Being a third wheel in high school is an experience. You've gone through a whole era of your life without a partner in the romance department, but who else would get to have the knowledge and special experiences that you've had?
1. Developing your photography skills.
When a selfie just won't cut it, couples turned to you, the only other person with both their hands empty. You were handed phones, DSLRs, Polaroids and the like at every event and learned angles and lighting techniques from the sheer hundreds of photos you took and tested. Extra props if you owned your own camera and offered your services voluntarily!
2. Having space issues.
Either you're crammed in the backseat of a car with them or you have the whole backseat to yourself, there is no in-between (unless you're the driver). At restaurants, you either have the third place setting crowded onto a two-person table, or you have half a side of a table to claim as your own. The only thing stopping you from feeling the empty void next to you is everyone's belongings placed beside you.
3. Having everyone else play your matchmaker.
Just because you're the only one without a significant other, friends will mention and suggest other acquaintances or friends in strange attempts to introduce you to the joys of relationships and double dates, even if you never asked. There's a reason you're still single, and somehow the thought of going to homecoming with your best buddy's cousin's friend from church whom you've never met just doesn't sound like the most appealing way to meet your true love. Or, your taken friends keep pushing you towards the only other single friend in your circle, even though being single is the most you have in common.
4. Learning to ignore.
Being around couples all day, everyday, you're never surprised at sudden public displays of affection and lovey-dovey nicknames and phrases that are used in front of your face. You've learned to keep your space and use the time to scroll through the newest posts on your newsfeed while simultaneously wondering when the couple will acknowledge you again. Headphones, the nearest book or even the window view suddenly become extremely interesting. You've even learned to brush off people's comments on your single-ness when you're around your coupled friends.
5. Exchanging advice.
You were like a secret weapon during holidays and birthdays when one friend just didn't know what to get their significant other and during fights when you could be a calming intermediary. In return, you got to fill your own curiosity about how the whole couple-relationship dynamic worked without actually having to go through the rough times yourself.
6. Accepting your status.
Just because some of your friends pitied you sometimes doesn't mean that you needed to feel bad about yourself. You loved being able to hang out with a variety of people and got to focus more time and energy on the activities that meant the most to you and on improving yourself. In the end, you're okay with awkward, because all that matters is getting to spend time with not one, but two of your amazing friends. Just because you didn't find a special someone yet, doesn't mean you won't. Who knows, high school was high school, but college is a whole new adventure!
Sometimes it was downright awkward and cringey being the third wheel, other times it was amazing. Either way, you've learned a lot about friendships and relationships and going at your own pace in romance. Have fun with what you've learned and meet new people, and someday, you might be one of the first two wheels!
Photo Image Credit: Pixabay