Urban Dictionary defines third wheel as one who deters the socialisation of a couple, perhaps when being invited out of pity or through a feeling of duty. Harsh, right?
No one voluntarily chooses to be a third wheel, but it happens and every so often. While you cannot predict when you might end up in this awkward situation, you can definitely survive it. All you need is a guide to avoid feeling invisible and non-existent while your friend and their significant other go overboard kissing and caressing.
Trishann Henriques elucidates measures to survive being the third wheel in a relationship
You, your friend and their partner are enjoying a conversation that suddenly trails off on a track of its own. Mid-conversation, your friends begin whispering sweet nothings and looking at each other with puppy dog eyes. What do you do? You pretend to fake text. Or maybe really text a friend about the weather, just so you know, they are aware, and maybe remove yourself from the awkwardness.
YOUR iPod, YOUR SAVIOUR
PDA often goes from silent, tender kisses to deep, sloppy ones. Moments like these call for music that can deafen that out. Why would you want to hear two people kiss unless of course, you are part of it?
KEEP SAFE DISTANCE
When your friend and their partner begin looking into each other’s eyes, intertwining their fingers and leaning closer for a peck, you know it’s time to take a few steps back and let them indulge. It may be a good time for you to pick your nose, scratch your head or deliver a soliloquy because you are pretty much invisible already.
ESTABLISH FRIENDSHIP WITH YOUR FRIEND’S PARTNER
You might not know your friend’s partner, but getting to know them better will ease out the awkwardness. Find out their likes and dislikes and establish common ground so that you are not bored to death the next time you hang out with them. Politics, sports or films always does the trick.
LOOK FOR A COMPANION
One of the best ways to survive being the third wheel is to find the fourth wheel. If you know you are going to be out with your friend and their significant other beforehand, drag along a friend of yours to keep you company. The more the merrier and if you sense mushy moments, you know you have someone to run off with.
When with a couple, make sure the conversations are not centred around just the two of them. Couples like intimate conversations, looking into each other’s eyes like everything around them is invisible mass and often, even if they do manage to make conversation with you, they move on to monologues about each other’s beauty, intelligence and everything in between.
BE THE MIDDLEWOMAN/MAN
The biggest mistake you’d make while at a restaurant or bar with a couple would be allowing the two of them to sit next to each other. It’s like a licence to caressing and canoodling. Once the drinks come to the table, you know there will be no way of separating them, so sit between the two of them. A little distance will make the heart grow fonder.
Be the conversation starter, make jokes… just talk! Don’t withdraw into a shell. Pull the two out of their seats and break out into a jig.
Be observant. Chances are that you will take something back from it. Pay attention to the couple’s body language, their attitude, how they touch each other and maybe even how they kiss. You never know how much good it will do you when you have yourself a partner maybe?
Being a third wheel is not as bad as people make it seem, so if you find yourself third-wheeling quite often, don’t feel miserable.