If sitcoms have taught us anything (besides how to make terrible life choices), it's that a wingman can help when you're trying to get a date. This video explains how this strategy actually helps both men and women. As it turns out, humans aren't the only species to use the wingman strategy. As the video states, turkeys, fireflies and even lance tailed manakins all use a form of strategy where a group works together to get a mate for an individual. Sorry, Tom Cruise, but you didn't invent this one.
So, why does it help? For starters, individuals tend to look more attractive when in a group. Being with other people demonstrates camaraderie, which is a healthy trait in social beings like us. For men, having a wingman not only makes you look better by default, but your buddy can also prop you up as an "alpha", or more attractive option. Not to be confused with the sleazy "alpha male" tripe that many unsavoury self-help books try to push, mind you. This scenario merely lets one man take the driver's seat while the other rides shotgun. In this metaphor, driving is sexy. As a side benefit, the video also points out that the wingman also often ends up learning from the "alpha", thus helping them get better at finding a date in the long-term as well. It's a win-win!
Women can also use the wingman strategy, however as the video points out, this often means using your partners to help deflect potential mates. It's no secret that women face a tough time turning down partners in the dating scene (an understatement to say the least). As the video above points out, a wingwoman can help make sure that less desirable guys stay away.
The video also notes that, quite unfortunately, most research on this strategy focuses on heterosexual couples, and human dating is a bit more complex than turkeys or fireflies. None of this should be taken to mean that you have to use one particular strategy. Women can pursue men with this strategy and men can use their partners to deflect unwanted advances if necessary. However, it's still a fascinating look into how this strategy works.
Does Having A "Wingman" Actually Help You Get A Date? [ASAP Science]