Being in love with someone and having those feelings not returned is VERY difficult. And being at the other end is tricky too. A friend falling for you – and you not feeling the same way – is a situation most of us have found ourselves at some point.
And this DOES have the potential to make or break friendships. Especially if you guys are close friends. Here's how to handle the situation and tide it through so that it doesn't mess up your friendship...
1. Avoid making plans with him which make it seem like a "date"
So, you are meeting him for dinner and drinks - obviously you want to spend time with him since he is a friend. But make it an occasion that's a "casual" one, wherein you're catching up over drinks or coffee. A "couple" type meeting - a one-on-one dinner at a fancy restaurant, for instance - would just create a somewhat awkward situation.
2. Keep your hugs simple and short
As excited as you are to see him again, an overly warm physical show of affection would just be causing him unnecessary grief. Be kind - let him know you care, but don't send him signals that are open to misinterpretation.
3. Don't call/ text him after a few drinks
Yes, you want to rant about how much life sucks, and after a few drinks any friend who lends an ear is welcome, but trust us don’t let him be the recipient of that drunken text/ call. Unfortunately, drunk-dialling someone, given that you know how he feels about you, is likely to come across as something "more" than JUST friendship.
4. Include other friends in your plans
Yes, sometimes, you’ll want to have a heart-to-heart just with him, and that’s okay. But try and include other friends in your plans MOST of the time. Let him be a part of your social interactions, but without making everything about just the two of you.
5. Don't accept extravagant gifts from him if that's not been the norm of your friendship so far
Yes, the temptation to own that pretty piece might be hard to resist, but please don't accept it if it’s worth more than what he'd normally give you as a friend, even if it's your birthday. There's just a lot of "meaning" attached to the exchange - and it is something that will very likely cause awkwardness in the future.
6. Let him know about other guys you’re romantically involved with/ interested in
That cute guy at the office who’s openly flirting with you (and you’re liking it) or the ex you’re considering getting back with – let your friend know you have “other” romantic leanings. Let him come to terms with the fact that he's not the person you think of in "that way".
7. Don't update him constantly about every single thing in your life
No matter how well you get along, don’t spend the whole day chatting with him, updating him about every detail of your day. It’ll be harder for him to think of you as "just a friend" if he hears from you constantly - give him some time and space to deal with his emotions.
8. Talk to him, tell him how you feel
If he is someone you care about - and since he is your friend, we're fairly sure you do - just talk to him. Tell him how much you value your friendship, but it's just not something you view as leading to "more". Don't cut him off just because you don't return his feelings - that's his decision, if the situation is something he is very uncomfortable with. Keep your fingers crossed, and hope for the best - for both you and him. :-)
GIFs: giphy, tumblr
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