Being the Third Wheel is Underrated

There's a lot to be gained from hanging out with couples when you're single.

So it’s Friday night and you’re single. You don’t want to go “out-out,” but you aren’t really looking forward to a night of watching Friends re-runs alone ... again.

If you’re single, the pact of “single friends like you” is a club that seems to get smaller and smaller the older you get. It’s easy to feel like you’re running out of people to hang out with when all your besties now come as a packaged deal.

But this doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck in Groundhog Day-like FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). In fact, you don’t have to miss out on the fun, much less your friends’ lives, just because you can’t contribute in a double date.

Here are five reasons being the third wheel doesn’t have to be a bad thing:

One of the greatest advantages to being around your couple friends is that you get to learn all the do’s and, more importantly, don’ts of a relationship without having to go through it yourself.

They Live, You Learn

One of the greatest advantages to being around your couple friends is that you get to learn all the do’s and, more importantly, don’ts of a relationship without having to go through it yourself. Like how to handle a disagreement when you’re in public or why a really important sports game is the perfect time to plan a girls shopping day.

The Perfect Accountability Partner(s)

Your best friends are your biggest fans and sometimes your harshest critics. They are going to be honest with you when it comes to your life decisions—and that’s a good thing!

I was recently telling a story about a guy to some friends when one of them asked me, “But does he make you laugh?”

Whether you realize it or not, your friends are paying attention and want what’s best for you. They’re not just going to root for you when you’re making important choices, but they’re going to keep you accountable when you try to compromise or make some bad shortcuts. The best way to keep yourself from settling with a mundane job or a lackluster relationship is to surround yourself with people who will lovingly smack some sense into you—and sometimes couples make a good team to point out potential red flags.

Three’s a Crowd (Pleaser)

There can be a misconception that once you’re married or in a committed relationship, you stop being fun and spontaneous. If that’s the case, then my friends didn’t get the memo, because some of my favorite memories have been with my couple friends and their families.

I can get spoiled with a delicious home cooked meal at Seth and Kelsey’s house or play a crazy game of Cards Against Humanity with Travis and Rebekah and then have an epic dance party with Trent and Kristen and their kids. Instead of avoiding couple activities and spending time with both of them, invite them along on your adventures and join them on some of theirs!

When it comes to job stuff, life decisions, relationship advice and so on, I get two perspectives for the price of one.

Double The Wisdom, Double The Fun

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One of my favorite things about hanging out with my couple friends is that I get double the advice. When it comes to job stuff, life decisions, relationship advice and so on, I get two perspectives for the price of one. Sometimes we’re all on the same page and sometimes, we get to hash out our thoughts and weigh out our options with majority wins.

“Hey, Have You Met, ________?”

If How I Met Your Mother has taught us anything about the “Haveeee you met, Ted?” strategy, it’s that it actually works. Who better to have play matchmaker in your life than your best friends?

The great thing about your couple friends is that they want you to find love. There’s no competition or ulterior motives, they simply want people to experience the same lovey-dovey sweetness they have. Plus, they know they have to get along with whoever you end up with, so it’s even more incentive for them to introduce you to one of their other friends they love.

Top Comments

Andres Villatoro

1

Andres Villatoro commented…

I'm sorry but this was poorly written. As a single guy consistently dealing with what it means to be single in heavily marriage-obsessed evangelical culture, the advantage of hanging out with couples is not so that i can find love or so i can know how to be in a relatinoship, it is to experience community and the Body of Christ. the best examples have been couples who have invited me to their house to be in community with them. not to "observe" what the "ideal" christian life looks like. at the same time, im hurt by people who close off single christians from their now family oriented community. i dont consider marriage the highest pinnacle of my christian life but Christ is all and is in all

Bess

14

Bess commented…

I love hanging out with a happy couple. You learn a lot about good relationships. Plus, this may sound bad, but.... Couples with young kids, especially, are so grateful to be joined by a child-free friend--both for the extra adult company and for the extra hands on deck!

7 Comments

Bess

14

Bess commented…

I love hanging out with a happy couple. You learn a lot about good relationships. Plus, this may sound bad, but.... Couples with young kids, especially, are so grateful to be joined by a child-free friend--both for the extra adult company and for the extra hands on deck!

Tony Beard

15

Tony Beard commented…

Yeah, this was me for a really long time. There are three buddies of mine that are like brothers, and all of them married well before I did; 6 years, 5, years, and 4 years before I said "I do." I never felt like a third or a fifth wheel, but that speaks mostly to the friendship I have with these people and the character of not only my friends, but their wives as well. I knew them as individuals, as dating couples, as engaged couples, as married couples, and (some) as parents all before I was married. It taught me a lot.

Andres Villatoro

1

Andres Villatoro commented…

I'm sorry but this was poorly written. As a single guy consistently dealing with what it means to be single in heavily marriage-obsessed evangelical culture, the advantage of hanging out with couples is not so that i can find love or so i can know how to be in a relatinoship, it is to experience community and the Body of Christ. the best examples have been couples who have invited me to their house to be in community with them. not to "observe" what the "ideal" christian life looks like. at the same time, im hurt by people who close off single christians from their now family oriented community. i dont consider marriage the highest pinnacle of my christian life but Christ is all and is in all

Michael Johnson

260

Michael Johnson commented…

Good lands, Sarah! I LOVE this!

This quote in particular: "One of the greatest advantages to being around your couple friends is that you get to learn all the do’s and, more importantly, don’ts of a relationship without having to go through it yourself."

That's the whole reason my wife (of 21 years) and I created Future Marriage University (FMU). So that wise individuals like yourself CAN learn ahead of time instead of the hard way all the time.

Sharing this post with the Future Marriage University (FMU) community at https://www.facebook.com/FMUniversity, but I hope you'll find encouragement from our blog as well. Here's our TOP10 most read posts of 2014: http://f-m-u.com/Blog/top10-hottest-posts-2014-part-1/.

Melanie Pennington

2

Melanie Pennington commented…

I agree to a degree, but i think quite often it's because we construe the idea of hanging out with married couples as weird. I just got back from a holiday seventh-wheeling. I wrote a blog in response. "Hanging out with married people doesn't have to be weird."

http://melaniepennington.com.au/2015/01/hanging-married-couples-doesnt-w...

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