How To Stay “Just Friends” With The Guys In Your Life

There’s nothing better than a guy friend. If you have a lot of guys you socialize with, dating becomes a lot easier because you’ve already developed a comfortable form of communication with men and know what some good starter topics are. However, you’ll still want to set up some boundaries. When you have a lot of guy friends, sometimes they might catch feelings. Here are ways to kindly make sure nobody crosses a line.

Keep them up to date with your love life. If they know you’re actively dating others or treat your dating life like a punchline, they know it’s a complicated aspect of your life that they might not want to partake in firsthand. They’ll also be able to see what types of guys you’re romantically interested in, and they may be a completely different type. Get them to talk about their dates to you, as well. Make sure they know you’re comfortable with that type of friendly dialogue.

Counsel them on their dates. If they’re having bad luck in love, be the mentor. That, or try to set them up with someone you know if you honestly think they’d be a good fit. Being set up by someone is a quiet code for “I’m not interested in you, but you’re a great guy.” He’ll know you care but aren’t interested in pursuing something yourself.

Don’t dress up for them. It’s tempting to always look cute, but don’t doll yourself up for a hangout if you don’t want to. Be casual, and be yourself. If you look like you tried to impress them, they may think you’ve caught feelings. You can still look cute in jeans and a t-shirt. And obviously, you can still put on makeup if you feel best in it. Don’t worry about curling your hair for an hour if all you’re going to do is catch a movie with a friend.

Be honest with them. If a guy you romantically liked asked you a question, you may be tempted to shower them with compliments. For a regular friend, it’s best to be honest — even if the truth stings a little. If they’re having trouble finding a girlfriend, your job is to say something like “Maybe the jokes on your online profile aren’t landing right.” There’s a difference between honesty and being mean. A good friend wants their guy friends to succeed and would rather be frank with you.

Call it out if a physical touch makes you uncomfortable. It’s one thing to playfully shove at a friend or high five. But if a guy friend takes it too far and makes you feel uncomfortable, stop them in their tracks. If they refuse, maybe they’re not as good of a friend as you thought. Real friends honor boundaries. It’s also a good reminder to them that you have no interest in making the relationship romantic. If their whole mood changes around you, a break is in order.

Make sure you’re honest with your feelings. Something may always spark in the future, but would you get upset if a friend wanted to date this guy? Before you admit that you just want to be friends, you need to really analyze your feelings. It’s not fair to claim he’s just a friend but then feel territorial about him when he tries to start a relationship with someone else.

Try to avoid late-night texts. If it’s late and you can’t sleep, you’re likely scrolling through your phone. Now’s not a great time to message your guy friend. It’s out of respect for them since, if they’re on a date or testing the waters with someone they’d like to start a romantic relationship with, having you text them at 11 p.m. may make any other suitor a little suspicious — or turned off. One text is fine, but a full-on conversation might give someone the wrong idea. You don’t want to sabotage their love life.

Hang out in a group. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out one-on-one with your guy friends. But if you feel like they may be getting the wrong idea, hanging out in a group setting may be a little better. If there are any one-on-one hangouts, make sure you always split the check.

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