It’s a lovely evening for a midnight stroll. Best friend and best friend’s significant other are staring lovingly into each other’s eyes while holding hands. It’s all very romantic…for them. You’re walking behind them, not sure what to do with yourself.
Then you come to the sudden realisation that you are not necessary. You are just there. You, my friend, are the third wheel.
As someone who has been the third wheel before, I can tell you that it is unbelievably awkward. You didn’t ask for this. You didn’t anticipate just how bad it would be. “It’s the three of us. We’re all friends. It won’t be awkward.”
But then it is. And you’re like, “Whaaaaat?!? Where did that come from?” You shouldn’t be mad at them. They’re a couple and they’re doing couple-type things. But how do you deal with it? In my experience you have two options: avoid it or own it.
Let’s begin with the painstakingly obvious and easiest option of all: avoid it. Look, I know you still want to hang out with your best friend and have it be exactly the way it was when you were both single.
However, you’re kidding yourself. Couples – especially new couples – are going to want to spend time together and you know what they say, two is company. . .
So when you get put in the situation where you have to be the third wheel – DON’T. Please. I’m begging you. You will regret it. Even if you’re really good friends with both of them, there is no place for you in their romance. Well, maybe there is, but that’s definitely a more R-rated topic for another time and perhaps another blog altogether.
So next time you get invited to watch a movie with the two of them or go bowling or play putt putt or whatever the case may be, just say no. It might seem like you’re avoiding them, but it’s more about avoiding the situation. They’re in love. They don’t need you. They know it but are too polite to tell you.
Do the right thing and excuse yourself. By all means go to group gatherings and functions. You’re not supposed to never see or speak to them again. It’s all about picking the right moments, and the romantic walk on the beach is NOT the right moment to join them.
Of course, you might have been blind-sided and been made a third wheel without realising it. You and your group of friends decide to all go out for the evening. You catch a ride with your friend and his/her partner, but it’s cool because you’re going to meet up with your other friends and everything will be fine. However, the unthinkable happens. Your other friends bail and you are left with the two of them.
Yeah, I know.
But instead of acknowledging this unfortunate circumstance and cursing your bad luck, you should just own it. Use the fact that you’re a third wheel to your advantage. If you see a cute girl/guy, tell them you’re a third wheel and you need them to rescue you.
You’re not lying, and while this is obviously a line, it’s a good ice-breaker. Tell the person you’ll pay for the movie ticket, dinner, bowling fees, etc if they’ll just keep you company.
This tactic can work on strangers but has a higher success rate when used on your crush who you’ve wanted to ask out for a while. You need them to rescue you from the third wheel scenario; the other two wheels can go about their lovey-dovey-ness and not have to worry about how awkward it is having you there; and perhaps most importantly, you get to go out with someone you really like and the pressure is off because this is (technically) a double date.
Alternatively, do not be afraid to ask your best friends significant other to hook you up with one of their single friends.
Being the third wheel does suck, but maybe you’re looking at it from the wrong angle. Don’t curl up into the foetal position and tweet about how awkward your predicament is. Instead, use it to your advantage! Of course if you don’t want to, that’s fine. You can stay at home and play Xbox or watch movies or write a blog post about how to deal with being a third wheel.
About the Author: Dean is a co-founder of BTG Lifestyle who has sabotaged himself on many occasions. Learn from his mistakes and save yourselves!!! Also, if you liked this, you might just like Self-Sabotage: Friendzone Edition.