Dating: 3 tips for being a good wingman

The idea of being a wingman is to watch out for your friends—whether in the cockpit, on the field, or on the dating scene. More than half of active-duty, Reserve, and Guard Service Members are single, so it’s likely you’ll serve as a wingman for a battle buddy at some point. (And maybe they’ll return the favor if you’re also looking for a romantic relationship.) Here are 3 tips from HPRC for being a good wingman:

  • Offer your support. Friends can play an important role in the beginning of a romantic relationship, such as when they introduce 2 singles, encourage approaching or communicating with a potential date, or offer positive or negative feedback about a potential mate. Show your friends you’ve “got their back” by encouraging them to be social, and by actively listening and providing empathy when they talk about their dating life.
  • Keep safety in mind. Much like watching out for the safety of your battle buddies, a good wingman focuses on safety in the dating scene too. That might include making sure they’re in a safe location, drinking responsibly, or reminding them about safe online dating behaviors, such as not posting personally identifiable information or sharing when they’ll be away from home (especially during deployments). Your role as a wingman might also involve helping in the event of sexual harassment or assault.
  • Encourage resilience. Your friend might feel sad after experiencing rejection, especially if they keep “striking out,” are losing hope in finding “the one,” or are having trouble getting over an ex. Encourage them to adopt a positive mindset and build their resilience skills to overcome rejection.

Interested in learning more about dating? Check out these additional HPRC articles:

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