1. Move #1: The Show Pony
If you have a shy friend who needs an in, make yourself the center of attention — crazy dancing, wild story, party trick, whatever — then have your friend sidle up to their target and comment on your antics. Your friend appears levelheaded and approachable in comparison.
2. Move #2: The Peace Out
This is a classic way to hook up two friends: Invite three friends to hang out — including the two you’re trying to pair up. Then you and the non-set-up friend conspire to abandon the pair as frequently as possible. Nice? No. Effective? You betcha.
3. Move #3: The PB&Jelly
Trying to help out a friend of the opposite sex get noticed by someone who’s never paid them much mind? Lavish your friend with attention — flirt, canoodle, laugh at their jokes, etc. This will bring out the alpha dog in their crush. Once the crush starts competing with you, back away slowly and let it happen.
4. Move #4: The Stranger Ranger
If you see a stranger struggling to talk to someone, give them a boost. Walk up to the struggler and say: “I never thought I’d see you again, you jerk. You broke my heart — but I’ll never, ever forget that night.” Then wink and disappear.
5. Move #5: The Bird Dog
If your friend spies a cutie at a bar or club, approach ‘em, act drunk, and spill their drink. Have your friend come over and say, “I am so sorry, my friend here has had too much to drink.” Your friend orders you a water then offers to buy cutie’s next drink as an apology. Ice: broken.
6. Move #6: The Slow Pitch
Is your friend working on a novel? Did they once date a celebrity? Are they an Ivy League diploma holder? Do they cook a mean soufflé? Steer the group conversation toward his or her winning qualities, then let ‘em knock it out of the park.
7. Move #7: The Pit Stop
Is your friend trying to make an exit with a potential hookup? Invent a reason to steal them away for a sec and come prepared with everything they might need: breath mint, map, iPhone charger, hotel key, some cash for a cab. But be quick about it! If it takes too long, you’re hurting, not helping.
8. Move #8: The Midair Takedown
Your friend is interested in someone. They chat and — surprise! — that person is wingmanning for their friend that night. You know what you must do. Free up the fellow wingman to pursue their own goals by chatting up their wingmanee.
9. Move #9: The Intro-Outro
Ask your friend to follow your lead, walk up to someone your friend is interested in, say hello, introduce your friend, then walk away. It works best if your friend has no clue it’s coming. Their confusion will make them seem cute, and the shared surprise is a good bonding experience.
10. Move #10: The Celebration Foundation
Everybody likes a party. People gravitate to fun. If you’re having a great time on your own, other people will want to join in your fun. Just be you, live large, and let the good times roll! This strategy is a great springboard for any other tactic on this list.