Q&A: How To Stay JUST Friends

One of the most awkward times in a friendship is when one friend has feelings for the other that the other friend just doesn’t return. If your friend wants to be “more than friends,” it might seem impossible to let them know you don’t feel the same way without hurting their feelings, but you can and you should. Here’s how.

Question: Hey Dan and Jenn, last night my best friend of 8 years just admitted to wanting to be “more than just friends” with me however, we are both guys so I’m not really interested. He’s asked me to do stuff with him but I can’t seem to give him a straight no, I guess I just don’t want to hurt his feelings. Is there anyway I can permanently turn him down whilst keeping the friendship we had? Any help will be great, thanks.

–YouTube Viewer

Being Afraid Of Hurting Their Feelings

If your friend likes you and wants to be more than friends and have a romantic relationship with you, it can make the friendship very awkward if you want to stay just friends. You may be afraid to hurt them because they’re you’re friend, so you may have avoided telling them the truth about how you really feel. You may be afraid that they’ll think you don’t want to be friends at all, or they may be so hurt or embarassed that they just can’t bear to be friends with you anymore. Either way, if you haven’t told your friend the truth, you’re probably afraid that it hurt them and that it will end the friendship.

Be Honest

Regardless of how afraid you are to tell your friend the truth about not returning their romantic feelings, it’s important that you be honest with them and honest with yourself. Leading them on, even by not saying anything at all, will make it worse when you do finally tell them that you don’t like them that way or when they figure it out on their own. The best thing to do in this situation is to be completely honest, without being critical, and just let them know in a nice way that you don’t want to be romantic with them. Be sure to let them know that you really do value the friendship and want to continue to be friends, but that moving beyond that just isn’t something you are interested in.

If It Affects The Friendship 

No matter how hard you try not to hurt your friend’s feelings, you might end up doing just that. Hopefully if you’ve been honest with them and weren’t critical, they’ll understand and still want to continue the friendship. But no matter how nice or understanding you are about it, you do run the slight chance that they won’t want to stay friends with you. This is usually on account of embarassment on their part, especially if they really thought you felt romantic about them. If this happens, there’s nothing you can do about it, except let your friend know that you really don’t want to see the friendship end. Even if they choose to end the friendship, it’s important that you were honest about your feelings and didn’t lead them on. They’ll appreciate that in the long run.


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