My friends want me to get with this guy, but I like someone else. What should I do?

Be honest, says our elder — but let him down gently.

Dear EWC

Hi. My problem is that a few of my friends ship me with another friend (a guy). (In case whoever’s reading this doesn’t know what shipping is, it’s when you think two people should date or you think they make a good couple). The main issue is that I think he might like me (He looks at me a lot and makes me laugh — he even reached into the trash can to get some of my food out when another friend threw it away). I don’t like him, though. I like someone else. Since it’s getting close to Valentine’s Day, I’m worried he’s going to ask me out. I won’t know what to do if he does. If I reject him, it’ll be super awkward between us, and the rest of my friends since they think we should date. If I say yes, I ruin my chance with my crush. I’d also feel bad since he recently got dumped and I would probably have to dump him since I don’t like him. I want a good way to make sure he knows I don’t like him at all, before Valentine’s Day.

Sonora replies

No matter what your friends think, the decision about who you like and go out with is yours and yours alone. If this guy were to ask you out, and you accepted only because you felt bad (for him) or pressured, you would be doing him a disservice by leading him on in this way. It would be playing with his emotions, and that would be cruel. It is very common that someone has a romantic interest in someone who doesn’t feel the same way. That’s just how life works, and we’ve all been there.

I know this feels awkward and uncomfortable (these kinds of situations always are), but if he does ask you out you should be honest and kind. Let him know that you value him as a friend but it cannot be anything more than that. In the meantime, be careful that you are not sending him mixed signals that might make him think you are interested in dating him. If there is an opportunity, in your group of friends, you might mention the person you do like and are interested in so that it becomes common knowledge.

I hope my perspective gives you some clarification. Please don’t hesitate to write back any time.

Letter #: 435920
Category: Dating/Relationship

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