How to Deal With Always Being the Third Wheel

Relationships are awesome… unless you're not in one.

There's nothing worse than standing on the outside looking in while all your friends are happily coupled up. Not only is it a painful reminder of your neverending single status, it's also just plain annoying to stand there awkwardly while your bestie shamelessly smooches her new S.O.

However, being the third wheel doesn'have to be bad. Keep scrolling to find out how to deal with being in this predicament on the reg, and maybe even (dare we say) start enjoying it.

Change Your Mindset

For some reason, being the third wheel automatically has a bad connotation. It conjures up images of a lonely girl halfheartedly following her coupled-up friends around, but it definitely doesn't have to be that way.

The first key to dealing with your constant third wheel status is changing your overall mindset about being in this position. Regularly third-wheeling means that your friends enjoy your company enough to invite you along to activities that could easily stay between them and their S.O. Plus, it suggests that their partner enjoys your company as well, which means you must be pretty awesome to hang out with.

Beyond that, third-wheeling gives you an excuse to hang out with your gals and enjoy some social time, even if there are a few significant others tagging along. If you stop thinking of third-wheeling as a bad thing, you'll be much more ready to enjoy the fun of social time outside the house without the constant worries about spending time with a couple.

Veronica Staring at Betty and Archie Sitting in a Booth

(Riverdale via The CW)

 

Communicate With Your Friend

A third wheel status usually isn't formed by hanging out with a random couple you hardly know. It's pretty natural that you're well-acquainted with at least one person in this duo, so the best way to deal with your multi-person relationship involves total honesty with your coupled-up friend. If your friend and her S.O.'s constant PDA makes you uncomfortable, pull her aside and ask her to tone it down a notch. If she keeps referring to conversations that you weren't apart of, let her know that you feel a little left out of the discussion.

Make sure you approach your friend in a nice way using a non-accusatory tone, but don't be afraid to bring your worries to her attention. Chances are she's struggling to make both of you comfortable as well, and she'll likely appreciate your feedback in dealing with such a difficult situation.

 

Befriend the S.O.

Going out to dinner with your friend and her S.O. sounds awkward, but heading out on a lunch date with two of your pals sounds totally normal. The best way to change up your third wheel status is to befriend your buddy's S.O. Instead of ignoring the extra person and talking to your friend, try to include their partner in the conversation and find things that you have in common. At the very least, you've both bonded with your friend, so you must be able to find something you both like.

If you can create a friendship between you and your friend's S.O., it will make every hangout sesh much more comfortable and relaxed, taking the pressure off everyone involved.

Regina, Aaron and Cady From Mean Girls

(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)

 

Give the Couple Space

Being a good third wheel requires a delicate balance of being involved in the conversation and knowing when to give the couple space. Sure, you're all hanging out together and they should be aware of your feelings, but if they want to share a kiss or have a brief moment alone, you shouldn't feel upset about taking a step away. You don'have to be right by their side every second. Walking a few paces ahead of them or playing on your phone for a few minutes allows them a moment alone at no real cost to you. They'll appreciate your ability to give them the space they need, and it will keep you from witnessing their more lovey-dovey antics.

 

Invite Other People Along

If you're really uncomfortable with your third wheel status, change it. Take it upon yourself to invite other participants to your hangouts and create a more even balance of people in the group. You can still spend time with your friend and her S.O., but it doesn't always have to be just the three of you. Plus, inviting other people along allows you to develop more friendships, expand your social circle and let you bond with more people. It still gets you out of the house and you don't have to worry about the potentially awkward "third wheel" situation.

Archie, Veronica, and Betty in a Booth at Pop's

(Riverdale via The CW)

 

Don't Go If You're Not in the Mood

Being a third wheel is always a choice. While it might feel like the only chance you have to spend time with your friend, more opportunities will always arise later. If you're really not in the mood to walk the delicate line of third-wheeling, don't participate in the activity. Tell your friend you're just not up for a hangout today or utilize the classic "my mom said no" excuse. If you're really not feeling like you want to go, you're much more likely to get frustrated and annoyed, which might ruin your chances of being an effective third wheel in the future. Your friend will understand, and you can try the complicated third wheel dance a different day.

 

Third-wheeling is hard, but dealing with rumors is even harder. Click HERE to learn how to confront someone who started a rumor about you.