I already have a boyfriend. How can I make him stop?
If he’s making you uncomfortable then you need to have a conversation, advises our elder.
Hello there! I’ve been in a relationship with my bf for a while now, and I’m perfectly happy with him. He’s not really the problem, I have—the problem is with one of my best friends. He’s a year older than me and recently admitted to having a huge crush on me—his affection for me is serious! He tends to hug me, and jokes about wanting to kiss me a lot (at least I hope it’s a joke…) and although I don’t mind the hugs, sometimes the things he says just make me uncomfortable after realizing his feelings.
I’ve always been comfortable around him, and we’ve both been very open with each other, and I want to maintain my friendship with him without intentionally leading him on… My boyfriend is not aware of this situation, and as much as I would like to share it with him and ask his opinion, I promised my friend I wouldn’t tell anyone, and I NEVER break my promises. I do really want to tell him but I don’t wanna lose such a good friend at the same time. I’m really confused as to how to handle this situation. Please help me out here. Thank you for reading
You have written in to the Elder Wisdom Circle because you would like an opinion, so I’ll give you mine. Before I do, however, you need to understand that I don’t know any of the players in your situation. The only information I have to go on is the letter you wrote. So, having said that, this is what I think.
As someone not involved in your situation, in other words, someone who is looking at it from the outside, the solution to your problem seems simple to me, although I’m certain it won’t be easy for you to implement. I’ll give you my opinion first, then explain afterwards.
You need to ask your friend (let’s call him Paul for convenience) to stop the behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable (and perhaps even some of the behavior that doesn’t). If he stops, great—problem solved. If he doesn’t, then you need to re-think your relationship with him and maybe even not be his friend anymore.
The very first thing you need to understand is that you cannot make Paul change. Only he can do that. This requires, at bare minimum, that he wants to change; otherwise it won’t happen. Hopefully, what will motivate him would be the desire to keep your friendship.
Next, you call Paul your friend. If that is true, then you should be able to talk with him. I don’t think Paul is trying to make you feel uncomfortable. In fact he would probably be upset when he realizes that he is doing that. But if you want to keep his friendship, he has to know. If you don’t have this conversation with him, sooner or later, his behavior will push you over the edge and you will stop spending time with him. So talk with him. Tell him what you just told me. Tell him he is a great friend, you want to keep him as a friend, but you don’t have romantic feelings for him. Tell him you don’t want to lead him on or hurt his feelings, and you are happy with your current boyfriend. Whatever you do, don’t say things like “I’m just not there at this time”, or “Maybe someday I’ll feel differently.” Don’t leave that door open and give him false hope. That would just be cruel. If you do change your mind at some future date, you and Paul can deal with it at that time, not now. Then tell him what makes you feel uncomfortable and ask him to stop doing those things. I would also suggest that although you find the hugging enjoyable, it is a way of leading him on, and I would suggest you stop it.
Like I said, if he values your friendship, he’ll stop that behavior. If he doesn’t, then you might have to stop being his friend. That’s a decision you will have to make. I hope what I’ve written helps you, even if it’s only a little bit. I hope things work out for you. Feel free to write us back if you ever need advice in the future. Good luck.