Ever single person has been there. One half of your happy couple friends calls you and asks you to join them for lunch. You hesitate. "Come," they say. "It'll be fun," they say. "It won't be awkward at all." But it is.
Now, 29-year-old software developer and singleton Peter Alden has encapsulated the comic despair of the Third Wheel in one hysterical Instagram account: imnotathirdwheel (opens in new tab).
Oftentimes, it might feel like you're missing out on the real action.
Like you're perpetually in the background.
Just uncomfortably hanging around.
At least you can drink for two, right?
But, ultimately, you can't help but think: would anyone notice if I weren't here?
The shiny, happy people in the photos are Peter's brother, Ben and his fiance, Marissa Evans—who also happens to be Peter's best friend. They seem like pretty good sports about his crazy antics.
According to BuzzFeed (opens in new tab), Peter got the idea when Ben and Marissa started dating and Ben found that he was always awkwardly photobombing them. So he decided to have some fun with it and take things to the next level.
Some of the photos even read as a sort of "Where's Waldo" of singledom. Like, can you spot him here?
What about here?
It's great to see such a tongue-in-cheek approach to a universal malaise. And don't worry, Peter, with that attitude, you won't be a third wheel for long—there's already interest in the comments section.
My writing has regularly appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Salon, VICE, Guernica, The New York Observer, BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Esquire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and many more publications.
I was previously the Senior News Editor at Best Life Online and the Viral Content Editor in the Newsroom of Hearst Digital Media. My portfolio consists of a vast and diverse body of work that includes personal essays, lifestyle articles, breaking news posts, and viral content. My areas of expertise, however, are Russia, sex and relationships, and mental wellness.
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