Don’t lie or make excuses.,
Say how much you value his friendship.,
Take the time to listen to him.
Don’t waste time beating around the bush. Just tell him that you know he likes you, and that you’re just not interested in him in that way. Tell him you wish it was different and know that it puts you in an uncomfortable place, but that you just don’t see him as more than a friend.
Tell him that it wasn’t easy for you to open up about this, but that it was necessary. He’ll appreciate that you valued him enough to tell him the truth.
Just because you’re being honest doesn’t mean that you should get into the top five reasons why you would never date him. If you’re not feeling it, that’s okay — but you don’t have to make him feel flawed or not good enough for you.
, Don’t be wishy-washy about it. If you don’t like him, you don’t like him. Don’t say that you’re not at the right place in your life to like him right now, or that you’ll think about it in a year, once you’re done with school. This will only make you look like a flake. The more firm and clear you are, the more he’ll get the message and will leave you alone on the romantic front.
Though it sounds harsh, the most important thing is to not give him hope. If he thinks there’s even a chance that you’ll like him later, he’ll keep waiting for it to happen.
Remember that being firm doesn’t mean that you have to be cruel. You don’t have to say that there’s a 0% chance that you’ll ever get together, or that there’s no way you’d ever go out with him. You will essentially be saying this — but in a nice way.
Don’t apologize. Though the situation is uncomfortable, and you feel bad for him, you can’t help how you feel.
, The worst thing you can do is lie about why you won’t go out with him instead of being honest and just saying you’re not feeling it. Though you may think that a lie or an excuse will make him feel less rejected, the opposite is actually true. He’ll be able to tell if you’re bluffing from a mile away, and that will only make him feel worse. If he’s really your friend, then you should respect him enough to tell him the truth. Here are some excuses you want to avoid:
Don’t say, “My life is just so crazy busy right now.” No matter how busy you are, you’d be able to make time for someone special. This will only make him feel unimportant, and even more hurt if he sees you with someone else a few weeks later.
Don’t say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Don’t make up excuses about how you need to work on yourself before being in a relationship, or that you don’t know how to commit or that you have low self-esteem. If you really wanted to be with him, you would be.
Don’t say, “You can do so much better than me.” Don’t put yourself down as a way to make him feel better. He won’t.
Don’t say, “I like you but I don’t want to ruin our friendship.” Unless he’s your best friend in the world, how many times is that one true?
, This should be absolutely true. Let him know that he really is an important friend to you, and that you’re so lucky to have him. Though you shouldn’t say you don’t want to date him because he’s such a good friend, do say that you hope this doesn’t get in between your friendship, and tell him that he’s been such an amazing friend to you.
Be sincere. Make eye contact and speak slowly to let him know how much he really means to you.
You don’t have to go overboard. Don’t spend twenty minutes extolling his greatest features. He’ll begin to think, “If I’m so great, then why won’t she date me?”
, Once you’ve said your piece, it’s likely that he’ll have something to say back to you. Maybe he’ll ask some questions, ask what he could have done differently, or just tell you he’s hurt. Or he’ll even show that he’s a bit mad, and you’ll see that his pride is wounded.
Whatever his reaction, take the time to let him talk to you while you nod, listen, and ask questions at the right time. Don’t let it feel like a one-way exchange.
Don’t interrupt him. If he talks, you’ll have a better sense of how deep his feelings are, and it can help you see where the friendship stands. You may find out if he has a harmless crush or has been in love with you for years.