Anyone who is the only single person in their immediate group of friends knows the simultaneously rewarding and isolating experience that is referred to as "third-wheeling." As someone who has never had a legitimate boyfriend, let's just say I'm practically a professional third-wheel at this point.
Maybe I should write that on my resume.
Regardless of what self-deprecating remarks other third-wheelers make about their "unfortunate" role, there are definitely some pros to being the last wheel on the tricycle.
Take my experiences, for example. My college roommate (we're going on three years as roomies) has been dating her high school sweetheart for almost five years now. As someone who went to an all-girls, Catholic high school, the thought of having a boyfriend since 10th grade seemed like science fiction to me.
So when he visited for the first time, I didn't know how to act. Luckily, he and I clicked immediately.
Although I didn't quite know where to look when they occasionally kissed across from me in the booth of the sushi restaurant we were dining at, the general vibe of our time together felt more like three best friends hanging out rather than a couple and their super-duper single friend.
Two years later, I consider my roommate's boyfriend to be one of my own friends. In fact, he's been a great friend: he bought me a birthday present, and also treated both my roommate and me to Pirates game tickets (which are fairly expensive, mind you).
Granted, there are times when being a third wheel makes me feel like a stage-five clingy friend. Balance is key: hang out with your friends and their significant others sometimes, but also know when to give them their space and leave them alone. No one wants to feel like they're a burden, and sometimes you have to remember that the couple in question is not dating you, too.
You may be wondering: does being a third wheel make me transform into a bitter college relationship hater?
While there are occasions when I'll see my friends holding hands with their significant others and become morbidly aware that the only thing my hand will be holding is my Solo cup or cell phone, I'm proud to say that I have never fallen into that dark void of desperation.
I admire my roommate's love and loyalty towards her high school sweetheart. I am also incredibly thankful for all of the things he has done for me despite only having met me a few select times.
However, I know that my time will come and that I, too, will meet someone that will possibly give my friends their own taste of what it's like to be a third wheel.
I just hope they can enjoy it as much as I do.