Not only is it hard enough being the third wheel at those Sunday brunches that you always end up being the photographer at, now you’ve got New Year’s Eve to navigate. Whether you’re single or third-wheeling with your friends, you’re probably counting the seconds till this year comes to an end.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. With a few tricks up your sleeve, not only will you be the best third wheel friend, you’ll definitely end up being more than just the photographer, and having some fun while you’re at it.
So, did your bestie cook up a new love interest since you two made your New Year’s Eve plans? Or maybe you’ve just been in a phase of “finding yourself” and didn’t want to date. Don’t curse yourself for not replying to that cute guy on Tinder just yet; we’re here to tell you how to deal with being a third wheel.
How To Deal With Being A Third Wheel On NYE
Being the third wheel isn’t really a skill you thought you’d ever have to learn, did you? But as that new year’s party keeps inching closer, you realize that learning how to keep your sanity while your friends are caught in a loop of “No, you’re the cutest!” is vital for survival.
If you’re not the kind of person who jumps from one rebound relationship to the next and is single, figuring out how to deal with being a third wheel will bring you a lot of peace of mind. Let’s get right into it, before you start panicking and call that toxic ex:
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1. Avoid being a third wheel, get a friend
If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that prevention is better than cure (you heard us, mask up before you head into that party). So instead of figuring out how to deal with the fear of dying alone, perhaps you need to be figuring out how to not be a third wheel.
It doesn’t just have to be you three who go out. Call a friend. Not only will you have someone to talk to when the couple you’re with awkwardly starts fighting, but you’ll also ensure thoughts like “I’m going to die alone” are kept at bay.
Just make sure you call your single friends and not those who are coupled up. You might just end up being the fifth wheel instead. That will just feel like watching a game of Family Feud, where one couple will constantly try to prove that they’re better than the other. In hindsight, that might be pretty fun.
2. If you can’t avoid it, lean into it
If all your friends are busy because they’ve already made plans (read: prefer staying in), you might start feeling trapped. But are you, really? Look on the bright side: you’re out and about with friends who care about you.
As much as it may seem like it, you’re not only there to be their therapist and fix their trust issues in the relationship. Try to be the best third wheel you can be, try to be their friend, don’t try to alienate your best friend’s boyfriend, and don’t make it awkward when they give each other a peck on the lips. It should feel like three people hanging out, not a couple plus you.
3. Use it as an opportunity
That girl across the crowded bar room seems to be making eyes at you. But for the life of you, you can’t find the courage to get up and just talk to them. I mean, who even does that?
In situations like these, it’s vital to look at your coupled-up friends for what they really are there for that night: to be your wingmen. Hey, if you’re the designated photographer, you can get your money’s worth out of the equation too.
Now comes the part where you’ve got to figure out how your friends will talk you up. Oversell, and you’ve set expectations that are impossible to achieve (6’2, really?). Undersell, and you may not even get their number (“people person,” really?). Whatever you land on, we’re sure at least you’ll get a story out of it. “Remember that time Jeff told that girl I’m into coin collecting and she just excused herself?”
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4. Finding distractions should be easy
In the unfortunate situations where it really does seem like you’re out with a couple, it shouldn’t be too hard to come across a few distractions. It’s New Year’s Eve, for crying out loud. Plus, there’s always that magical place you can go to, where everyone in the movies somehow gets a date almost immediately: the bar. No, you don’t have to sit by yourself, waiting for someone to come and talk to you. Try to be more social, you might even make a new friend.
PS: Don’t forget to charge your phone up, it might just act as the perfect distraction when you’re trying to act like you’re the most popular person in town.
PPS: DO NOT DRUNK TEXT YOUR EX.
5. Know that it isn’t all bad
Hold on, is being single really that bad? When you’re feeling like a third wheel, remind yourself of the benefits of being single. Instead of having to listen to your partner about how Jen from work gave them the nastiest stare when she passed them by the water cooler, you’re free to do what you want.
Talk to whomever you want to, kiss that hot stranger when the countdown ends, and drink whatever you want to. Go ahead and treat yourself; nobody’s stopping you from buying that expensive drink. That little umbrella on top of it has to be worth $10.
Being the third wheel isn’t all bad. Plus, who knows if it turns out to be one of the best experiences of your life, if your friends end up being the best wingmen ever. So pull out your salt, pepper, and cumin costumes, and get ready to hit the town.