When someone tells you he or she has a crush on you, it could be the start of a happy relationship – or it could be the beginning of one of the most awkward friendships you’ve ever been a part of. If you’ve been confessed to by a friend whom do not have romantic feelings for and you want to stay friends, it’s all about setting boundaries. If you and the person who confessed are willing to work for it, you can have your comfortable, easygoing friendship once more.
Don’t Hang Out Alone
It’s probably best you no longer spend time together alone, unless you’d done a lot of that before and you think your friend can keep his or her hands off of you and their feelings to self. With other friends present, there will be distraction and less temptation. There’s also less likelihood your friend will gaze adoringly at you, hoping you’ll “change your mind,” when there are other faces to look at and other things to think about.
Going forward as friends in general, it’s best to set boundaries you’re both comfortable with. Ask that your friend not touch you more than you’re comfortable with and perhaps limit the hugging or other physical affection to once a day or whichever other number feels more friendly than romantic. Limit how often you speak with each other on social media or by phone, as well as the number of times each week you hang out. Now that you know your friend has a crush on you, you probably shouldn’t spend time together every day anymore. You need to put some distance between you and give your friend the opportunity he or she needs to spend time with other people and eventually move on.
Limit the Types of Activities You Do Together
Instead of having dinner together at a fancy restaurant with dimmed lights and pricey wine, meet for lunch or brunch at more casual cafes. Don’t see a film together unless other friends are along and don’t take a road trip with in tandem. Since only one of you has feelings for the other, avoid doing the types of activities that couples do, unless it’s part of a larger group outing. Strangers might confuse you for a couple and awkwardly refer to your friend as your spouse or partner, and it’s confusing for your friend, too, and might give him or her false hope.
Not all friendships are salvageable after someone confesses an unrequited crush. If your crush doesn’t respect your boundaries or starts thinking you’re “taking advantage” of his or her feelings, you don’t have the two-way respect that’s essential for a friendship. In cases such as these, it might be best for you to significantly limit the time you spend together, or simply end contact all together.