How do I let him down?

One of my closer friends likes me, and has for a few months now. He knows that I know, and he also knows that I know that he knows I know (if that makes any sense at all)

I know I should let him down nicely and say we should still be friends, but I'm reluctant to do so, since he has some self-harm tendencies.

We get along great, but I'm just such a commitment phobe. I also really think that I would be much better to him as a friend, and not as a girlfriend where I might hurt him (I'm a bit of a flirt).

I personally think he deserves much better than me.

It's not the first time he's liked me either. He liked me about a year ago, but he 'hypothetically' asked me out, and I 'hypothetically' rejected him.

I would usually pretend that I don't know and maintain our friendship, but the thing is, we've got this common friend, and whenever we get together, the common friend is set on bringing up the subject of him liking me, and how we should get together already. It was easy to ignore at first, but now it's getting visibly harder, and the guy that likes me and I have a difficult time starting a conversation now.


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  • Well, if he has not directly asked you out, I wouldn't say anything. If, as you say, he does have self-harm tendencies, then he would probably be pretty freaked out if you tell him anything directly. Also, you would risk your friendship because he could feel humiliated and upset.

    It seems like your biggest problem is the mutual friend. I would approach this person and ask him/her to stop making these comments because they are causing problems. You don't have to confide the whole situation to this person if you don't want to; simply say that you would really appreciate it if the comments could stop.

    I know the fashion is to be totally open about everything, but I have found that sometimes it is best just to keep quiet. I have been in this situation before--you shouldn't feel like it is unusual or that you have done anything to encourage it--and the best thing to do is pretend you don't know, then drop hints that you're not interested. For example, in the past I've said things like, "I'm not interested in dating right now" when the guy is nearby and the opportunity comes up in conversation. Or, "that guy over there is so cute; I wonder if he has a girlfriend?".

    It's a worry that this guy is a self-harmer. If you haven't already, you should suggest he gets help.

    Good luck.


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