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No, You Aren't a Good Wing Woman

June 11, 2013
The other night I was out with a friend who had invited some of his coworkers to join us at the bar. A couple of these coworkers were girls. After everyone had arrived, my friend and I started looking around and talking about which girls in the bar we wanted to talk to. One of his female coworkers overheard us and immediately lit up. She jumped into the conversation: “Oh! Which one do you like? Point her out to me. I’ll go and…”

“Wait.” I said, interrupting her. I knew exactly what she was going to say. “Let me guess. You are going to walk over there and get her to talk to me, because you are ‘a great wing woman’ – right?”

The expression of surprise that broke across her face made it clear that I’d hit the nail on the head. But her enthusiasm wasn't deflated yet.

“I am a great wing woman!” she insisted. “Come on, point her out to me, I am awesome at this.”

“Haha riiiight,” I said sarcastically, “you and every other girl…”

I've had this conversation with girls dozens of times. In fact, I've never met a girl who has claimed to be anything less than "the best" or "a great" wing woman. And every time I've let them demonstrate their "skill," they've failed miserably. Unleashing my frustration at so many similarly self-deceived women, I explained this to her, then drove my point home:

“Girls seem to think that ‘being a good wing woman’ means walking up to another girl and asking her about some article of clothing she is wearing, or where she gets her hair done, and then ‘subtly’ (and by subtly I mean abruptly) transitioning into ‘hey, you have to meet my friend Andrew.’ It’s completely transparent, makes me look like I don’t have the balls to do it myself, and generally undermines any chance I would have had with her to begin with. So, I am sorry, but no, you aren't a good wing woman; and no, you cannot help.”

Enthusiasm now deflated, she turned and went to find her other coworkers.

I realize that not every girl thinks she is a “great wing woman,” but I am continually surprised at how many do, how unoriginal their approach invariably is, how vacuous their claims of greatness are, and how enthusiastic they are about the whole thing. My only guess is that, being so used to a passive role in the whole “pickup” exchange, these girls believe that the opposite task is simple, and simultaneously want to exercise some kind of agency in the process for once – in the same way that many men believe that girls "just" have to look good and show up, and would love to have a girl take the initiative from time to time. In any case, after letting a few girls try and fail at it, I've stopped humoring them.

I've actually had one good experience with a girl helping me to meet another girl. However, the “wing woman” never claimed to be good at what she did. In fact I didn't know until afterwards that her “game” was premeditated. Here is what happened:

My friend and I were part of a large group. He and I were talking to Girl A, who knew that I was attracted to her friend, Girl B. Girl B was talking to some other friends in another small group nearby. Without asking my permission or announcing her intentions, Girl A subtly leaned into Girl B’s group, and asked her a quick question. This drew her into our conversation. We shifted around naturally as Girl B joined our group, and Girl A positioned herself next to my friend, leaving me next to Girl B. We all talked in a group for a few minutes. Once I asked a direct question to the Girl B, Girl A turned to my friend and asked him a direct question also, splitting the conversation into two couples. A moment later, Girl A turned slightly to face my friend, so that Girl B and I were further isolated in a personal conversation. Girl B and I talked like this for about 15 minutes, and then I got her number. It was seamless.

It was so seamless, in fact, that I was suspicious, and I asked Girl A afterwards if she’d done all of that intentionally. She smiled knowingly, nodded, and didn't say another word about it. I was impressed.

So next time you find yourself tempted to brag about your wing-woman skills, stop yourself and re-learn the age-old lesson from Girl A: actions speak louder than words.

Related Posts
1. Don’t Talk Yourself Up
2. Don't Try to Be One of The Guys
3. No, You Can't Be "Just Friends"
4. How to Make Yourself Approachable

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