How to be a wing­woman

Glamour (South Africa) - - Contents - By the women who do it for a liv­ing.

yep, that’s right, pro­fes­sional wing­woman is now a gen­uine job. The role? “To help your sin­gle clients ap­proach guys, strike up a con­ver­sa­tion, then shine a spot­light on how great she is,” says Su­san Bax­ter, pres­i­dent of an agency that helps women switch off their dat­ing apps and meet peo­ple in real life.

We asked the pros for their proven-in-the­field tricks, so you can be a bet­ter wing­woman to your sin­gle mates, too. (Oh, and so your friends know the plan if you’re look­ing. Our plea­sure!)

1 Don’t make it awk­ward

If your friend spots some­one she likes, don’t march over and say, “Hey, my friend over there likes you.” In­stead, “Ask some­thing neu­tral that in­cludes your friend, such as, ‘Hey, we’re think­ing of go­ing some­where af­ter this place, where do you guys sug­gest?’” says Su­san. “Then mo­tion for your friend to join you.”

2 Con­nect the dots sub­tly

“Once you get chat­ting, the goal is to find some­thing they have in com­mon,” says Tal­isa, a pro­fes­sional wing­woman in Joburg. “The key is to coax, not force, the con­ver­sa­tion.” Rather than, “You like Bastille? Anna loves Bastille! You’re so made for each other,” say, “I’m not a fan – but Anna, didn’t you see them once?”

3 Give an exit strat­egy

“I al­ways agree on a code­phrase be­fore I go out with a client,” says Heather, who also works for Su­san’s agency. “I’ll ask, ‘Shall we switch up our drinks?’ If she says she’s stick­ing with what she’s drink­ing, it means she wants to stay talk­ing. Or ‘How long have we got on the park­ing meter?’ If she says, ‘ We’ve got plenty of time,’ then I know she’s happy.”

4 Know when to step away

“It’s your cue to exit the mo­ment you’re say­ing the least in the con­ver­sa­tion,” says Tal­isa. Avoid a cringe­wor­thy “I’ll leave you guys to it” and cheesy wink, and try to be tact­ful. “Say you’re go­ing to make a call or to find the ladies – and then take your time about it.”

5 Use a 15-minute cut-off

“It’s bet­ter to get some­one’s phone num­ber and leave the con­ver­sa­tion on a high note than to stick around and run out of things to talk about – 15 min­utes is usu­ally enough,” says Su­san. It also means that you’re not left hang­ing out on your own for too long.

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