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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

It is OK to friend zone

How do I tell a friend who is interested in being more than friends that I’m not interested?
– Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,
Sometimes you simply aren’t interested, and you have to firmly tell the person in question that you don’t see them as a potential girlfriend or boyfriend.
When a person has romantic feelings for someone, things can get complicated. However, Cupid’s arrow doesn’t necessarily have to destroy a friendship. Just make sure that you break it to the love-struck fool the right way. And do it gently.

1. Don’t be awkward about it
Turning someone down can make things awkward. In order to avoid this, act like you normally would with the person interested in you. If they’ve popped a big question on you, making it a bigger deal than it is isn’t going to help the situation.

2. Be polite
Tell them you aren’t interested, and that  you don’t see them the same way they see you. You need to make that clear.
Don’t say this in a way that makes them sound as if they’re not good enough for you.
You don’t want someone you’re close to feeling like they need to up and disappear from your life. Whether or not you care about remaining friends, you want them to respect you, so be kind and honest with them.

3. Do not give them hope
If you know your friend isn’t ever going to have a chance with you, you can’t leave the conversation open-ended. Anyone infatuated with you is going to cling to every word you say and try to find a deeper meaning in your words — even if there isn’t one. Don’t give them hope for later. Be clear and concise when you turn them away. Stringing people along is a horrible thing to do and karma is a two-way street.

4. Take a breather, but don’t ignore them completely
If they’re harassing you with calls and texts asking for a second chance, block their number. Otherwise, you should respond when they ask how you are doing. You do not have to keep the conversation going, but you should remain their friend if you can.
They’re someone you’ve relied on in the past, and someone you shouldn’t lose because of a small falling out. Skip a week of eating at Marketplace with them, plan to party with a different group for the weekend, but keep your plans of biking in Bidwell Park. If you say no to everything they invite you to do for no legitimate reason and change how you act around them, your friend will notice. And if staying friends is not for you than staying civil with each other should be.
The easiest way to keep a “friend zone” situation from getting messy is acting like it never happened. Yeah, the conversation might always be in the back of your mind, but you have to brush it off so that your friend can do the same.


Kristina Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @kristinacsuc on Twitter.

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