Friendship is a beautiful thing, and the idea that men and women can’t have mutual platonic relationships is outdated and just not true. Still, sometimes it does happen that one or the other of you wants to take things to the next level – a romantic level. When it’s your guy friend who’s interested in becoming your boyfriend, it’s particularly hard to know what to do if you don’t feel the same. You don’t want to ruin your friendship, but you also don’t him want to lead your friend on. It’s a delicate situation, but not an impossible one.
Figure out how you truly feel.
It’s better to really know how you feel yourself before you can try to make any moves. If you do like this person then go down that route. But if you don’t then figure out why because you’ll need to know.
Tell him very clearly that you’re not interested.
You probably wish you could just ignore this whole awkward situation until it goes away on its own, but people need closure to move on. Being a true friend is doing what’s best for him, even if it hurts. If you’re not interested, say so, and make sure to not give any false hope.
Give him a little space.
Things take time. You may want things to go back to the way they were right away, but it’s selfish to rush the other person when he’s not ready yet. Give him some space if you were the type to constantly be in touch. People need time for things to sink in.
Plan more group hangouts until things settle down.
You don’t want your friend to think you hate him, so hang out, but do it as a group to ease the pressure. Things might be awkward at first, but you’ll both probably rebound (though things may never be exactly the same).
Cut back on dishing all of your love life details.
Before, you probably thought you two were different and could talk about anything, but now things have changed. Don’t talk about your sex life, or go into too many details about what you’re looking for in a date. Your friend might try to use these things to get closer to you instead of just being a soundboard, or he might end up feeling incredibly hurt.
Don’t do anything that could be misread as flirting.
Just as you want to protect yourself in this situation, also protect your friend! Stop with the cute nicknames, and ease up on the physical contact if you were the more affectionate type. If boundaries aren’t set, then you might have to have another awkward conversation.
If your “friend” tries to guilt you into changing your mind, then end things.
We’ve all heard it before. People like to talk about the “friend zone” but it’s a fake place in a mythical world where the goal is always to get laid or have a relationship. If this person tries to say you owe him a chance and because he’s a “nice guy“, ditch him! A friend would never pressure you or guilt you into something after you made yourself clear.
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