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Third Wheelin’

When you reach a certain age and you’re single, or not yet married, or with child, or large property with white fencing, third parties mysteriously become wildly curious about what you’re doing with your life. If you’re an athlete, model, entrepreneur or criminal then you’re generally excused but otherwise you’re perfect fodder for the prejudiced finger pointing, hushed discussions and the assumption that you might be growing scales under your clothes. With this added pressure from meddling external parties the announcement from just one more of your seamlessly successful, loved up friends about their new business, engagement, baby or house purchasing could be enough to tip you over the edge and into a full scale Bridget Jones meltdown, complete with drunken vodka renditions of “allllll by myselffffff”. So, what do you do? How do you deal with all of these feelings? And, are you even allowed to feel like this? Is it okay to be jealous?

First of all, jealousy is natural and fairly normal. It’s also a ruthless motherfucker. Unless you’re a higher being of sorts (then gracias for stopping by to read my quite un-zen articles) jealousy is the completely human and quite uncomfortable burning sensation that turns up unannounced and intermittently without much warning and usually wreaks havoc on your life.

Secondly, you’re not a bad person for experiencing jealousy, nor do you need to internally berate yourself for feeling weird, or not quite okay. Jealousy is one of the most pervasive, yet infrequently explored emotions of humanity and it’s also a catalyst for many a snap action or reaction.

Tempting options for dealing with the situation might look like this:

– You choose the immature route and astutely ignore any good news for as long as possible, ipso facto ignoring the friend(s).

–  You allow your reaction to unwind naturally; over several bottles of wine/blocks of chocolate.

– You use it as a perfect excuse to exercise your masochistic tendencies and ask everyone you know why they think you’re single and if you’ll die alone.

– You dive back into Tinder or kamikaze dating (dating with a stringent, relentless agenda).

And here’s some better options:

If you know that you’re a little tender when it comes to milestones of the heart then reacting in a sophisticated way is just as much an exercise in self love and understanding as it is in adulting. Here’s how:

  1. Keep on third wheelin’ – If you’re friends with a great couple and have been slightly jolted by the announcement that they’re moving, marrying or multiplying then the best thing to do is stay friends with them. All friendships have unique intricacies but if you’ve built a lasting, genuine one with a couple, then the chances are that they will want to keep you as a friend. In fact they’ll probably be hurt if a change of circumstance impacts the friendship drastically.

  2. Keep doing you – Just because said couple has passed a milestone or ticked another box it doesn’t mean that you must do the same right now (or ever). Whether you’re single or in a relationship we all move through life at a different pace and that’s totally okay. Just keep your focus where it’s right for you.

  3. Love yourself, just as you are –  Regardless of marital, home loan or child bearing status. You are more than the sum of all of these things and you should be reassured by the simple fact that you are divine, without any added extra bits. (Except Avocado, we all need that)

  4. Set personal intentions – Use this reminder as a chance to pull your priorities into line. If these surprise announcements have you writhing in discomfort then use your emotional intelligence to ascertain why and if it’s because you really want it… go get it. Be kind to yourself though, everyone experiences life at different speeds, you're allowed to take your time.

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