How does one ‘learn’ how to be the third wheel? That’s not something people actually practice is it?
With this mentality, you can imagine my thought process when my friend, Jade told me I just needed to learn how to tag along with my friends relationships… without getting all awkward.
I guess in theory it makes sense, but it isn’t really practical is it? I mean, what am I supposed to do? Tag along with my couple friends as that extra single person, take their pictures for them, and watch them get all lovey-dovey with each other while I wonder how my life could have gone so horribly wrong?…No, thank-you.
Let me back track a bit and put this into perspective.
I sat down at the library table with the full intention of studying– and catching up with girl that sat beside me. Opening my laptop, I started to finished my final paper before getting distracted by Jade.
“Dude, it’s been forever!” Jade said looking up at me.
“I know, right? How you been?” I smiled, pushing my laptop to the side. I wasn’t going to do anything on it any time soon.
“Girl, I’ve been great. Having a great time on the gymnastics team, studying, fending off guys…”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, what was that?” I asked looking at her smugly as I wait for her to repeat what she had just said.
“What?” she chuckled.
I smiled. “I see you. Got so many men trailing you, you gotta start picking them apart one by one.” Honestly, it was no surprise to me that Jade was getting excessive attention from guys. She was a heartthrob with her bright green eyes, bright smile, and nice curves. Her curly, brunette locks with blonde streaks in it didn’t hurt either and her confidence level was through the roof, it was easy to see that any guy with eyes would be interested in her.
“Yeah,” she stated grinning wide, “I only got my eye on one though, sooo…”
My eyes popped at that. “Ohhh really? Who?”
“Oh, you know. I’m actually getting serious about Lucas again.”
“Nooo,” I gaped shocked. “Seriously?”
“Yeah, I thought I’d give him another chance..”
“Oh? Well, that’s good. I’m glad you’re happy.”
“Yeah girl, and you know what else? Charlene and Ling Ling got together over the break.”
“Yeah…” I said, probably less enthusiastically then I should’ve. I was still getting used to the fact that my two best friends were actually together.
“Dude, me and Lucas saw it coming miles away. We predicted it.”
“Ya don’t say..” my interest in the conversation was waning quickly. My façade was falling apart and I couldn’t replace it fast enough.
“Yup. So we weren’t surprised,” she stated. Either she was completely oblivious to my lack of enthusiasm with this conversation topic or she really had no idea….or maybe she chose to ignore it.
Turning back to my disregarded laptop, I picked up where I left off on my essay, writing in silence for a few moments. I hadn’t spoken to my two friends since the day before because I was still hurt from something they had done (the incident had nothing to do with them getting together), but every single conversation I had with someone it seemed to always circulate around them. Who knew two couples could be the hot topic of the school so quickly?
As my inner frustration began to grow, I found myself needing to vent to someone and calling my brother Vincent for another one of his “advice lectures” didn’t seem very appealing at the moment. So, I did what normal person would’ve done in my situation. I turned to Jade. Taking a deep breath, I gathered some waning guts and spilled it all out to her…in a totally relax way, of course.
“You know what I just realized?”
I paused and waited for her to respond to make sure I had her full attention.
Taking another deep breath, I prepared for myself to get laughed at.
“That 95% of my friends are in a relationship with someone. I kind of feel out of place. Don’t really know what to do because I hate being the third wheel.” Oh gosh, I was beginning to ramble. This confessing thing was really not for me.
“I getchu,” she smiled sympathetically at me. “But to be honest June, you need to learn how to be the third wheel. You can’t go around dropping your friends every time they get in a relationship. And getting awkward isn’t gonna help either.”
I stared at her in shock. “What?”
What the heck does that mean? I wasn’t planning on dumping my friends just because they were in a relationship. I mean, I was planning on distancing myself but dumping? Nah, I wasn’t stupid.
Seeing my expression, Jade busted out laughing. “Okay, okay, let me explain. You need to learn how to still be normal around your friends even though they are dating.”
“Oh,” I sighed, understanding what she meant. “I know, I know and I’m trying. But dude, it’s hard. I feel like I have to find my new place in the friendship because the dynamics is all warped now.”
“OHHH… I SEE. Well, why don’t you just tell them that.”
“Tell Charlene and Ling Ling that you feel uncomfortable with them acting lovey-dovey around you. Let them know how you feel and how much you want them to be less affectionate around you.”
“I can’t do that!” I squeaked with my eyes wide.
“Won’t they feel like I’m constricting them? And besides, you know how much I hate confrontation. Can’t I just keep it to myself?”
“Uh, no. That’s selfish and not to mention, immature. You can tell them, I’m sure they will understand. And besides, any person in a mature relationship will know how to balance the friendship and the romantic side of their life.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, they will know how to keep things as they were before hand and won’t get all “coupley” when they are around you. And trust me, they will understand if you just tell them.”
I chewed the inside of my cheek thoughtfully. Could it really be…? Could I honestly just ask? Was that really normal?
“I can do that?”
“Of course! Why couldn’t you?”
Well, if that was the case, I may be able to own this third wheel thing..
**Gifs found on Google Images**