A wingman’s guide to dating this Valentine’s Day

Remember the days before apps like Tinder and Bumble added to the already complicated world of dating?

With Valentine’s Day closing in, it’s time to put down your smartphone and start meeting people in real life! That’s why we’ve partnered with our most successful wingman and wingwoman to create a detailed guide to dating…offline.

A recent survey by YouGov* found that dating apps are the least preferred way to meet someone, despite roughly half of 16-34-year-olds using them. Of more than 2,000 people surveyed, 37% said that apps such as Bumble were their least preferred method of meeting a partner, but almost a third who use dating apps do so because they are too shy to approach people in person.

In addition, Bark.com has seen a high demand for the ‘pro wingman’ service since its launch in August last year, with more than 400 requests from members of the public in just six months.

Here are the top dating tips from our very own wingman and wingwoman:

  1. Start off in a comfortable environment: If a bar or nightclub isn’t your usual scene, then you won’t feel completely at ease. Find a spot that’s familiar to you, and where you will feel most comfortable, such as your usual coffee shop.
  2. Do your research: If you have a potential date in mind but haven’t plucked up the courage to ask them out, it will be worth your while to do a little social media research beforehand. Use Facebook or Instagram (if available) to find out where they enjoy spending time, what their hobbies are and what you both have in common.
  3. Practice flirting with your friends: You know what they say – practice makes perfect. Your friends are more than likely to be honest with you, so it can be beneficial to try having a naturally flirty conversation with someone you know before speaking to a stranger.
  4. Dress to impress: While you don’t have to throw on your best or most expensive outfit when you’re looking to meet a potential partner, it’s important to remember that confidence and colour are key. Choose clothes that flatter and make you feel great.
  5. Don’t be afraid to give compliments: A lot of effort goes into getting ready for a date and it’s nice to acknowledge this effort, so take the time to give a compliment, like “you look lovely”. Anything more is a bit much for the first date.
  6. Be approachable: When you feel awkward or uncomfortable, people can pick up on that tension. Stay calm, smile and keep your body language open. These non-verbal cues can say a huge amount about a person.
  7. Avoid cheesy one-liners: You might think that you’re breaking the ice, but the majority of pickup lines are sleezy or just plain awful. There’s nothing wrong with saying “hey, how are you?”
  8. Grab tips from romantic movies: There are plenty of lessons to learn from romantic movies. From learning to love yourself first to tackling long distance relationships, dealing with rejection to keeping the romance alive; don’t be afraid to get some inspiration from your favourite flicks.
  9. Turn off your phone: Having your phone on during a date can be a huge distraction and take your attention away from the person you’re spending quality time with. Avoid interruptions and turn your phone off completely.
  10. Don’t forget your manners: Demonstrating poor manners such as foul language is one sure fire way to end the night abruptly. Good manners are not hard to keep up and will set a good first impression.
  11. Don’t be afraid of rejection: You shouldn’t let a fear of rejection stop you from meeting someone in real life. Start by getting comfortable talking to strangers, at coffee shops or the supermarket for example, and build your confidence from there.
  12. Get yourself a wingman: If you’re not 100% confident going out alone, want advice from someone with a little more experience or just want someone to back you up, bringing a wingman or wingwoman along is a great idea.

Professional wingmen and wingwomen advertising their services through Bark.com typically charge upwards of £30 per hour, but as with all our service providers, they can set their own prices.

People can hire a professional wingman or wingwoman here: www.bark.com/en/gb/services/wingmen-wingwomen/

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, commented:

“For some people, it can be really nerve-wracking to approach strangers in public, let alone ask them out. Throw in the social pressure to be a smooth talker and appear perfectly groomed and it’s no wonder so many people have admitted to being too shy to approach a potential date!

“We’ve received hundreds of Barks through the site since we launched the wingwoman and wingman service last year, so the demand was certainly there. We’re happy to have accommodated the needs of our users, and we hope that this guide provides further help to anyone looking for love this Valentine’s Day.”


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