How do you reject someone? Not someone you just met, a friend. Someone who is also mutual friends with nearly all of your friends. Someone that you have to see several times a day. Someone you care about ... as a friend and don't want to lose that friendship with.
It is always extremely brave for anyone to openly admit their feelings for someone and actively pursue them. The issue is, if you are the one being pursued in that situation, things can get complicated. Not many people are bold enough to openly admit their feelings for others and I think being open with your feelings is something that should be commended. For one, I am not a pursuer and I completely get how hard it is to let someone know of your feelings because I personally have never done so. It is one thing to let someone know of your feelings, but it is another to persist after they feelings weren't really reciprocated.
This has happened to me a few select times before. One of which was in middle school, and thus is void. Another was discussed in this blog post and finally, I've been in this situation for around a year or so with another guy. It's odd, my kind-of-accidental-but-not-really rejection of the guy in my first blog post has to do with this guy. Yep. But anyways, here is how it played out/is playing out.
I met this guy last year when he liked my best friend. Unfortunately for him, she was starting to get together with a different guy. When I first started talking to the guy in question, he was trying to be nice and friendly to me because he wanted to date my friend so I was willing to be friends with him and then later I was nice to him because he was rejected and I felt bad. I did notice that he was being nicer and trying to be closer to me, but in my head I was thinking duh, he still wants my friend since that's what had been happening for at least a few months. Little did I know, it was because he had moved on. To me.
One of the most awful and awkward things happened next. I basically had to go on a double date with guy and my friend and her then (and now) boyfriend at Starbucks.
SIDE NOTE: The entire reason I was there was so that she would have an excuse to be with her boyfriend, whom her parents did not know about and when we left school there were maybe seven or eight other people with us. Unfortunately for me, they all left and I couldn't leave because it was my duty to my best friend.
Anyways, it went terribly. I desperately wanted to leave the entire time and as I stated before but am now stating again for emphasis -- it was terribly awkward. When it was time for him to leave, he them proceeded to coerce a hug from me. I know you may be thinking it was just a hug, whatever but my issue with that was I felt that I had lost part of the super-feminist-strong-woman in me for a while.
After that instance I said to myself that I would separate myself from him. It is hard to try to be nice to someone while dropping hints that you don't like them. By this time, our mutual friends asked me if I would date him and I said a hard no. I don't even remember this, but apparently I said something like: nope, and I will never (which well, was true). This friend proceeded to tell him. Afterwards, he told my other friend who in turn told me. When I first found out I was upset because it was a pretty harsh rejection that wasn't even directly from me and I felt bad. Something that I had been thinking of the entire time was to try and not be a 'bitch' about it and in my mind, I had finally crossed the line. In hindsight though, I realize that all that happened was for the best. I did not have to confront him and the message got through to the other side.
For a while, I was able to separate myself for him and I was confident that he had moved on (twice) but recently I've realized that I don't think he has. I'm not sure friends try to share a chair and act like he has. It's hard to politely reject someone's advances while trying to not to be too mean and ruin a friendship. He says things like "Why are you always so annoyed with me?" and it makes me so frustrated! I want so badly to be able to scream at him and say that all I want is to be friends -- but I can't. This leaves me to hope and pray -- even though I am an atheist -- that he moves on quickly and try to give subtle signs that I'm not interested or that I somehow find a boyfriend.
At this point, I have absolutely no idea what to do. I have to see him several times every day and I dread it. If he ever openly tells me he likes me or asks me out, it would be easy to tell him no and put an end to this but at this point when that hasn't happened it feels mean to me if I just brought it up out of nowhere. Because of what happened in the past, he should know that I'm not interested and won't really consider him but it doesn't seem like it and so I'm stuck in the rejection limbo. I wish this was like college and I could just send back his application with a rejection letter but I guess that's not how it works huh?
In the end, I just hope we don't end up like this SNL sketch: