How to turn down a friend without hurting his feeling? Please help!!!

  • Csrobbie2000

    Posts: 359

    Jun 10, 2008 2:07 PM GMT
    My workout partner is a wonderful guy, but I have never seen him as anything more than just a friend. Last night, we had a talk on the way home from the gym, and I mentioned to him that I don't think it is a good idea to date friends. If it works out, then it's great, but if it doesn't, then it can ruin the friendship forever, and I'm not willing to risk that friendship. This morning, I got an email from him, asking me this question:
    "So this has been bugging me all night... What if you had really strong feelings for a friend -- like more than just a crush -- you can't stop thinking of them; you've changed your life for them... But you want to preserve the friendship (rather than "risk it" by pursuing something more)... What do you do with the feelings?
    The question is how do I turn him down easily w/out hurting his feeling and the friendship???

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    Jun 10, 2008 2:17 PM GMT
    Are you sure he meant you? icon_confused.gif
  • Csrobbie2000

    Posts: 359

    Jun 10, 2008 2:21 PM GMT
    Yes, I am pretty sure. I know he was somewhat infatuated with me (he even told my best friend about it), and that was why I thought I brought it up last night as a way to let him down easily.
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    Jun 10, 2008 2:38 PM GMT
    I'd be VERY careful with this. Yes, he could be referring to you, but if not you could make a total and complete ass out of yourself and put a strain on your friendship.

    Answer the email as if he's not referring to you, tell him to be up front with the person and divulge his feelings, because it's not good to keep things bottled up inside like that.

    Then, if he actually confronts you, explain again your standpoint on dating friends (I feel the same way btw) and you'd be concerned about losing him as a friend if things ever went south, and that his friendship means too much to chance losing it (went through the same thing).
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    Jun 10, 2008 2:52 PM GMT
    I agree with the other posters, it does not necessarily mean you. Try and find out if it does with discretion. He could be totally infatuated with another friend.

    If it is you, then you have to have a heart-to-heart with him. Sometimes the friendship will remain and be as close as ever. However, I have lost one good friend because he became obsessed with me and refused to see me altogether to cure the obsession (it worked).
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    Jun 10, 2008 6:16 PM GMT
    Yeah...if it is you, no matter how easy you try to make it, he will be hurt. There's just no way around it...but it's better to be honest and upfront about it.



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    Jun 10, 2008 7:30 PM GMT
    It seems like you have two issues here:

    1. Do you or not think it's OK to pursue romance with a friend?

    2. Are you or are you not attracted to him?

    If you mix the two, for example by telling him that you don't like mixing friendship and romance, when the real problem is that you aren't attracted to him, then you may not be doing him any favors, because you are just encouraging him to debate the issue.

    Everybody is entitled to their own attractions. If you just aren't attracted to him, you should tell him that in as nice a way as possible. One way would be to answer his question with something like:

    "Well, take us for example. You are a great friend, and you have a lot of qualities I admire, but romantically, I don't think we would work, and if we tried to have a romantic relationship for some reason, it might damage our friendship."
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    Jun 10, 2008 8:10 PM GMT
    You said everything correctly. You dont want to mess up a good friendship.

    I just hope that email was about you.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 11, 2008 11:02 AM GMT
    First clear up that he was talking about you...

    if he was then you know you have 2 choices
    if you wanna test the waters with him be aware that if and when it ends you'll likely loose him as a friend
    everybody says ...
    Oh I'm different I'll be the one who's able to be friends with my Ex's
    Famous last words
    If you don't want to test the waters you need to have a talk with him without hurting his feelings
    Build him up...say that he's a great guy yadda..yadda
    and say that you're not wanting to get tangled in a relationship right now
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    Jun 11, 2008 12:08 PM GMT
    The sad truth of it all, is sometimes when a no is coming, there is no way to prevent the hurt and pain that will follow. No matter how kind you say no.
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    Jun 11, 2008 12:38 PM GMT

    For heavens sakes there is no way not to hurt his feelings, just make it short and sweet.Just tell him that you only see him as a work out partner PERIOD! End of discussion. The more you discuss the reasons why, the more convoluted it becomes.

    Just be honest, there is no way not to hurt his feelings. Bottom line if it were you how would you want to be treated? When I have been in this situation and I was attracted to a friend and he did not return the favor. I had a lot more respect for the guys who was painfully honest with me then those who made me feel like I need to wear cover-all from the neck.
    Honesty is always the best policy and make it short and sweet!

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    Jun 11, 2008 12:48 PM GMT
    I would answer with "I dont know what I'd do." Something very non-committal. Then not bring the subject up. Maybe he will tuck his feelings back in and your friendship can go on. If he brings the issue up, then let him know that you just arent into him.

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    Jun 11, 2008 1:25 PM GMT
    Be firm andhonest and let him know where he stands and remind him of the reasons you are friends in the first place. Tell it like it is and I don't think your friend will fall to pieces...he is grown man for god's sake.
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    Jun 11, 2008 4:37 PM GMT
    I would tell him 'focus them into something meaningful and productive'.

    If that doesn't work..

    Judo chop to the neck! HIYA!