I found myself wondering over the weekend about possible rules that govern interactions in third-wheel situations. You know, those times when you, seemingly the only single in your group of friends, find yourself dragged out by them either because they’re trying to hook you up with some random dude at the bar who’s a sound engineer and “such a nice guy”; or you were straight up bored out of your mind of your own company and therefore decided to venture out of the house.
I mean, seriously. Two completely isolated incidents over the weekend forced me to reflect on the times I’d been swooning in the honeymoon stages of love. How had I handled it then? Had I cut friends off, or tried to maintain my most cherished friendships, incorporating into my new relationship the ones that were most true?
But it wasn’t even about introductions, or finding a way to dish out appropriate portions of love to my significant other vis-à-vis my friends. The real questions I had were about the rules that guided the behaviour of couples in third wheel scenarios. I mean, I’ve always felt most comfortable trying my best not to make others feel uncomfortable, or give them cause to feel excluded. If we’re out together, then we’re going to act like it. I know that I for one would not want to spend an entire evening with a couple that made out the whole night, as though I didn’t exist. Why would anyone want to do that to someone else?
In the midst of my contemplations I had to stop myself and consider, maybe it wasn’t even that deep. Maybe people didn’t even really think about things like that, but what I’d experienced just days earlier made me pause. I went out on two separate occasions with couples, one married, the other newly shacked up. Without really trying to compare the interactions, the differences were glaring. The freshly minted couple couldn’t keep their hands off each other, and the entire time I felt as if I was invading their privacy! Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand about the passion that comes with a new relationship. But on the recalled occasion I imagined myself a Peeping Tom in a skirt.
Then I spent time with the couple who’d been married for about two years. Perhaps that should say everything, but in reality it does not. They have a new baby, and they could have acted the same way in their precious moment of freedom, but they didn’t. They couldn’t have been more accommodating, engaging, considerate . . . fun. Much like the first couple, we hadn’t seen each other in a while, but long before I left they were eagerly anticipating and making plans for our next interaction. Our connection just felt right, and deep down I knew this was the way things were always supposed to be with friends; married or not.
I suppose some may consider these all just the chronicles of the single gal, but I am even more certain that there should be some kind of guideline to follow in encounters such as these. Trust me, I’ve experienced things from both sides of the fence; you either want to spend time in the presence of another person that you value and you act like it, or you and your significant other take a long honeymoon somewhere far, far away and hit up your long lost friends when you’re good and ready!