Columbia Pictures
Michele Bird
February 24, 2016 10:16 am

When it comes to being a third wheel not every person is a fan of being in that position. Many people would even like to avoid the awkwardness entirely if they could. But who says being a third wheel is such a bad thing? If you ask me, I actually don’t mind finding myself in that spot.

I know I’m definitely not the first nor will be the last person to be labeled a third wheel. Everyone will eventually encounter a situation where they inevitably become the extra person when hanging out with friends at a restaurant, bar, etc. From meeting your best friend’s significant other to spending time with that recently engaged couple; the third wheel opportunities are endless.

What’s different about my situation is being a third wheel has become part of everyday life for me. While I’m currently in a serious relationship, my SO and I have differing schedules making it difficult for us to go on group adventures or dates with our friends. Four of my closest and best friends all happen to be in long-term relationships. Since I tend to hang out with these two couples the most, I’m typically a third and/or fifth wheel when going out on the weekends or evenings with them. I’ve even earned the nickname “Bird Wheel” for those of you who enjoy a good pun or two.

Despite the common stigma of third wheeling being horribly awkward and uncomfortable, I’d actually have to disagree with that stance. Being a third wheel doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the odd man out. It can actually be the complete opposite of any negative connotations you’ve heard before.

I’m happy to say my friends have always made it a point to make me feel included in every outing despite my third wheel status. I’m completely comfortable being around my friends because they have never made me feel like I was a third wheel even in the slightest bit. We’ve traveled across the country, spent weekends exploring new places, and threw potlucks with some of the most delicious food you could ever imagine. Since the five of us are always together we no longer consider our time as a series of double dates with myself as a plus one. Instead we enjoy whatever adventure we’re on at the moment and see us simply as a group of close friends having a good time – third wheel or not.

I’ll never tell you that you won’t feel lonely as a third wheel because the reality is sometimes you will. You could feel envious that your SO can’t be there with you or get the annoying reminder of how single you actually are. My advice to anyone who has ever felt strange or out of place when it comes to being a third wheel is to soak it up and make the most of the situation. Once you let your guard down, you’ll find spending time with your favorite couples is usually a lot more fun than staying home alone and suffering from a serious case of FOMO.

As someone who is a consistent third and fifth wheel, I can honestly say that it’s not as bad as I originally thought it would be. If I had chosen to shy away from hanging out with my coupled up BFFs, I would have missed out on so many good times. My third wheel experience has always been a positive one and I’m lucky to be as close with my BFFs as I am.

I praise everyone who has ever had to be a third wheel or is going to be in the future. Embrace your time with your friends and enjoy making memories with them, even if you end up being stuck as a third wheel. What it boils down to is the fact that being called a third wheel is just a title and it doesn’t have to define you as a person. If you surround yourself with the right group of people, a meaningless label will ultimately be the last thing your mind is focused on – trust me.

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