Here I sit, on the brink of 27, with everything and nothing figured out. I know where I want to be, but don’t know how to get there. I know who I want to be, but don’t know how to become that person. I know that each step forward is towards this future version of myself but with each step I stumble.

Meanwhile the whole world is moving so fast all around me. While the wheels of my life spin in one direction, my friends’ lives seem to be moving in the completely opposite one. As I look for a great escape and my next adventure, many of them have seemingly found stability and a direction. While I represent the definition of single, many of my friends have happily settled into steady long-term relationships and some sit teetering on the verge of marriage.

On most days I can easily avoid this obvious contradiction, but recently my single status has been painfully apparent. Why? Well my little blogees, I have gone where no single man has gone before (and should ever go again)…

Yours truly just spent two consecutive weekends as the dreaded “third wheel.” Yes, you read that right, for two weekends in a row I latched on to two different couples and provided the petty training wheel for their relationship bicycle!

Now, to be fair, I should let you know that I am close friends with all parties involved. Both couples I have known since my college days and I was certainly not “intruding” (or at least that’s what they told me). The only thing that made the situation awkward at all was the fact that I don’t have a girlfriend (or anything close to one for that matter).

So, instead of having that nice even number of four to create a picturesque double-date weekend you see in the fuckin movies, we had that awkward bubbly number of three. And let me tell you right off the bat that this was no Hugh Grant flick where the waitress ended up falling for me… no. Make no mistake about it; I remained single the entire time.

The situation proved most obvious at each restaurant where the vacant chair loomed in the corner of my eye and contributed nothing but an awkward silence to the conversation. Couldn’t someone have built triangular tables for these types of situations?!

But no, there is nothing in this world made for a party of three… it’s a world made for even numbers and “normal” social situations. It’s a world built for relationships…not for people idling in singleness.

OK… now before I get too carried away with this, let me take a step back and say that I may be embellishing just a little bit here. Yes, I third-wheeled for two weekends in a row. Yes, there were times when it was slightly uncomfortable to have just the three of us. But the truth is that I loved joining in these new experiences with my best friends. Each weekend was full of inebriated conversations and incredible adventure. My relationship status couldn’t change that.

If anything, through these experiences, I was able to get a little glimpse into what a future relationship of mine could look like. Although the image of what the future holds for me is fuzzy now, I know my day will come when I can make the numbers even again and we will fill that fourth chair. And that chair won’t be filled by the wrong person, but by the person that belongs there.

I know for sure that we all have our own unique paths through this world and that it is impractical, if not dangerous, to try to mimic others.  So while I still will be looking for someone special to spend my life with, it is definitely something I will not rush into. Because I know deep down that my time will come, as will yours.

In the meantime, I will relish in my independence and learn from it. It’s during these times that you learn about who you really are. Just as people say that you learn a lot about yourself from a relationship, I would argue that you learn just as much from not being in one.

You learn what it’s like to make your own decisions. You learn that you can be independent. You learn that you can face this world alone.

 

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Single Guy Problems: The Art of Third Wheeling
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