If You Just Want to Be Friends

One of the most painful rejections many of us may remember from our younger years is when he or she says that they want to be just good friends. Back when you were fourteen you had a crush on the girl in your English class. Finally, you found enough courage to ask her to go on a date. Then the terrible truth became clear. She smiled, like a sister, and said that while she “liked you a lot” she only wants to be good friends. At the end of the school day you see her ride off with in the convertible driven by her eighteen-year-old boyfriend, head on his shoulder. We noted that this experience was, perhaps, a necessary part of growing up. But, if you just want to be good friends today, how can you make that happen?

If You Just Want to Be Good Friends

There are times, like after a painful breakup, when we need to socialize but do not want to jump right back into a romantic relationship. In this case we are, in fact, just looking for a good friend or two. offers some good advice on how to say you just want to be friends.

When it comes to dating, being in the position of having to reject someone is just as uncomfortable as being on the receiving end of a rejection. Unfortunately, letting someone know that you’re not interested in him is actually better than leading him on because you don’t want to hurt his feelings. You need to tell him politely but in no uncertain terms that although you’re flattered, you just want to be friends.

Their suggestions are these along with our take on their answers.

Keep It Simple and Honest

If it is clear that you do not want to keep dating this person for romantic reasons do not lie and do not wait to tell the other person. You really can say that they are a great person but not the person for you. You always have the right to say that and stick to your guns.

Aim for a Positive Outcome

Do not assume the worst. Assume that the two of you will possibly be friends but not lovers. Remember that neither of you started the relationship with bad thoughts in mind. You can say that you were flattered by their interest in you and still respect the effort. But, you are going a different direction.

Don’t Be Afraid to Assert Yourself

Stick to your guns. The other person may start making arguments for why you should hang in there longer and give it another try. You can trust your feelings, or lack of them! And you are in charge of your own life. If the other person starts getting pushy remember that you really do not want to be in an abusive relationship, say no, and leave.

Be Prepared

Although you would like that this other person responds like an adult to you request to just be friends that may not happen. In fact, if you think they are immature and that is why you want to break off any romantic attachment you may well expect a tantrum. If the other person becomes angry or even abusive, limit your response to telling them you are sorry they feel that way. But, you get to choose who it is that you go out with and who is your friend. If they persist, leave. Do not end up explaining yourself or being nagged and browbeaten into “giving it another chance.” Just as it is your right to break off a romance it is his or her right to have feelings and to express them. But, you do not need to listen to a long-winded tirade mean to hurt your feelings. It that happens just leave and forget the friendship part!

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