How to be a wingwoman
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.