The One with the Third Wheel

Valentine’s Day has come and gone and officially the “love month” is over.  There was this survey I read that said, Philippines tops as the country with the most widespread feelings of (romantic) love. 93% Pinoys reported they felt love which makes my country the “world leader in love“. Err..Right. I cannot say I belonged to the 93%, though.. (romantically, that is).

And while the month was plagued with stories on: “romantic places to propose“, “most unconventional wedding venues“, “most romantic honeymoon destinations” “best off-the radar island for couples” etc., etc., and while I’m actually in the midst of planning a wedding (as the maid-of-honor not the bride, mind you)  I thought of sharing  some tips on how to survive the most romantic (not!) situation of all, travelling as the most noble third wheel.

Beach bumming at Ko Phi Phi, Thailand with D and I

Couple No. 1: D and I

One would wonder why anyone would even subject themselves into this in the first place. I would probably win the Third Wheel Award having gone on week-long overseas trips with two different sets of couples last year. For some reason or another (okay, mainly fickle-minded friends who kept cancelling at the last-minute), I got stuck not once but twice as a third wheel and in overseas trips nonetheless.

So, as a self-proclaimed Third Wheel expert, I’m sharing three things to remember (and survive) travelling as one!

1. You are not alone.
First thing to remember while travelling as a Third Wheel is to NOT actually think that you are one! With travelling, three is never a crowd. So join in the conversations and soak up the experience as a group of three, not the “couple” plus the “chaperon” (a.k.a. you).

Exploring Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan with N and C

Couple No. 2: N and C

2. You are not alone, yes, but sometimes you will be.
From time to time, be sensitive and remember to give some space to the couple also. I was lucky I have couple friends that are not too clingy and didn’t turn me into their own personal photographer. But still, yes, giving space includes volunteering to take photos of them at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall or give them moments on the sand at Ko Phi Phi.

V and E at Baler

“Unofficially” Couple No. 3: V & E

3. Surrender.
Lastly, there were travels with couples friends and then there were travels with soon-to-be couple friends. I was also “lucky” enough and got stuck (not unawares) with this type of travelling. The two rules above remain the same, but accept your fate that you might also play the cupid part and give them moments on the sands and waves of Baler, Quezon.


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