I just recently got out of a long-term relationship and have started reconnecting with some friends that I have fallen out of contact with. Of these, an old guy friend has been talking to me quite a lot, but I am currently not looking to jump straight back into a relationship as I still have feelings for my ex. I want to tell him that I'm not looking for a relationship but I don't want to automatically 'assume' that he likes me. At the same time, I don't want to lead him on because he is a good friend. What should I do?
Okay so for some reason my reply didn't post... But I'm in the same shoes as you only this guy I barely know. And this is what I said (alter it however you need to to fit your situation): "Look.. I don't wanna sound like an idiot right now so keep an open mind. Okay I really just wanna set something straight here.. Call it boundaries call it whatever you want. I don't wanna ASSUME what your intentions are so in case they're at least in the slightest bit romantically inclined I'd rather tell you this now. I really admire you as a person and I think you have a lot to offer. I find you one of the most interesting people I have had a chance of meeting and I would absolutely love to get to know you... However given the situation I am in i wanna make sure you know that I'm not exactly emotionally available and I would not want to ruin an opportunity of getting to know you by giving an impression that I am. Leading people on is not something that I do. And out of huge respect I have for you I wouldn't wanna put you in that situation... I hope that's understandable"
Just tell him exactly this, explain it. Because you don't know about his feelings you can just say "I've had bad experiences before and I just want you to know so there's no misunderstandings this is friendship only between us and I'm not interested in a relationship. I just want to make sure we are on the same page".
One very clear and respectful way to solve this is to be his wingwoman: set him up with a friend/acquaintance and point out girls to him/help him talk to them. Of course this is only respectful when you're sincere about it: don't set him up with that one annoying friend you know he doesn't like at all and try to point out girls who actually were looking at him.
Best thing to do is just have a FACE TO FACE conversation with him. Tell him that you're unsure of his motives and ask for clarity. If you think that after time has passed and you would consider dating him, tell him that. If not, find a few reason about why not, and tell him that you and him are not compatible. Obviously, if he ask why, tell him your reasons.
Don't act in a flirtatious way or give him the impression you want anything more, and if he brings it up then be clear with him.
If he hasn't said anything don't worry about it. Just keep your conversationsearch and contact platonic. If that happen clearly tell him you aren't ready and won't be any soon and you just want to be friends.
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