His intentions meant well, but little did he realise that his suggestion would have made me felt extremely uncomfortable. No one likes to be considered a third-wheel let alone a fifth-wheel whenever out with couples. And yet, it seems that couples are oblivious to the notion when they encourage their single friends to join them whenever out.
Being the third party in any scenario is never necessarily a good thing in a general sense. As the saying goes, two’s company and three’s a crowd. So as the third wheel you’re never really wanted to begin with. The couple take pity on you and have to make efforts to include you in conversation, but when it boils down to it, the third-wheel tends to add a hurdle for the couple. You’re cast aside when they start to converse with each other and you end up hanging around like a bad smell.
Only in threesomes, where you are the external third party is being the third any good… you’re not attached and you’re going to have some fun regardless.
So when a friend, who has just entered a relationship, offered to pick me up on a recent night out, I had to refuse immediately. Not only would it have been extremely uncomfortable with me watching them gush over each other in the car, I knew that I’d be a hindrance to them as the third wheel. So I told him just that, to which he said I would never be a third wheel with him. But I knew better. Speaking to another mutual friend later on, I was told that our friend (whenever in a relationship) did not understand the concept of third-wheels and probably never come to understand the concept.
But if you thought that being a third-wheel is bad, try being the fifth wheel. Being a fifth wheel is exactly the same as the car type. It sits there, unwanted and unneeded. If one couple was not enough taunting you, then as the fifth wheel, there are double the taunts. It makes you feel extremely uncomfortable, lonely and leads to embarrassment. You don’t want to be there, you feel as though you need to escape.
I became the fifth wheel one night and didn’t realise it until it was too late. A good friend and his new girlfriend and another friend with her latest flame and little old me headed out to an Asian restaurant in Albert Park for a low key night out. Piled into one car, we managed to find a park pretty quickly and it was only when I got out of the car and started to head to the restaurant did I realise that I was the fifth wheel on a double date. It was the perfect double date all but one thing. That one thing was me. As we walked along, all I could do was think what a fool I had been not to realise it earlier. I began to feel extremely uncomfortable and suddenly pangs of loneliness hit me.
Although my friends intentions were meant to be good, I could not have felt more like an idiot. The night wore on and overall, despite my awkward feeling, it was a good night. But it was from then on that I decided I was never to find myself in that situation again.
The feeling is not great when you are an extra in a couples world. There are ways to avoid it and although couples will never come to realise that being a third or fifth wheel in any group is not a good thing, singletons have to come to realise it is up to them to avoid these situations at any cost.