Feature Image by Nathan Dumlao

It’s not the best feeling in the world to be third-wheeling yet we’ve all been there. The “third wheel” is essentially a nicer way of saying outlier, a plus one, or (the least endearing) the odd one out.

Although not many people enjoy being the third wheel to a couple’s love story, it is a common experience. Maybe you’ve been the plus one with your roommate and her boyfriend or with a sibling and their spouse. This experience can easily be awkward, but if you choose to change your perspective, it could even be fun.

Here are tips for mastering the art of being the third wheel for when the occasion does arise.

Approach the night with humor
Here’s the thing: the couple who you are sharing a night out with most likely enjoys your company. So take the sentiment of being the third wheel in jest and approach it with humor. Laughing at yourself is a good comedic relief for yourself and everyone around you. It helps to not take yourself so seriously.

Find common interests to talk about
The art of being the third wheel requires mastering good communication. Learn to listen and ask questions. Inquire about their individual lives. Questions about their everyday life like “How is work going?” or “Did you get that new apartment?” will help to distinguish them as individuals, and create an opportunity for you to engage and be an active part of the conversation.

Make a game out of it
One fun thing to do when you’re hanging out with a couple is to make a game out of seeing if the couple can pair you with a viable match in the room. Let’s say the three of you are in a restaurant or bar full of people. Ask them to pick out someone in the room who they think would be a good match for you and why. This could help take the pressure off of you (from those annoying questions about why you are still single), and it gets the couple thinking about you and including you in the conversation. It will also be quite funny!

Be social with other people
When you are the third wheel, there will most likely be moments of PDA between your friends that leave you feeling a little awkward. Don’t be afraid to get out of your seat in the noisy bar or dance club and talk to other people. Maybe you’ll start talking to an intriguing person across the room and decide to bring them over to meet your friends. Work the room and engage with other people.

Always have an escape route in your back pocket
Even with the best intentions, a night out as the third wheel could go wrong. Let’s say the couple gets into a heated argument in a public place or the two start intensely making out. Driving separately is an excellent idea. If you rode together, then be open to taking an Uber or Lyft home. This will help alleviate any pressure of feeling like you have to stay for the entirety of the night.

xx, The FabFitFun Team