Third Wheel Renders Reader Off Balance
Dear Annie: I am either in a predicament or being overly sensitive, and I trust you to tell me the truth either way. I am in my 40s and in what I thought was a very healthy relationship with a stable, responsible man who has a very good job, “Luke.” I’ve never been in this type of relationship before, as I previously chose to be single and focus on work. I also have an extremely good job. I have never been treated so kindly in my life. He has been amazing to me. We have been together for almost two years, but I am very cautious.
For the past several months, Luke’s good friend/co-worker “John” has been living with him. I truly like John; he’s a very funny and likable guy.
Because Luke and I live over an hour away from each other, we usually only see each other every other weekend. We have opposite schedules, so it is impossible to see each other during the week. John has his own house but opts to live with Luke 24/7. They work side by side and then live together side by side.
Neither shows any sign of attraction to the other. However, Luke and I had a chance to go on vacation together a few weeks ago (very rare for us), and seeing as they spend so much time together, I jokingly said, “Well, might as well invite John!” Anyone would have known I was being a smarty-pants, but Luke immediately asked John whether he would like to go on vacation with us — to a romantic secluded cabin in the mountains.
I feel so insecure and dumb for writing this, but seeing as they are together 24/7, I feel awkward. Am I being dramatic, or is it possible they have their own special relationship? — Need Advice
Dear Need Advice: It’s possible they’re more than friends, sure, but I don’t think you can say it’s probable just based on the evidence you’ve cited. What I can say for certain is that their constant closeness bothers you; otherwise, you wouldn’t have made a “joke” about inviting John on that romantic getaway. Tell Luke that you want future trips to be just the two of you, and have a larger discussion about the issue of John and their close relationship. Emphasize that you like John and consider him a friend but you don’t want to feel like a third wheel in your own relationship. Opening up the conversation will close the door on any misgivings you have, assuming they’re off base. By the way, I hope your joke’s backfiring encourages you to be more upfront about your feelings. They’re not something to laugh at.
Dear Annie: Not long ago, you emphasized the importance of locking up or hiding one’s Social Security card and number for security reasons. It raised a concern for me. I was under the impression that when people turn 65, they should always carry their Medicare card with them. My Medicare card has my entire Social Security number printed on it, and I assume other people’s do, too. How should we handle this? — Confused
Dear Confused: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced plans to begin rolling out new Medicare cards this year that don’t include Social Security numbers. All existing Medicare cards will eventually be replaced. Read more about these new cards at https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card.