The Wingman's Role During Dating - A Brief History

You might also like:

Different decades, same annoying stance on your dating life.

While the term “Wingman” is relatively tied to the newer generation of daters, the role of the supportive but eager best friend did exist throughout history – let’s take a brief look:

1900’s: Before dating, there was courtship. People would meet usually at a social gathering (not much has changed, right?!) and would only get together with marriage in mind. Conversations were made with permission from the family first. Arguably, a wingman had ultimate insight into the progression of their single friend’s relationship as they were never far, always on hand to give advice and remind them of their sole ambition of marriage.

1920’s: There’s a reason why this time period was called “the roaring 20’s”. Enjoying the freedom of unchaperoned dates, hoping to meet fellas dancing to Jazz numbers, friends would encourage each other to find someone that matched their aspirations. Think casual dating and being drunk in a flapper dress while your friend gets chatted up by a Gatsby-esque dude.  

1950’s: Things took a step back in the 50’s where people would date BUT were looking for something a little more serious. Friends wouldn’t miss the chance to tease each other if they were in the “going steady” phase of a relationship and wouldn’t hesitate on giving out tips on how to ask a girl out. Most dates happened in group settings where the wingmen could keep an eye on things but would still be insistent on hearing all the details afterwards.

1960’s: The decade that introduced hook-up culture, people felt liberated to date (or not date) whoever they desired, irrelevant of social status. Long term commitment wasn’t on the radar and you’d find your wingman probably rocking out to the Beatles and urging you to do your own thing. 

1980’s/1990’s: The decade where double dating with your wingman truly became a thing. The true sign of friendship was talking for hours on the landline, asking for the “411” and dissecting the contents of a mix tape. 

2000’s: The rise of the internet meant emailing replaced the love letter where “meeting online” officially became a thing. You would spend countless hours on instant messenger to your friend deciding on what you should say back. The wingman would often be the voice of reason - pointing out you’ve never met them in person. 

2010 onwards: Which leads us to now. Swipe culture means dating is easier than ever. You’ll find your wingman tutting at self-indulgent bio’s, swiping left on anyone with an aubergine/eggplant in their profile and totally up for social media stalking on your behalf. 

Sign up now with your wingman by downloading the Wingman® app in the App store and Google Play store. Available in the US and UK for IOS and Android devices

Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash

All Gifs via Giphy