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How To Reject A Guy (and Maybe Salvage the Friendship)

Updated on January 2, 2010

If there is one thing that regular men (and by regular, I mean not celebrities) do not have to go through as often as women do, it is the constant onslaught of advances coming from members of the opposite sex. This is a social phenomenon that has been occurring for nearly all of humankind; men have been given the duty of courting the women since the caveman days. Why do you think there is a special name for the dance where a girl asks the guy to a dance? The Sadie Hawkins. It’s because it is out of the norm. Guys are supposed to do the asking. It is just how things work and have been working forever. So obviously, women have learned better techniques when handling situations where their male acquaintances express a deeper-than-friend emotional connection. But even with the years and years of experience, I often have my female friends ask me advice on how they can possibly reject the advances, while still saving the friendship and keeping it on a not-awkward status. It is quite difficult to do, but still possible.

Ladies, please keep this in mind: When a guy has decided that he likes you more than a friend, and has expressed it to you, it is very difficult for him to backpedal and pretend like it didn’t happen. It has something to do with his pride. Think about it. How embarrassing is it that this person that you like doesn’t like you in return? It brings about feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. I’m sure these feelings aren’t exclusive to the male gender; everybody has gone through it. Rejection sucks! I’ve been rejected countless times. And in many of those rejections, I’ve been able to remain friends with the person who rejected me. There are a few differences between these rejections when I remained friends with the girl versus when we never talked again.

These are the things that made a difference for me:

1. The girl still wanted to be friends. In order for you to remain friends, you have to actually place an importance on the friendship. If the guy senses that he has become just any other rejection, and feels like he has turned into an annoyance, he will most likely be awkward around you. He might even start avoiding you when he sees you.

2. The girl clearly communicated that I meant a lot to her. This is how you let the guy know that he isn’t an annoyance. Of course, the only way that the guy will want to be your friend is if he feels that you genuinely WANT the friendship, and you truly care for him, even if he wants a little more right now. If you communicate that you want to be his friend, he should understand. Guys don’t like hints. Guys like it straight, no chaser.

3. The girl gave me time. Ladies, please listen to me. This is the most important tip I have for you. This is the glue that will hold the other tips together. This is the key to remaining friends with a guy after you have rejected him. Once you decide to be friends, and you clearly express it to the guy, you need to give him some time and space so that his feelings will die down. If you do not do this, things could get very ugly. There are several possible outcomes. The guy could continue trying to pursue you, the guy could be depressed every time he is around you, or the guy could cut you off for good once he feels like you are stringing him along. So in order to avoid these things from happening, you need to let the guy have time to calm down, even if it hurts in the meantime to not talk to him.


Look, nothing is perfect, and not every suggested solution will work, but in my past experience, these are the differences between me being friends with a girl after she rejected me, or vice versa.  In some instances, emotions may be stronger, and in other instances, guys may not care at all that you reject him and will act normal regardless.  It all depends on the type of relationship you have.  But one thing is for sure: clear and honest communication is the way to get what you both want from a relationship, whatever type of relationship that is.   


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      Ryan 3 years ago

      I had a friend for 5+ years always liked her . I Made it know she was always awesome. Looked pretty blah blah. Told her shit her bf told me and she broke it off with him. But I made an advance and told her how I truly felt. She seemed surprised. I kind of rushed her and realized it probably wasn't going to work so I said good luck and she said the same. I basically thought f her. She didn't even say wait let's just be friends. Then after a month she messages me on Facebook upset because I deleted her. Wtf

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      zekefff 4 years ago

      Women have to fend off the constant onslaught of advances from clumsy men who declare their love to a close friend much more often than men do. This is because men are not polished at the art of expressing interest in a subtle way! Women use eye contact, smiling, strutting, touching, and coincidental meetings, to display interest in an direct way to protect their ego`s from straight out rejection. Men are simply gluttons for punishment! If i (as a regular guy) counted the number of times I have to deal with the indirect onslaughts from women I would venture to guess that the number is just about the same!

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      michelle 5 years ago

      I think it is best to hang out with them soon after the rejection, to start the next chapter of your relationship (pure platonic friends), and you won't harbour any resentment towards them until the next time you see them (which could be weeks).

      Pretend like nothing happened and that you are still friends with the person.

      Works for me every time. The time is coming soon for me to do it again so we'll see how it goes this time..

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      Beznik 6 years ago

      Don't try to save the friendship. Why you like having this little pet who flatters you with his attention. Like keeping him on the back burner. No the friendship is over. Ask yourself why you want to stay friends unresolved feeling for him?

    • profile image

      weird 6 years ago

      all the wrong guys are asking me out lol -.- not the one i sucks

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      help 7 years ago

      There is this guy i am very good friends with- not best friends, but close. We txt and IM each other almost everyday. However, when his cousin recently visited him, he admitted that he really liked me A lot, so his cousin went online for him and tried to get me to go out with him. But, I don't want to go out with him. I've thought about it and I realize I wasn't ever looking for a relationship; I just wanted to continue being friends. When I told his cousin this, he pressured me into feeling guilty and breaking my friend's heart. So now, I don't want to go out with him, but I have no way to tell him this without hurting his feelings and making his cousin angry enough to swear at me for a very long time. What should I do?

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      Roberta S 7 years ago from California on the rocks

      Mirna, he is a stalker and you should take action. It sounds like the way he is relating to you is not healthy. Cut is short for your own sake. Really.

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      Mirna 7 years ago

      8 years ago when I met someone who was working in the computer lab in my university. He showed a strong emotions and interest to me, he was always so nice to me and everybody noticed that. I was in relationship that time and he Knew that, he was always there when my boyfriend with me, but never did something wrong. by time went, I broke up with my boyfriend and I left the country. one day I was online and we met. we talked and he asked me to come online next day because he had something to tell me about. I did because I respected him and I knew that he worth sometimes to talk to him. when we met online he admitted that he still loves me and always in his mind even it was 7 years ago. I was shocked because he didn't try to go for another girl, but he was looking for my news. he knew everything about me, even I am out of the country. he was always waiting for me to come online for 8 years. I talked to him and asked me to just try to be with him I didn't something to say NO. i did it. we were talking for a year by Skype I he is still nice. but I couldn't take it I felt bored and i need someone close to me not via internet. I told him that and i was sorry. i was trying to stop the relationship but he begged to me to stay cos i am the life of his life. One day, I was serious and I told him that we need to stop everything but he refused and was so mean he started to swear to feel sorry if i did it. it is 8 months now and he is steal calling me and send emails and beg me to come back to him. I tried to talk to him and give him time to move on, he didn't always waiting for me and still!! I asked him to be friends, but he refused. I don't know what to do with him. I moved on with my life and I know someone else who wants to marry me, I like him and he is a good person. I feel guilty and I don't know what to do?? help me please!! thank you ,,

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      yash 7 years ago

      really true... i always want to remain friends with my best guy friends after i rejected them.... because i never ever wanted to hurt them... also if i loose their friendship i will also badly get hurt because i know i'm the one who rejected them!