How to deal: You’re just being nice, but they think you’re flirting
You do not have to be perky, cheery, flirty, or sweet for this to happen. You can be fabulously snarky, moody, or uninterested and a guy can still misread your politeness or a little kindness as being interested in him. That’s when things usually get super awkward, so here are a few tips to help you handle it.
Be compassionate. Oh how it sucks to like someone and not be liked back in that way. Try not to belittle or bad talk anyone for crushing on you. If you act responsibly and respectfully during this, you will come out ahead. Trust us on this.
Be direct. Even if it’s scary or uncomfortable, if a guy is pursuing or wooing you and you have no interest in being pursued or wooed, you owe it to yourself to tell him that. A moment of honesty can alleviate weeks of him chasing you and you avoiding him. (That gets old. Fast.) Here’s more help on how to be tactful, humane, and clear.
Be brave. It’s no fun telling someone stuff they probably don’t want to hear. It can be scary or make you totally anxious. But this is another thing that sucks, that’s necessary, and that’ll make you feel instant relief as soon as it’s over. Tap into your courage. We know you have it in you.
Be yourself. Don’t think you can’t be nice or funny or encouraging during this. You have to be you. The idea is to be clear with him, not a robot. Showing care is ok, just don’t get sucked into feeling sorry for him and taking care of his needs over yours. Stay strong, communicate your way, but don’t backtrack or leave it open ended because then you’ll have to go through this again in a month or two.
Be aware. Some guys might feel humiliated or slighted in this situation. Most can cope, but on rare occasions they can’t. If he gets aggressive or mean in any way, that’s not ok and it’s important to tell someone. Friends, parents, bosses, HR, the RA on your dorm floor, your brother who happens to be a cop—let any of them know you’re bothered and let them help.
Lemondrop has some more extreme ways to deal with this. (We don’t recommend the whole “shame him in front of his friends” approach.) And we found this on AskMen.com and couldn’t look away. (Because it’s a little bit right and a little bit effed up.) wikiHow has some good insights.
p.s. Have you checked out the Bedsider Insider tab when you log into Bedsider and go to your account? Try it and earn real perks just for doing things like staying on birth control and going to your annual exam.
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