A Tale of Two Matches

Being on your phone will make you feel more occupied and comfortable. However, don't pull out your phone unless if you've absolutely given up on the situation; it can be seen as an uninviting gesture. If you want to give them time alone for a little while, you can simply say something like, "I'll give you guys some privacy," and leave the immediate area for a bit.

If you find yourself invited to something where you know that you will be a third wheel, try to bring along someone else. Find someone, be it a friend or relative, who you can bring along to chat with. This way, no third wheel dynamics develop and you do not feel like the outsider.

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Be sure to make plans ahead of time. If you invited someone at the last second, they will likely say no. If you find yourself in a third wheel situation and it is miserable, just get out of there.

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Say that you are not feeling very well or that you have some other obligation. You could also just be honest and say that you are not having much fun. Regardless, bail on being a third wheel and go somewhere else. Arrange times to hang out with your friend.

If your best friend is in a romantic relationship, it may be hard to see them as much as you would like. Plus, when you do see them, they will likely be with their partner. If you feel like you could use a little one-on-one time, talk to your friend and set up a time to hang out, just the two of you.

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You may find that you really enjoy their company as well. You might develop a friendship on your own. Instead of doing things with your friend and their partner, do stuff on your own. Indulge some of your hobbies or try out new things. If you feel emotionally comfortable with the concept, you could also try online dating. Give the couple space.

The easiest way to handle being a third wheel is to spend less time with the couple. You do not need to do everything with your friend and their partner, and they would probably appreciate a little more space.

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Give them some space and let them get their bearings. If the couple tries to include you more than you want, politely decline. You don't have to accept every invitation they extend, but you should also not be rude enough that you damage your friendships when you turn down an invite. Let your friend know that you are there for them and that you have their best interests at heart. This will help strengthen your friendship and make things less awkward when you hang out with the couple.

Jealousy may rear its ugly head but, if you are a good friend, you will tamp it down. Find your own partner. One easy way to deal with being a third wheel is to quit being one. Try dating around a little and see what happens. You might go from being a third wheel to going on double dates. Talk to your friends.

If you are a part of a friendship trifecta and feel that the other two members are spending too much time together, talk to them about how you feel. They may not realize that they are excluding you and hurting your feelings. Talking to them about how you feel might put an end to the exclusion. It will probably lead to you being further excluded. Work on your friendships. Your friends might be growing closer, and excluding you, because you are not pulling your weight in the relationship.


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There is a tendency for pairing in three-person relationships. Be sure to be supportive of your friends and an equally involved member of the friendship.

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If your friends are going through a difficult time, be supportive. If you bail on them, they will likely bail on you in the future. If your friends are pairing off, it might be a sign that you need to branch out and look for other people to hang out with. It is natural for pairing to develop in a group of three, where two people grow close and limit their time with the third person. If you feel left out, look for someone else in your school or at work who you can hang out with.

You will likely meet someone there who you can be friends with. If your friends are intentionally excluding you, you should be looking for new friends anyway. Spend some time enjoying your hobbies or picking up new ones.

Although it may not make you feel better about being a third wheel in the friendship, it will at least take your mind off of it. Concentrate on your work or school. If your friends are good ones, they will not abandon you. Schedule some group activities.

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