I’ve been single for about four years now, and in that time, I’ve been the third wheel a lot. At first, I used to dread being the single tag-along friend, but now I’ve actually grown to love it for many reasons. Aside from the fact that I have two wing people to help me scout potential prospects, two people to help me get home if I go a tad overboard with the beverages, and two friends to hang out with, my coupled friends have definitely taught me a lot about love. They might not know it, but I’ve been silently observing, and this is what I’ve learned:
- Little kisses and glances go a long way. The way their faces light up a little when they sneak a cute grin at each other or randomly steal quick little kisses is what keeps relationships thriving. It’s the minor details of intimacy that build the electricity, and rest assured, the people around them can’t just see it, we can feel it, too.
- Appreciation is key. When two people appreciate each other, you can blatantly see it whenever they’re in the same room together. The smallest tokens of affection aren’t in the words given, it’s in the actions made and the thoughtful respect paid that shows how much they truly respect and appreciate each other’s company.
- Apologies are necessary. Sometimes one person will say or do something which upsets the other, but an apology is always made, even if it’s stubbornly drawn out and delayed for a longer period. When two people are in love, they swallow their pride and understand that the relationship is more important than their own egos. It’s not about always being right; it’s about understanding that the love always wins.
- Fights happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to walk away. When big blowouts happen and occasional tears fly, it doesn’t mean it’s over. It just means it’s going to take a little extra effort and a little bit of patience to get back to that good place. Some couples fight and break up and get back together all the time, but the mark of a truly great relationship is when a couple is able to have a massive blowout, and still work it out without throwing in the towel.
- Differences are good. You don’t need to have everything in common; in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Similarities and common morals are a great foundation, but not everything has to align. The differences are the best part because it exposes each person to things they may have otherwise not known about or become interested in on their own. It’s great to be alike, but even if you aren’t, it doesn’t mean it isn’t meant to be love.
- Imperfection is perfect. I’ve seen so many portrayals of perfect relationships on social media, but when I spend time with the real deal, I actually envy it more. The real deal isn’t just the happy moments I scroll across in my newsfeed, it’s also the quirky nattering, the inside jokes, and the moments of complete silence just enjoying each other’s company. It’s the fighting, the making up, the disagreements, the poking fun at each other and the ability to go through the high and low moments and still come out of it with love.
- Love is compromise. Relationships aren’t a one way street and if you want one to work for you, you’re going to need to make some compromises. This means making healthy choices that agree and work well for both of you. You can’t think like one person anymore. You can’t be greedy. You can’t take it or leave it; you work for it and agree to bend on your set ways, and to creating new ways with someone else.
- It’s worth the wait. No matter how hard it gets at times, and no matter how much of my personal single freedoms I might be giving up, it’s worth waiting for the kind of love that doesn’t give up. The kind that thrives on a single glance and that isn’t as perfect as the outside picture might lead you to believe. Nothing worth having comes easy and nothing easy is worth having, so thanks for letting me be your third wheel and showing me the true meaning of being in love.