Couple Friends: The Solution to the 3rd Wheel?

October 12, 2010 at 7:34 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | 8 Comments
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Nobody likes being the third wheel, but then people bitch and moan when their friends with significant others don’t hang out.  So what do the singles do? They try to couple up as well, which they’d probably try to do anyways, but in terms of friendships and the solution to the third wheel, couple friends is where people usually turn.

When I was in high school, my best friend and I always tried to date guys that were friends. There was even a time when she was dating this guy that she gave me a group picture of all of his friends and told me to pick one out and they’d hook it up.  It was always fun to be able to hang out with my best friend when we had boyfriends that were close, and when we didn’t, it wasn’t as much fun.

In group settings, it’s not really a big deal. Who cares who is dating who when you have at least three other people to talk to who are in the same boat as you?  It’s in that smaller setting where people get uncomfortable.

My boyfriend and I were friends for two years before we ever dated, so we had a strong base and knew how to hang out just as friends.  We carry that element into our relationship today so our friends don’t feel uncomfortable when we hang out in small groups.  But you can’t always escape it.  You can be less affectionate if that’s what bothers people, or make sure you have conversations where your single friend can get involved, but at the end of the day, it’s the single friend with the issue.  We’ve all been there.

But I still feel like I’m in that “FRIENDS” (the tv show) stage of my life.  Still living in apartments, hanging out in apartments, still have single friends, not married, and just living life without the responsibility of anyone other than myself.  I feel like the concept of couple friends, at its highest level, has yet to come, like the couple friend stage goes along with getting married and having kids.  It’s hard to see how single friends will fit in to that scenario.

I’m not saying I’m ever going to ditch my single friends.  But single people tend to want to hang out with other single people.  Maybe couples are boring to them, since the chase is over for them.  Basically, we all tend to hang out with people who can relate to our current situations.  I’m pretty happy with my current situation, but I am aware of what likely lies ahead: couple friends, neighbor friends, PTA friends, old lady friends. It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure.


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  1. I’m a half of a couple but I do hang out with my single friends alone, or with my BF… and vice versa for him. It’s not like we have to be joined at the hip, and that’s probably THE MOST annoying thing about couple friends

    • that’s for certain! Siamese twins are only fun for so long 🙂

  2. Guilty as charged! Even though I haven’t been a ‘single’ in 6yrs, sometimes (ok, alotta-times) Boyfriend can’t make it to the social events I want to go to, so I always feel like odd man out, and I absolutely hate it. And I pray to god there are some single people there so I can talk to them. There are certain couples I LOVE hanging out with and never make me feel like the 3rd wheel, I think the key is, the boyfriend steps back and allows the two hens to squawk away. What I hated in highschool or even early 20’s, are my girlfriends who couldn’t go ANYWHERE without their boyfriends. THAT is worse than going stag, IMO. How are we supposed to talk about you when you’re up our asses?

    • I think it’s about security for both partners. If one is insecure, it brings you both down.

  3. I’d like to think T and I know how to behave appropriately when we’re out – we were briefly friends before we got together and we have a few of the same friends.

    • I’m sure you are. It’s one of those “It’s not you (and your man), It’s me (your friend)” type of situations. You know what I mean?

  4. I can think of two other couples that I hang out with just the two of them and me, the single friend. I’ve been to dinner with one of the couples, and I’ve had drinks with both couples numerous times and I always thought it was cool… But now I’m wondering if they would talk about different things or act differently if I had a boyfriend in tow? I shall have to bring along a boy next time I go to dinner with them and do some research…

    • Always happy to get you thinking!

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