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We have all had that guilty feeling when the new couple sat next to you are gushing over each other; we know we should all be thinking “awww, I am so glad they found each other” as we sit with an awkward expression of a clenched smile- but more often than not the word which springs to mind is “puke, get a room”. Rewind a few years and this situation is horribly familiar to me. My ex-best friend and I did everything together; so when she found her boyfriend and no longer wanted to spend weekends together I was hurt. But what was even worse than being ditched was being invited around to hers to find him there. Or EVEN worse was when I invited her around my house the day after splitting up with a guy I was dating and she turned up with her boyfriend in tow! Appropriate? Just for the record the last thing you want to see when you’re feeling heartbroken is a loved up couple.
There is a very good reason for the expression “three is a crowd”- it just doesn’t work. My advice to any third wheels out there is not to put yourself in this situation- avoid at all costs! You may be completely happy in your single life, but after being left to trail behind the happy couple you begin to believe that everyone is looking at you with sympathetic smiles. It is a demoralising and embarrassing situation. To all the couples guilty of this please remember some things should be left between the two of you. No one wants to hear you referring to each other as “hunny” or “sweetheart” or any other nauseating pet names, or have to sit there awkwardly wondering where to look as you engage in a game of tonsil tennis. If you force your friend into this situation it is also good to remember that you still have the ability to walk without holding hands. There is no more obvious sign that you are the third wheel than having your hands swinging awkwardly as the loved up couple with you walk as if they have been merged together as one.
Saying this, couples also need their time to enjoy being newly in love- the ‘honeymoon phase’ so to speak. It is inevitable that at the start of the relationship they will want to spend all their time together. Do not take it out on your friend or let it affect your friendship. I wish I had known a few years back that when your friend gets into a serious relationship it is unavoidable that it will change your friendship in some way; however it doesn’t necessarily have to be for the worst. Friendship is about compromise and if you can arrange quality time for just the two of you, your friendship should not suffer. So to all of you out there forcing your friends into this painfully awkward situation, remember there is nothing wrong with sharing the love; we would just rather we were not always forced to share it with your other half.