How to Politely Reject a Friend Who Has Romantic Feelings for You

When you become friends with someone, it's natural that one or both of you may develop romantic feelings for the other.

Feelings are (very unfortunately) something we can't control, and when you spend enough time with a person and let them into certain parts of your life that others don't get to see, your platonic closeness can overlap into feelings of more than just friendship.

Archie and Betty staring at each other in Riverdale

(Riverdale via The CW)

In many cases, friendships can blossom into happy relationships, while other times, one person develops feelings that aren't reciprocated. This may seem like the most uncomfortable thing ever, but it can actually play out smoothly.

If you're on the receiving end of someone telling you they have romantic feelings for you and you don't feel the same way, here's our advice on how to handle the potentially awkward situation.


1. Show Appreciation for Their Honesty

Telling someone you have romantic feelings for them is a bold move. We'd say, overall, in life, this is one of the most nerve-racking things you can do. So, even if you aren't on the same page as your friend who's come forward, you've got to at least give them points for honesty. They've likely been mulling over this confession for a long time, talking to friends and family members and losing sleep. Letting them know you realize how hard this was for them, and that you're flattered they opened up to you like this, will show that you're not just brushing their effort under the rug. They're probably feeling a lot of angst and sorrow at the moment, so any way to ease their stress will be wholly appreciated.

Betty and Archie Walking Riverdale

(Riverdale via The CW)


2. Focus on How Much You Value Your Friendship

Just because you don't have romantic feelings for your friend doesn't mean you care about them any less. Emphasize how much they add to your life and how much you enjoy their company. Put them at ease by sharing what you love about them most, and how you feel so grateful to have them in your corner.


3. Don't Lie or Sugarcoat How You Really Feel

Pulling the whole "I don't want to ruin our friendship," or "I don't want to date anyone right now" will only get you into trouble. Not only will it still give this friend hope that maybe, down the line, something more will blossom between you two, but if you do start dating someone else, it will cause drama. Be straightforward with your friend. Do it nicely, but don't make your potential romantic future together open-ended.

Betty Staring at Archie Riverdale

(Riverdale via The CW)


4. Go on as If Everything Is Totally Normal

Once you two have "the talk," go on as if nothing happened. If you two have plans later that night, then continue on as if you never had the conversation. If you truly value your friendship with this person, then keep going just as you had before. At the end of the day, the whole thing is far more awkward for them than you, so as long as you play it cool and make them feel at ease, then everything should go swimmingly.


5. Don't Let It Hinder Your Friendship Unless They Make It Awkward

In the bigger picture of your friendship, don't feel like you need to change what you say around this person or limit your invites to hang out. You've already made your feelings (or lack thereof) clear, so as long as they go on and don't make it uncomfortable, you should follow suit.

That said, if they start giving dirty looks to everyone you say hi to, or they make snarky comments under their breath, then it may be time to take some space or reevaluate your friendship. Or if they keep pushing you to give them a chance, then that's obviously a sign that they can't go on like normal.


(Riverdale via The CW)


Before someone opens up about their romantic feelings, they should probably click HERE for signs their crush only sees them as a friend.