She's Interested and I'm Not; and Vice Versa

Dear Toni--

I am a single guy with a large circle of friends. This group includes as many girls as other guys. There is one woman that I have had a "friends with benefits" relationship with. We hook up for sex, and it's always been fun with the understanding of no strings attached.

Lately, I've sensed strongly that she has "more than friend" feelings for me. She has hinted at this, I think to hear my thoughts. So far, I've sidestepped it. I enjoy our time together, and find her attractive and nice. I don't see her as being "the one." I don't know how to tell her this without hurting her feelings, causing problems in our group, and/or losing a friend. Is it OK to continue along and just let her know non-verbally or by seeing her less, etc. that I just don't return her feelings? --Don't Want to be a Bad Boy

Dear Don't Want to be a Bad Boy--

Somehow I know you know the answer to this (deep down). Imagine for a moment that the situation is reversed. How would you want her to handle it? Chances are you would want her to be honest and spare you any additional hurt (and embarrassment) that the situation could bring.

What does someone do when they need to be honest with a person they like and respect? They find a gentle and direct way to achieve this. It is not necessary to ELABORATE on her possible shortcomings, etc. Tell her you like and enjoy her, but respect her too much to be less than honest with her. Then follow her lead. If she needs to pull back, not see you for a while or cut off all contact, then you support her decision.

(from May 2003)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

This is the first "Problems with communication" column.

List of more
"Problems with communication"

"New Relationship Communication"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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