Anon asks: Hey Isaac! How do I break to a (super sensitive) friend that I don’t have feelings for him? He told me how he felt after a drunken night out and since then I’ve kind of ignored it and enjoyed our friendship still… But I feel like I should do something. But what?
Hey, gidday mate! It’s easy for feelings to develop in boy/girl friendships, but it sucksss when it’s one-sided. So first up, I’m sorry for this awkward position in which you’ve found yourself. As far as I can tell, you’ve got precisely one option.
In as kind a way possible, tell him that you don’t have romantic feelings for him, and that while you value his friendship, you enjoy it on a purely platonic level. Say it like that, be completely black-and-white about it, and you’ll avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings that might arise.
The thing is, men are notoriously thick-headed, so unless you specifically spell out that you’re not interested in a romantic relationship, he will quite possibly find some way to tell himself that it’s only a matter of time before you change your mind. (Don’t forget that every single Hollywood movie tells us that if we’re patient, we’ll eventually get what we want.)
Don’t expect him to take it well, but do expect him to try and convince you how good it could be if the two of you gave it a go.
Honestly, how he reacts is anybody’s guess. He’ll likely be hurt, and he might even decide he can’t be friends with you anymore because it’s too painful for him. If he does, that’s okay. You’re doing what you need to do to be true to yourself, and he’ll do what he needs to do, too.
Hopefully he’ll be able to get over it. If not, it’s going to be a difficult friendship moving forward. He’ll get jealous if you like other guys, you’ll feel like you have to watch how you behave towards him so as not to lead him on… etc etc etc.
So best of luck with it all. For now though, honesty is key.
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