How to Tell Guy You Just Want to be Friends

teenage boy and girl

Need a little help learning how to tell guy you just want to be friends? Well, our dating coach gave out this advice.

Help for How to Tell Guy You Just Want to be Friends

Reader Question

My daughter doesn't want a boyfriend, she is interested in having boys as friends but they all want to date her or be her boyfriend. Any suggestions?~~Pearlie

Expert Reply

Dear Pearlie,

From your question I can't tell if your daughter is having difficulty with how to tell boys that she only wants them as friends and you want to help or if you are concerned because there are boys interested in your daughter and she doesn't seem to be interested in them? Also, I don't know how old your daughter is, which will make any response I offer potentially not appropriate because your daughter is older and more mature or because she is younger and less experienced. Since I don't have some pertinent information, I will do my best to offer some suggestions.

If your daughter is having trouble coming up with responses to boys who want to be her boyfriend, try helping her come up with excuses that are clever and take the pressure off of her. For example, make it convenient for her to blame her parents by putting some rules in place. She can tell boys that her parents have a strict rule about not dating until she is a certain age. She knows its lame, but she doesn't want to violate their rules. She can also let a boy down gently by telling him she is so involved with school and after school sports/activities that she can't devote the proper amount of attention to a relationship. Sit down with your daughter and see how many funny, amusing or quick-witted excuses the two of you can come up. Then let her pick the ones she likes best. So the next time a boy wants to be more than just friends, she'll be prepared with an answer.

Now, if you are concerned because your daughter doesn't want to have a boyfriend and you think she should be ready for a boyfriend at her age, then that's a different story. If this is the case, perhaps your daughter feels awkward and unsure of how to be in a relationship. She may feel the pressure of your concern and this adds to anxiousness. If your belief is she should be ready and you want to help, I would recommend trying two ideas. The first is to go to your local bookstore and peruse the shelves on dating for young people. There are many books written on the subject, however not all will share your family values. So take your time reading thoroughly. Then sit down with your daughter to have a talk. Your role is to make the 'unspoken,' spoken. You might say something like, "I know that many girls your age start to have boyfriends. I am wondering what your thoughts are on the topic?" Validate her feelings and offer to support her feelings. Let her know that you understand it can be difficult to get in a relationship with a boy, and you found a book that she might find helpful. Ask her if she would be open to reading it, and then check back after she has read the book.

Today, it is not uncommon for young people to hang out in groups and as friends. As they get older, pairing off into couples becomes more common. However, there is one other possibility to consider and that is that your daughter might be attracted to females. If this is your concern, than the only way to address this is to talk with her. Given that I had little details, I hope the one of suggestions above hit the mark.

~~Lori

How Do I Tell a Coworker I Just Want To Be Friends?

Reader Question

Hi...I have this problem with a guy at my new job. I just moved here from another state and this guy asked me if i wanted to hang out some time. I said yes because I didn't want to hurt his feelings and become a pariah at my new job. Well I hung out with him and everything but I'm fairly certain he wants to be more than just a friend. How do I tell him that I don't feel the same way without hurting his feelings?-- Contributed by: amanda

Expert Reply

Dear Amanda,

In life, there are very few sure things. One sure thing about love is that you can't have it without risking heartbreak. Fortunately or unfortunately, you just can't have one without the other. Moreover, the discussion supports either love as a risk worth taking or heartbreak as very painful experience not worth repeating.

If the guy from work is really into you, it is because he thinks you are a risk worth taking. The fact that you are not that into him is the consequence he faces for taking that risk. There are a few ways you can lessen the impact of rejection. One is to understand that while he may have feelings for you or at the very least interested enough to 'want to see what develops', the longer you take to set the record straight the worse he is going to feel about your lack of interest. The second thing you can do is focus on the fact that it may be in your best interest to try to maintain a positive relationship has co-workers, so it will be important to clear things up in a diplomatic way. You could say something like; "I had a fun time when we hung out the other night, which is why I want make sure that you and I are on the same page. I have a professional rule I set for myself to never date a co-worker. Having just stared a new job, I don't want any misunderstandings between us. Having said that, I would like it if we could just remain friends?"

The final thing to think about is keeping the rule of 'more is safer than less.' The key to this rule is to go out in groups of co-worker or friends rather than just the two of you. So the next time he asks if you want to hang out, you can say, "If it's a group thing count me in, but if it is just the two of us, I am going to have to invoke my rule of no dating co-workers."

The more you are consistent with following your rules, the better relationships you'll have with the people you work with.

~~Lori

How to Tell Guy You Just Want to be Friends