Fact: when it comes to love, two is company and three is certainly a crowd

Being a third wheel — and dealing with one — sucks. I’ve been in both positions, which is why I feel for this LoveTrekker reader, who sounds as if he’d like to bash his girlfriend’s roommate over the head, drag the body and hide it in a log cabin somewhere rather than be forced to hang out with her again. This is his tale of woe.

Dear LoveTrekker,

I wanted your advice on how to handle a “third-wheel” situation. I have been on-again, off-again dating a girl long-distance. She recently moved into a home owned by one of her good female friends. Her living arrangement is all good aside from the fact that when I come to visit my girl, her friend becomes a third wheel when we go out. My girlfriend and I rarely get any alone time together, because her roommate guilts and bullies my girlfriend into having us all do things together. To top things off, she is very frosty to me; I think she perceived me as a threat to her friendship. When I’m around, she doesn’t have a partner-in-crime. The friend is single, so I don’t see this situation changing until she finds a boyfriend. Thoughts on how to handle this?

Tom from St. Paul, Minnesota

Poor Tom! Your girlfriend’s roommate sounds like a pain in the ass. She obviously resents you being in the picture. When it’s just she and your lady love, she can pretend they’re both single. There’s a discrepancy between what she wants to be true and what actually is.

It sounds like your gal is a bit of a pushover (no offense). Maybe she feels like she owes her pal something because she’s taking up residency in her house, or maybe her roomie has a really dominant personality. Whatever the reason, it is you who needs to be careful here.

Let’s call your gal Ashley; her roommate will be Ann. If Ann wants Ashley to be as single as she is, she’s going to use any nefarious means to do so. That includes whining, guilt and copious amounts of alcohol.

It isn’t that you shouldn’t trust Ashley, but Ann may slyly place her in some unsavory situations because she wants her friend to have a similar dating status. It isn’t that she doesn’t like you, per se, but she doesn’t like being the odd man out, and she doesn’t like being single alone.

The best you can hope for is to have a chat with your girl and tell her how you feel. Don’t be accusatory, and don’t say you dislike ‘Ann.’ Be an adult. Simply make your position clear that you’d really like some one-on-one time with her, and that one plus one, using simple math, does not add up to three.

If your girl is too afraid to stand up to her friend, then you need to wonder if she’s really someone you want to be with. Because if she’s completely reluctant to let go of the single gal status her friend is offering, you need to wonder if there isn’t a small part of her that doesn’t actually enjoy it.


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2 Responses
  1. Fiona says:

    Dear LoveTrekker,

    I am in sort of what seems like an inescapable situation. I have a crush on this guy, and I’ve told a few of my friends about it. One of my friends makes it really hard for me to get to know him better, as well as avoiding embarrassing situations with him. She acts like she wants to be his best friend and always wants to be around him when I am. She also cannot take a hint! When I tell her I’m gonna go say hi to so-and-so, she jumps up as if it’s an offer and says, “Oh we’ll I’m coming with you!”. I know she is not trying to help me and she does not have a crush on him either. I have told her to back off but she doesn’t seem to listen to me. Now, I try my hardest to avoid her and push her away when I’m having a conversation with him. She still manages to ruin my chances though.

    Fiona from Canton, Michigan

    • admin says:

      Yikes. Are you SURE your friend doesn’t have a crush on him (and is just telling you that she doesn’t)? I can’t see any reason why she wouldn’t be trying to thwart your chances with this guy. Be brave, and go up to him on your alone. Your chances might be much, much better if you go this one alone.

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