The Ultimate Wing Man

Jake is responsible for some of the most brazen moves I've made.

I was happy to hear that my cousin Jake from Arizona is moving out to the East Coast to Washington, DC. I have fond memories of his skills as a wing man. Jake is responsible for some of the most brazen moves I've made.

When I was visiting him recently, he talked me in to hitting on the cutest girl in the bar. I got in there, it was going really well...until she told me that she had kids. Didn't work out correctly in the end.

What is it about my cousin that makes him the ultimate wingman? It's a combination of physical and mental abilities that make it work:

1. He's one of those undeniably good-looking guys. One would think that being around someone who might be better looking than me would be detrimental to the plan. However, I think it actually helps. It's kind of like how even Led Zeppelin's lowest roadie on the totem pole got women. OK, maybe it's not that good, but being around him attracts attention, and I look good being associated with him.

2. He's selfless. Jake is an elder statesmen when we are out. He is always looking out for my success first, perhaps because he can detect my bumbling ways. The first thing he says upon entering any social scene is: "let's see what kind of women there are for you here, Rich." He's more than happy going home alone if it means success for me. On top of this, he markets me while we are talking to women together.

3. He acknowledges his own bumbling ways. One of the most helpful things about his approach is that he admits his failures and rarely talks about his successes. With his self-deprecating approach to dating, it makes me feel better when it doesn't work out for me. If it doesn't work out for someone who is clearly good looking, and good at appearing smooth, then maybe I'm not that bad.

4. He builds up my confidence. By the time Jake has me approaching a woman, he's gotten me to believe that anything is possible. He should be giving speeches to losing teams at halftime. He asks me: "why wouldn't she go for you,"and convinces me that it won't be my fault if something doesn't work out. He reminds me that getting shot down should not affect my confidence.

5. He motivates me. Every time we go out, the goal is to meet some interesting women, whether it means getting numbers or hooking up. Jake believes in the experience of the attempt. He's just one of those people that I want to impress, and it's fun being in the dating trenches with him.

6. He laughs at everything in the end. After all is said and done, Jake picks apart the evening and laughs at all the mistakes, failures and triumphs. Because I want to be part of this jamboree, I make sure I get some stories by staying involved and not acting like a wallflower.

The interesting thing, when I look back over this list, is that these are things I should learn to do within myself. I need to build up my own confidence, motivate myself, laugh at it all in the end, and convince myself that I'm good-looking. I should want to impress myself just as much as I impress other people. I am very good at admitting my bumbling ways of course. Frighteningly, looking over the list, it also looks like I want to date him, come to think of it.

Perhaps the secret is that some day I learn to play wing man within myself, so I don't need a coach/buddy in order to moves that may be intimidating at a social scene.

Do you have friends that get you in gear when it comes to dating? Do you agree with my approach to taking what that friend does and ldoing it for myself to become more independent? How do you react when you are approached a couple of guys-- can you identify the wing man? Do you ever go for the wing man?