General Question

smile1's avatar

How do I tell a boy that I want to stay friends...and not anymore?

Asked by smile1 (493points) February 5th, 2010

I had gone to homecoming with him earlier this year, not really thinking he wished for more than friendship… (Ridiculous idea right?!) after school events, he would walk me home and we would awkwardly hug and then he would leave…

So before winter break, I told him directly, that I wanted to stay friends and that I wasn’t looking for a relationship just yet. Well…after I told him that, he said “for now right?”... I pretended to ignore that, and got saved by the school bell…literally…

And now… a few months later, he sits super close to me (closer than he does to any other girl), and tries to walk me to my next class…

AGHHHH. I like him as a friend…but I dont want it to go anymore!! What do I say??!

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25 Answers

rangerr's avatar

Tell him exactly what you just told us.
Just, without the AGHHHH part.

Let him know you’re not looking for a relationship and that he’s making you a bit uncomfortable by trying to be close.

odali's avatar

Tell him that you cherish his friendship and don’t want to ruin that for a relationship. If you two get involved with one another, it tends to end friendships. You want him in your life for more than just a few months, or a year, and his friendship isn’t worth risking that.

Jeruba's avatar

… but only if that’s true, @odali, right? Otherwise it is holding out a false hope.

borderline_blonde's avatar

Boys can be so persistent, even with the writing on the wall. It’s been my experience that – as much as it sucks – you have to be very firm with them and tell them exactly what you want. If you don’t want to date him, you need to tell him that. If you don’t want to be friends with him, or have him walk you to class, etc. then you need to tell him that, too. You don’t have to be mean about it, but be straightforward. Otherwise, he may never get the hint.

Berserker's avatar

Don’t think of any way to say it. Just say it.

odali's avatar

@Jeruba Yeah, only if its true, but you also dont want to hurt the kids feelings…

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I just tell him extactly what u said in the aggghhh sentence….

westy81585's avatar

The “I’m not looking for a relationship at the moment” part gave him hope as stupid as that sounds.

Just flat out tell him that you only see him as a friend and don’t think that will ever change. It will be a tough pill to swallow for him, but that’s the most you can do. If he continues to be bothersome (and keep in mind that even his toned down level of just friendhship may come off as him coming onto you too strongly because your mind is already set to expect that…. so don’t crucify him right away if you think he is after telling him)... but if he continues to be a problem threaten to tell an authority figure, and if he still continues, tell such an authority figure.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Tell him that you are flattered that he would like to have you as a girlfriend, but you don’t return those feelings for him. You like him as a friend. Boyfriend/girlfriend relationships come and go, but friends last, and it is more important to you to have him as a friend than as a boyfriend. You realize that’s hard for him, but you don’t want to lead him on in thinking that you see the relationship as anything but friends. Ask him if he can be okay with that.

Some guys have a hard time understanding that it’s possible to be friends with a girl; their socialization pattern is you’re friends with guys and date girls.

john65pennington's avatar

One question for you…......why did you go to homecoming with him? did you ask him or did he ask you? you will have to admit that going to homecoming together, implanted a thought in his mind, that you might care something for him. this is what i would have thought. maybe, you should have told him on the homecoming date, that this was only a friendly outing and nothing more. i am sure he received the wrong signals from you at that time. your best bet now is to level with him and tell him you are not interested in you two dating each other. he may not take no for an answer, so expect this. he is going to wonder why you two went to homecoming, if you were not interested in him. only you can straighten out this situation. i would have a one on one conversation and express how you feel. letting this situation continue is not fair to the guy. he apparently cares a lot about you. be prepared for some defensive comebacks from him. remember, a hurt puppy will even attempt to bite you, when they are hurt.

marinelife's avatar

You should have not ignored the “for right now”. You need to tell him again that you only want to be friends and be specific. Tell him you do not want him walking you to class, that you do not want him sitting next to you. Then arrange for a girlfriend to walk with you for a few days until he gets the idea.

Don’t let him force himself on to you. Don’t worry about hurting is feelings until you get your space back.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It’s like pulling off a Band-aid. There is no easy or painless way to do it. So the kindest thing to do is do it quickly, directly, and with no beating around the bush and making it take forever. This doesn’t mean that you have to be unkind, however.

So tell him very directly and so that there’s no mistaking your intent or false hope—and don’t even tell him that you want to be friends afterward if you really don’t even care for that. A long, drawn-out, no-words-spoken-directly and gradual pulling away is painful for everyone. For you, for him (certainly!) and even for your friends and his, who can see what’s happening but can’t help.

“Look, JoeBlow, we’ve had some good times. I enjoyed them and I know that you did, too. But that’s over. I don’t want a romantic relationship with you, now or in the future. I wish you the best, but you need to find another girl now. I know this hurts, and I’m sorry about that; it isn’t my intent to hurt you, but I had to let you know so that there’s no mistaking intent or false hope on your part.” If you really feel it, then you can add at the end, “Can we still be friends?” But don’t be false about that, either.

john65pennington's avatar

CyanoticWasp,,,,,,good answer, john

Tenpinmaster's avatar

CyanoticWasp :) yes, definatly a good answer.
Especially dealing with guys just tell him exactly what you are thinking! You don’t want whatever you say open for interpretation or him thinking you are playing hard to get. Sometimes guys are very thick in the head and you have to be crystal clear about your intentions.

Holden_Caulfield's avatar

I don’t know that I can add anything beyond what other have said… they are spot on. My two cents for what it’s worth: As difficult as it is to be hear it straight, it is much more appreciated than a BS excuse or beating around the bush, even though the immediate feelings of rejection are a hard pill to swallow at first. In the long run, it helps to build his character as well as yours in dealing with situations open and honestly in the future. Start now by doing the right thing and you will be far ahead of others who do not. It will help you to build and sustain healthy relationships down the road… one’s that have good boundaries and where there is no ambiguity.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Do what @rangerr and other have said and don’t dangle any false hopes in front of him. Some guys are not capable of being “just friends” with a woman. If he is one of these, you’re going to have to cut off the relationship cleanly.

I’m dealing with this situation right now from the opposite angle. Trying to assure a lady friend (possibly ex-friend) that I have no romantic intentions and merely want to preserve a working relationship. So guys can have this problem also (not all of us are testosterone-fueled sex-predators).

J0E's avatar

He’ll appreciate it if your honest with him.

Resonantscythe's avatar

You can’t. You. Can. Not.

I’ve been that guy and been friends with that guy too many times to say anything else.
As long as you’re around him, it’ll be there. It’ll be there stinging in his chest. it’ll be there biting at the back of his thoughts.

You have two courses of action
A- Simply say “I do not, and will not feel for you that way at any point. We are and will be friends only.” In your own words.
B- Avoid him like the damn plague. And when he catches you, let him know why.

Do NOT use an of the following words AT ANY POINT:
“right now”

There’s no two ways around this; being blunt is the only way through this.

smile1's avatar

Wow…thanks guys….

I think i will try and say to him directly that I simply want to stay friends with him and nothing more than that…

I hope we stay friends…

odali's avatar

ugh wait a minute. the best thing to do, is probably to just not say anything, just distance yourself a bit from him if he is getting too close, physically. if he doesnt ask you out, dont say anything, if he does, say you cant but dont bring it up if he doesnt..

smile1's avatar

would that not prolong the “bandaid” analogy?

odali's avatar

if he doesnt come on to you hes obvi not that serious.. mayb he just wants to be around you cause he doesnt have anyone else.. why make him feel worse about himself?

odali's avatar

sorry ive been texting all day, short hand is coming off in messages here.. loll

Resonantscythe's avatar


No, no no no no no nonono.

That won’t work, that’ll make him miss her and feel more. It’ll worsen the situation if anything. That’ll make him hurt and confused and he won’t want to have anything to do with her and she already explained she still wants his friendship.

If he doesn’t come forth, he may just be biding his time thinking “i’ll give her some air, then when things cool down I’ll try again.” Or any number of variables ending in “try again”. Or It’ll make him hate her.

If she want him the get the point without destroying their friendship, she has to confront him.

@smile1 If he asks you out don’y say “I can’t” or “i’m busy” or anything like that. Say no.
Please don’t lead him on. My life has been filled with the pain of having feelings for someone who feels nothing for me and always wonder “what if”. Don’t put him through that; that question is like an acid that invisibly eats away at you inside. Yes he’ll be hurt for a bit, but if he’s a good guy he’ll eventually thank you (internally if not out loud) that you were honest instead of letting him cling on to false hope.

If you let him realize later that you had no interest and let him hold on the the notion that he had a chance, he may come to resent you for it. And the bitterness of that resentment can quickly lead to hate.

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