Q: Hey, I would like some advice on this situation. I was visiting my best friend at her college and went to a party. I had so much fun, danced with my friends and then this guy approached me and started to dance with me. He suddenly put his arms on my back, but we never kissed or anything. We had a great night hanging out. He was really hilarious and I loved his sense of humor. We didn’t exchange numbers, but he added me on Instagram. I initiated the chat and we realized we had a lot in common. He asked me to meet him out for drinks. We met up and had great conversation. He told me about his life, shared some private information about his family and himself. We ended up going out to lunch a few times and I invited him to a concert with my group of friends. Nothing physical ever happened with us. I kinda got the vibe he was into me, but I really intended to be friends, not a couple, but how do you tell someone that? That’s so awkward. He kind of went MIA for awhile. Then out of the blue, we started texting again recently. I wanted to keep it lighthearted, so I was joking around with him, as I like to do with my friends. He abruptly texted me, “You’re a joke” and he told me he was waiting for me to make the first move. I was hurt because I really liked him as a friend. I told him I’m not into him or dating these days. But then he tried to play if off and said, “I didn’t ask u to date me.” I’ve tried to keep a friendship going and have invited him to more group events, but he blows me off. What should I do now?
A: Honestly, at this point, I think you should give him space. Even though he’s trying to play it off-I think you’re right-he had feelings for you. And it’s obviously too difficult for him to “just be friends”. You absolutely did the right thing by being honest with him about where you stand. I don’t think you intentionally led him on because you were treating him like you would any friend. And you were not being romantic with him. However, now you are aware that some guys view going out one-on-one with a girl as an automatic date. To avoid a situation like this in the future, you may want to be more clear about your intentions. I get it, having this convo upfront can be super awkward, but there are ways to do it that make it way less painful. And it’s better to have a few moments of weirdness than hurting someone you care about in the long term. The best route is exactly what you said to him, “I’m not into you or dating these days”. It’s clear, honest and to the point. Don’t ever feel bad about expressing how you feel, especially when it comes to relationships. You’re going to break some hearts and you’re going to have your heart broken. It’s just part of it. But if you’re looking for a slightly sweeter way to drop the bad news on someone, here are some tips.
7 Ways to Friend Zone Someone
(In the Nicest Way Possible)
Don’t send mixed messages. We’ve all been at the receiving end of this at some point and it’s the worst. No one deserves to have their feelings played with to stroke your ego. Flirting, hanging out one-one-one in romantic settings or hooking up can really complicate a friendship.
Be a Matchmaker. Suggest introducing him to some of your available friends.
Drop ‘not so subtle’ hints. Most guys will get the picture when you say things like…
“I don’t want to date anyone right now, I’m really enjoying my freedom.”
“You’re like a brother to me.”
“You’re awesome and I’m so happy we can be friends without the pressure of dating.”
Talk about other guys. “I love having a guy friend who I can talk to about my dating life.
Don’t treat him like he’s your pseudo-boyfriend. Spending a lot of time alone together, inviting him to family holidays and texting constantly can blur friendship boundaries.
Don’t Act Oblivious. If your friend is dropping major hints that they’re into you, don’t ignore it. It’s best to address the issue.
Nothing like the honest truth. “I like to have this convo with all my guy friends, not to flatter myself, but just to avoid any weirdness. I love having you as a friend, but I’m not interested in anything more than that.”