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Playing the Wing

There’s nothing like going out on a Saturday night with a bunch of friends. Especially if you’re all single, you’ve got each other’s backs whenever there’s an opportunity to approach a hot guy or girl. But what does it take to be a good wing?

In a game of soccer, or field hockey, the wing is the player on the edge of the field playing offense. He often is the one doing the most running when his team has the ball. He makes himself available for a pass, sometimes immediately passing the ball back to get it down the field. Once his teammate has control of the ball, he often goes back to his position towards the edge of the field to make himself available as a wing– ready for a pass, or to prevent the ball from going out of bounds.

In the game of dating, the wing plays a similar role. He is seemingly on the “edge of the field” looking out for possible passes. (Pun intended.) If he sees an opportunity he might “take control of the ball” and approach the target (a girl) to see if making a play is possible. Having a wing can make scoring easier.

Normally I don’t like using terms like “game” and “score” when it comes to dating. The pickup process is a game in which getting a girl to kiss you or getting her phone number is a score. But the actual dating process, to me, is not really a game. Rather, dating is the way two people get to know each other in which there is intent. The intent might be to see how far the date will go, or it might be to see if the other person is a viable prospect for a long-term relationship. Either way, there are steps to this process beginning with the game itself: The pickup.

The pickup is where being a wing comes in. For me, since I’m a girl, playing wing for guys is easy. I can go up to another girl, talk about shoes or how pretty her dress is and where she got it etc. etc. then change the subject to find out something about her. At the appropriate moment, I might say, “Oh, my friend Mike is into that. Let me introduce you.” And there goes the introduction.

Now, I’ve been approached before by a wing guy before. It went something like, “Hey, my buddy thinks you’re hot. What do you think of him?” while he points with a head jerk towards some seemingly unassuming character. Automatically, my guard goes up. “Right,” I think. I might smile cordially and say, “No, thanks.” Or I might take a chance and have a usually boring conversation with the wing’s buddy. Judging by the winging line, it’s pretty easy for me to foresee how far a conversation will go.

A smart wing, however, should be pretty good at pickups himself. (Okay, so I’m not bad at picking up guys, though I AM a girl.) Anyone who can start a conversation with a stranger can get good at pickups. The key is keeping it natural. I usually say the first thing that pops into my head. (For guys, I know that can be difficult if the first thing is, “Wow, you’re hot.”) I try to be considerate and think about the person as a human being. She is a person. She has feelings. She gets happy, sad, angry, afraid, and embarrassed. Sometimes, a simple, “Hi. Are you having fun?” gets the talking going.

If you are a considerate person, you won’t look at the girl your friend wants to meet and just think, “She’s hot.” You would consider whether or not the girl would be someone your buddy actually likes. Being considerate will help you come up with something purposeful or meaningful to say. The goal is to find out if the girl is worth pursuing. Of course if you’re a wing man, there’s a risk of liking the girl for yourself. In that case, take a shot to score. Hopefully your buddy won’t be jealous. Or he can get himself a wing girl instead.