5 Polite Ways to Communicate to Someone That You Just Want to Be Friends
Telling someone you're not interested in dating them is always awkward.
But it's made twice as uncomfortable when you're still trying to preserve a friendship. I want to hang out all the time but I don't want to kiss, go on dates or call it a relationship doesn't really work, does it?
Still, it's completely possible to enjoy someone's company without being romantically attracted to them. After all, you don't owe them a relationship just because you both happen to get along.
So how do you politely communicate to someone that you just want to be friends? Keep scrolling for our tips.
Don't Hang Out One-On-One
If you're trying to communicate to someone that you just want to be friends, you cannot hang out with them one-on-one. Even if your vibes are completely friendly, they'll still assume the two of you are going on a date. Not only will it increase their interest in you, it'll also seem like you're leading them on when they later find out that you were never interested in anything more than friendship. You should always suggest a group hang. It will subtly communicate to them that you're not interested in that way, and it will give you an excuse to avoid them if they're paying you too much attention.
(Riverdale via The CW)
Avoid Physical Contact
Even if you're a very touchy-feely person, communicating to someone that you just want to be friends means you have to avoid physical contact. That means no snuggling up to them, no holding hands—in fact, you shouldn't even put a comforting hand on their shoulder. When someone has feelings for you, they're going to add a ridiculous amount of meaning to your actions. Every touch will feel like confirmation that you feel the same way they do. Even if it's awkward and obvious, avoiding physical contact altogether will help communicate to this person that you don't return their feelings.
Try to Set Them Up With Other People
Friends naturally want to set up their friends with romantic partners. While it might seem mean to purposefully divert someone's interest when you know they're into you, setting them up with other people firmly establishes their position as "just a friend." It also simultaneously communicates that you want them to be happy, and you're committed to helping them find everything they want. It can be a little awkward at first, but it gets the point across that you're not interested, while simultaneously letting them know that they'd be a great partner… just for someone else.
(Riverdale via The CW)
Make Obvious Comments
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If the person you're trying to deny really isn't getting it, you have to turn to obvious statements to communicate your point. Tell them how much your enjoy their friendship, emphasis on the friend part. Talk to them about your deep crush on that cutie in your math class. Basically, do everything you can to communicate that you have plenty of crushes, but you certainly don't have a crush on them. It might injure their feelings slightly, but it should get your point across without forcing you to come right out and say it.
Just Tell Them
Last, but not least, there may be advantages to just telling your pal how you feel. Make no mistake, it will definitely be awkward. But if you value your relationship, it may be the most respectful way to get your point across. You'll avoid keeping them in the dark or accidentally leading them on. You'll also remove some of the stress you're putting on yourself by getting your fears off your chest. You run the risk of upsetting them, but you'll also definitively clear the air between the two of you. Besides, if they do get mad at you simply because you're not interested in them… well, you don't really want a friend like that anyway, right?
Looking for more friend advice? Click HERE for how to recover after a long friendship fizzles.