How to Tell a Friend With a Crush on You That You Just Want to Stay Friends

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Avoid tired old lines.,
Try not to encourage them.,
Don’t disconnect.,
Be ready for questions.,
Don’t get angry.,
Try to forget.,
Let things go back to normal.

The same old “I don’t want to wreck our friendship” or “Sorry, but I just don’t like you that way” will come out sounding cold and heartless. Instead of just telling your friend that you don’t want a relationship, list specific reasons why you think dating would be a bad idea. “I really appreciate that, but I just think we should stick to being friends. I mean, I tell you everything about me! That would be a little awkward for me if we were dating.” And hey, if you don’t feel the love for your friend at the time, but could see something blossoming in the future, don’t be afraid to tell them that, too!;
, Take a bit of time to reflect on your actions toward your friend lately. Have you said or done anything that they may take to be an advance? Or maybe you’re just a particularly flirty person. Make sure you turn off the charm around your friend, at least until things cool down a bit.

, It can be tempting to give your friend a little “space” to help them get over you. This isn’t wise, simply because your friend is likely to take this as a clue to back off for good. It may also leave your friend feeling guilty about or ashamed of confessing their feelings to you. Let them know that things are okay between you two, and try your best to text, talk on the phone, and hang out just as much as you did before your friend asked you out. And if you’re the one being cut off? Take this as a silent memo that your friend needs a little time to sort things out. Try to make contact after a week or two, and if there isn’t any response, take this as a cue to put your friendship on hiatus.

, “Why can’t we date?” “Is it because I’m not as attractive as you?” “Are you embarrassed by me?” “Is there someone else?” These are all questions you should be prepared for in the event that a friend should ask you out. Take time and give the best answers you possibly can in a calm, gentle way. Make sure your friend knows that it’s okay to be curious about what’s going on in your head, but it’s not okay to constantly badger you with annoying questions and pleadings. If the whys and what ifs haven’t ceased after a week, give your friend a stern reminder that you just aren’t interested and you don’t owe him/her any other answers.

, Sure, there are a million annoying things about the situation: the immediate awkwardness, the constant questions, and the broken-hearted look in your friend’s eyes, just to name a few. It’s important, though, that you don’t get angry. If you lash out at your friend, they may think they are seeing a dark side of you that hasn’t come out before. They may also feel like they somehow inconvenienced you by having a crush on you. When you feel like screaming at this friend to forget it, remember that all you’re going to do is make them feel cruddy, which isn’t what you want.

, Naturally, the only thing on your mind is going to be what they’re thinking about when you’re together. Try to push this out of your mind though. Focus on what you liked about your friend before they liked you. Maybe it was their sense of humor or indispensable advice. Whatever it may be, keep that on your mind the first few times you hang out after you’re asked out. Remember that your friend is the same person they were before they liked you.

, Play things right, and slowly but surely, your friendship will go from being awkward to being the gemstone it once was.

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