Memoirs of a Chronic Third Wheel - Part 1
A Look into the Miserable Dating Life of a 20-Something
*Semi-autobiographical, thus, names have been changed for privacy.*
Not to sound cliché, but it seems like my whole life has been leading up to this point where I have become the third wheel in every possible relationship. I’m also only 21 and while that may seem young for this type of story, I think that it’s normal to have had at least one relationship by the time you’re of drinking age. I’m almost 22 in fact, and I have never had a significant other.
Fate must have a reason for my non-existent dating life; I never dated in high school. I wish I could say it was from lack of suitable guys within my class, but it was quite the opposite. There were plenty of guys to choose from, I was just too shy to even talk to a guy in high school. For the sole purpose of academics, I would speak to boys occasionally, but I had a core group of girlfriends that took up my spare time (other than reading, of course). I will say that the one time I attempted some sort of relationship, it ended in disaster, but that can be a story for another time. Now that I’m an adult, I feel as if I need to look back on these moments in my life and find out where I’m going wrong.
It’s not like the saying “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” I seldom attend weddings on the account that I only really have two close friends. And said friends always seem to have a significant other.
I’ve known Elaine and Celeste since freshman year of college; both began school having boyfriends. Elaine will always say that she and her boyfriend weren’t exactly dating when school started, but it always felt like they were dating with how much they Skyped and kept in touch with each other while studying away. They became ‘official’ over winter break. Meanwhile, Celeste and her boyfriend had been together since sophomore year of high school, I believe, but being away from each other proved to be problematic. Long story short, Elaine and her boyfriend were able to stick it out until we got back, but Celeste and her boyfriend called it quits before she even touched foot back on American soil. We all believed it was for the best; from what we knew of the guy, Elaine and I believed that Celeste could do better especially since he was often short with her over their Skype conversations.
I think it’s best that I add that because I was highly inexperienced coming out of high school, I wanted to get rid of that weight on my shoulders. It was always something that hogged a corner of my mind and I hated talking about it with people. To be the inexperienced one in college felt like sacrilege to me and now that I think back on it, I realize how bad that mindset was for me. I shouldn’t have rushed myself. I lost my virginity in a drunken encounter with a classmate in November that year.
In those months after, I was so relieved that I had just gotten it over with. But now I so wish that I had just taken my time and waited for someone that I was actually attracted to on a physical and intellectual level. I don’t know what I would call the relations I had with this classmate because it certainly wasn’t a relationship. I’ll call it like it was: sex. Just sex. Unfulfilling sex. I ended it after we both came back from winter break.
Cue sophomore year of college. We’re all back in America, enjoying the city life and meeting new classmates. Elaine and her boyfriend are still going strong and Celeste and I finally get to meet him over the summer. He’s a pretty chill dude and knowing that I will probably be seeing him a lot over the year (Elaine and I are dorm roommates) weighs on my mind. Sure enough, this guy is at our place almost every day. And so begins my life as the chronic third wheel…