This guy that I’m great friends with has recently become obsessively crush-y with me. At first, I tried to just ignore it and hoped he would stop, but now it’s really starting to get on my nerves. How can I reject him nicely without totally ruining our friendship?
Unfortunately, rejection is always going to hurt someone’s feelings – especially if you’re rejecting someone who has a crush on you. But despite the fact that it’s going to sting no matter what, there are nicer ways to go about it rather than just telling the dude to get lost. I can’t promise that you can keep your friendship intact (things might be sort of awkward), but I can tell you the nicest way possible to let this guy down.
If you’re really stressing over telling your friend you’re not interested in him that way, try a more subtle approach first. Don’t flirt back with him (you may be doing that without even realizing it) and don’t give him too much more attention than you give your other friends. Basically, don’t give him any reason to believe you like him back. You can also drop hints by mentioning other guys you think are cute or talking about your own crush. But don’t go overboard with that. You don’t want to completely kill this dude’s self-esteem.
Really, the best way to do this is to say something and get it over with. If this guy is head-over-heels for you, subtle attempts at letting him know you don’t feel the same way might not work. Has he ever came out and told you he likes you? Or has he ever asked you out? If so, respond by saying that while you love being his friend, you’re just not interested in him that way. I know that sounds harsh, but those simple terms don’t leave much room for a deeper meaning. If you say something like, “I’m not interested right now” or “I’m just not looking for a relationship right now” he might take that to mean that you will be interested in the future, and then you’ll get his hopes up.
If you do end up telling him you’re not interested, follow up that statement by telling him how much his friendship means to you. Let him know that you don’t want this to affect your relationship right now. I can’t say for sure whether or not your friendship will be okay after that. You may need to give him some time to get over the blow before things can go back to normal. If it’s too much for him to stay just friends with you, you need to respect that.
In the end, the best thing you can do is to be honest. Avoiding this guy or just blowing him off is a way of rejecting him, but it’s not a nice way. I mean, let’s be real, there is no nice way to reject someone. But by being truthful and open with the person, you’re showing them that you at least respect them enough to tell them what the deal is. And even if they don’t appreciate that right now, they will eventually.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org