While singleness has those days when you wonder, “Where are all the godly guys?!” there are other days when you’re wondering how to turn them down. What if a guy likes you—and you don’t like him back?
In church or youth group settings, this can be especially difficult. No one wants to sever ties or destroy friendships, but when one person wants a relationship and the other doesn’t, it’s hard not to do so.
If you’re dealing with a guy who likes you, but you’re just not feeling it, here are three things to do.
1. Ask Yourself Why
Before setting up a DTR (“define the relationship”), ask yourself why you aren’t interested. Is it because he isn’t your “type”? Are you judging by appearance? Make sure you aren’t ruling out an otherwise wonderful, godly guy based on issues of preference!
If, however, you are well acquainted with the guy interested in you and are quite sure he isn’t a good fit, be sure you have your reasons firmly established in your mind. You will need them for the conversation to come.
2. Be Honest
They say when you know, you know—and this applies when you know he’s not the right one, too! Many girls dread turning a guy down for a date or refusing his interest in a relationship because they don’t want to hurt him. Though that’s a motive to be admired, it leaves both you and the guy in a tough spot. You’re left figuring out when to “drop the bomb” and he’s spending each passing day with a little extra hope for something more.
The truth? It hurts him more to lead him on than it does to break it to him honestly. Be honest about your feelings and, if relevant, why you’re not interested in pursuing a relationship. While it will sting at first, in the long run it will release him to find someone who appreciates him for who he is.
3. Be Careful About “Staying Friends”
You’ve evaluated your motives. You’ve prepared your reasons. You’ve had the conversation. Here’s where many girls make their biggest mistake: trying to “stay friends” after they’ve turned a guy down. While it seems easy in theory, we forget that feelings don’t go away overnight. When we tell a guy we aren’t interested, but then stay in close proximity to him in the name of “friendship,” we’re not giving him the space he needs to emotionally detach.
Will it ever go back to friendship? Possibly, but maybe not. Opposite-sex relationships move in one of two directions: forward into romance, or to a respectful emotional distance once each party enters a relationship of his or her own. Even the best guy/girl friendships have to change once one party gets married! So while you might want to preserve the friendship, you have to be willing to let it go if you’re not okay with dating the guy who expressed interest.
These conversations are difficult and awkward at times, but through them we learn how to honor one another in the awkwardness. Our fear of the awkward tends to make our relationships harder than necessary. By defeating this fear and facing our guy friends with honesty, we do both ourselves and them a favor.