Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On Third-Wheeling

Dates are fun. But you know what (could potentially be) more fun? That sweet spot between a date and a double-date. That's right, we're talking third-wheel dates!

Third-wheeling is more an art-form than a science. If you thought communication between two people was complicated, try adding a third party. Some couples are better at inviting a third person along for the date than others, but I think that every couple should experience a third-wheel date (and couples, if you can't think of anyone.... I am available for some third-wheel fun). I thought I'd list out some of the benefits for some of you skeptics.

Emotional Boundaries
Couples entering the early stages of a relationship will be experiencing the honeymoon season of a new relationship. Everything their significant other says is cute and wise and gushy. As a result, some things could be said too early into the relationship without enough solid commitment to back up their sentiments, which is why the third-wheel creates the ideal situation to prevent words that are emotional grenades from being said.

Physical Boundaries
This is a tough one, because there are different levels. We can go from hugging to kissing to caressing to stuff I'm a little uncomfortable typing on here. Now, depending on the escalation, sometimes the third-wheel will have to take the wheel and put everything to a halt. This is great news for the couple, because it literally makes them not do things inappropriate (something that they wouldn't do if their parents were in the room).

Psychological Boundaries
Here we will see if the couple is strong enough to endure a third-wheel accompaniment (Hint: Usually it's the guy that cracks first). Still, this sheer test of will is a good indicator that a couple will not disappear socially when they are together and still make time for their single friends.

Third-wheels are an important extension to any relationship. It's not a job suited for everyone, but for those who are called, even for just a season, it can be very helpful for any couple. You can even call it "the gift of third-wheelness" - you're welcome, couples!

Well, now is a good a time as any to plug my new upcoming book, TRICYCLE: Dating from a Third-Person's Perspective. It's about looking at how couples relate with each other from the outside looking in. Pre-orders are available now.

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