Look, when it comes to being single, there’s a shitload of benefits. You get the whole bed to yourself, you don’t have to wait for someone else to use the shower before you, you are literally not beholden to anyone else but yourself.

It’s great. And being unapologetically single is a good thing. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t have its negatives on occasion. You’ve gotta kill your own spiders and cuddles aren’t on tap, but the real negative? Your coupled-up mates.

Don’t get me wrong, your mates being all ooey-gooey in love is fine, I’m totally happy for them (no, really). But being a third wheel for them? Uh-uh. Not a fan, not keen, not something that anyone enjoys. But, you’ll all no doubt be pleased to know that there are ways around it so it isn’t awkward.

In the season finale of Waiting For A D8, we chatted to Demi Lardner about all things awkward – including how to deal with awkward third wheeling. Have a listen below, and read on to find out how you can minimise the awks.

Talk to your mates

If your mates are just super lovey-dovey and caught up in their own world of mushy romance (bleh), they may not even notice that they’re shoving you right into the third wheel zone every time you leave the house together.

And that’s probably coz you gotta speak up and tell ’em how it’s making you feel. If you’re not keen on forming the front of that ol’ tricycle, tell them so. Or you could take Demi’s advice on what you should do with a particularly passionate couple – one that reckons that they’re not like other couples (ahem, you all are).

“In a quiet moment, slowly rise up behind them and go… ‘Can I get in on this?'”

Pick a group activity

It’s gonna seem suuuper obvious that you’re a third wheel if you’re just tacking on to their date night. Sitting next to a couple at the movies is beaten in the embarrassing stakes only by sitting in between a couple at the movies. Don’t do either.

Go somewhere that it doesn’t immediately seem like you’re an extra – a team sport, bowling, anything really! And better yet, add extra friends to the outing. We’re sure you’ve got a couple of other mates who probably want to be involved anyway.

Or at the very least do something where you don’t feel obliged to be in each other’s pockets, like going to the beach or going to a museum. It is totally fine and normal to be off on your own in those locales, so do so.

Ditch the duo sometimes

Speaking of – coupled-up mates, who needs them! Not you, you beautiful solo butterfly, emerging from the safe cocoon that is going out with other people all the time. It’s time to venture out on your own, and we’re so proud of you.

Seriously though, take the time out for yourself and enjoy your own company. Be your own wheel. Let the others do their couple stuff together. Just ask Demi – she’s all for it.

“It’s really good to take yourself out on dates. Taking yourself on dates to do stupid shit is so good, and everything is funny. You notice so much more if you don’t have headphones on, go for a walk and take yourself on a date.”

Take ’em for tapas

If you’re having dinner out with your pals and they’re feeling all lovey, go for tapas instead of set dishes for each human. This may seem like a strange suggestion, but I stand by it and friends, here is why.

Couples often do that gross thing where they go, “Oh we could totally just split two and then we get the best of both worlds!” This, while economic and effective, is a pain in the ass to anyone dining alongside them.

Tapas means you all get a little bit of everything, you all share, and nobody is there feeling icky while the other two spoon-feed dessert into each other’s mouths. Honestly it’s a win-win, because tapas usually are delicious AF too.

So look, being a third wheel is always going to be awkward if you expect it to be. It’s a classic case of a self-fulfilling prophecy, so just concentrate on being excellent and it won’t feel quite so weird. But it’s also important to be happy with your own company too so you’re not always stuck out there with ’em.

Besides, who knows when you’ll swipe right on the human of your dreams on Tinder and turn into the couple that insists they’re not like other couples.

Image: Instagram / @cindycrawford