How do I let a friend know it’s too hurtful to remain just friends?


duttyrage asks:

How do I let a friend know that it’s too hurtful to remain just friends after she friendzoned me?


I’ve developed genuine feelings for a friend. I’ve gradually escalated and expressed signs of interest and she reciprocates. We both flirt with each-other, I make her laugh and I’ve found surprisingly that she is extremely comfortable with me touching her, (especially in the thigh and knee area, and me resting my leg on her leg) which lead me to think that there may be something more between us. She eventually texts me “would you like to go out to the movies as friends” to which I agree too.
In short, we had a great time with all the physical touching, and flirting included. I text her letting her know I had a good time and she texts me “Hey I had fun today too fam. night bro, have a good one dude”. I have become really invested in our friendship, but it truly hurts to receive this text knowing what she meant by this. It’s become unhealthy where I over think and over-anaylze things too much ever since she reciprocated my signs of interest. I now however have a little over 10 days before I see her again which will help me get over her.
However, at this point I know the friendship will always remain unbalanced as I feel frustrated that she will only ever see me as a friend. Will giving her an ultimatum do anything for my favor, or will just letting her down gently in explaining why we can’t be friends be better? I want to make it very sincere that I do value our friendship, but would also want to let her know that I’m continually hurting.

Demetrius says:

Finally! I’ve finally found the person who is thinking that maybe they should heed my advice and choose not to remain friends with someone who “friendzoned” them if they can’t get over their attraction to them. It’s been 4 years of writing about the friendzone and now, finally, I feel vindicated. I feel like Jordan winning his first championship in ’91. Thank you for this, this is the best gift I could ever ask for.

But in all seriousness, let’s talk about your situation. Honestly, I feel for you a bit. Not completely, because your consideration of issuing an ultimatum kind of lost me a bit, but I get where you’re coming from. I know what it’s like to want to want to be with someone, and it feels like you’d be perfect together, and there’s chemistry, and flirting, and everything seems like a perfect fit…but it’s not. If a situation is completely hopeless, it’s easy to move on, but if you’re flirting, and have chemistry, but you don’t have that final intangible thing that makes them want to be with you romantically, it’s all the more harder to move on.

I’m not going to waste your time here and try to convince you that you can be friends with her because, based on your situation, and how you’ve worded it, I don’t see that being an option for you. Here are some words you’ve used to describe your situation:

Invested. Unhealthy. Over-Analyze. Unbalanced. Frustrated.


Yeah, sorry, I wish I could co-sign you trying to maintain a friendship with her, but based on the words you’re using to describe your feelings about her, it just sounds like a bad idea. It’s all a little too extreme, especially when what you’d need to make a platonic friendship work is balance, objectivity, and a little detachment.

I think that you should tell her you can’t be friends, but what you should not do is give an ultimatum. 3 quick things about your ultimatum idea: 1) You’re in no position to issue an ultimatum, 2) Why do you even think it’s okay to issue an ultimatum to a friend? 3) What ultimatum could you even issue that wouldn’t be incredibly sketchy? “Our thing needs to be more than just platonic, or else?” Please don’t do that. Try to understand what it looks like when a man, one who has been given every possible clue about his standing as a platonic friend, one who has been treated with kindness, one who she probably considers to be safe and trustworthy,  starts issuing romantic ultimatums. Whatever your intent may be, try to understand what implications she might infer from your romantic ultimatum. Don’t be the guy who coerces women into dating you. You’re better than that, and women deserve better than that.

You should let her down gently, but you should also be honest about the issue. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone you can’t be friends with them because of your feelings for them. What you should not do, besides giving an ultimatum, is to tell them in a way that assigns blame. It’s not her fault she isn’t into you, so you damn well better not try to make her feel bad for not wanting to date you. You can tell her you value your friendship, but that being friends with her is hard, so maybe you can’t be friends right now. You can tell her that you need time to get over her, because trying to remain friends with her now would be unfair to both of you. There’s a way to do this where you minimize the pain of losing a friend, and don’t cause undue pain by lashing out at her for her rejection of you. Part of that is not trying to negotiate, or assign blame, and just coming clean about how you feel and why you need distance right now. Do so without resentment, and leave the door open to potentially be friends somewhere down the line, if you can ever get over her. You’re in pain, and it’s okay to stop doing the thing that causes you pain, but remember that it’s not her fault that you like her but she doesn’t like you back. It’s also not a failing on your part to not be able to deal with being just friends with someone you’re obsessed with.

No one is the bad guy here, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to.

Good Luck Out There.

One Reply to “How do I let a friend know it’s too hurtful to remain just friends?”

  1. “I don’t think we can hang out anymore because….some people just can’t be ‘just friends’.”

    Yep, I got that from a girl I dated. It’s funny because that was a question we had asked one another from the get-go. She knew her future was somewhere else but we had a lot of time together, grew together, and I was fully willing to help her onto her new path. It was always bittersweet (which we both regret – we didn’t really embrace/express our feelings fully during the time we had together), but we managed, even through some frustrations and immaturity, to remain….how do I say this…..”strong acquaintances” to this day. We are certainly 100% detached from one another, but the few times in the past 15 years that we do run into each other on the same continent, it’s always just…..well…..incredible. The affection and respect are still there, and we have complimented one another on how we can still be so cordial and embracing….followed by the same bittersweetness that we’ve both gotten used to, but ultimately you do grow up and it’s nice to recognize another person as a complete and separate human being, flaws and history and all.

    As for the aforementioned ultimatum she gave, there was a lot of feelings that were simple and genuine and shared that didn’t need to incur contractual obligations like exclusivity or attachment. (See, ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz regarding how poisonous fake ‘contracts’ that ascribe obligations and, in this case, rules of termination, that nobody really agreed to, can be in society).