More than once in your life you will find someone that likes you a lot more than you like them but just what do you do? This is something I have been asked several times in a few years by my friends. Sometimes I can be harsh in life; mother always said that I don’t take to fools kindly and it has done me well to be like this. It does not mean I am not sympathetic to others emotions and troubles (Otherwise they just would not come to me) it is just that I tend to tell it as it is, no point dancing around the issue when it can be solved quickly. However, letting someone down and telling them that it just won’t work like they dream it will is never an easy and unemotional task. So how can it be done?
There are many ways and its all down to circumstances. Most tend to tell me that the reason they are struggling is because the person is a really good friend of theirs and they just don’t want to hurt them. Please, stop thinking that you will hurt them by telling them the truth; of course most people will know the sting of rejection is never pleasant but being strung along still clinging onto your hopes and dreams only to have them shattered hurts a lot more. So stop thinking to reject them will hurt them too badly and rip off the band aid and get it over with. This is step one and something only you can do in truth; once you understand that it won’t be as bad as simply leaving it and hoping they will get over it the rest slowly falls into place.
Another problem that is raised to me is that they will have to see each other every day due to, being in the same school, social groups or even work etc. Now I understand that this can be very uncomfortable for you, being that you really don’t feel the same as them and having worries about their motives for doing certain things (getting you a cup of coffee or carrying your books can be seen in a whole new light) but I challenge you to think about them and their life seeing you every day. You know how they feel and yet you won’t acknowledge it (or at least give them what they dream of) instead you can be seen flirting with others or being at least overly friendly with them; this will cut deeper and deeper each day. I don’t think I could survive watching someone I deeply cared about being with someone else or at least trying to be. Once again, the sooner you tell them about how you feel compared to their feelings at least they won’t think negatively towards your flirtatious actions.
One of the big problems that, always, gets thrown my way about this situation is losing them as a friend. To me this is ridiculous, if they care that much about you to want to take your friendship to the next level; surely they will care enough to keep you as a friend. Now I am no fool in believing such things, I know for some the rejection can be too much and they will need space. However, that should be all it is, space, needing time to process it all and adapt to knowing that their feelings are unrequited. A good friend, (even someone with those feelings towards you) will only want the best for you; will only ever want to see you happy. Of course they will be upset that it is not with them but if the emotions run deep they will only seek your happiness.
Now with the problems addressed it comes down to the actual deed; how to handle the letdown. No one ever likes doing it but it has to be done, but how? Face to face is always best for breaking bad news, they you can judge just how they are reacting to what you are saying (denial is often a quick and easy escape). It will not be easy, bring tissue as emotions are bound to run high at some point but make sure they are comfortable and you are too. Best place to break bad news is somewhere out of the way, you don’t want to (and neither will they) create a scene or feel pressured into making the situation better (never go back on your words) be this around your home or somewhere you both know well. There are no set words that will make this moment run smoothly and there is no clear-cut way on how to do it, but there are a few things to remember.
Don’t be shy about your words. Try to be as clear and to the point as you can be, it will save time and reduce the amount of confusion that you can both end up suffering from. If you do not know what you are saying how can they understand it? Maintain some distance when speaking; being overly emotional can only hinder the situation, after all if you don’t feel the same why would you be so very emotional (it can only give them hope). However, even when maintaining a distant you should not be cold and unfeeling, they are still your friend after all.
Do not give them false hope. This is the worst thing you can possibly do; you have to be direct, never saying that “right now” you only see them as a friend, “right now” you cannot be with them. To give them even the smallest opening will create hope that will not die so easily, it will keep those feelings alive within them, as they wait and wait for the timing to be perfect for you both to end up together.
Understand their needs. They will be the wounded party within this moment, so you have to understand them as best you can. If they wish for the space, time alone or at least away from you then it is best to give it to them. If they just wish to ignore it all and try their best to go back to normal then let them. But please do not fall into the trap of seeing how things are as more than friends, seeing if a kiss or anything else will change how you feel; you know your own mind.
As online dating becomes a bigger part of our lives, sitting down face to face with someone who you have only spoken to online could be dangerous or in fact very difficult to gain. However with all the social media technology such as Skype you can still see the person you are talking to, but for those not that brave there is still Facebook, texts, and so many other communication ways out there. When using the Internet to meet people, it often becomes a little easier to tell people how you truly feel, and to let them down when you both don’t feel the same. Simply telling them as clear as you can possibly type/say and unfortunately if that does not work on many social media sites there are ways to block people. It may seem harsh but it can give them and yourself time alone and away from each other in order to process just what is going on.
So never fear telling someone that you just do not feel the same, the pain they feel in that moment will be a lot less than if it is dragged out and they are left hoping. Do not worry about losing them, it is your love life and your heart you should not be with someone just because you don’t want to lose the friendship or see them upset. Be strong, kind and clear.