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Ask Aysha: “He Likes Me, But I Don’t Like Him Back. What Should I Do?”

There is this boy who I know likes me. The problem is, I don’t like him back. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but I don’t want to date him, either. What should I do?

It’s frustrating when you like a guy and he doesn’t like you back, but what happens when it’s the other way around? How should you respond when a guy likes you but you don’t like him? This situation can be quite awkward and difficult to manage! So what should you do? Well, here are some tips to help:

  • Be sure to set boundaries. If you don’t have any romantic interest in this guy, be sure that you keep appropriate boundaries. Avoid a lot of flirting, even if he flirts with you. You wouldn’t want to unintentionally lead him on.
  • Be straightforward with him. If he asks you out, explain to him that you’d rather just be friends. Be gentle with his feelings but also be honest. The last thing you want to do is make up an elaborate reason why you can’t date him and run the risk of looking like you were being deceptive later on.

For instance, don’t tell the guy that you’ve decided not to date when that is not the truth. What happens if a couple of weeks later, a guy who you ARE interested in asks you out? Well, if you say no to that guy, then you could be missing out on a great relationship. However, if you say yes, then it could look like you were being dishonest with the other guy. Keep in mind, the guy who likes you would probably be more hurt by an untruth than he would be if you just have an honest “Let’s just be friends” conversation.

  • Don’t use this as an opportunity to boost your own self-esteem! We often receive a boost to our self-esteem when guys demonstrate an interest in us, whether we like them back or not. This is normal! However, girls sometimes know that they don’t want to date a particular guy, but may encourage him to like her, anyway. That’s not cool! We should never jeopardize another person’s feelings as a means of boosting our own self-esteem!
  • Pray. Be sure to pray before you have the “Let’s just be friends” conversation. The guy who likes you will probably be quite disappointed. Think about how it would feel if the situation was reversed. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you to have the conversation with LOVE. Also, pray that the guy who likes you won’t be too crushed.
  • Continue to be nice to him. It might be awkward between the two of you for awhile because he’ll probably be embarrassed about how the situation turned out. However, it’s really important that you still treat him with kindness and love. Try not to avoid him or act uncomfortable in his presence. Continue to have conversations with him and treat him the same way you treat your other friends. Be sure you continue to maintain boundaries so you’re not sending mixed messages, but be the kind, sweet person everyone likes and loves!

Unrequited love can be quite awkward! Have you ever had to turn down a guy who liked you? What was that like? How did you handle it?

Image: Thinkstock.com

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39 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by basketballgirl77 on August 26, 2016 at 13:27

    There is this boy at my school he does not like me he loves me no he even says that he loves me to everyone I mean everyone. He even made me a song and he says my name to everyone I mean everyone and its embarrising.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by J0523Davis on September 29, 2015 at 16:18

    So there was this guy who asked to sit at lunch with me an my friends because he had no one to sit with. I agreed because I didn’t want him to sit by himself. After lunch, he asked for my number. I’ve known him for many years and he never showed much interest in me so I thought he just wanted to be friends. Later that day, he texted me and we got into a conversation. Then out of nowhere, he asked me out. The thing was that I had no romantic interest in him, but he was so sweet and he wasn’t as shallow every other guy at the time who liked me. So I made the decision to say yes. I realized the mistake I made the next day. It felt really awkward and uncomfortable to me. So I decided to break things off in the kindest way possible, telling him that I just didn’t feel comfortable and that we should just try it out as friends and see where it goes. He agreed, however, I don’t think he really got the picture. He would still ask to go on a date to the movies as “friends” which didn’t make sense, and he still acted like we were dating. I would tell him that we were just friends time after time, but he still didn’t get it. The mistake I had made was that I wasn’t firm enough and I made up other excuses for why I couldn’t date him. Somewhere around that time I had heard from another guy’s friend that this other guy planned on asking me out to Homecoming. I didn’t really know what to do for a while because I didn’t want to hurt Guy #1’s feelings but I also didn’t even like Guy #2. His friends, however, told me it was just Homecoming. So I decided to tell Guy #1 that Guy #2 was planning on asking me out to Homecoming as well a asked if he’d be alright if I said yes. He said he would be and so I decided to say yes to Guy #2. However, I told Guy #2 that it would just be Homecoming and that I wasn’t ready to date anybody yet which was a lie because I liked this guy who goes to my church but not my school. He agreed that it would only be Homecoming. Everything was fine until Homecoming however. Appearantly Guy #1 went to Homecoming and had bought me a necklace because he wanted to date me and when he saw Guy #2 and I together, he stormed out of the school and told my friend that he was going to commit suicide. I was told and so I told authorities and they stopped him but I can’t help but feel bad. I was pretty much confused, angry, terrified, and (literally) worried sick the rest of the night. When Guy #2 drive me home that night I told him that I was just going to drop dating for a while which was also a lie because I would say yes to my crush if he asked me out. He agreed on being just friends, and later that night I texted Guy #1 to ask if he was ok and that I was sorry his feelings were hurt. He never replied which made me even more sick because I knew he was never going to speak to me again. But I had no choice but to just let things work out on there own and I am still praying that he can get over me and move with his life because he deserves to be happy. Anyways, later that weekend, Guy #2 asked if he, my friend, and I could hang out. Knowing it was just friends I agreed. It was platonic and nothing got weird. But last night I was texting him and when I asked him “what’s up?”, he said, “nothing much. Just texted the coolest friend in the world”. I knew he was indirectly flirting with me but he said “friend” so I replied with “me too,”, trying to imply that we were just friends. That was obviously a bad move when my friend showed me a text she got from Guy #2 saying that he thinks I like him. I felt pretty stupid. We’re just friends and I’ll have to tell him that that’s what that text was implying, but what do I do about Guy #3 (my crush)? I really like Guy #3 and what do I do if Guy #3 asks me out (which is less likely anyways). I just want to feel free in my decisions and feel safe that they won’t hurt anyone else. I feel like I have broken every rule in the book when it comes to this. I don’t even know what to do with Guy #1. I don’t want to date Guy #1 or Guy #2. But I don’t want to be single for the rest of my life and I want to have the freedom to date a guy that I actually like. Please help me.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by username on February 5, 2016 at 15:13

      Dude…Don’t let these guys run your life. Sometimes you just have to be mean and cold when being nice & ignoring them doesn’t work. It sounds like you’re miserable. I tried to be nice to the guys that liked me in high school, but they ganged up on me and gave me a really hard time when I nicely told them I didn’t like them. I tried to ignore them, but they would literally block me in the hall & call me names. Wishing & hoping & praying will not solve your problems, you just need to straight up tell them you are over them & they’re being really disrespectful and rude to you, and to not text you anymore. You are NOT an object. Tell them off & I promise you you’ll feel a lot better & they’ll get over it sooner than later. They might be bitter & mean to you at first but that is NOT you problem…I repeat, that is NOT your problem. You did NOT ask them for this attention & you are NOT responsible for their possessiveness problems.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by beatlebae427 on February 9, 2015 at 16:36

    so my boyfriend is still really into me but i am now not into him anymore also i have a crush on another guy at my school and i know he has a crush on me i don’t know what to do i also want to be in a relationship but need advice on how to break up with my boyfriend and also we have been dating for about 3 years i want to stay friends with him but i don’t know how to

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by grace_st.john on May 14, 2014 at 16:40

    I’ve been talking to a boy for a very long time and we have a date on friday and i know he’s gonna ask me to be his girlfriend and i kinda told him a while ago that if he asked me i would probably say yes, but the tho g is that i don’t want a boyfriend right now. i haven’t had one in a year and i really don’t want another one right now. i just don’t want to hurt him i told him i wouldn’t screw him over but it seems to me like i am. i like him but i don’t want a boyfriend (if i haven’t said that enough) and on top of it all he goes to school with my best friend and i think she might like him and i live an hour away.

  5. Marinesis

    Posted by Marinesis on February 26, 2014 at 18:09

    I have a question. Why do I always seem to attract the not so good looking guys but never attract the handsome guys? Is it me?

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by Uniquelywitty on February 1, 2014 at 22:53

    My first year at my new school I was assigned a seat next to a guy who also shared a second class with me. He was the only person around me that I could talk to without having to turn around or having someone in front turn around, so we chatted and I was friendly. I could tell he found me interesting and enjoyed my occasional jokes, but I did not find any sort of connection to him that could extend past friendship. A girl in front of us was close friends with him so I assumed/hoped he was the type of guy who could just be a friend to me. Over the summer, I went to Governer’s School (I.e. proud to be a nerd camp) and was having an amazing time that I wanted to share with anyone willing to listen. It just so happened that he messaged me on Facebook to ask me how Governor’s School was going, as I had told him of my acceptance to it during the school year. I blabbed and shared funny and nerdy experiences, and he listened and followed up almost every day (the “camp” was a month long). I was happy to have made a good friend at my new school and we continued messaging when I returned from the camp, though his personality could sometimes bore me. School was to start in a couple weeks when all of a sudden he simply send the message “wanna go to a movie?”. Praying that it was an act of friendship and that I had not suddenly become the stereotype of a “lets just be friends” girl, I plainly asked him why. He was vague and it became a playful on his side and serious on mine back-and-forth of the makings of the situation. Finally, I got him to plainly say it was a date, and I was filled with fear. This was technically sort of the first time I had been asked out (other than an elementary school April fools prank some of the boys played on the girls), and this was a guy who I knew we’ll enough to know I did not have interest in him or see us working together. Plus, he, an extremely intelligent guy, had asked me out in the form I promised myself never to accept (an impersonal movie date asked via the Internet). So then I had to carry out a rejection to a kind, intelligent, moral guy. I think I handled it well and gave him some of the reasons why (except my disinterest in him as a person) and we even closed the conversation with a brief chat about driving and cars. As to be expected, he never messaged me again. When the next school year came round, I worried of the awkward in-person confrontation that was bound to happen. The first day, I found I had been placed in three out of four of the same classes as him in a school where there are over 1,500 students! To make matters worse, we always ended up sitting relatively close to each (right next to each other first period), yet we spoke around 10 short-worded times the entire semester and never once brought up the situation. His presence made me feel wildly uncomfortable the entire semester and I was plagued by feelings of guilt and sight of his hurt face constantly (though I still believe my choice was right). Recently, our second semester began and I gave myself the hopeful thought that surely he could not have more that a single class with me this time. In a huge attack of irony, we were in all four classes together! But as a small fortune, he switched out of one. Currently, I am still greatly uncomfortable, not sure if we have even spoken once, sad to have lost a friend, and irrationally angry at the pain he has unwillingly brought to me in this situation. It is driving me mad! And when all this seems enough, a day or two ago I was told by a friend that a different guy (who I refused to be told the name of) had asked her if he should ask me out. Now I am a stress mess! I do not have experience with romantic relationships other than fantasies, novels, and untested plans for the future. I’ve dreamed of having a relation ship, but am not seemingly frightend of one. I have watched countless YouTube videos, read Internet articles, and prayed over these circumstances. I know it is something that just must be pushed through, but I simply desire comfort. Please, tips?
    P.S. I appologise for my excessive formality (and excessive length), but English classes have engraved it in my soul.

    • Lazygal1212

      Posted by Lazygal1212 on March 16, 2014 at 22:29

      This may be very stressful. But maybe u should try to say hi to your friend every morning and start with small talk. Then ask him that you want to stay friends with him,say how sorry you are. For the other guy if he asks you out say that you are not ready for a relationship yet and talk to him very softly and nicely about why.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by runnner_girl1313 on January 23, 2014 at 15:32

    there’s a boy at my school who really likes me – we barely talk though and he recently started saying Hi to me in the hallway every time i walk by he has asked me out before but i said no today at lunch he bought me a cookie and then asked me if i wanted one and it was sooooooo awkward so i said no any advice i’m not sure if i should tell him i don’t like him…

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by Nirvana on January 11, 2014 at 00:12

    I have a crush on this guy he has a crush on me cause 6 of his friend have told me. The problem is that my bff sent him a love note two years ago. So they started dating, but then they broke up… (she broke up with him cuz they didn’t have much in commen) I would always ask hr if she still has a crush on him and she says yes. But she doesnt kno I like him, i want to tell him how i feel… but i dont want my bff to think I’m a bad person… what should I do? And also i dont know what my mom would say about me wanting a boyfriend… what should i do? Ugh!

    • Lazygal1212

      Posted by Lazygal1212 on March 16, 2014 at 22:34

      First I would recommend talking to another BFF or close friend about what you should do about this(make sure they arn’t the kind that blabs off) a good way to tell ur BFF u like him is not by texting or writing a note this may hurt her and talking in person is easier so you can explain. For your mom again advise from close people may help a lot. I don’t have much to tell but this is some of my tips:)

  9. Shelbyrae

    Posted by Shelbyrae on November 22, 2013 at 20:36

    So helpful!! I’m sorta going through the same thing but I liked him then he liked my friend and she liked him back and then I was angry and then we finally start becoming friends again and now he likes me. AWKWARD!

  10. starstruck

    Posted by starstruck on October 18, 2013 at 10:15

    This was soo helpful! I’m in this type of situation with one of my best friends and I don’t want to ruin the friendship with him!

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by abbyrose on August 23, 2013 at 21:56

    Do what is best for you and your heart. You cannot change other people or decide what they want. Continue living your life and doing what YOU want to do. Do things that make you happy. Adventure.

  12. TheRanger

    Posted by TheRanger on August 23, 2013 at 15:18

    Thank you! There’s this guy at my church who liked me, and I think he still does, but I don’t like him back. I’m so confused about what to do, and things are a bit awkward between us. I want to be able to still be friends with him, because he’s really nice.

  13. Lizziequah

    Posted by Lizziequah on August 2, 2013 at 21:17

    This was so incredibly helpful! I’m going through this exact situation right now. I went on a date with one of my close guy friends and afterwards decided to just be friends with him, but I know he still likes me. I feel really guilty about it because he’s a really great guy, but at the same time I don’t want to be dishonest. He keeps asking me to hangout, (as friends) but I don’t know if that’s leading him on or not? Advice would be lovely 🙂

  14. AlwaysAFan

    Posted by AlwaysAFan on July 25, 2013 at 13:48

    This is… spot on:)
    I wish every teenage girl could read this!

  15. bethluvstheafters

    Posted by bethluvstheafters on July 10, 2013 at 10:49

    Thanks SO much… I’m sorta going through this right now and it is AWKWARD even when neither of us have spoken out. awfully awkward.

  16. Project Inspired

    Posted by abigailj.harken@gmail.com on July 6, 2013 at 16:23

    This happened to me. All of my friends thought we would be an adorable couple so they all urged him on. He bought me a necklace when he asked me out. I said that he had to ask my dad. He didn’t but he thought that we were in a very serious relationship just because he said he liked me even though I had never said ‘yes.’ It was tough and I tried to let him down softly but he leeched himself onto me. I tried everything, even gave back the necklace, nothing worked because he didn’t want to let go. In the end because he was so stubborn and I was being to nice he got hurt and I felt terrible. If he is not getting it, don’t keep being nice, he is trying to take advantage of your niceness.

  17. _kenzie

    Posted by _kenzie on July 5, 2013 at 11:55

    I have gone through this. I tried to tell him I wasn’t interested in dating him in the nicest way possible, then I told him I wanted to wait to date(until God shows me who I’m gonna marry). And that was the truth

  18. GigiJR

    Posted by GigiJR on July 5, 2013 at 11:51

    This is a great article!

  19. MeishaH

    Posted by MeishaH on June 30, 2013 at 16:39

    This really helps because I’m going through this right now.

    I’ve been best friends with this guy since like, first grade, and a couple days ago I found out he likes me. I love the guy… but just as a friend. He’s one of those few, rare people I feel like I could tell anything to and completely be myself around, and he’s really awesome. I’ve just never been interested in him as more than a friend, and I know I never will.

    I wasn’t sure what to do, but this does help a lot.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by KCordova2014 on September 28, 2016 at 17:38

      I’m also going through the same thing, I’ve known him since like 6th grade and my friend just told me that he likes me and that he is planning on asking me to homecoming this Friday and I honestly have no idea what to do. He’s one of my best friend and i don’t want to lose the friendship, but I think I might just tell him that I don’t like him like that, and that I don’t want to lead him on by saying yes, but that I’ll like it If we could still be friends. Is that the wrong thing to say??

  20. BeTheSunshine628

    Posted by BeTheSunshine628 on June 30, 2013 at 13:39

    This happened to me. My friends told me that he liked me and then a few days later, he asked me out. I hadn’t expected him to ask me out much later. The situation was very awkward, but I thought it through quickly and told him the truth. I could tell I had really hurt his feelings and I felt terrible. When he dropped me off at my house. I told him again how flattered I was but I didn’t think I wanted a boyfriend. Things between us still seem a little awkward, but we try to avoid it and just try to hang out normally. He’s a great guy, but I didn’t want to make it worse by telling him yes. I think we have a decent friendship now and I hope that we can keep it that way.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Jesuslovesyou on June 30, 2013 at 20:00

      Dylynne Dodson im going to admit this…before you commented on here i commented on this the guy that i talked about i know i dont like him but it seems like everyone i know either likes someone or has a boy friend and i know i dont need one i just dont feel like being the 3rd wheel anymore….so i feel like i need to say yes if he asks me to date him…i never replyed to him back on facebook when he said he wanted to date me…i know if i do date him it would only bring me down…i just dont how to tell him and be honest and not make him sad…how did you tell him? But i do want to be friends…how did you do it?

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Jesuslovesyou on July 7, 2013 at 10:14

        Thanks buttercup this helps a lot 🙂 because i always want to please everyone…but i am going to keep doing what God wants me too 🙂

      • Buttercup

        Posted by Buttercup on July 6, 2013 at 11:37

        Jesuslovesyou, even if everyone around you seems to be dating someone or crushing on someone, it’s never worth it to date someone who will bring you down. Your standards and your relationship with God are not worth any boy, no matter how much you don’t want to hurt his feelings. The only way to really tell him is to be straightforward and honest. You just have to tell him that you’re not interested and wait for the man God is sending you. Offer to be his friend if that’s what you want, but always remember that you are a daughter of God and precious in his sight, and it doesn’t matter what people around you do, it matters what God wants you to do. If in doubt, pray about it. 🙂 hope that helps!

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by Jesuslovesyou on June 29, 2013 at 16:20

    Well this helps 🙂 because 2 years ago a guy asked me to go out with him and he told me he tried ti kill himself because no one would date him…and then i gave him my answer and turned him down when i did i told him that God doesn’t want me to date yet…i really dont know if he got what i ment when i said that because he wasnt a christian (and still isnt today) but then we both graduated from high school this year a couple days later he facebook messaged me asking if i wanted to get coffee with him then he told me that he wanted to date me…and im thinking about becomeing friends again with him but im scared that he will get the picture…than i thought about inviting him to my youth group because i know he needs God but scared he’ll ask me out….i dont know what to do….how dont i mislead him?

  22. susi0994

    Posted by susi0994 on June 28, 2013 at 23:49

    NEVER lead anyone to think they might have a chance with you. Its better to always let them know how u feel.

  23. Project Inspired

    Posted by Skipp20 on June 27, 2013 at 22:00

    If you don’t want to go out with someone, DON’T! In my experience its always been a disaster! Try to be nice to him still, and if he’s not acting creepy or depressing around you, then you might want to try and be friends with him. I was pretty unkind to guys who asked me out when I didn’t want them Too and that’s something I regret! I was such a witch to guys in the past and that was not honoring God at all!

  24. Shanell Elise is back

    Posted by Shanell Elise is back on June 27, 2013 at 18:22

    This does help a lot.

  25. Project Inspired

    Posted by Rachel6 on June 27, 2013 at 14:15

    I route any interested guys through my dad. If I don’t know the young man very well, my dad asks the questions I’m too embarrassed to ask, like job prospects, family history, and dating history. If the guy doesn’t measure up, my dad will say no. If I’m not interested, my dad tells him on my behalf no.

    But if I have to handle it on my own, I make sure the young man knows that I don’t date casually, and then that I’m honored, but I’m not interested.

  26. bobnoyd@hotmail.com

    Posted by bobnoyd@hotmail.com on June 27, 2013 at 13:17

    Definitely helpful! I had to deal with this last night, and when I got on here this article was the first thing I saw. Funny how God works…

  27. Project Inspired

    Posted by sharalee on June 27, 2013 at 12:40

    I had a situation very similar.

    Things seemed to be moving fast all of a sudden and I felt caught. I ended up talking with him about how he viewed our relationship. He said he would love something more for our future. I told him how I felt. It hurt to hear the disappointment in his voice as he choked up. Sometimes, even the good-looking, wonderful Christian man isn’t always the right thing when the God’s blessing isn’t on that. The Lord is faithful to us. Always.

    Sure, things were a little awkward at first-but we were both very transparent with each other. I respect him so much for that. And now, he can go to college in the fall without wondering what he’s leaving behind.

  28. Project Inspired

    Posted by GodGirl101 on June 27, 2013 at 12:12

    this is really helpful!!!! thanks so much!!! 😀