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16 Nov

How to Friendzone Someone Without Leading Them On or Hurting Them

When a friend likes you and you just want to be platonic, it can be hard to learn how to friendzone someone. Here’s your guide to doing it right.

Gosh, how to friendzone someone! This is a concept that has long frustrated lovesick friends. The friendzone is the situation when there is a friendship but one person has unreciprocated romantic feelings.

This is something most people shudder at the thought of, so putting someone in this position naturally makes you feel guilty. You want to maintain a friendship with this person who likes you, just not anything more than that.

You are completely valid in your feelings. Just because someone is a friend to you, it does not mean you owe them anything. You don’t owe them a date or even a chance. The friendzone sounds like a rejection, but honestly, your friendship is not a punishment. Instead of thinking of the friendzone as a consolation prize, think of it as the simple truth.

Should you friendzone someone?

Often, the friendzone seems better than the no-zone. You may want to offer friendship as opposed to nothing. It can seem like a softer blow to someone’s ego if you tell them you like them, but just not that way.

It is always better to leave them with something, right? Wrong.

A friendship is not required. Just because you had a nice time on a date with someone but didn’t have feelings for them doesn’t mean you owe them friendship. Just because a friend likes you more than a friend doesn’t mean you need to give them a chance.

The friendzone is not something you hand out to anyone. You don’t need to be friends with everyone you’ve rejected. It simply isn’t necessary.

It can be hard for someone that likes you to see you in a platonic way. They could pine over you without space. They could grow jealous if you date someone else. And it can become awkward for everyone involved.

Just because the friendzone might make you feel less guilty about rejecting someone doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do for you or them. The friendzone can give some people false hope. If you still want them in your life in some capacity, it may give them the idea that they just have to try harder.

Honestly, the friendzone is a tricky place. Although it has a negative connotation, it can be a great place for a friendship to eventually flourish. Look at Rachel and Joey is seasons nine and ten of Friends.

But, the friendzone is only a safe and happy place if the person you are friendzoning deserves your friendship and wants it.

How to friendzone someone the right way

If you have a friend that likes you and want to officially friendzone them or someone that likes you romantically that you just like platonically, you’ll have to know how to friendzone someone.

If they deserve your friendship and want it, here’s what you can do to know how to friendzone someone the right way.

#1 Be honest. Being straightforward, maybe even blunt, is often necessary. Someone that likes you can have a hard time taking a hint, especially if they have hope. Don’t beat around the bush or subtly make it clear you’re not interested in anything more than friendship.

I know it will be awkward, but it is always best to rip the bandage off. Just come right out and let them know you aren’t interested in anything more than friendship and hope they still want to be friends. You can leave it there. You don’t owe them anything else.

#2 Do not give false hope. Even when you don’t like someone as more than a friend, it can be hard to pull back the banter or chemistry you have. Just offering them a compliment or teasing them could be perceived as hope.

Your intention matters, but if it isn’t clear, it won’t make a difference. Don’t say anything like maybe one day or you can be my backup. Not only is that cruel but offers false hope.

#3 Let them get over you. Give them space. You may like this person and want them around as a friend but if you just rejected them, give them time to get over you before picking up where you left off.

It can be hard and even feel like you’re losing a friend if you were close or spending a lot of time together, but respect their feelings. Give them the time they need if you really want to be friends.

#4 Be respectful… as long as they are. Be respectful of their feelings. Don’t laugh it off or tell them they’re crazy for liking you. Let them know you’re flattered but not interested.

But, if they give you a hard time, you do not have to remain polite. If they say they did this or that for you so the least you can do is get a drink with them, you do not. A friendship is a friendship. No matter what happened before, there are no checks and balances between friends.

#5 Hang out in groups. If being alone together, even in public, is making things weird for them or both of you, hang out in groups. It will limit any chance of uncomfortable moments. Try to reignite what made you friends in the first place.

If you were casually dating before friendzoning them, include them in group activities that involve everyone, not partners.

#6 Don’t use them. When you have a friend that likes you, it can be easy to give into that attention. You know they’ll drop anything for you so calling them when you need a shoulder to cry on makes sense but it is not fair.

If you don’t like them as more than a friend don’t expect them to treat you as more than a friend either. Don’t expect them to do anything for you that you wouldn’t do for them.

#7 Don’t talk all day. Whether you send each other funny memes or complain about work all day, try to cut back. Constant talking, especially when you’re friendzoning someone can make things complicated. I know you want to keep things as normal as possible, but carrying on the same dynamic you had when they liked you won’t change anything.

#8 Remind them. If they slip up and start making a move or even saying something you think is over the line, remind them. Let them know you were serious and still feel the same way and don’t want more than friendship.

Never blame yourself for their behavior. Give them one extra chance to get on board with the friendzone.

#9 Encourage them to get back out there. If you are at a point where you feel comfortable encouraging them to get out there and date, do so. You can help them set up a dating profile or even introduce them to someone. Don’t be too pushy, but letting them know that you support them dating and moving forward is good.

#10 Let them go. If they can’t seem to get on board with being in the friendzone, it won’t work. Even if you hate to lose their friendship, feelings can’t be willed away. You may have to let go of the idea of the friendzone with this person.

Learning how to friendzone someone isn’t always easy, but it can work out. Start with these steps, and soon enough, this person will understand that you’re definitely not interested in anything more than friendship with them.

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