LOLOLOLOLOLOL! Ah, god, thank you for that laugh.Like high school wrestling, as long as you don't make eye contact it's OK
I don't know that lack of dual controls prevents one from doing a BFR in a plane, I think it's up to the CFI. After all, it is possible to do a BFR (and even a checkride!) in a single seater, with the instructor or examiner watching from the ground (in the case of a checkride, the certificate issued will have a limitation prohibiting passenger carrying).Most spouses want to sit side by side. Not all, there is always the rare bird, but they are rare. A step back and to the side is a little condescending.
Also staggered means one set of controls. Automatic no bi-annuals in your own airplane or any safety pilot practices. If currency is your thing, it’s out.
Being of, err, "Grand Size" myself, cockpit room is actually something I pay a lot of attention to. Back about 36 years ago, I was working Boeing's proposal for the original Space Station. As part of it, they asked for volunteers to have their dimensions measured to find 5% female and 95% male examples to use as test subjects in space station design.No, the 172 is wider than that. The Taylorcraft is 39 inches, and that's about close to an early 172. The later 172's are a couple or three inches wider than the old ones.
The aircraft I have now is my second Sonex ... and they both have the center stick option. I generally fly left seat but have at times sat in the center with the stick between my legs and used the outside rudder pedals. Feels quite natural that way, the view is quite good, and it's easier to keep a check on my six.I'm currently in process of converting it to a single seater sitting in the middle. Sitting in the middle I've measured 8" from either elbow to the sides of the plane.