How to survive as a third wheel

1.26.16
Crystal Zhong/Staff

It’s February and you know what that means: It’s almost Valentine’s Day! If you’re in a happy relationship, then congrats to you, but the whole month of February is hell for the rest of us. Although some people identify Valentine’s Day as Single Awareness Day, it can also be known as Third Wheel Awareness Day for the friends of happy couples. The month can become an ordeal for the third, fifth and even seventh wheelers just trying to get through the month. As much as we love our friends, it can definitely be hard being the lone wolf in a pack. We at the Clog have come up with a couple of ways to survive — and perhaps even thrive — as a third wheel.

Walk to class with caution. 
If you and your two friends are going to be frantically walking to a stacked class in Hearst Mining from Dwinelle in the rain, you should brace yourself. If they’re holding hands and one of them is holding an umbrella just for the both of them, you might be the one to fall behind. When crowds of people come surging in your direction, even Berkeley time won’t save you from being late. Don’t panic. If the GSI asks you why you’re late, blame it on the sidewalk being too narrow to accommodate three people.

Pick up cues on when to not be a tagalong. 
We understand that separation anxiety is real, but sometimes it’s healthy to give your friends some space. If they’re going to be having an anniversary picnic on Memorial Glade, it might not be the best time to join in on the festivities. If you end up crashing their picnic, you might fail to pick up on cues that they want alone time and the whole situation would be painful for everyone involved. Go get yourself your own slice of Sliver pizza and let them enjoy their peace.

Embrace your photography skills.
For the hangouts that don’t feel like you are intruding on their alone time, make sure you’re prepared to act as an impromptu photographer. Being a third wheel takes a lot of patience and being your friends’ go-to photographer is part of the job description of a third wheel. If their demands get a little excessive, you can always take a million selfies on their phones.

Treat life like a box of chocolates. 
If you love candies and chocolates, you don’t have to avoid the red and pink candy aisle at Walgreens or glare at it with disgust. You can buy yourself that fancy box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates! Forrest Gump was right — you never know what might happen in the future, but it helps to be happy that your friends love you enough to let you stick around. Stay strong. Be independent. Who knows? Maybe those third wheel hangouts will turn into double dates in the near future.

Contact Abigail Balingit at [email protected].