How To Turn Friends And Family Into Relationship Wingmen

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YourTango Experts explore how a good love life wingman or wingwomen should work for you.

In the quest for romantic partnership, we all greatly benefit from supportive friends and family. Unfortunately, our support groups often mean well but their execution sabotages their good intentions. YourTango Experts explore how a good love life wingman or wingwoman should work for you. In Love? Don't Forget Your Friends

What Makes A Good Relationship "Wingperson"?
In my first year of marriage, I was at a bar with some single friends talking about relationships. I quickly realized we were in very different spaces in our lives. I knew I had to find new friends or develop the ones I already had to increase my chances of relationship success. Thus began my search for a good marriage wingman.

Here are some signs of a good wingman or woman:

  • Tell It Like It Is. A good wingman will hear you out, and then call you out when you are making excuses. You want someone who has the courage to tell you when you are right and when you are wrong.
  • Been Around The Block. Have you ever received advice from someone and thought, "That sounds good, but…take a walk in my shoes."? You want a wingman that's been around the same block you are on so they can speak from a space of experience and understanding.
  • Knows Their Role. A good wingman values their role in your life, respects boundaries, and plays their part when asked. Additionally, there can be NO romantic or sexual interest. Stay in your lane to avoid a major crash.
  • Got Your Relationship's Back. Your wingman should stand in your corner and cheer your relationship on. You want someone who will support what your relationship NEEDS vs. only what you WANT.

Ayize Ma'at, Counselor/Therapist

You may have more control in getting your "support group" on board with you than you realize. It's all about boundary setting and clear communication.

How to Transform Your Naysayers Into Wingmen

  • Express how it feels to receive nonsupportive and negative comments or questions from them.
  • Clarify what you need to feel supported by them.
  • Clarify the things that feel hurtful and nonsupportive.
  • With continued "naysayer" behavior after attempting the above, set firmer boundaries by increasing the distance between you and moving them to the "need to know" category. This may yield the turnaround you're hoping for.
  • If all else fails, consider giving them the boot. If you don't, it's on you.

Lisa Brookes Kift, Counselor/Therapist