Weekly with Carly: Relationships 101

By: Carly Clegg
By: Carly Clegg

College Station, Texas Rock Me Momma Like a 3rd Wheel
How to be the rejected friend and break up counselor at the same time: I’d like to call this the “Break Up Diaries” and “3rd Wheel Woes.”

Remember that time when your best friend found ‘the love of (his or) her life’ forgot all about you during the period of their newly found adoration, but suddenly decided you were the most important person in their life when they broke up and relied on you and you alone for comfort and most importantly (and annoyingly) attention? Ok, maybe you might not-but I sure do, and I know plenty of victims just like me that struggle with being the rejected friend and break up counselor at the same time.

In my opinion there’s nothing. more. awkward. than feeling more single than you already are , unwelcomed and unnoticed. Cool-you say to yourself. I’m right here. Guys? (plan of escape) So…do I go? (Thoughts of personally escaping) Should I act like I’m busy on my phone? You might be one of the few that’s makes fun of the situation and takes the chance to get to know the couple on a personal level (because-heck-this is your best friend, might as well make an effort) or because you know your friend more than anyone you get some serious blackmail (because let’s face it-the guy (or girl) will be gone before no time)-and to you jokester-thank you for being an example of confidence through this time of being put on the backburner. You give inspiration to us all.

And since this is a positive blog, and I’d rather take life with a grain of salt and live in an encouraging light, let us relieve their transgressions-even though your freshman year of high school’s winter formal memory of you being the 13th wheel will constantly remind you of why you will never make someone feel like a third wheel (sad but true…very true story)-and instead ponder on how you can deal with being the 3rd wheel.

1. It’s Like Having A Wing-Girl AND A Wing-Man!
Now we’re talking-the part of being a third wheel that actually benefits YOU. And not only do you have a perspective of one sex, but the other as well and that can only mean-more opinions and better insight. However, don’t let this lead to disaster-by now, they’ve most likely grown to be one of your closest confidants if you’ve stuck around them, so beware of over protectiveness and jealousy that you might not be their third musketeer for long.

2. Time to put What You’ve Been Learning to the Test
Ok…so you’ve been ‘shadowing’ (literally and figuratively) a certain couple or couples for quite some time now. You’ve read between the lines, done your homework, and feel as though you’re ready to be tested in the dating world. Because you’ve learned from their mistakes and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of all things love and relationships (Congratulations!) you are now a step ahead of the game and are able to bob and weave anything and Lord knows e v e r y t h i n g that’s to come. Because of your commitment in remaining third wheel you are now able to dodge red flags or have the courage to pursue the ‘right one.’ And because of your loyalty to the two special people that were blessed to have your heart, hands, and shoulder throughout their relationship- they only wish the best for you and because they don’t have any drama but their own- they are willing to help you make better decisions when you meet ‘the one.’

3. You $ave Money
‘YOU GET A CAR AND YOU GET A CAR AND YOU GET A CAR!!!!” (Close to what it feels like?-eh maybe not but hurray for winning at the perks of third wheeling it up and having your ride prepared, food paid for, and even personal body guards-at times.) Sometimes doing things with two other people is way cheaper (and better). Trios can have some pretty budget-friendly upsides!

But in all seriousness, to be a loyal friend is one of the best attributes you can have. To keep friends,-life long ones at that, to share every moment good and bad-high and low-is a pretty credible accomplishment. And reality is…break ups (for forever or for the time being) are never easy-and whether or not your relationship frenzy friend runs back to you every time it happens-remember that because they’ve abandoned their other friends, all that’s left is you because-well-you’re forgiving, and ultimately the BEST, so of course you’re there-Kleenex and all. And honestly, the best of us have been there for the undeserving, but only because our hearts are too big to let anyone (not matter how justifiable) suffer-especially alone. Sadly, when choosing a newly formed relationship and dismissing any contact of the outside world over their family and friends, it’s their loss. They miss out on every detail of your life because they have been suffocated by theirs, and once the ice-cream-venting-cry-and-get-snot-all-over-my-shoulder girls (or guys) night has commenced, they have a reality check and become accountable for their wrongdoings and realize they were wrong for putting you second-or at least not equal to-and the depression starts all over again. Am I right, or am I right when I say it’s a whirlwind of confusion and emotions when you don’t have your girlfriends or guy friends by your side every step of the way? And that’s not to say you need to tell everyone everything but instead create a steady balance in your life, don’t put all of your weight and dependence on one person-because ultimately, no matter how great they are-people will unfortunately fail you. We are NOT perfect. And so-we cannot take the responsibilities of a person’s life/happiness/etc. (Ok, maybe if you’re an infant-but-we’re not!)

That’s the beauty of God’s idea of friendship- for when ‘two or three have gathered in His name, He is in their midst.’ Matthew 18:20 And with that, I simply want to encourage you to strive to place God in the center of not only your dating relationships, but friendships as well.

I hope you keep these in consideration as your dating life and those around you expands this weekend and beyond. Remain a loyal friend; take your friendships just as serious as intimate relationships, understand His purpose in friendships, and always be kind to one another.

For another perspective, please read along as one of my nearest and dearest friends, Bre, shares her heart as she positively accepts the role during the times that she is a third wheel- Enjoy!

So throughout college I've been that friend. The single friend. The rejected friend. I find myself interested in a guy, I think he's interested in me, then I find out he's dating my friend or he's after something that I don't want to give him or he just isn't as great as I thought he was. The list goes on and on...and on. I often find myself thinking "Is there something wrong with me?" Sometimes (when I'm feeling sorry for myself) the answer is yes but as I've grown as a person, I've come to realize something: I'd much rather be rejected than waste my time with someone that won't/can't make me happy. When I'm the 3rd wheel (which I try to avoid), I try to think about it less as "I'm the 3rd wheel" and more "I'm enjoying this time with my friends". It's not always easy to do but you don't want to miss out on fun experiences just because you're single. Along with being the rejected friend I've also found that I am the break up/relationship troubles counselor. Clearly I can't give advice based on experience but I can offer a perspective that other people can't. I take those "counseling sessions" as an opportunity to not only help a friend but also learn for my future. When I'm the 3rd wheel (which honestly I try to avoid), I try to think about it less as "I'm the 3rd wheel" and more "I'm enjoying this time with my friends". It's not always easy to do but you don't want to miss out on fun experiences just because you're single. So basically, while being the "rejected friend" is sometimes lonely, it's alllll about perspective and making the most of your situation.

Also take a look at this website for yet another perspective of being the third wheel and this positive side of all it entails!

Feb. 28th: Season of Singleness

March 7: Together Separately: A Chapter about Salty Kisses → How to do long distance and survive

March 14: S P R I N G B R E A K → Dream it. Do it. DISNEY. (Disney trip tips and money saving guidelines)

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