Dear Di

Kai Holub
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Romcom expert ≠ Relationship expert

Dear Di, 

My two closest friends started dating over the summer and it has ruined my life. I see them both way less since their fling started, and when we do hang out, I feel like a third wheel while they talk about marriage and kids. The three of us have been friends since high school and their getting together has left me as the only single member of our small group. I don’t mind being single, but I feel like my opinions on their dating life are undervalued. I’ve watched enough romcoms to have some authority on relationships, but is there a polite way to ask my friends to go back to the way things were before?


Third wheel

Dear TW, 

If these two have both been friends with you since high school, then I can deduce that they have been friends with one another since high school. If they’re talking about marriage and children, then “fling” is not a fitting term for their relationship. Your trying to reduce it to such will inevitably drive them further away from you. 

If you want to keep your friends, you’ll have to find a way to accept that being friends for that long means growing up together, and ultimately, shifts in relationships. If you feel that you don’t need to be in a relationship, all the more power to you, but why should that stop you from celebrating the happiness your friends seem to have found?

Sure, having two members of a three-person friend group start dating can be tough for the remaining member, but why shouldn’t you find ways to play this to your advantage? You are a shoo-in for their wedding witness, or even have the potential to become a godparent if you play your cards right. Being single is not a bad thing, and now you have two people with no interest in finding their own hookups to talk you up when you go out.

If you have a serious concern for the well-being of one or both of your friends (relating to their decision to date), then that could be a conversation that does not centre on your feelings. But, let it be known: watching romcoms definitely doesn’t give you any authority on relationships, and kind of gives me low hopes for your dating life. 

So in short: shut up. There is no polite way to tell two people to break up just because you liked the way things were in high school. Their years of friendship have created a foundation for a beautiful relationship to be built on, if you are the reason it doesn’t work out there will be no friendship group to go back to.