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15 Ways to Tell Someone You Just Want to Be Friends

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It’s a delicate dance of balancing on another’s emotional tightrope, especially when you have to convey a message that might disappoint you.

Romance can often blossom unwanted, but not all feelings are rewarded.

When someone’s affection leans into an area that doesn’t align with your own feelings, the challenge is to maintain the sanctity of the friendship without hurting the other person.

Changing someone’s romantic expectations while preserving a platonic friendship requires a cocktail of honesty, clarity, and kindness blended with a little bit of courage.

What’s the best way to tell someone you just want to be friends?

Effective communication forms the basis of a successful relationship, and the difficult task of communicating your desire for platonic friendship over romantic relationships is no exception.

Couple sitting outside on balcony

Here are some strategies for surviving this situation.

  • Choose the appropriate settings. Choose a comfortable, quiet location that encourages open communication and minimizes potential distractions. Timing is also important. Choose a moment when both of you are calm and relaxed.
  • Be honest but kind: A clear and truthful expression should be your guide. However, try to soften your words with empathy and respect to avoid hurting them unnecessarily.
  • Use the “I” statement. This approach helps you stay focused on your feelings without looking like you’re blaming the other person. For example, “I value our friendship so much and want to keep it” is much preferable to “You’re going too far.”

Following these preparatory steps, don’t forget the importance of managing subsequent impacts.

Giving the other person time and space to process information and respecting their reactions and feelings is essential.

Maintaining a healthy friendship in such a situation can certainly be difficult, but with patience, understanding, and most of all, empathy, it’s totally doable.

How to tell someone you just want to be friends: 15 things to say to ease the hurt

It can be difficult to find the right words when trying to express your desire for friendship rather than romance.

This list contains phrases that can articulate your feelings with empathy, clarity and kindness.

1. “I really enjoy spending time with you as friends. I see you as a friend, but please know that I have no romantic feelings for you.”

This statement emphasizes the value of connection, blends into the conversation, and softens the abruptness of the reveal.

2. “You are the most important person in my life. I value our friendship and that is all I want.”

This reassures them that your decision to remain friends stems not from a lack of appreciation or affection, but rather from making your feelings clear.

3. “After much thought, I felt it was best for us to be friends, not lovers.”

By letting them know you’re taking the situation seriously, they show respect for their feelings and the weight of the decisions you’re conveying.

4. “It’s not about you. It’s about me and what I feel. I don’t have as much love for you.”

This shifts the focus to your own emotions, making your own emotional state more important than what the other person is doing.

5. “I really value our friendship. I don’t want to risk losing it in a relationship.”

This statement lets you know that you value your existing relationship enough and want to keep it in its current form.

6. “I hope you understand. My feelings for you are platonic. I see you more as a friend than as a romantic partner.”

It’s a simple, respectful way to set boundaries and clarify the kind of relationship you’re comfortable in.

7. “I want to make my feelings clear so that we can continue to be friends without misunderstandings.”

This underscores your desire to maintain friendships and your commitment to open and honest communication.

8. “I am not in a position to respond to your romantic feelings.”

This will focus on your current emotional state and keep the issue away from any personal shortcomings they may perceive.

9. “Your friendship means so much to me. I hate to lose it because of misunderstood feelings.”

Again, affirming the importance of friendship reassures the other person that you value your relationship, even if it’s not romantic.

10. “I think we have a great connection, but it’s on a friendship level, not a romantic relationship.”

Reinforcing the idea of ​​a strong connection can legitimize the relationship, albeit in a different way.

Woman sitting on sofa and looking at phone

11. “It’s very important to me to be honest about how I feel. We only see us as friends.”

Emphasizing honesty will help them see that you are being sincere about their feelings rather than trying to hurt them.

12. “I enjoy our companionship, and I think that’s where our relationship shines the brightest.”

This statement subtly redefines the relationship from a romantic relationship to friendship, a form of deep friendship.

13. “We have a good relationship as friends and I don’t want you to lose it.”

It reiterates the importance of friendship in the present, focusing on maintaining what already exists between the two of you.

14. “I hope this doesn’t affect our relationship. I’m really looking forward to being with you as a friend.”

This reassures them that you still want them in your life, even though expectations have changed.

15. “Please understand that this does not diminish the respect and admiration I have for you. I deeply value our friendship.”

A powerful closing word that reaffirms their value to you and the value you place in your friendships.

How to tell someone in a text message that you just want to be friends without hurting them

In the digital age, conversations of all nature, including sensitive conversations about relationships, are conducted over text. Through this medium, it is important to convey the message of friendship rather than romance carefully, clearly and thoughtfully.

1. “Hey, I’m just thinking. I really value our relationship, but I see it as a strong friendship above all else.”

This message clearly and kindly shows the nature of your feelings for them.

2. “I hope this is not misunderstood, but I see our bond as a great friendship, not a romantic connection.”

This text uses compassionate words to communicate your desire to remain friends.

3. “I think it’s important that we have the same perception. I value our friendship and hope it continues.”

This emphasizes the value of open communication and mutual understanding.

4. “I believe being honest is the best policy, so I wanted to let you know that my feelings for you are strictly platonic.”

A direct approach can prevent misunderstandings and strengthen intentions.

5. “I really enjoy spending time with you, but I think it’s as friends that we really connect.”

This message emphasizes the importance of connection while redefining the boundaries of connection.

6. “It’s hard to convey emotions over text, but being honest is important to me. I see our relationship as a close friendship rather than a romantic one.”

By acknowledging the difficulty of expressing emotions in writing, you will be able to resonate with them and show empathy.

7. “Thank you for a wonderful evening. As we spend more time together, we realize how much we value our friendship as friends. I hope we can continue on this path.”

The message is both a thank you for the shared experience and a subtle desire for friendship.

Couple on couch, man is back How to tell someone you just want to be friends

8. “This is a difficult message for me to write, but I believe in being open. It’s a relationship.”

Here you can show respect for their feelings by recognizing the difficulty of communicating such feelings.

9. “I appreciate our connection and the time we spent together. But I think our bond is best expressed as a wonderful friendship.”

This subtly changes that definition to platonic while reaffirming the strength of your relationship.

10. “This is not an easy text for me to send, but I feel it’s best to be transparent. We consider ourselves good friends, so it’s going to be fun.” I would like to continue our relationship.”

Showing your displeasure can help you understand the seriousness you associate with the situation.

11. “You’re an amazing person and you deserve someone who shares your feelings. I value our friendship so much and that’s where our relationship really shines.” I believe.”

By acknowledging their worth, you show them that your desire to remain friends does not determine their attractiveness or worth.

12. “I’m so grateful for our friendship with you. That’s what I think a good, strong friendship is.”

Strengthening your appreciation for their relationship with them will help soften the message going forward.

13. “I respect you and our relationship so much that misunderstandings don’t get in the way. We see us as friends, not romantic partners.”

Respect is paramount in this sentence, which reduces feelings of rejection.

14. “I hope we can continue to have fun with each other as friends, because that’s what I think of our relationship.”

Encouraging you to continue your momentum in the present will help you envision a future devoid of romantic aspects.

15. We have a great friendship and I believe that is where our strength lies. I hope you feel the same way. ”

This message ends in free-form, so the other person can process your words and respond when they’re ready.

16. “I feel we share a great bond. I would describe it as a great friendship rather than a romantic relationship.”

Positioning your friendships as “wonderful” and “wonderful” can help soften the hurt that’s been exposed.

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Overcome past heartbreaks with 15 proven steps to find love again

It doesn’t matter: master the 13 golden rules of friends with benefits

What do you expect when you tell someone you just want to be friends?

Being honest with your feelings is an act of courage, especially if those feelings aren’t what the other person wants.

But it’s just as important to successfully navigate the aftermath of this conversation. Each person and situation is different, but there are some common reactions you may encounter.

  • Surprise or disbelief: The other person may take some time to understand what you are saying. If your revelation catches them off guard, give them room to absorb the information.
  • Hurt or disappointed: No matter how carefully you use your words, hurt is almost inevitable. Your role here is to show empathy and understanding without retracting your position.
  • Refusing or Attempting to Negotiate: They may try to change your mind or refuse to accept your feelings. It’s important to stay firm in your decisions while being kind and patient.
  • Distance need: They may want to take time off from your company to heal their wounds. Be respectful of their requests and give them time and space.

By anticipating these reactions, you can be more sensitive to situations. But your honesty shows respect for them and their feelings. Remain honest and empathetic, knowing that this adjustment period is only part of maintaining a precious friendship.

final thoughts

The transition from romantic feelings to friendship can be difficult, but with clear, caring communication, it’s certainly possible. Remember that honesty, respect, and patience are your best allies when it comes to maintaining meaningful friendships amid complex emotions.

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