Everyone is a third wheel at some point in their lives. It’s in many ways the duty inherent with being a best friend. One minute you’re enjoying a cocktail at a bar, the next, your friend is introducing you to Todd, a guy she just met in the line for the bathroom. And so it begins. It’s an age-old tradition, and it’s not going anywhere. Make the most of a bad situation and master the awkward transition from Friend’s Night Out attendee to Third Wheel extraordinaire with these handy tips.
1. Get Your Foot Firmly in the Door
Don’t wait for a third wheeling opportunity to find you. Create one for yourself! The next time you hear a couple making date-night plans, simply run up and say, “And me? You two, and me? I’ve ALWAYS wanted to see Michael Buble in concert! I’ll drive.”
2. Be As Asexual As Possible
The seasoned Third Wheel knows that the job is a selfless one. It’s best not to look too attractive or steal too much attention from the couple you’re chaperoning. Establishing a platonic, non-threatening vibe is key. I recommend calling both parties “bro” and doing a lot of arm-punching.
3. Prepare Your Arms For Heavy Lifting
Let’s face it, if you’re third wheeling like a champ, you’re probably holding a lot of stuff. The Third Wheel ALWAYS holds stuff: purses, wallets, popcorn, drinks, and even keeps a watchful eye on other peoples’ shoes if dancing gets crazy. I recommend hitting the gym beforehand to prepare your arm muscles for the imminent strain. So stuff. Much heavy. Be sure to do lots of stretching before and after your third wheeling session to avoid forearm and finger cramping.
4. Photobomb Tastefully
The key to a tasteful Third Wheel photobomb is making it look as unplanned and uncomfortable as possible. You are not a part of your couple, and your positioning should reflect this. If you are already doing your job correctly, this shouldn’t be difficult at all. Simply wait until your couple goes in for a “Hallmark Moment” photo, and position yourself almost out of frame. Your couple will mostl likely be holding each other—you should be holding a plate of food (and a cat if possible). Facial expression is very important; I recommend open-mouthed frowning or an imminent sneeze. Voila! A touching moment both you and your couple can cherish forever.
5. Stay Focused
Third wheeling can get a little tedious, and you might find your eye wandering throughout the evening. If you find yourself chatting with an attractive person who is not part of your couple, resist the urge to make them the fourth wheel! You have a job to do, and it does not involve flirting with fun, available people. Don’t get distracted. Simply tell the person in question that you’re busy doing “Third Wheel stuff,” then carry on.