If you are single, then it’s likely you’ve had to navigate the role of a third wheel when in company with your friends and their other halves. You have also possibly experienced the effects of the double dating culture that, by default, omits you from partaking in exclusive social plans. The common dominator to all of this? Your single status. When you aren’t in a relationship the words third wheel, double dates and single are almost taboo. But my question is: Why?
Being single is a journey. We aren’t born already married to our soulmate! Finding your person is a part of life and being alone is the only advisable route to arriving at that destination, if finding companionship is what you desire. Let’s not forget that some people actively choose the single lifestyle for themselves. There is a whole community of people who celebrate the art of living life alone. They don’t want to go on dates or be set up and are positively anti-dating. Whether that is a lifetime commitment or just a season of being alone, it is the very reason that no one should ever be stigmatised for being single.
Integrating single friends into the world of double dating can be a challenge but it should be a welcome opportunity to think creatively. In today’s society there is a double-dating trend, and it can appear to be something that is an exclusive experience for those who are spoken for. But actually, bringing your single friends along to double dates spices up the social gathering (as single people are obviously very interesting). But also, it could be an opportunity to introduce single people to each other. Admittedly this isn’t for everyone but it is an interesting way of flipping the double-date culture completely on its head and making it accessible for everyone.
Finally, the supposed trauma of being a third wheel. People tend to see this as negative but we need to reframe these pre-existing ideas. Being the third wheel can be so joyful! The third wheel is doing every couple a favour by shifting the dynamic to different and exciting places. Besides, hanging out with your friends and their partners is the only way you can get to know their significant other. Just because you are single, does this mean you are not permitted to suss out who your bestie is spending all their time with?
Let’s not forget the famous trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter. Ron and Hermione’s romance didn’t get in the way of the threesome’s friendship, did it? In fact Harry was able to help them out when they had trouble communicating.
As a single person I’m happy when people I love find partners. Being single does not mean being lonely, or socially incompetent. We need to be inventive when making plans with other couples and discover ways of including our single friends in these experiences. And finally, we need to reinvent the wheel of being a third wheel. I hear it’s the in thing this year anyway.
Aimee Belchak dreamed up her own matchmaking business, The A-gency, in lockdown. She sets up London based Jewish singles aged 22-36 years old on blind dates every month. Aimee has her own podcast, Yente Tells All and she’s on Instagram @AimeeBelchak. Send her your questions at email@example.com