How to Murder Young Love

The guide to third wheeling: how to derive happiness from destroying love.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Valentine’s Day is great. Well, not for you. Stop denying it. I mean… you’re single. But it’s okay! It’s not your fault. There are tons of reasons why you’re single! I mean, you have super hard classes and a ton of homework! You have a college resume to beef up! Besides, if you tell your parents that you have a significant other, they might die from intense rage! You have their safety to think about—and your own!

Wait… but that girl in your science class has a boyfriend. She takes the hardest AP classes, participates in the most extracurriculars, and even has a healthy relationship with her parents. How is this possible, you ask? That is something we’ll never know. And just like that, all of your excuses are gone.

Stop. Stop crying right now. Stop pining for someone who doesn’t exist. Turn off that cringey rom-com and dump out that pint of Rocky Road. Put on something nice and style your hair. You’re going on a date.

More specifically, you’re going on your friend’s date. That’s right: you’re going to be a third wheel. Since you can’t experience the joys of dating, you will kill (and I mean brutally murder) the joy of everyone else.

If you actually have any, scrounge up a victim—I mean, friend—to third-wheel. Try to pick someone with a guilty conscience so you can manipulate their emotions easily and get in on their date. “Please, Rebecca! I’m so lonely!” “Jordan, you spend too much time with them… I’m starting to feel neglected…” “You always do this! Does our friendship mean nothing?” If necessary, chop some onions beforehand too, because you really have to sell this.

Once you have landed the coveted role of the third wheel, you will need to prepare yourself. In order to fully ruin this date, follow this guide on how to be an effective third wheel:

1) Sit in the middle

As you and the other wheels roll into the place where the date will be held, you must ensure that they do not sit next to each other, or even across from each other. This is an essential move in messing up any romantic advances. This means you won’t have to sit through any cuddling and hand-holding; remember, PDA equals failure in the complex game of third wheeling. They may say, “Can you move please?” or “Can we sit next to each other?” You know what to do if this happens. When in doubt, start crying. I encourage you to teach yourself how to cry on demand ASAP, though only experienced third wheels can really master this—so maybe bring along those onions from before.

2) Interrupt at every turn

They’re trying to compliment each other’s outfits? Stop them immediately, and do a fit check of your own. They’re trying to talk about their families? Tell them the story of how your parents met and had you—might as well throw in your own life story! They’re trying to say “I love you” to each other? Respond with, “Aw, I love you too, besties!”

If all else fails and they’re blushing and holding hands and giggling, pull out the trump card:

3) Dig up the dirt

If you’re actually friends with this person, you are bound to have some embarrassing picture of or story about them. And if not? You know the saying: Photoshop is a third wheel’s best friend.

This would be the perfect time to whip out that camera roll and expose some of your finest photography. Maybe it’s the photo with the not-so-flattering lighting or that pic you snagged when your friend dared to make a weird face on a video call. Whatever it is, make sure that it makes its way in front of their date’s eyes.

Rave about how amazing your friend’s ex is and how much you miss them! Recount the time your friend puked from eating Takis! Don’t feel guilty. They should feel guilty for being in a relationship when YOU’RE single. How inconsiderate of them!

Being a third wheel isn’t always easy. Sometimes you might want to give up or flee. But if you have the proper determination, you will eventually lose your sense of shame and might even prefer it over a real relationship! I wish you all good luck with your third wheeling endeavors.

*Neither I nor the Spectator Humor department should be held responsible if you lose said friend as a result of the given advice.