How To Handle It When Someone Likes You But You Don’t Feel The Same

It can be all shades of frustrating and awkward when you’re on the receiving end of someone’s affection when you just don’t feel the same way about them for whatever reason. There are ways to handle the situation gently so nobody ends up feeling more hurt than necessary.

  1. Talk about it face-to-face. I know it’s a difficult conversation to have and you probably want to avoid this as much as possible, but that tactic might not be the best. Have an open and straightforward conversation with this person, listen to what they have to say, and clear the air about how you feel. Resist the urge to have this conversation over text or via phone call as a lot can get lost in translation or be misconstrued.
  2. Restrict personal interactions with them. Since you’re aware of their feelings for you and your inability to reciprocate, you should reduce the amount of time you spend alone with this person. This restriction also extends to social media and other forms of communication.  The truth is the more time you spend talking or being with a person, the more room it creates for romantic feelings to grow.
  3. Avoid giving them false hope. If you’re not interested in dating them, just be honest and direct in getting that information across. Don’t make it seem like there’s a chance you might change your mind when you know you won’t. Don’t flirt with them or do anything that might send mixed signals about your interest. Try to keep things casual and as far away from sexy as possible.
  4. Don’t use them to feel better about yourself. Even when you don’t like the person, it can be flattering to know that they have a major crush on you. You might even be tempted to play along every now and then because of the ego boost you derive from their attention. It’s not fair to take advantage of another person’s feelings like that or try to exploit it for your gain.
  5. Take responsibility for how you might have encouraged their affection for you. While you’re not to blame for someone falling in love with you, you might have contributed to it by leading them on. Think about your relationship with this person. Have you been flirtatious, accepting random gifts, or spending way too much time with them? If you have, then that might have given them the wrong impression. Apologize for that and do your best to curtail it.
  6. Let them down easy. There is absolutely no need to be rude, arrogant, or inappropriate towards someone simply because they like you. Imagine yourself in their shoes and treat them how you would want to be treated. Be polite, try not to make them feel terrible for liking you. Instead of pointing out the things you don’t like about them, shift the focus to yourself and why you can’t be with them.
  7. Don’t let guilt get a hold on you. It’s natural to feel kinda bad about not being able to reciprocate someone’s feelings for you, especially when you care about them and the relationship you currently have. But what are you going to do? Date someone you don’t want to be with out of pity? That’s nuts. Understand that it’s okay to not like someone. Your feelings or lack of then are valid. Try to remember that you can’t give everyone what they want. Sure, they might be hurt right now, but it’ll pass and everyone will be happy.
  8. Leave the door for friendship open. It might be awkward between you for a while, but it’s important that you keep on being nice to them. If you’re interested in having them in your life, let them know that friendship is an available option. As long as they are willing to accept that being friends is as far as you can go, then there’s no need to avoid or shun them. Not liking a person back is not the end of the world, they can still serve an important function in your life. Make sure it’s something you both want.
  9. Set boundaries and stick to them. Since you don’t have a romantic interest in this person, a good way to go would be to set up appropriate boundaries to keep the situation from getting any worse. That means no flirting back, no texting or calling them every hour of the day, and cutting out anything that could inflame their feelings for you.
A girl preoccupied with living her best life even when it's uncomfortable to do so. She spends a lot of time with her thoughts. She hopes you enjoy reading the results of those thoughts.