• Mark Mariano

Surviving Third Wheel Syndrome

When you’ve been single most of your life, and whether by choice or by fate, you continue to stay single as time goes on, like me you’ll find yourself surrounded by friends in relationships. They’ll be everywhere you turn. On your Instagram feed doing romantic hikes. On Facebook getting engaged and or pregnant. At parties making out next to you. Everywhere.

Its hard being the single friend, I won’t lie. Part of you is happy for your friends but then part of you gets bitter with the constant reminders of your personal failures as a young hot thing in Sydney.

You spend countless hours, some of them in the company of couples, convincing yourself that being single is the best (Look at all the free time you have to yourself!) but in actual fact, you're kind of getting over it a little. Don’t get me wrong, couples are in no way at fault. I’m sure once we (the single humans) get shacked up to whomever, we’d be the ones blasting pics of us at Starbucks on our Snapchats with the love heart emoji and maybe the poop emoji, depending on the mood. It’s just hard. It really is. Maybe not for everyone but for me, 20 years of third wheeling can take its toll.

So if you’re finding yourself nodding to everything you’ve read so far, then you are a third wheel too, welcome. Never fear, now that we've found each other I'll share with you my secrets on getting through those difficult days because that's just the type of guy that I am. #1. Have your phone fully charged whenever you go out.

There will be many painstakingly awkward thigh gaps of silence while your couple friends suckface for a while, so when this happens, quickly whip out your phone and scroll through whatever feed opens first. You’ll be doing this often, so maybe invest in a portable charger. #2. Invite another single platonic (or not) friend.

Having another person as a buffer can do wonders. There’s someone else to talk to if the couple starts mumbling cute lil’ nothings. Also, if someone takes a candid pic of the group, you won’t look lonely or depressingly pathetic. Most importantly, when you bring a fourth wheel to the table your little rendezvous turns from a wobbly tricycle into a stable, petrol guzzling 4WD.

#3. Bring snacks.

This even applies to when you’ve gone out to eat. The wait for food can often be as long as your wait for a boyfriend. So when things get couple-y, whip out a snack and keep yourself fed and healthy. #4. Prepare yourself mentally. This will come in very handy when your couple starts fighting. The most respectful thing to do is to zone out. Escape to maybe Paris, or to Las Vegas. Stay there for a bit until things have cooled down. This ain’t your business and if they ask you to mediate, then politely run for the hills.

#5. Be patient. Last but not least, have some faith that your time will come and soon you will be inviting your single friend (insert single friend name here) along on your dates, just make sure you remind them to bring snacks. For now, enjoy being independent for a little bit and take this time to learn who you are, what you want, and most importantly, be there for other third wheels.

Image: Alex Jack

Mark is a sexy young ethnic guy who is known for his infectious laugh and ridiculous sense of humour. He rarely crosses the line, but that may be because he assumes it requires cardio. He prides himself on his morals and ethics but this can easily be thrown out the door if a cute guy gives him attention.

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