6 Tips for the Third Wheel
You’ve just met your best friend for coffee and you notice she’s smiling from ear to ear. She tells you she’s in love and you couldn’t be happier for her. She wants you to meet her special someone, because it’s really important to her that you like them. She wants the three of you to spend a lot of time together, turning you into the third wheel. You want to maintain your friendship without getting in the way of her romance, and she wants to spend time with you, without sacrificing time with her love.
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Being a third wheel is super awkward, especially when you’re hanging around a couple in love. You get to sit there and listen to them call each other by their pet names. You get to watch them snuggle, hold hands and even kiss. You get to watch them exchange knowing glances. It’s uncomfortable and if you’re single, being around a couple in love can make you feel really lonely. So, how do you avoid being a third wheel?
Give Her Space
As much as it hurts, you may have to take a step back from your friendship—at least in the beginning. Give her space, whether it’s seeing her less often, or calling and texting her less. Give your best friend time to figure out the dynamics of her relationship. Let her reach out to you to make plans. Don’t look at her love as competition, because you’ll just get resentful. You don’t want to be perceived as creepy and possessive, so don’t chase after her to get together.
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Expand Your Circle
Hopefully you have more than one close friend, so make plans with your other friends or make new ones for an active social life. Don’t sit at home alone on a Saturday night with no plans because your best friend is out on another date with her love. How about doing something she would never do with you? If she hates hiking or camping, find a friend who loves both and make plans. Use this time to explore new interests or get back into a hobby you’ve been neglecting.
Make One-On-One Plans With Her
Just because your best friend is in love, it doesn’t mean she’ll die if she’s away from her mate for more than an hour. Make plans for one-on-one time. Have a girls’ brunch or day and emphasize that it’s a time for the two of you to catch up. If your best friend is hesitant to leave her love alone, you can remind her that time apart is great for a relationship. If you’re not encroaching on their dating time, her love shouldn’t be encroaching on your friendship time.
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Hang Out With Them (Sometimes)
Show your best friend that you support her relationship (and happiness) by meeting her new love and agree to get together with both of them. If you feel awkward about it, limit your time with them to a coffee meetup or a meal. If that’s too intimate for you, why not do a fun group activity like play a team sport or head over to your local bar for quiz night? Don’t make it awkward for them by calling yourself the third wheel or by constantly reminding them you’re single. If they’re making it awkward for you by being too kissy-kissy in front of you, be assertive. Otherwise, just roll with the punches.
Take Advantage of Their Relationship
Your best friend’s relationship is an opportunity to improve your romantic life. Maybe their partner knows someone single who would be a good match for you. Or, you can ask them for dating advice. Have a crush on someone? Use your friend’s relationship to ask them out on a no-pressure group date. If you aren’t feeling bold, say your friend and her partner have an extra ticket to something and ask your crush if they want to tag along.
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Assess Your Friendship
If your best friend is really your best friend, they’ll learn how to balance their social life with their romantic life. No romantic relationship should get in the way of your bond, but no friendship should get in the way of true love either. You should be patient with your friend, but you don’t have to be patient forever. If she disappears every time she falls in love, this should be a red flag that she doesn’t value your friendship as much as you do.