The Common Issue: The 3rd wheel

Courtesy of Theresa Schiffer/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS
Courtesy of Theresa Schiffer/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS

At some point or another in every young person’s life, we experience being the third wheel.

To those of you that don’t know what a third wheel is, Urban Dictionary defines it as:

“One who deters the socialization of a couple, perhaps when being invited out of pity or through a feeling of duty. This person may be eased into the situation by being allowed to stay in an environment he or she has become accustomed to (perhaps a kitchen, where the third wheel can bake cookies for the couple.) The third wheel may feel uncomfortable about watching the couple canoodle on his her her sofa, but none of this is taken into consideration.”

So basically someone forgot they made plans with you after already making plans with their boyfriend/ girlfriend and is now inviting you to come and hangout as a group.

But now you are the only single one there and are forced to watch your friend make out with their person in the corner booth or back of the movie theater.

I say you’re single in all of this because why would anyone third wheel anything if they had the option not to?

I grew up in Newbury Park. It’s a large suburb in Ventura County with about 45,000 people, which sounds like a lot, but in reality it felt just as small as a 500-person town with nothing but tumble weeds going through.

Everyone knew everyone’s business. You could have never met someone and known who they’ve dated, who they dumped them for, and who they were about to go after. It was because of this that I had made the executive decision to not date anyone in high school.

There were a few factors that went into it, like all of the guys that surrounded me were like my brothers, but the main one being that I didn’t like people in my business.

Due to my decision, I was the third wheel, a lot.

My best friends for the most part almost always had boyfriends or someone they were “talking to” and because they didn’t want me to feel left out they always invited me to hangout.

I was like a ghost, there but not really, seeing the hand holding and cuddling up on the couch, while I got to cuddle with the popcorn trying to keep myself from vomiting it up seeing them.

One day I got tired of it.

I no longer wanted to sit and be bored while my friends were having fun with their boyfriends. So I stopped coming, or I invited someone else to tag along with us, anything I could do to not be the 3rd wheel. And you know what? It worked.

I wasn’t the awkward person on the opposite side of the couch anymore. I made new friends bringing people along with us and it was nice to not have to feel sad about being alone.

So to those of you that are stuck in the 3rd wheel spot, make some new friends. Not to ditch your old ones, but to be able to have fun with everyone without feeling left out.

And to the couples making out in front of their friend in the restaurant. Stop. Your friend isn’t the only person that doesn’t want to see that.