Confessions of a Constant Third Wheel

Real talk.
by JB Jance   |  Dec 23, 2016
Image: Haley Lu Richardson |
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Being a third wheel isn't really what pop culture has it cracked up to be. Contrary to the memes and uncool-ness that go with it, being a couple's plus one can also be fun and enjoyable as it is awkward and sometimes embarrassing. Below are my own personal experiences.

I get special treatment.

I didn't realize that I've been third-wheeling longer than I thought I was. I've been my parents' constant plus one whenever they went on dates. And when my brother got married, I got upgraded to fifth wheel! But I don't have any problems with it. It's a plus that I get treated to free movies and food even when I'm already capable of paying for myself, but the real perk of being a fifth wheel is that I get to spend time with them.

I have extra hands to help me.

I love traveling, but sometimes relying on tripods or timers just won't cut it. Good thing I am my friend's third wheel. I may be the odd one out in our group of three, but that also means that I have extra hands to help take my pictures and direct my poses. I provide them company, take their photos, and they do the same for me, too. Being a third wheel is actually a win-win situation for me.

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I learn valuable lessons.

Being friends with a couple who is older than you has a lot of perks. You don't just have an instant ate whom you can share anything and everything with, you also have an instant kuya who will also willingly listen to your stories and tell you jokes to cheer you up and make you feel welcome. My ate friend and her boyfriend is in a long distance relationship. I can tell that he loves her so much because he flies a couple of times a year just to see and be with her, even if it's only for a short period. Whenever we go out, they often start a discussion about relationships, politics, life, business—anything really, which I listen to intently, and sometimes participate in. And at the end of every discussion they always give me tips and advice about life; but most of the time it's about choosing the right person, how to make a relationship work, and that I should always know my worth.


I get boyfriend perks.

My friend's boyfriend is a morning person. He sometimes wakes up even before the sun rises, so whenever they travel, he is often the designated cook for breakfast. When he visited my roommate once, he still took on the role of breakfast maker even if they weren't exactly traveling together. I had work that day so I said I would just skip breakfast, but when I went out of my room, I saw a packed lunch box on the table with my name on it. Turns out they both packed my supposed breakfast so I could eat it in the office. They both know how I'm not a healthy eater, so they added a banana with a note saying I should learn to eat healthier. I was already blessed to have a very caring girl friend, so her boyfriend, who is as caring as she is, is indeed a bonus.


Being the third wheel does have some disadvantages, but they are surely outweighed by the advantages. You may be someone's third wheel now, but things don't always stay the same. Your third wheel status might soon be upgraded, so while you're at it—enjoy the perks ride.

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