How to Tell Someone You Aren't Interested

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ChristinaTheHobbit
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25 Jul 2013, 11:43 pm

So I finally have someone who likes me! The problem is it's my best friend and I don't return his feelings. For a while I thought I might have liked him, but I have come to realize that we couldn't work well together at all.

I need to tell him so he can move on and find someone else, but the problem is I don't know how. I suspect my best friend has some form of ASD. He does not get hints at all! He's as bad as I am with that. If I tell him something, I have to be blunt. But he's very sensitive and has a history of being betrayed and ruthlessly teased by others. I am trying to figure out how I can tell him I'm not interested in him without hurting him or shattering the trust we have in each other. Any advice?


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Lezoah
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25 Jul 2013, 11:53 pm

I think the main thing to keep in mind is that it's natural for someone to feel rejected when they're told their feelings are unrequited. Just be honest, but stress how much you value his friendship. I know it's easier said than done, as I've had to turn the advances of a close friend before, once from my best friend. If it doesn't seem too harsh, depending on what your reasons are, maybe even explaining to him why you don't think a relationship with him would work might help. I can't claim to know your friend, but I would certainly appreciate honesty from someone I knew bore me no ill will.



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26 Jul 2013, 2:42 am

Find him a prettier girl who would be interested him? Lol.

It's obvious he could spend weeks, maybe months of this depression, not to mention his past history of rejection... If you directly tell him that you're not interested


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The_Face_of_Boo
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26 Jul 2013, 3:23 am

Quote:
So I finally have someone who likes me!


YAy!! ! Yupiee!! ! At last!!

Quote:
The problem is it's my best friend and I don't return his feelings. For a while I thought I might have liked him, but I have come to realize that we couldn't work well together at all.


Oh...Friendzoning - level 99.

Quote:
How to Tell Someone You Aren't Interested


Tell him "I am not interested, and I will never be interested"

Expect an end of the friendship tho.



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26 Jul 2013, 4:17 am

Some people might advocate bluntness but I feel another approach is worth trying. Try and tell him you see him as a valuable friend but not as a lover. Ask him how he feels about that type of relationship; if he can't or won't accept it there is no other option but to "defriend" him.



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26 Jul 2013, 4:58 am

I was in the same situation as you 6 months ago. When he confessed it I just told him: 'I am sorry, and I really like you but I don't feel that way abouy you. You're an amazing person and friend, but I just don't feel the same.'



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26 Jul 2013, 10:54 am

I think it would be more of a betrayal if you pretended to be interested in him to "protect" him from being hurt again, than if you were to outright turn him down.

I do agree with the others who say it's important to stress how much you value him as a friend, but the sooner he knows you're not romantically interested, the better. It's not fair on him to give him hope/lead him on (even if it's not outright pretending to be interested, leading someone on can include not making it clear that you're not romantically interested because he'll build up more hope). Yes, it will hurt, and possibly quite a lot, but the sooner he knows, the sooner he can deal.


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diablo77
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26 Jul 2013, 11:16 am

I would always get really offended by the "lack of empathy" rhetoric because it brought to mind people who just don't care about anyone else's feelings, and I don't think I'm that. But I have discovered it makes it really hard when trying to deal with other people on a romantic level that sometimes, it is hard for me to understand that a thing exists if I've never experienced it. Particularly: there has never been a time in my life when I have not wanted to be in a relationship, even when I really probably shouldn't have due to what else was going on in my life, and when I'm told that a relationship is something someone can't handle right now, it's hard for me to believe it because no matter what was going on with me, I would try if I really liked the person. I've been told by NT friends that sometimes that's not how it happens, sometimes they really do like you and just feel like they need time on their own to deal with other things, but as I've never experienced it I don't understand how anyone could ever turn down love if it was with someone they liked.



ChristinaTheHobbit
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26 Jul 2013, 11:21 am

Lezoah wrote:
I think the main thing to keep in mind is that it's natural for someone to feel rejected when they're told their feelings are unrequited. Just be honest, but stress how much you value his friendship. I know it's easier said than done, as I've had to turn the advances of a close friend before, once from my best friend. If it doesn't seem too harsh, depending on what your reasons are, maybe even explaining to him why you don't think a relationship with him would work might help. I can't claim to know your friend, but I would certainly appreciate honesty from someone I knew bore me no ill will.


Yeah, I was afraid that there was no easy way to let him down, but there never is an easy way in life.

He and I have been best friends ever since we met. Since we live in different states the relationship has mainly been emails, letters, Facebook, Skype, etc... He is the first person I go to with things and I am the first person he comes to. Some of the reasons I have for thinking we wouldn't work is that when we are actually together (not behind screens) we are very different. I am the quiet and reserved type, he is loud and full of energy. I have shutdowns, he has meltdowns. I'm the type who hugs the rulebook close and will never let it go, he wants to pry the rulebook from me and throw it out the window. He needs physical affection (long hugs, lots of kisses), I don't care much for physical affection and cannot stand it for longer than a few seconds. One of the reasons I am most ashamed of is that I need someone stronger than me. We are both socially impaired. Whereas I am the type who puts her head down, tries to mimic those around me, and tries to get through social situations looking normal. He is the type who charges in, realizes he is out of his depth, and then latches onto me as if I can keep him afloat. I can barely get myself through, trying to get two people through social situations, which is what I have to do with him, leaves me in a very bad shutdown. Should I tell him these reasons, or are they too harsh/too shallow?


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ChristinaTheHobbit
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26 Jul 2013, 11:25 am

Catmint wrote:
I think it would be more of a betrayal if you pretended to be interested in him to "protect" him from being hurt again, than if you were to outright turn him down.

I do agree with the others who say it's important to stress how much you value him as a friend, but the sooner he knows you're not romantically interested, the better. It's not fair on him to give him hope/lead him on (even if it's not outright pretending to be interested, leading someone on can include not making it clear that you're not romantically interested because he'll build up more hope). Yes, it will hurt, and possibly quite a lot, but the sooner he knows, the sooner he can deal.


I agree, I do not want to lead him on any more than I have while I was sorting out my own feelings. He is my best friend and I refuse to hurt him by pretending to have feelings that I don't. Thanks :)


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Kurgan
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26 Jul 2013, 3:04 pm

ChristinaTheHobbit wrote:
So I finally have someone who likes me! The problem is it's my best friend and I don't return his feelings. For a while I thought I might have liked him, but I have come to realize that we couldn't work well together at all.

I need to tell him so he can move on and find someone else, but the problem is I don't know how. I suspect my best friend has some form of ASD. He does not get hints at all! He's as bad as I am with that. If I tell him something, I have to be blunt. But he's very sensitive and has a history of being betrayed and ruthlessly teased by others. I am trying to figure out how I can tell him I'm not interested in him without hurting him or shattering the trust we have in each other. Any advice?


Just tell him you don't see him in a romantic way. If he's friends with you for the sake of being friends (i.e. he appreciates the friendship for what it is), then you've got nothing to lose. If you've led him on or anything like that, then the friendship is pretty much over.



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26 Jul 2013, 4:25 pm

"I'm very flattered that you feel that way about me, and I'm actually honored that you do because you are a great guy and I really think whoever you end up with is a lucky girl. The thing is, I'm really not in a place where I want a relationship like that with somebody right now. I don't know what it is but I'm just not there. This isn't going to interfere with our friendship is it, because I love hanging out with you."


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30 Jul 2013, 1:05 am

I had to tell TWO females it wouldn't work out:

both times I just said "I don't think it will work out between us"

that was all


in the first case it was a gal who I realized we wouldn't work out romantically, despite we're still friends.

the other was my ex's best friend, who I refer to as "my ex ON STEROIDS", and I figured I just wanted to let her down as nicely as possible.



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30 Jul 2013, 1:09 am

If he is also autistic... why not be completely honest?

"I don't have romantic feelings for you, but you are my best friend. I'm afraid that if I don't pretend to have feelings for you it could hurt our friendship. Yet I don't want to lie to you and pretend to feel that way about you when I don't. We are not neurotypicals, and we should not have to lie to each other. "