Ask A Guy: My Friend Likes Me – Can We Still Be Friends?

Dear Ethan,

I have friends that are guys and I like being friends with guys. But two of my guy friends act really weird around me sometimes. They’ll make dirty jokes, sometimes even about me, and when I call them out on it though they always say sorry. One of my friends told me they both have a crush on me, but I don’t like either of them that way – but I want to stay friends with them. How do I stay friends with guys who like me more than a friend?

Ah, the age old question: can guys and girls “just be friends”? Some insist it’s no big deal, while others swear it’s an impossibility. Unfortunately, I tend to lean towards the latter hypothesis—and we guys are to blame for that. In my first post ever, I argued that a dude will generally only willingly befriend a lady either when she’s dating one of his friends, or he’s already dated her. Otherwise, there’s definitely an ulterior motive lurking behind that seemingly cordial offer to “try” his “kielbasa” while at the neighborhood barbecue.

With these two goofballs constantly making inappropriate jokes that obviously make you uncomfortable, it’s pretty likely one or both of them is into you (without knowing how to maturely express it). And, if your girlfriend is convinced for any additional reasons that they’re both crushing on you, then they’re almost certainly into you.

If you’re set on trying to work things out with these guys, you can try having an open conversation to explain how their behavior makes you feel, and what you’d like to change. But personally, I believe it’s kind of unfair – if not impossible – to remain “just friends” with guys who have unreciprocated feelings for you. Not only will things get increasingly awkward, but spending more time with you without being able to act out their fantasies of shared ice cream and long walks on the beach will quickly drive them nuts.

It may be difficult to commit to, but paying less attention to wishful suitors whom you’re not attracted to is ultimately best for all involved. Backing away might even cause your admirers to temporarily come on even stronger, but with enough distance they’ll eventually get the message that you’re just not interested in playing house.

Here’s a quick tip: If you really want a platonic male friend, gay guys make much better besties.

Good luck!

Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of For more on Ethan, visit…or call his mom, Robin.

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  • amber

    my friend likes me and i like him too but i don’t wanna be with him. he still wants to be friends but i dont think i can. this is a weird situation and i wish it wasn’t like this. what do i do? i don’t wanna string him along but he won’t let me go. i told him we should have some space but he said he can’t do that. he wants to be with me all the time. wdid?!

  • T

    It isn’t always as easy as “backing away”. I am a girl, and one of my closest friends is a guy; he’s the one person I go to when I feel like the whole world is falling apart and the first person I think to celebrate with. A couple of months ago I found out he liked me — a lot — but I’ve never felt that way about him. I can’t create distance, I’d fall apart without him, and he knows how I feel too. I don’t know if talking about it helped or not.

  • oprah

    i’v got the same problem but with almost all my guy friends, but one of the closest we had like a fling but we almost best friends i liked him kinda still do but i’v got a bf and i dnt want to date him he likes me to but he has a gf i dont mind i’m happy if his cool, i know it can be hard on mt bf coz we in da same class(mt friend) we do everythin together we sit in most of our classes together do projects ect..BUT i want the feelings to go aways he is by the way the only guy (with my bf) who respects me and is there, just the rare long stares smiles private jokes can atract attention from the outside and akwardness beteewn us…O did i mention he and my bf and all these guys are in the same school??!!!

  • liz

    im a very open lesbian and am often making lots of sexual jokes with my guy friends, however, it too often happens that they like me anyways. how do i act like one of the guys without breaking any hearts?

  • sian

    Happened to me. I am such good friends with these guys, and then i found out that one of them liked me :/ he asked me out, but I didnt feel about him like that, now me and the other guys are still heaps close, if not close, but things are so awkward between me and him