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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Rolling through life as a certified third wheel

Leyna Chan
Life as a third wheel.

After two and a half years in high school, I can confidently say that I am a professional in third wheeling. In my friend group of four girls, three have been in stable relationships for at least a year, and my best friend has been dating her boyfriend for seven months. And although the sappiness of their relationships has sometimes been nauseating, I must admit third wheeling does have its perks.

Third wheeling is like being the extra in a romance film where you didn’t audition for the role but somehow found yourself stuck in it anyway. Witnessing my friends experience almost every emotion possible in relationships — happiness, anger, sadness and especially annoyance — has been the perfect form of advice. Knowing the do’s and “don’t”s to every situation makes it easier to recognize glaring red flags in relationships, to carve out the standards I should hold a guy to and to recognize the most common roots of miscommunication.

Even though I started out as an extra, at some point after my friends had been dating for a while, I was able to befriend their boyfriends, so my position as the third wheel became less intrusive. It was easier to tag along and reassuring to know that my friends’ boyfriends were a good match for them.

However, even with the pros of third wheeling, there will always be cons. The awkward instances when I hang out with two of them while they unsuccessfully hide the fight they’re currently in has been excruciating, to say the least. It’s weirdly silent, their eyes dart everywhere and fixate on everything except each other and you have no clue whether you should say something or not to spark conversation. If you are ever stuck in this position, I have one word of advice: run. Bolt out of that room as fast as your legs can carry you before you’re hooked into being the middleman for the two of them.

But most importantly, after the honeymoon phase, my friends have absolutely no excuse to cancel our plans to go out with their boyfriends. With complete offense toward their boyfriends, I met them first. Therefore, I am more important. And no — they can not join us in our plans. My ideal hangout will never be sitting in the backseat of the car to get ice cream.   

Ultimately, one pro will forever and always outweigh all these cons: Seeing my friends happy in their relationships is, without exception, the greatest reward. Watching my friends light up when they talk about their boyfriends or seeing them smile every time they come up to us makes third wheeling worth it and honestly, not that big of a deal to begin with.

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