First off, in case anyone was wondering, third wheeling is my favorite position. It’s flexible, pretty comfortable — depending on who you’re with — and is usually only slightly satisfying to one member of the party.

So, let me teach you kids how to “third wheel” like pros. Trust me — with Valentine’s Day coming up, everyone will be doing it.

*Disclaimer* Absolutely none of this article is based on my very personal, constant experiences around couples. I surmised what it might feel like to be the third wheel and just happen to be extremely good at empathizing.

Keep comments and communication to a minimum

I find it easiest to hold and engage in conversation with a couple when I do not speak at all. This way, you can hold an uncomfortable, unbroken silence as you trail behind the couple. If you must, only speak at inconvenient times — like, when you sense a kiss approaching.

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Always have an excuse, but never use it

With Valentine’s Day coming up, there are bound to be some couples discussing their plans around you. They will feel socially obligated to invite you along, and this is when your acting comes into play.

“Oh, uh, Thursday night? Hm… let me see… I’ll have to check my schedule. I think I have a meeting that night…,” you ponder.

The couple breathes a sigh of relief. Then, in the most chipper tone you can manage, announce that your imaginary plans can be set aside.

“But, I can skip it! It’s not that important! When ya heading out?” This simple method of deception ensures a position of social status where it feels like you chose to be the third wheel around your friends, not the other way around.

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Don’t take any hints

This is an essential to being a gold star third wheel. I’ve been practicing this skill for a while, it’s definitely not something just anyone can do.

It looks a little like this, with the couple saying, “Hey, Casey, I think we’re going to go watch a movie,” and you replying, “Oh yay! I love movies! Which one? Can we watch ‘Twilight’ again? I call the middle seat!”

And voila, you’re set. Middle seat, “Twilight” and an uncomfortable couple on either side of you. What more could you want?

Like I mentioned earlier, all of these tips are solely based on my ground-level research of observing straight up lonely losers as they trail behind couples.

As I write these tips for all you inevitable third wheelers this Valentine’s Day, on a completely unrelated note, I ask you couples to please leave some sidewalk room beside you. Not that I’d need it, haha… unless…