It was a long time ago. I had a good friend and neighbor who went on a whirlwind of a trip alone. His girlfriend had small children and couldn’t accompany him. He called me when he returned three weeks later and said, “Come on out to dinner with us.” So, he, his girlfriend and I went off to his favorite Chinese restaurant.
“You went to dinner with them? A girlfriend and also a neighbor asked.
“What’s wrong with that? I like his girlfriend.”
She gently scolded me on the rules of hanging out with couples. “He hadn’t seen her in three weeks, did it occur to you that she wanted some time with him alone?'
I was clueless. She explained that men don’t think about things like that and I should’ve been more sensitive.
Just the other night the husband of a friend of mine invited me to join them for dinner. He’s a generous man and they both enjoy my company, but I declined. I’d realized he’s been away at their summer home and was just back. I was proud of my sensitivity even though she wouldn’t have minded but I did.
Third Wheel Dos & Don’ts
- Know that men mean well and think the more the merrier especially if they love crowds. Ask if their partner knows you’ve been invited.
- Respect relationships as you would want yours to be respected. Couple time is precious time.
- It cuts both ways; ask your partner do they mind if you invite someone along?
- Return the invite; include them in your plans when you’re with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
- And try not to go down memory lane that excludes the partner you don’t know well and he/she becomes the third wheel when in fact you were.