Hot Take: You Should Embrace Being A Third Wheel (& Have A Blast While Doing It)

For some reason, being the third wheel has gotten a bad rap as someone who is a tagalong, a hanger-on, or an unnecessary addition. Oh, how wrong they are. A third wheel isn't just the life of the party, they are the party. They're not a tagalong, they're the accessory that makes every couple look fantastic. Unnecessary? In the words of Cher Horowitz, "Ugh! As if!"


While there are third wheels that fit that description, you are not that type of third wheel. You are the third teaspoon in a tablespoon that makes it complete, you are the pyramid of Menkaure in the three pyramids of Giza, you are the reason tricycles exist, and you are the red that gives the three primary colors their pizazz. You, as a third wheel, are the icing on a two-tier cake. Sure, the cake is yummy, but what's cake without icing? Just plain cake.

Because the world can't exist without third wheels to prop it up and make sense of things, it's time to own your third wheel-ness. You are the very definition of importance and, despite what anyone says, a necessary component. It's "The Three Musketeers," after all, not two. If you've been steering clear of being a third wheel, it's time to stop that nonsense. Instead, embrace it. Here's how to do just that and have a total blast while pulling it off. Remember: the number 100 without you is just 10. You are essential.


Pick your target couple

Before you make your move, you want to pick your target. You can do this by figuring out what you're in the mood for. Do you want to be the third wheel of your favorite Brooklyn-based hipster couple who have been together forever? Or maybe you'd like to spend time with your sister and the person she just met two months ago? Where would your assets be best appreciated? What couple in your life can really benefit from your presence? Granted, they all can, but because being a third wheel takes a lot of work on your part, you don't just want to give up your time and energy to just anyone. So, don't just jump into the first couple who comes to mind. You want to think about dynamics, comfort, and who out of your friends can tolerate your extra fun antics for hours (maybe days?) on end. 


If you start to second-guess how important you are to every couple in your life, remind yourself of the facts: You are the fun. You are the most fun. You actually invented fun.

Mosey into position

Once you've chosen your couple to whom you'll be the third wheel, you want to wiggle yourself into that empty space they didn't know they had. You can do this by making plans ahead of time or by just showing up — whatever makes you (and them) comfortable. In fact, if you're into surprises, check out their Instagram. Oh, they're at their favorite brunch spot? Cool. That's where you're headed.


As a third wheel, you need to be flexible for the relationship you're crashing — a crash that is more than welcome, FYI. Whatever their plans are, you can be ready at a moment's notice to show up and dazzle. When in position, it's time to move with the couple as if you're in a synchronized swimming event. Where they go, you go. When they run, you run. A good third wheel will seamlessly become a part of their plans. Which brings us to...

Slide into their everyday experiences

What many couples don't know is that it can be fun to have a third wheel around, and it may even make their relationship better. With you as their third wheel, you can help with running errands, making dinner, suggesting a movie to watch, buying a couple rounds of drinks at a bar (not that you need to pay anyone to spend time with you), and making sure they get enough sleep at night. This isn't to suggest you should sleep over every night of the week, but would it be a bad thing if you did? Would it be so uncalled for if you slid into not just their relationship, but their home? To be fair, yes, they might think so.


Being a third wheel to this couple of yours could be the change they didn't know they needed. They may think they want to order dinner from the same place yet again or watch their usual, same old shows on Netflix, but that's where you can step in and give them the guidance (and couch snuggles) they need. 

Invite yourself on a romantic date with them

Nothing says romance like a couple in love and their BFF across the table. Birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries — why not make it a group event? Actually, you don't have to just be there, you can plan them in advance if you have event-planning skills to share. Nothing says "I love you two so much" like taking on the very important role of planner for any and all important days in their life. 


Only you can pull off such feats as decorating an entire hall for the second anniversary of their very first date that went horribly wrong but yet they got over and found love in each other. Only you can perfectly remind them of this fact without it being cringe. It's these little gifts that you bring to their relationship that will solidify you as a lovable third wheel. So, don't hold back on those awkward, weird stories from their early days. That's the good stuff — that's the foundation of their relationship and should be celebrated.

See boundaries as guidelines

Although boundaries are something that should always be acknowledged and respected, when it comes to being a third wheel, those boundaries become more of a set of guidelines that aren't officially set in stone. For example, your couple has a dinner party and starts ushering everyone out right before midnight. Now, although they haven't said anything specific to you about staying or going, a good third wheel is usually invited to stay. 


Much like an adorable pet that's weaseled its way into your heart, it's the duty of a third wheel to overstay their welcome. Besides, you're three weeks behind on "The Last of Us" and really need to get caught up, but you don't have HBO. Who has HBO though? Your couple that you've been three-wheeling. They may not say the words, but their faces are begging you to stay, make some popcorn, and turn on the TV.

Be cool about it

A good third wheel knows that they are a third wheel. In knowing your position in the lives of this couple you adore so much, it's essential to navigate things in the coolest way possible. If things get tense, make light of it. If there's an argument over who ate the last cookie, take one for the team and claim you did. It's your job to make sure your beloved couple is happy and at peace. Think about it this way: if they break up, you lose your third-wheel status. Then what happens? Where do you turn? Whose relationship will you infiltrate then? Or maybe, worst case scenario, you won't even be able to find another couple because the one you had was so perfect. The three of you together were like roses and sparkles and unicorns sliding down rainbows! 


Relationships take work and have rough patches. But with you around, you can help smooth things over when need be. It's not a task for you; it's an honor. 

Embrace your status 100%

As much as it's fun being a third wheel, even in scenarios where your friends would rather you not be the third wheel, more than anything it's about giving back. There's a very good chance, depending on how long you've known this couple, that they've been there for you through thick and thin. They've let you cry on both their shoulders, use their Instagram account to stalk an ex, and let you borrow $20 when you left your wallet in the back of a cab that one time. These are people who care for you and want the best for you. In turn, you feel the same and want the same for them — as a third wheel, that's exactly what you give them.


While some might say that a third wheel might not get the hint and bugger off when it's time to, you know better. You know that your friends never want you to leave. When you go, you take the party with you and no one wants that. However, because you do love them so much, you want them to remember how to miss you. That being said, yes, make sure to give them ample alone time. Too much of a good thing can spoil anything and you are a good thing, so go home sometimes and sleep in your own bed.