Anon asks: Hey Isaac. So I’m friends with a guy who I really like AS A FRIEND, and who has a girlfriend, but he keeps giving not-so-subtle hints that he likes me more than friends, and it feels like he’s testing the waters to see if I’d be into him before leaving his girlfriend or making a real move. It weirds me out and it’s the second time a guy has done this to me. How do I tell him I’m not interested without sounding like a jerk and/or super presumptuous?
Mate! I feel you on this 100%. I have a friend who has to deal with this crap all the time, and she has exactly the same reaction to you — if she says something she’s going to come off arrogant and ridiculous, but if she doesn’t, it’s just going to keep on keepin’ on.
I’m all about open communication (often to the point of confrontation), so I vote that you say something. But say it in real life, not over text message, because you don’t want to leave a paper trail that he’s going to be able to use to discredit you down the line.
Next time he behaves in an inappropriate way, tell him something like this: “I like being your friend, but you need to stop whatever it is that you’re doing right now. I’m not interested in you in that way, and if you want to keep being my friend, then you need to respect the boundaries of our platonic friendship. Am I making myself clear? GOOD.”
Granted, that might be slightly heavier handed than you want to be, but males are notoriously blind and deaf to every signal you think you’re putting out there to discourage this kind of behavior. I once kept trying with a girl for like three years because she never explicitly said, “I don’t like you like that.” [ M*** if you’re reading this, my apologies.]
What I’m trying to say is that because you’ve never straight up told him, “NO!”, in his eyes you’re probably open to his advances. So tell him no. TELL HIM NO.
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
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