two's company, three's a crowd

two's company(, three's a crowd)

The presence of a third person would make everyone feel awkward or uncomfortable, especially when the other two are lovers or close friends. I was worried when the new boy moved into the neighborhood and started hanging out with John and his best friend—two's company, but three's a crowd. Thanks for inviting me to hang out with you and Lucy, but I don't want to get in the way. As they say, two is company, three is a crowd.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

three's a crowd

Also, two's company, three's a crowd. A third person spoils the ideal combination of a couple, as in No, I won't join you-three's a crowd. This expression, alluding to a third person spoiling the privacy of a pair of lovers, was already a proverb in 1546. For a synonym, see fifth wheel.
See also: crowd
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

two's company, three's a crowd

A couple is an ideal combination, which is spoiled by the addition of a third person. This celebration of duality, much used by lovers, found its way into practically all the early proverb collections, from 1546 on. One later version stated, “Two is company, three is trumpery, as the proverb says” (Edna Lyall, Wayfaring Men, 1897); trumpery means excessive frippery.
See also: crowd
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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