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Dealing with a friend's crush
November 21, 2011 11:43 AM   Subscribe

How do I deal with unwanted advances from someone who I really, really want to be friends with?

I am a 26-year-old female. I take part in an activity that I really enjoy and love the people I have met through it. In fact, I've met my current (awesome) boyfriend through the activity and most of my friends in my newish city.

Recently, a boy in this activity has started telling other members of the activity that he is "in love" with me/has a huge crush on me. Other people seem to find this charming, and, admittedly, if I were single he'd probably be the type of person I'd be interested in. As it is, I am happily taken, and his overtures (which have included buying me flirty-named drinks, tweeting about me, and telling every one of our common friends that he's into me) are making me uncomfortable. He definitely knows I have a boyfriend and that we're exclusive.

What is the most diplomatic way to tell him to back off while not stirring shit within our tight-knit friend group? I don't want to cause unwarranted drama, and I've been hoping that his flirting would stop when I acted polite/friendly but slightly cold. However, it has been steady (though not escalating).

Should I just continue to maintain a polite but friendly distance, or do I need to talk to him about this? How do I frame this in a diplomatic but assertive way?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (41 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Tell him to stop. Telling someone to stop the thing they're doing that makes you uncomfortable is not creating drama: it is setting boundaries. It's not like you have to do this in front of everyone. You can send him and email or meet him away from the group (but still in public somewhere).

"Friend, you're telling everyone who will listen how in love with me you are and being all flirty, and you know I'm in a happy relationship. You are being disrespectful to me. If you actually care about me, you will cut this shit out. Thanks."
posted by rtha at 11:47 AM on November 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


Talk to him in private and say:

"Dude, you are making me uncomfortable with the constant flirting. I have a boyfriend. If you want to be friends, that is totally cool, but nothing more is going to happen here at all."

Anything short of being blunt and to the point with this dude is just going to appear in his head as your playing hard-to-get. Most people can understand the difference between a bit of flirting and a constant barrage of unwanted attention, and this is very clearly a case of the latter. Doing this is what you do to prevent drama.

Whatever you do, don't try to let him down gently or say something like "oh if I didn't have a boyfriend maybe" or something like that. Straight and to the point: no way, no how, fella.
posted by griphus at 11:49 AM on November 21, 2011 [20 favorites]


"How do I frame this in a diplomatic but assertive way?"

"I have a boyfriend, I'm not interested, and I don't want to have to talk about this again."

This guy obviously isn't concerned about bringing drama into your group of friends, or even very respectful of you - the best thing you can do is shut him down in no uncertain terms.

It may cause some tension, but it will be his fault.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:49 AM on November 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


First, your comment about "if I were single he'd probably be the type of person I'd be interested in" is fairly lethal to your stated goal of discouraging him. Hope hath no equal like a crush with a whiff of encouragement...

Second: there's a few women in my life who sit in the "if-only" perches of my heart. Eventually, I get around to asking them out, and they either have all proven themselves incompatible (because we dated, and it didn't work out), or because they told me "nope, uh-uh, I like you BUT ONLY AS A FRIEND."

That's the message you need to send. "Hey, X, I get that you're flirting with me. I like you, as a friend, but That's All It's Ever Going To Be. Even if I weren't dating Y, you're in my "friend zone." Not my type for dating. Just aren't. Still like you loads - as a friend."
posted by IAmBroom at 11:49 AM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


None of this is your fault. He is acting incredibly poorly. You are well within your rights to tell him that the way he is acting is not okay, and any drama that ensues will be a) not your fault and b) totally warranted.

If you want to be maximally accommodating—which you are not obliged to be—you can kindly and politely tell him that that you are not single and his constant public crushing on you is making you really uncomfortable.

If after having been politely thus told, he either continues his behavior or petulantly acts out, you can read him the riot act. You can do it publicly. Anybody that sides with him is siding with an asshole.

Remember: At no point do you owe him anything.
posted by pts at 11:50 AM on November 21, 2011


Oh dear.

The first thing to understand is that YOU are not causing unwarranted drama. If you have made yourself clear, especially if everyone knows you have a boyfriend (hello, you met him through this activity!), it is HIS behavior that is causing any drama.

His behavior speaks for itself.
posted by Madamina at 11:50 AM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


He is seriously out of line here, and he is actively creating drama. Just tell him it needs to stop. Letting him continue is out of the question.
posted by DoubleLune at 11:58 AM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, first you need to appreciate that this guy's behavior is weird and clueless at best, and at worst extremely creepy. Step one is you pull him aside next time you see him, or shoot him an email, and say the following: "Hey Joachim, listen, could you reel it in with the tweeting about me and the buying me drinks and stuff? I've got a boyfriend I'm really happy with and you're being really flirty and it's stressing me out. Thanks for understanding, bro."

Once you've told him this, call him out the next time he hits on you. If he buys you a flirty drink, when he hands it to you, frown and say, "Dude, no," and walk.
posted by milk white peacock at 11:58 AM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, don't tell him he's the kind of guy you would date - he doesn't need encouragement.
posted by DoubleLune at 11:59 AM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Recently, a boy in this activity has started telling other members of the activity that he is "in love" with me/has a huge crush on me.

At first I cringed to read a 26-year-old woman writing about a contemporary as a "boy," but you're right to call him that. Men talk directly to women they're interested in, boys talk to everyone else on the playground in the group of friends.

Same goes for women. Talk directly to him and tell him what's what.
posted by headnsouth at 11:59 AM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


So he knows you're taken, and that you're not interested in a little extra on the side, and yet he still openly attempts to make this into more than a friendship?

Nothing gentle is going to make this guy stop. He's either giving in too easily to his impulses, in which case he needs a short sharp shock to wake his conscience up, or he thinks it's perfectly ok to behave like this, in which case he's an asshole. You shouldn't need to start off with anything less than an unequivocal cease and desist.
posted by fearnothing at 12:01 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


You might not be able to maintain a friendship with him if he continues to have trouble with boundaries. meanwhile, I'd make it a bit of a joke to others James claims to be smitten with me which is terribly flattering, but of course he knows I'm happily committed. And to the young man in question James, it's sweet of you to make a fuss, but I'm happily committed.
posted by theora55 at 12:02 PM on November 21, 2011


James claims to be smitten with me which is terribly flattering, but of course he knows I'm happily committed.

James, it's sweet of you to make a fuss, but I'm happily committed.

The bold parts will get you in trouble. Why would he stop when he knows you're enjoying it?
posted by griphus at 12:18 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


What is the most diplomatic way to tell him to back off

Oddly enough, to not be diplomatic about it. He and you will both be much happier in the long term if you just flat out say no. No nice, no cute, no hand-holding. Say no, say sorry, and then direct your attention elsewhere. Shut down anything else on his part with no, sorry.
posted by cashman at 12:24 PM on November 21, 2011


That's not flirting, it's inappropriate behavior. It's making you uncomfortable and it's rude.

Not because he's interested in you and you're involved with someone; hey, you're not married and your relationship is your business. He can express interest to you. But that's not what this is.

The way you handle this is to politely but firmly say "you've made yourself clear and I'm not interested. Now you need to stop all this behavior. It's making me uncomfortable and it's impolite." Then call him out on it every. single. time. If other people express the opinion that it's charming you say "it was charming once, now that he keeps doing it after I told him it made me uncomfortable it's rude and creepy. Please don't encourage it, it's not okay."

If he kept touching you after you told him it wasn't okay, how would everyone else react to that? This is on the same continuum - it's a lack or respect for your boundaries and involves treating you as if your opinion about it doesn't matter. Don't put up with it.
posted by phearlez at 12:41 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't know if the harsh attitude towards the boy in some people's answers is justified. He's going through his own emotional process, which he can't fully control. Wouldn't it be a good thing to be gentle with him? But, yes, whatever happens, the original poster doesn't have to worry that she's responsible for having created unpleasantness--definitely not her fault.
posted by Paquda at 12:43 PM on November 21, 2011


I don't know if the harsh attitude towards the boy in some people's answers is justified.

I don't think anyone is advocating harshness as much as bluntness. No one is suggesting OP come up to the poor guy and say "yo, what the fuck, loser? I have a boyfriend, duh!" but rather simply stating in such language that doesn't leave any ambiguity for him to misinterpret. Throw all the pleases and thank yous you want in there; just be clear and unyielding.
posted by griphus at 12:47 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Be firm and stand your ground; the most important thing is that you communicate to him that it is absolutely, non-negotiably Not Gonna Happen. No "I'm flattered" or "that's nice of you but" or anything that suggests you like the attention even the tiniest bit.

And don't lean too heavily on "I have a boyfriend" because he might think "well, maybe she'll leave her boyfriend." You can say, though, "You know I have a boyfriend, and when you try and flirt with me anyway, it's disrespectful to me and my relationship."

Obsessive infatuation is like Morgellons: to the outside observer, it looks like utter batshit insanity. But to the person who has it, it feels absolutely real, and the tiniest incidental speck of dust becomes irrefutable proof, and he is always on the lookout for more. The guy's probably filling a metaphorical matchbox with tiny crumbs of "evidence" that you like him: a benign compliment, a smile, a "thank you" for the drink. You don't have to be chilly to him, but don't leave any lint on your sleeve, so to speak.

Take him aside and say something along the lines of "Please drop it. It makes me uncomfortable, and it's hurting our friendship." Say it kindly, but don't cushion it. It's going to be hard to do, but better this bit of discomfort up front than the prolonged discomfort of passive-aggressively trying to discourage him for the next three months.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:51 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


You ask him aside and you tell him very seriously and in a low voice, "You must stop this behaviour. It is making me uncomfortable and if you continue this behaviour, I will have to cease being friends with you." Don't smile, don't touch his arm, don't look at him with sympathetic eyes, just say that sternly and wait for him to say okay.

If he smiles or anything, you just look at him without smiling and say to him, "I am completely serious. This ends now."

If he continues after you state that, you will have to completely ignore him. Then act as if he doesn't exist and you do not engage in any activity that involves him even if it means for you to stop doing what you enjoy with this group(temporarily.) After a short period of time, not only will he stop because it is evident that you are serious, but other people in the group will tell him that he should stop. If you act with that level of seriousness, everyone around you will have to respect your boundaries and though this is psychological war against your admirer, they will persuade him to stop because no one wants tension.

That is the key...create Tension, not Drama and it will end immediately.
posted by Yellow at 12:52 PM on November 21, 2011


He's going through his own emotional process, which he can't fully control.

Horseshit - this isn't some touchy-feely mystery. He knows she has a boyfriend and is happy with him, yet continues to flirt, Tweet about her, and generally act like a creep. He's more than capable of stopping, he just chooses not to.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:52 PM on November 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


I would go beyond what several others here have said (unless I've missed it) and add that you should not only be VERY clear and direct in telling him no you are not interested and to stop the behavior, but also you should tell others in your group that you've told him. Let your other friends know that you don't like it and that you've clearly and directly asked him to stop.

Also, if it doesn't immediately stop, I'd start keeping a record of specific behaviors and comments from this guy, and also of what and when you told him to cool it. If it came to it and you had to get legal involvement, this will help.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:57 PM on November 21, 2011


First step yes, actively tell him to stop this. Subtle coolness is something most guys would miss, let alone one who's lovestruck. Be direct, be concise.

I agree with BigHEartedGuy about the second step being telling all your friends you don't like it and you've asked him to cut it out. I think it's a bit extreme to immediately leap to treating him like a stalker though, that's uncalled for drama at this stage. But talking privately with your more trusted friends, ask them for help in dissuading this behavior. You need the group to say to him "dude, you know she doesn't like that. knock it off, not cool."
posted by lizbunny at 1:14 PM on November 21, 2011


Okay, first you need to appreciate that this guy's behavior is weird and clueless at best, and at worst extremely creepy.

No, it's not particularly sensitive, and it needs to be shut down, but I don't think that encouraging the asker to think of him as weird, clueless, or creepy is going to help with keeping the drama to a minimum.

He doesn't have a chance at our anonymous friend, who should tell him this directly and diplomatically in a manner much like rtha and griphus have said. His behavior should stop there.

If it doesn't, *then* he's being creepy.

But at the moment, he might be up to nothing more than letting his intentions and feelings be known, and there's no need to cast him in the creepy role just to get the basics of the situation communicated.
posted by weston at 1:16 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, gross. I have no sympathy for people who count on plausible deniability and other people's good manners to avoid getting called out on shitty behavior.

He an adult, and he knows you're happily in an exclusive relationship. That's all most people need to know to behave appropriately. It's not that he can't contain his lurve for you, it's that he's decided his feelings are the only ones that matter here. What you think and what you want don't matter.

To me, that overrides the need to be sweet about it.

The next time he starts in, look him directly in the eye and calmly state - Stop it. I'm not interested in you as anything more than a friend. Your behavior is making me uncomfortable. If you can't or won't stop it, I can't hang out with you. And follow through.

(What do your friends say about this? This would be really over the line in my circles and I'm kind of surprised your friends haven't said something to him about it already.)
posted by Space Kitty at 1:21 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't know if the harsh attitude towards the boy in some people's answers is justified. He's going through his own emotional process, which he can't fully control.

I agree with most of the "harsh" advice here, and my own comes from personal experience - in the guy's shoes. It would have saved a friendship and several months of misery if the object of my infatuation had just come right out with "Seriously, it's never ever going to happen" instead of all the "I'm not ready for a relationship" and "you deserve the right person" waffle.

I eventually grew up and became capable of healthy interpersonal relationships, so I wouldn't necessarily paint this guy with the ZOMG CREEP 4EVAR brush, either. Some people are capable of doing the right and respectful thing and just haven't learned that what they're doing is wrong.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:35 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Someone who once decided they wanted to be my friend, but also recognized my potential for obsessive misunderstanding vis a vis romantic intentions, said something like the following to me,

"Hey, I want to be clear up front, I have no interest in you physically or romantically, but I'd still like to get to know you and be friends."

It's bluntness took me a back a little in the moment, but I got over it and we did indeed become great friends.
posted by nomisxid at 1:49 PM on November 21, 2011


As someone who, in my younger days, fell into this mindset (In thought, not in action. This guy's actions are way over the line), I will heartily agree with everyone else. If you leave anything he can glom onto as a fictional ray of hope, he will grab hold of it with both hands and never let go.

Be blunt. Be extremely blunt. Take him aside, sit him down, and tell him in no uncertain terms: "Look. Your actions are out of line. There is nothing between us. There will never be something between us. Everything you do just makes things worse. So stop. Now. From this moment on."

I had this speech said to me, and I really did need it. I was in all honesty being a foolish git, and the hard break was the only thing that snapped me free. I valued the friendship over the irrational hope, so I went for the friendship. He might not do the same, but one way or another:

Break it hard, break it quick, break it clean.
posted by CrystalDave at 2:39 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


How the questioner will behave towards the boy or what she will communicate to him is the main issue, but I meant to comment on a side issue: people's opinions of the boy, the people here who answered and, potentially also, the questioner's. Unrequited love is a part of life. Is it a shameful, sleazy part? Is it a symptom of immaturity? There's a long history of literature that treats it as something serious and interesting. The sonnet as a genre, for example, took its subject and its energy from the experience of unrequited love for an idealized, unattainable woman. The figure is used endlessly in religious literature across cultures. Isn't it possible that there's something there worth accepting and respecting? More basically, if you designate this phenomenon as shameful and unacceptable, where do you go from there? "My feelings and thoughts are sleazy and immature: I must crush them"....it won't work and it doesn't respect who we are as humans.
posted by Paquda at 2:44 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


The diplomacy you are going to use is that you will tell him "no" privately. He is misbehaving in public, and you are going to diplomatically tell him in private that you are not interested, period. About everything else, don't worry about hurting his feeling, just be blunt and brief.

Note that if he has behaved this way in public, he may also behave badly after you stop him cold, saying nasty things about you to other people. If he does that, then you can bring this back into the public forum, just to say "I told him that I wasn't interested in a romantic relationship with him, and he's taking it badly. Nothing more, nothing less."
posted by davejay at 2:57 PM on November 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Is it a shameful, sleazy part? Is it a symptom of immaturity?"

Tweeting about a woman you know is taken? Publicly flirting and mashing on someone who a priori has refused you by virtue of being taken? Pitching woo among the people?

Yeah, it's shameful, sleazy, and immature. If the guy wanted to be poetic, he'd go starve/slash his wrists in a garret or something, not make a public spectacle of himself and the object of his crass affections.

Twitter. Yeesh.

How to deal is "Kid, I'm not interested and I never will be. Please do not continue to embarrass yourself like this."
posted by tel3path at 3:03 PM on November 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Basically seconding most everyone in the thread here - you have to make sure that he knows as soon as possible that the door is unequivocally shut. I'm not sure what the activity is, but is there a way you can avoid being partnered with him or on his team or whatever? Some distance might be beneficial. You might not be able to have the friendship you want with him, at least right now, but in time (one he gets a girlfriend?) it's definitely a possibility. He just needs to chill for a bit.

Also, it sounds like you, your boyfriend, and your admirer are in the same friends group. If he's so over the moon about you, he might be acting out against your boyfriend - I was in a similar situation that I was too gentle about and the admirer started to harass my boyfriend, causing all kinds of additional weirdness. Just a thing to watch out for, I guess.
posted by troika at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2011


All these comments about the potential for sinister and dangerous developments...the questioner has a right to tell 'the admirer' to stop anything that makes her uncomfortable and he has an obligation to respect her wishes. And it's perfectly reasonable to assume that he will. Why on earth would you assume he's a monster? Everything he's done so far seems to fall into the category of communication: he's had a powerful feeling and he's communicated it. If after the questioner asks him to stop something he doesn't, that would be unacceptable, but why assume that that's what's going to happen?
The questioner and the admirer could certainly end up being friends. These crushes, undercurrents, flirting behaviors happen all the time up to and including extreme old age.

If the guy wanted to be poetic, he'd go starve/slash his wrists in a garret or something

Why relegate this aspect of the human condition to some out-of-bounds province of people playing the role of artist? Why not allow us all the possibility of living this role with dignity when we need to (and while we're at it, let's save poetry from the pressure of this unfortunate mis-characterization of its nature). I'm talking about our attitudes to ourselves and others as they go through these things. I'm not saying it's a good thing for anyone to impose in their behavior on anyone else.
posted by Paquda at 3:51 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


When you call him out:

1) Don't call it flirting, because he doesn't seem to be making overt moves on you and will therefore try and be all "What? I'm not flirting with you!" Doesn't matter whether it is or isn't flirting: it's inappropriate and it's making you uncomforatable.

2) Be specific as to the behavior that you want him to stop doing. Don't just be all "This behavior has to stop", because that leaves him wiggle room to be all "Ohhh, I thought you just meant I had to stop buying you drinks. I didn't know you wanted me to stop other things, too."

Maybe something like: "Hey Josh, I'd appreciate it if you stopped buying me Redheaded Sluts. Or any drinks for that matter. I've got a boyfriend I'm totally into, and I'm not interested in you at all, so when you buy me drinks, or tweet about me, or tell other people that you're in love with me, it makes me really uncomfortable. I need you to stop doing all those things so that we can be friends."
posted by 23skidoo at 4:52 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Being assertive is always better than hoping someone will suddenly just take a hint that they have so far been refusing to take.

More importantly, why do you "really, really want to be friends" with someone who is being so disrespectful of your relationship (and, by extension, you)?
posted by J. Wilson at 5:42 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know if the harsh attitude towards the boy in some people's answers is justified. He's going through his own emotional process, which he can't fully control.

Firstly, can I assume this person is the same age, or perhaps older than, the OP? If so, 26 years old is not "a boy", and unless he suffers from some sort of pervasive impulse control disorder, he is absolutely capable of controlling his behaviour.

Unrequited love is a part of life. Is it a shameful, sleazy part? Is it a symptom of immaturity?

I'd say someone who defines 'love' as an unreciprocated interest in someone in their friendship group, who has a boyfriend -- who is also in that group -- who makes inappropriate comments assumedely because he can't contain it (?), never mind how it might be making the object of his affections feel, or her partner?! He has some growing up to do, yes.

There's a long history of literature that treats it as something serious and interesting. The sonnet as a genre, for example, took its subject and its energy from the experience of unrequited love for an idealized, unattainable woman. The figure is used endlessly in religious literature across cultures.

Life is not like a schmaltzy sonnet two hundred years ago, or a romance film now. Do we really need to examine the problems with taking these as a serious reference for how to live your life?

OP, you have every right to draw boundaries. Talk to him privately first if you like, to allow him to save face and correct his selfish behaviour. Then public resistance if that fails. Don't sentimentalize asshattery.
posted by everydayanewday at 8:18 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Everything he's done so far seems to fall into the category of communication: he's had a powerful feeling and he's communicated it. If after the questioner asks him to stop something he doesn't, that would be unacceptable, but why assume that that's what's going to happen?

It is fundamentally disrespectful and a violation of boundaries to make a play for somebody who is known to be in a relationship, which it sounds like is the case here. The OP has a boyfriend. She (I'm assuming here, based on the dynamics) should not need to ask him to stop — by virtue of being publicly partnered, she is (by common mainstream understanding in America/Canada/most English-speaking countries) off the market, not looking, and not interested. As such, it is an imposition and inappropriate to publicly indulge this infatuation ("unrequited love" as you call it).

Unless the OP has made it known that she's poly or otherwise interested in a non-monogamous relationship, the appropriate thing for this guy to do would have been to keep it to himself. Write bad poetry, post depressed emo photos on his Tumblr, pour his heart out to his journal, whatever. But not spew it out all over the place where it becomes the OP's problem to deal with.

OP, my cranky advice is to tell him "Dude, you know I'm seeing someone. Back the hell off. I don't want to read that you've been Tweeting about me, I don't want you buying me drinks, and I sure as hell do not want you blithering on to our mutual friends about being in love with me. I do not want to go out with you now and I will not want to go out with you in the future. At this point I'm still willing to be friends with you. Don't make me change my mind. Back. Off."
posted by Lexica at 9:28 PM on November 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nthing the consensus here. Be blunt, be harsh, use words like "never", "nothing" and "now", and leave absolutely no room for misinterpretation or hope that you'll change your mind. Look him in the eyes when you say "I will never change my mind." You'll be doing him an immense favour.

To Paquda: he's publicly showing disrespect for the OP's boundaries, and by that he reduces the degree to which he deserves her or anyone else's respect for his plight. Had he simply written some sonnets (to himself) there'd be more wiggle room.

But more to the point, being hard on the guy is actually the kindest thing you can do for him, in addition to being one of the only ways to make him stop. Unrequited infatuation is excruciating. The sooner and more thoroughly you break someone out of it, the better.
posted by ead at 10:48 PM on November 21, 2011


OP, I don't know if this will strengthen your resolve or not, but it is possible that on some level he knows you'll never go for him and is actually trying to embarrass you in retaliation for that.

It's also possible that you're not his real target at all. If everyone knows about it, and he's putting it out there on the web where everyone can see it, he might be doing this to upset someone you've never even heard of. If he had another target he was trying to smoke out, pitching woo at someone who's taken would definitely keep him available for that other person.

I just want to point out that there are other possibilities than this just being a socially inept nerd in love. Either way, being blunt is the only way you're going to dislodge him.
posted by tel3path at 12:45 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


How do I deal with unwanted advances from someone who I really, really want to be friends with?

As others said, be firm and tell him to stop with the unwanted advances. If he doesn't stop, then he is being disrespectful to you and your relationship, and he's not someone you really, really want to be friends with anyway, remember that.
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 12:43 PM on November 22, 2011


I agree that he needs to hear in no uncertain terms that it's not gonna happen, but I think the way most people here have phrased it would likely make me second-guess the girl's desire for even friendship.

E.g, you say (from a much-liked response): "I have a boyfriend, I'm not interested, and I don't want to have to talk about this again."

The way this sounds in my head, it couldn't sound any more brusque if you ended it with "Have I made myself crystal clear?" if I were the guy, I'd back off the flirting, but also the friendship.

How about this: "Adam, I gotta tell you, while it's kind of cute that you are into me, I feel really uncomfortable that you're flirting, and that you're telling everyone about it. I'd really appreciate it if you stopped. I really value your friendship."

Some here seem to be indicating that any admittance that his crush is flattering is bad. But it's a way for him to save face. He can easily change his behavior to be respectful to you, but the feelings will take longer.

In short: you don't owe him politeness, but if he's anything like me, it would go a long way toward preserving the friendship (and you say you really care about that).
posted by Talisman at 11:47 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


On preview, tel3path isn't far off the mark. I mean, Tweeting about you? Me, I'd reconsider whether I really, really want to be friends with the guy.
posted by Talisman at 11:53 PM on November 22, 2011


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