There is no telling for the laws of romantic love. So while you may have a devoted male or female friend falling head over heals in love with you, you may feel unable to respond to him or her with equal passion. In such a situation, it is difficult to decide the right thing to do. Some things to consider when your friend falls for you but you are not attracted.
Go over your priorities
Ask yourself what exactly you are looking for in a partner. Do you want somebody to look up to, who could be an emotional anchor in your life and perhaps offer you security – financially as well as in the relationship? On the other hand, the idea of a perfect partner for you may be someone with whom the sexual chemistry is amazing, who turns you on like nobody else does and keeps in a state of erotic bliss. Going over your priorities in a partner will help you sort out your emotions in relation to your friend and offer you a clearer picture of why you cannot accept him/her as a partner. Then again while you are at it, you may realize that an ideal partner is after all be someone who is more attuned to your values, likes and dislikes as well as the way you like to live. And perhaps it is time you were looking nearer home.
Consider why you do not find your friend attractive
Once you have a clearer picture of what you are looking for in a partner, it is easier to compare your friend against it and try to find the reasons why you cannot think of him/her as your partner. Is it because you have never considered the person from a sexual angle? This may be the case if the friendship goes way back to your childhood or if the person was particularly close to a sibling and hence seen an extension of the family. Or perhaps you know the person when he/she was involved with somebody else and now cannot think of yourself as a replacement of a former lover. Again, you may have never considered such a possibility because in some fundamental ways, your values don’t match but which has never been a sore point in your friendship. Exploring the reasons may enable you to at least understand whether the idea of taking the friend for a partner would be contrary to what you want or merely unimaginable right now but a possible option in the future.
Think of all that you share
Sometimes marrying a good friend can turn out to be the basis of a successful marriage. It is because a strong and fulfilling friendship is already based on mutual trust, emotional support and shared values in life – ingredients crucial for the recipe of every happy marriage or even a long term relationship. A good friend is there to lend you a shoulder when you are feeling down and eager to have a good time when life is looking up for you. Perhaps the only thing lacking in an enduring friendship with a member of the opposite sex is the absence of sexual intimacy. But every happily-married couple will tell you that to have a great time in bed, you first need to bond well outside it.
Consider other options
If you believe that you just cannot turn your friend into a lover but at the same time don’t want to lose the friendship, try to think of some creative options. You could ask another same-sex friend of yours to go out with the friend and then see whether they hit off with each other. Or if you believe that your friend’s crush on you has been brought about by a failed relationship or he/she is leaning too much on you because of some crisis at work, try to address the root of the problem instead of succumbing to your friend’s plea for intimacy. You could introduce your friend to interesting people or enjoyable pursuits in an attempt to remove the focus on exclusive relationships. Or if you feel things are more complicated, you could help your friend see a counselor to better work out his/her disappointments.
Better not to mislead
If it is a friendship you value particularly, you may be tempted to let things remain in status quo for fear of losing the friendship once you turn the person down. However, this is neither fair to your friend nor to your own emotional needs. It is no use acting as if you cannot understand the hints from your friend or as if nothing has changed. In fact if you keep stalling your friend’s request for a relationship, you will only be creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and distrust which is neither healthy for a relationship nor for a friendship. Your friend may be led on to hope only to be heart-broken in the end. On the other hand if you compromise on your priorities, you may find the relationship unfulfilling in the long run and bound to come to a messy end. So if you find your friend persistent in his/her expressions of love, let your side of the matter be known clearly and concisely.
Finally be sensitive when you turn your friend down
Try to understand that it has taken your friend a great deal of courage to lay his/her heart bare to you. So even as you are honest to your own feelings, be considerate to your friend’s too. After you have made your decision known, let your friend decide on the next course of action. You may find him/her disappearing from your life for some time. In the end if your friend has healed, he/she may come back to pick up the threads of your friendship. But if that does not happen, try to understand your friend’s reasons for staying away and move on in your own life.