How to tell someone that you like them as a friend, not romantically

When someone tells you that they like you as more than a friend and you don’t feel the same way in return, it can be awkward and uncomfortable. Chemistry is a weird thing, we can’t help who we are attracted to, and you are either into someone or you aren’t.

If you are not into the person, the friendship may be rocky for a period of time, you may be uncomfortable in each other’s company. Maya Angelou famously said, “People don’t always remember what you said, but they remember how you made them feel.” Acknowledge the person’s feelings by saying thank you, for them letting you know.

It takes real courage to tell someone, especially a friend, that you have unrequited feelings for them. That courage that they have plucked up to confide in you deserves to be respected. Whatever you reply, this is a situation where it would be wise to respond with kindness.

You may have known that the person had a crush on you for a while, and it is inevitable that they are going to eventually confess how they feel about you.

Here are a few ways to let the person know with kindness and respect, that you only like them as a friend. As challenging as it is, honesty is the best policy when letting someone’s expectation’s down. The friendship may be rocky or even distant for a while. But when the person looks back, after time, they will see you were actually pretty kind and gracious about the situation.


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10 Best ways to tell someone you like them as a friend

1. That’s fine, I’m looking for a friend with benefits.

2. No worries. Got it, let’s be friends.

3. You’re perfect, anybody would be lucky to have you but you’re not my type.

4. I’m really flattered. You are amazing, but I don’t feel that connection between us.

5. You are too good of a friend to me. I don’t want to take the risk of ruining our friendship with a short term relationship.

6. I don’t think that we are romantically compatible, but I’d down to hang out as friends.

7. I don’t feel that we click romantically but I think you are a really great person.

8. I’m not feeling this, and I would like us to be friends. If that’s OK great, if not, I get it.

9. Honestly, I feel we have more of a friendship vibe. If you want to go for coffee and get to know each other a little more we can do that.

10. I really do appreciate you, and you matter to me but I only want to be friends.

Why is it hard to tell someone that you only like them as a friend?

It can be hard to tell someone that you only like them as a friend because you don’t want to hurt their feelings or damage the relationship. You may be very concerned about how they will react or whether they will become angry or no longer want to be friends with you. People can feel guilty or uncomfortable with the idea of rejecting someone who has expressed interest in you.

Being honest, kind and upfront about how you feel towards the person is the best way to maintain mutual respect and avoid misunderstandings.

While it may be challenging in the short term, it can help prevent further hurt or disappointment by being honest now. When you communicate your feelings clearly and respectfully, it is possible to maintain a positive friendship with the person and move forward with clarity and understanding.

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Taylor had to turn down a guy who she only liked as a friend

Taylor had been hanging out with a guy she met through a mutual friend. They had a lot of fun together, but Taylor only saw him as a friend. However, the guy had started to express romantic interest in her, and Taylor knew that she had to be honest with him.

Taylor decided to meet with him in person and explain that she didn’t feel a romantic connection. She thanked him for his interest and for getting to know each other, but she was clear that she only saw him as a friend. The guy was disappointed, but he appreciated Taylor’s honesty and respected her decision.

Although it was hard to turn down a potential romantic partner, Taylor felt relieved and proud of herself for being true to her own feelings and needs. She knew that she deserved to be with someone who shared her values and interests, and she was confident that she would find the right person when the time was right. Taylor and the guy remained friends and continued to enjoy each other’s company in a platonic way.

The Role of counselling and self care

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When you are dealing with telling someone that you only like them as a friend and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

How to let someone know you're not into them

Got any comments, questions or tips for telling someone you only like them as a friend ? Share them in the comments below.

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  1. You could also say,
    “I really appreciate you telling me this. I like you a lot as a friend, and I hope we can stay that way.”

  2. You could say “That’s nice. What’s you’re name again?”
    JK, that would be mean. You should just tell the truth. “Sorry, I like someone else, but I still think you’re really cool,” or something.

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