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Zoosk’s National Singles’ Week Survey: What It Really Takes to be a Successful Wingman

It’s National Singles Week (Sept. 16–21, 2013), but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. The wingman, the successful dater’s essential sidekick, is more important than ever. Zoosk.com, a top online dating service, recently conducted a survey among more than 2,300 singles to determine their thoughts on using a wingman or wingwoman to navigate the dating world. The results show how popular a wingman really is, what makes a good one and what their role is during a night out on the town.

When it’s time to wade into the dating pool, having a top-flight wingman can increase your chances of success and make the whole experience more fun. According to the survey, 69% of singles have played the wingman role for a friend. But just being a good buddy doesn’t make you a quality wingman. It takes nuance, skill and confidence.  How exactly does the wingman–or wingwoman–get the job done? Below is Zoosk’s carefully culled data to help out singles, and the wingmen at their sides.

A good wingman knows the other team’s playbook.

  • 57% of singles prefer a wingman of the opposite sex.
  • 54% of singles prefer a wingman who is single.

Think your good looks make you too intimidating to be a wingman? Think again.

  • 82% of singles say they are not intimidated if their wingman is better looking than they are.

A Wingman doesn’t steal the glory.

  • 46% of singles say the most important quality for a wingman to possess is trustworthiness.
  • 30% of singles say it’s most important for a wingman to be social.
  • Just 5% of singles say it’s most important for a wingman to be good looking.

So, what does a good wingman do?

  • They let you make the first move. 63% of singles prefer their wingman back them up after they meet someone, with only 37% wanting them to break the ice and make the introduction.
  • Then they accentuate the positive. 37% of singles say the most important role for the wingman is to “say nice things about his/her friend” followed by 27% who say the most important wingman job is to “fill holes in the conversation.”
  • And here’s a surprise: only 10% want their wingman to be funny.

Still have questions? Learn from Hollywood’s legends:

  • Single men claim Goose (Anthony Edwards) from Top Gun is the ultimate movie wingman.
  • Single women say the top movie wingwoman is Elle (Reese Witherspoon) from Legally Blonde.

Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman and a dating coach who has been called “the real-life Hitch,” says that many of Zoosk’s survey findings mirror what he observes on the dating scene.

“As a wingman, you follow your friend’s lead, but that doesn’t mean you have to ‘take one for the team,” said Edwards. “When you hit the dating scene with a wingman, it’s a chance for both of you to have a great time.”

Here are some other tips from The Professional Wingman:

  1. Help your friend’s chances by keeping the other wingman occupied. A trusted and reliable wingman steps in when your friend hits if off with someone – your primary responsibility is to keep the other friend or wingman occupied so that the object of your friend’s affection doesn’t become distracted.
  1. Brag about your friend. When it’s appropriate, take advantage of opportunities to say interesting and flattering things about your single friend. Think about things that would sound like bragging if your friend were to say them himself. There’s no better way to establish credibility for friend than by speaking highly of him or her.
  1. Look good and make your friend feel good.  If you’re both dressed well, it’s very easy for you to stand out – you may not even have to worry about approaching people because they may come up to you to compliment your style choices.

“When all is said and done, a quality wingman is there to help – especially if the evening doesn’t go as planned,” continued Edwards.  “Almost half of singles surveyed say the best thing about having a wingman is that they will have a good time no matter what happens!”


  • A quality wingman is single, trustworthy, and has the added perspective of the opposite gender.
  • While on wing duty, they will be supportive, positive and not overly funny.
  • And if things crash and burn they will make sure you both still have a good time.

Zoosk conducted the survey online in August 2013. The survey garnered 2,323 responses from singles in the U.S. who are members of the Zoosk community.

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