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How Being The “Third Wheel” is a Real Problem Which Needs To Be Dealt With


“It’s not so bad if you think about it. Third wheeling is actually kind of normal everywhere. Be it amongst a couple or friends, third wheeling can be easily turned to fun.”

That’s what I used to say to my friends who complained about being the third wheel in a friendship. Until one day, I was the victim. Even if you’re the hottest amongst all three, if you’re the third wheel, you feel like drowning yourself in your tears of embarrassment.

Here are the 5 things which are annoyingly true about being the third wheel:

The Walk Of Shame

If the sidewalk can contain only two people, you know you’re gonna have to be walking either in front of your friends, or behind them. And I cannot choose which is worse.

“Yes, I’m with them” I tell the pedestrians as they stare at me with pity, (at least I think they do)

“And no, I can’t hear what they’re talking. I don’t want to intrude their personal talk”

Sometimes I look at the vehicles passing us by, searching for the right one to jump in front of.


Having Meals is a Pain

All that walking and awkwardly laughing at your friends when they look back hoping that you were following their conversation gets you hungry. You visit the nearest restaurant and because your friends are busy giggling to the latest joke (which you couldn’t hear, however close your ear was to their back. Thanks traffic), you will end up asking for a table.


“Table for three”, you say, as the usher nods and points to the waiter. He holds four fingers up and takes you to the abominable table which seats four, two on either side. (Not three seats at the angle of 120°, but four seats!)

Congratulations on somehow planning to seat one of your friends with you, but due to some reason, failing. The seat next to you is laughing as you chew your fries.

Say “What?” To Inside Jokes

It is worse when you know only one of the two people you’re hanging out with.

“Why did I say yes to hanging out with your friend?”

Okay, this might sound petty but there’s an unspoken universal rule (which is about to be spoken):

You don’t make your friend feel left out.
Where your manners at, bro?

Your friend talks to her friend and you just happen to smile at their conversation thinking

“Who are they talking about? Wait, isn’t that the girl she went to school with? Oh, now she’s not friends with her anymore? Wait a minute. I’m completely lost, which Pooja are they talking about, there are five! KILL ME NOW!”


And when the inside jokes start, and you don’t want to look stupid, you laugh with them. What happens next is they give you this look of surprise as if mouthing “Arre, isse kaise pata chala hum kya baat kar rahe hai?”

What’s The Time, Again?

The evening is almost over but it’s the journey back home which has left your face paralyzed by fake smiling all day. So you remove your phone out.

You check the time (9:05 pm), your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, your gallery, recheck the time (still 9:05 pm), reread the conversation with your girlfriend/boyfriend and get a new topic to fight over (“Tune is din par yeh kyu kaha?”), and you recheck the time again (9:06 pm, ah, finally a minute has passed), all this without having network in your phone. Thanks to preloaded data.

Fake texting is always a good way to avoid looking like the “forever alone” in the group. Just don’t let them see the clock icon because your texts haven’t been sent. “Why is there no network here?” You say in middle of the conversation (their conversation). They look up with surprise hearing words from your mouth and smoothly deliver this unhelpful dialogue:

“Hum toh enjoy karne aaye hai na? No phones allowed”

It was the one thing which kept me looking sane.



There are a few advantages to being the third wheel. You get to hear the whole conversation without contributing to it. And as a listener, I’m glad this occurred. I hate when people say “talk something”. I like being quiet and enjoying the moment.

Also you notice that a person is different with different people. You get to know the other side to a person.


Ah, hell. No. There are absolutely no advantages to being a third wheel. Who wants to know the other side of your manner less friend?

At least it’s better than being the fifth wheel.

If you’ve ever encountered this situation, please let me know how you dealt with it. I need to be prepared for the next time it occurs.

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