Treat them the same way you'd treat your Tamagotchi: Damn well …

Being a nauseatingly in-love couple can be all laughs and butterfly rainbows until the ubiquitous third well insists on joining the fun.

Although the third wheel is often a welcome guest in the holy trinity of friendship and love, the couple + friend dynamic can be tricky as the couple is often forced to alter their behavior and expressions of undying love for each other for modesty's sake.

The balance between unbridled love and total romantic ambivalence is a difficult one to maintain in the name of keeping the third wheel at a healthy comfort level, so to help you navigate this confusing interaction, we made you this handy dandy manual that covers how you can treat your third wheel with the same love and respect you'd treat your 15 year old Tamagotchi with … which is to say you treat it well. Damn well.

1. Recognize the type of third wheel you're dealing with

When it comes to third wheel typology, species diversity is vast. Genotypes include, but not limited to:

The Pity Wheel: Someone you just brought along on your date because you feel bad they were left out.

The Clingy BFFFF: Your partner's best friend who likes to ironically consider themselves a "part of your relationship."

The Buffer Wheel: Someone you invited to keep you and your partner from ripping out each other's throats.

The Accidental Wheel: A person who started off as a wing-man, but for some inexplicable reason, has not left the building and is lurking like he means business.

The Actual Friend Wheel: A simple, nice person who isn't your partner that you both love hanging out with.

Knowing which type of wheel you're dealing with will help inform how you interact with them. But, for the smoothest possible person trifecta, we'd recommend the following piece of advice.

2. … Be friends equally.

You, your partner and this third wheel person-thing will have the best, most fruitful dynamic if you're all as equally as close as possible. Whichever member of the couple knows the third wheel the least should make the most effort to befriend them; that way you're all on the same playing field and the third well isn't just there as a "representative of Jennifer's friend group" or whatever.

3. Stop pseudo-fucking in front of your friend

The bane of the third wheel's existence is an overly handsy couple who likes to borderline fuck at the table during what's supposed to be a wholesome time at Olive Garden.

For this reason, for the sake of all that is holy, contain your fiery passion around your third wheel. While we can assure you they're real happy that you're sexually active, they're not real happy that you've decided to sexually activate on their face in the middle of the breadstick/salad course.

Laying off each other for a brief minute while you enjoy your unlimited Italian appetizers is just common courtesy. There is absolutely no reason an ordinary hang out should turn into a personal XXX peep show for your third wheel, and if it does, prepare to have no wheel following you around at all; that excessive PDA is creepy.

A little kiss here, a hand-holding there; that's all fine and fair game. But a hearty grope and a hand on the boob over the chunky tomato bisque? Rude. And weird. What are you getting at by reproducing in front of your friend's very eyes?

Plus, you don't know what that third wheel is going through right now. Maybe they just went through the most brutal breakup in the history of breakups and seeing you and your partner happily candoole each other just makes them want to self-decapitate more than they already do.

4. Be the couple that can be friends with each other

You don't have to prove to everyone that as a couple, you're fucking.

We get it.

Instead, when you're with a third wheel, display the intimate friendship you and your partner have, not the physically intimate romance that dominates your private life. Show that you can be more as a couple than two coital bodies … Putting forth the companionate side of your love proves that sex isn't the only thing that matters in your relationship, and that's important for you. But more importantly, your ability to act like friends as a couple is paramount to your ability to maintain the friendship you have with your third wheel … and to show them that their needs are as important as yours.

5. Set the third wheel up with other people only when appropriate

Often times, there's a temptation on the part of couples to set their single friends up with people. That in itself is a nice thought; it's not so bad.

However, only do this where it's absolutely appropriate and you have the full and enthusiastic consent of the third . Not because they're single and it would "be more balanced" if they were also with someone, but because you know their taste and think you found someone they'd truly get along with.

6. When you go out to eat, don't go to a romantic restaurant for dinner

Go somewhere that's more social and casual so the third wheel doesn't feel like they're interrupting that one date where the guy puts the ring in the champagne glass and blah blah …

7. Outdoor activities are great things to do with third wheels, but …

… avoid sports where you have to pair off, or where your third wheel has to do something alone.  Ping pong is a great example. We don't know why the fuck you'd be playing ping pong anyway, but who's your third wheel going to play with once you and your partner decide you make the ultimate unstoppable team, thereby disgusting everyone in your presence?

Camping is another perfect example; don't make the single person go off to sleep in a tent alone in the wolf-ridden woods by themselves if it's just you three out alone. Either invite them along in your tent with you, or go with a few people so that your third wheel is one of many. That way, you can do your part and save a third wheel from getting dragged into the night by a Blair Witch/ badger combo.

8. Whatever you do, do not fight in front of third wheel or ask them to take sides

A third wheel is not a mediator-therapist-psychoanalyist person; they're solely there because they like both you and your partner as friends, and you can bet your shit they want nothing to do with your relationship drama.

9. Don't proposition your third wheel for a threesome

So tempting, but so no.

10. Good activities to take your third wheel to:

Things that don't involve pairing off are all awesome places to be a stupidly in love couple with a bored friend in tow who's only with you right now because their car is getting detailed by your house: hiking, bowling, shopping, food trucks, and any concert where you and your lover won't be fuck-swaying to the sweet romantic sounds together while the third wheel tries to solo-vape and see around the seven-foot-tall human science experiment that just stepped in front of them.

Instead, do something all three of you have never done outside of your comfort zone. That way, there are no alienating inside jokes between the couple, and everyone has an equally new, exciting experience to talk about.

We recommend skydiving in a hail storm, but hey, that part is really up to you.