favorite sayings is "You never know", because truly, you don't ever know what the outcome could be. So, go out and enjoy the time with your friends, co-workers, and even your crazy aunt or uncle. Because, you never know what will happen!

James Lane is an aspiring writer living in the heart of New York City. To read more from James, visit his blog helps people find happiness in the right relationship. If you've been through a breakup, divorce, or just haven't been able to find happiness in your love life,BounceBack is a place to tell your story, get community support and advice from experts, and find the confidence and strength you need to move forward. Check out our Facebook page.

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